Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I have become one of "those moms"

Shit. I realized that I am one of those moms that I hate. Before I had Lila I worked at a bookstore and simply hated the storytime moms. They would come in, sometimes two or three times a week with their spoiled brat kids who never wanted to sit still and the moms would let them run wild without supervision while they perused the magazines. I hated the idea of play dates. I loathed the whole "Gymboree" phenomenon, reasoning that babies don't need social stimulation. They only need to eat, sleep and poop.

And yet, here I am, trying to get Lila to nap so that she will be all awake and chipper for storytime today and Ben is debating getting me a membership to the Gymboree so that Lila can meet "other kids her age". Where, oh where, did I go wrong?

Just after Lila was born, I realized that I have not one mom friend. And I never thought much about it. I hated being pregnant and thought that no one would relate to that because every story I ever heard treated pregnancy like it was just one small step down from God. I didn't want to talk to those moms who felt instant love the minute the little slimy thing popped out of them. I just wasn't one of them. And then Lila started being a baby and I decided I would not go back to work full time after all.

It only took about 4 days for me to realize that this whole "stay at home" business was nothing if not monotonous. Since they say babies thrive on routines, every single day was exactly the same-wake up, diaper, eat, nap, play, diaper, eat, nap, play, etc. And I had a really fussy one so "play" mostly consisted of me doing various tricks to keep her from screaming at me. Most of the time, I failed.

One day, out of sheer boredom I brought my then 8 week old baby to storytime. It was ridiculous, I know. The kid can barely see 10 feet in front of her and has no idea what is going on, and yet there I was, sitting in the mommy circle with my tiny floppy headed baby on my lap hoping that she would be, if not attentive, at least quiet. And as I looked around the mommy circle it suddenly made total sense to me. These moms didnt come to storytime because their kids enjoy it. Most of the kids ran around and yelled and ripped merchandise apart. The moms came to storytime for themselves. I was not there because Lila needed to be literate at 2 months old. I was there because I needed to identify with someone other than the blob that didn't quite smile yet, except when she was passing gas. I needed to see that I was not alone. I needed to get out of the house. I needed to talk to grown ups. And so I became one of those moms.

And today, as I struggle to get Lila down for her morning nap in time for her to be rested enough to go to story time, I get frustrated-not because she will freak out if we veer from the routine- but because I will freak out if we veer from the routine. I need to have her out around people so that I can blank out for a few minutes while other people goo and gaa to her. I need to get her out of the house so that she is tired enough for her afternoon nap, because the truth is that it is REALLY difficult to amuse a 7 month old for 8 hours straight until dad comes home.

I hope that today is a day where she does something incredible like crawl or recite the Pledge of Allegiance. But in all likelihood, it will just be a day. And hopefully I will make it through it with the help of Miss Marty's storytime.

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