Saturday, July 28, 2012

He's a charmer

Little Man is really developing a sunny personality. He's almost always smiling and cooing when he's awake. I'm finding him more interesting now that he's more interactive. Newborns are time-intensive, but monotonous, to care for. He seems to respond well to strangers -- and strangers to him. We were at Home Depot at 6am yesterday (what else is open at 6am?) scouting out plants (I picked up an arabian jasmine and a kaffir lily, both in bloom) and I was surprised by how many men were charmed by him.

In a couple of hours Little Man will be meeting his great aunties on his father's side of the family. M is looking forward to showing them the house and all the work we've done on it the past year. Hopefully they'll be able to see past the patches of messiness here and there. I didn't get a chance to tackle the floors like I wanted to -- I spent most of my free time the past two days cleaning up a mess the older cat made on the hardwood floor in the office. Grr. Any way, M is certain The Aunts are going to fall in love with Little Man. It will be interesting to see how it all goes.

Still no go on the nursing front. I've given up. We picked up a double-breast pump on Craig's List and I'm feeding him breastmilk via bottle. I do miss the way breastfeeding feels -- it's incredibly intimate and pleasurable and an amazing bonding experience.

Now that I'm pretty much recovered from childbirth (I still haves some lingering stiffness in the pelvic region) I'm feeling restless. When I'm not exhausted, that is :) There are things I want to do, and with the baby, they're just not an option anymore. No more writer's groups, Ruby Tuesday geek girl meetups, college alumnae meetings, photography expeditions, or visits to the gym. Not during the day, anyway. Little Man is still too young to leave with his father for more than 30 minutes or so. He seems to have this radar that wakes him up when I leave the house without him, and then he gets a little agitated when The Mama doesn't appear. When he's a little older, I'll have to look for meaningful social opportunities that involve other mothers and infants/toddlers -- something that is rather outside my experience. As an unintentional mother, I've never found babies all that interesting, and I confess that the conversations between my previously childless self and parents of young children were only marginally more interesting than their little kids. I'm definitely feeling the pressure of a paradigm shift.

In the meantime, I've been exploring the neighborhood on foot with an eye for future activities. There is a Shaolin Cultural Center a few blocks away that teaches a few of the forms of wushu (Chinese martial arts) as well as Mandarin language and culture. They offer classes for kids starting at age 4. There is also a kuk sool won school here in town, and the Buddhist temple nearby offers tai chi, hula, and bon odori dance practice. I also found out they have a Cub Scouts troop there, but given the recent decision by the organization to formally exclude gay boys and leaders, I doubt the Little Man will be a member. I've also found a Safari Run playland a few blocks away, in addition to the Junior Gym and the Kumon learning center over on B Street. The Martin Luther King Center offers lots of family activities, including swimming classes in the summer, and there are lots of parks in walking distance. All-in-all, this is a good neighborhood to raise a family in. That wasn't what I had in mind when I first noticed the house for sale -- I was more interested in walkability / proximity to Downtown and cultural diversity -- but it is going to work out well since I'm not going to be car-dependent and trapped in the suburbs.

1 comment:

  1. Ask at the pediatrician's office if they have other moms who had babies around the same time you did. Also, cruise the kids section at a local bookstore. You are bound to meet other smart Moms. Don't let parenting be isolating. The baby will learn that you can leave and that you WILL return. Dad has to be able to take him for more and more time or else it just isn't fair to you. You don't want to resent the baby (or M). Every time you leave A, take 10 extra minutes. You will work your way up to several hours. Then Baby and Dad will learn to trust their time alone together.

    Moms need to find people in life to discuss both parenting and culture/art/politics or whatever your interests are. You will find the opportunities for kids to do activities endless. You need to find things for MOM now. Go to your book club. It's the best thing for baby. Many Moms would have already returned to full-time work outside of the home by now. You need and deserve this time to enjoy your life.

    You are doing fine but don't be afraid to reach out and find other new moms. You will quickly see that others miss "normal adult" thoughts as much as you do.


I'm not sure how good the Blogger spam comment filter is, so I'm moderating all comments for now.