Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Confessions of a Proud Slacker

Violet is already starting to lose that tiny-infant look. She's starting to look like an actual person - you know what I mean? Her squished up tiny-infant face is opening and brightening. Her tiny-infant cries are giving way to coos and huge smiles, and she's already trying so hard to be part of whatever's going on in the room. She stayed awake all through playgroup today, from about 10:30 to 1:00, just watching and listening to the big girls.

When Hazel was a baby, I couldn't wait for her to get to the next stage, whatever that was. Part of that was being excited about watching her grow and develop new skills, and part of that, I realize now, was me hoping that this motherhood gig would somehow be a little easier, if only she could sit up on her own, or crawl around and amuse herself, or whatever.

I was such an amature.

Now I know that this motherhood gig does not ever get any easier, whether you have one kid or five, whether they're infants or adults. And that knowledge makes it easier for me to really enjoy Violet's infancy. Well, that and the fact that Violet is a pretty easy going baby. She lets me know if she wants to be held, or burped or put down, but most of the time, she's pretty chill. Waaaaaaaay more chill than Hazel was as a baby, or is now, quite frankly, and I'm not saying one is better than the other, I'm just saying. She's got the zen thing down and thankfully so, because otherwise nothing would get done around this place, although very little gets done around this place as it is, and I heap the blame on the relatively blameless baby regardless. That's just the kind of mom I am.

Our pediatrician likes to say "everyone should have a second baby first." It's so true! Everything, from the birth and recovery, to figuring out how to get a shower or schlep your whole sideshow out the door for some desperately needed time with other adults, is easier. Or rather, not as big a deal (I feel I should clarify here, lest you assume that I've got everything under control, that it is not easy - just easier), than it was the first go around. I learned really fast that I have to let that which does not truly matter, truly slide. Rice from last night's dinner on the floor? Screw it. Haven't vaccumed up the dog hair, cookie crumbs, or sand from last weekend's BBQ yet? Screw it! Five loads of laundry in the garage and Hazel has dumped every single item of Violet's clothing on the floor (except for the size 0-3 months pants that she's wearing as shorts)? SCREW IT!! I know I can't keep up, so I don't feel guilty about not even trying. Those things would've really bothered me a year ago, and perhaps they would still bother me if I didn't have such low standards of cleanliness. But it was either lower my standards, or lose my freakin mind, and I feel like I made the right choice.

Here's what's really important to me, so I do it every day:

- I shower
- I drink really good, strong coffee
- I make my bed, because it looks pretty
- I dress my kids in clean clothes
- I water my plants and flowers
- I get some "creative time" at the computer
- I see or talk to at least one adult (excluding Mike)
- I read something, even if it's just one article in the a.m. paper

Pretty much everything else, can slide. I want to be a happy, relaxed mama for my girls, because I want happy, relaxed girls. Who cares that Hazel has covered herself in markers, or that Violet doesn't have a babybook yet? I mean, I care, but... I care more about enjoying myself and taking care of myself, and if that means slacking off in other departments, well... wait for it... SCREW IT!

I'm excited to see Violet grow and develop as I know she will, but I'm also really enjoying this speechless, immoblie tiny-infant part of her life, too. It's a wonderful, miraculous time, and I'm so thrilled to be a part of it. I'm going to bask in it for as long as I can, because I know it will be gone before I know it. The dirty laundry and sticky floors are just going to have to wait, because if I have to choose between them or spending quailty time in the kiddie pool in the backyard with my little ones, the laundry and floors are going to lose, every time.


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