Jump forward to now. Everything is different. Thea sleeps through the night, all night, in her own bed after minimal fuss and drama...at least, compared to what I was expecting... and now sleep deprivation can only be the fault of my own self who won't put herself to bed.
And now that she sleeps through the night, she wakes up at exactly 5am. It wouldn't be hyperbolic to say at the very second 5:00:00am. She is accurate like an atomic clock. I've found the easiest way around this problem is straight through, so on those days when I want to do things the easy way I just get up with her and get on with my day. Other days I try to bring her to bed with us and then suffer a miserable half-sleep that is a worse fate than death: being gouged, kicked at with shrieks of joy, hair pulled, head-butted and sometimes bit. Also, wrastling to keep her from leaping out the second story window.
Other things are different too. Everything, that is. She has taken some steps but still mostly holds on while making her way around. When you try to put her down on her feet, the lower half of her body arches and bucks and her feet take off, forcefully pushing off the surface to get somewhere before you can release her top half, and making it impossible to do so. Great care must be taken when setting her loose. It's a good thing our sizes are what they are to each other or we'd both be badly injured.
She also says (said twice) MAMA, but is most inspired by the kitty -DITTYDITTYDITTY. She signs MILK, DOG and sometimes MORE... pathetically few for the child of a sign language interpreter. She leans into my face with her drooly open mouth when I make kissing sounds. On Easter Sunday for the last time I spent the whole day making baby food. She has six teeth, and uses them to eat finger foods now... no more, that lovingly prepared organic veggie gruel I used to schlep in my kitchen.
Also, the mimicry has begun. She is doing things I didn't remotely think had caught her attention. She brushes her hair and puts my sunglasses on her face. It's friggn amazing and on top of that, unbelievably cute.
But now, having prepared this to be posted on the internet, I have to address the nagging voice of dissent in my head. If you have read this far, Thea probably doesn't offend you. And if she does offend you but you read all this anyway, let me just say that if you met her at a party, you would like her. She would like you too, in a really satisfying way. So go easy, eh?
The other day I was working with another interpreter. Our client asked me about Thea and I made a short comment about how sweet and happy she was and whatever. My team started to say that she didn't want children, absolutely noteverwhatsoevernever because she doesn't like children and they are bad for the planet. She went on to say that people should adopt and not have their own kids and when I pointed out that adoption costs are prohibitive and the process time consuming she only shrugged and said so is having a baby.
Plus, I know everyone hates mommybloggers except they, their-selfcongratulatory-selves, and plenty of sniggering and derision happens on these internets in the general direction of people like myself.
I've actually given these opinions a lot of thought and fair consideration. The truth is, that two people having one child actually equals negative population growth. Of course, for the time being there are three where there were two but in the big picture the returns are diminishing, even accounting for my step-daughter, counting three people for a total of two offspring, or my step-daughter's other sister, three offspring for four people. Anyway, I don't think we'll be having another kid, no matter how much fun it's been (more even than two is absolutely out of the question), and even if we did [have two], we'd still only be replacing our own selves (stagnant growth). You can bet Thea will be raised with a similar conscientious ethic.
But that is sorta missing the point anyway. I don't have to justify for my colleague or for random internet cranks why I had a kid, or the fact that I love her like crazy. It's easy to make arguments against the having of offspring, from crass and hateful to complex and socially acceptable, and every time I say anything publicly about being a mom I hear all those harsh criticisms in my head. Maybe, in part, that's because I once made them myself, and I guess that's why I am mentioning it at all.
Still, it's my blog and I'll post whatever I damnwellplease.
Anyway, I'd be interested to hear other people's opinions about this matter. I wonder if I have lost any readers since having had a baby. I once had a stat counter but when I changed my format it dropped the code and I wouldn't even know where to go find it if I even had the time or interest to do so, so I have no idea the limits of the influence I wield. Minimal to be sure.
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