So this was me, a little over a year ago. Under my favorite green shirt, Abby is hiding, still four months away from making her debut into the world. I remember the way I felt at that moment, modeling my stretchy-waisted pants and flaunting my little round baby bump: hopeful, optimistic, self-assured, and ever-so-naive.
This confident mama-to-be has some surprises in store. That baby was a girl, not a boy like we all secretly believed. That girl is turning out to be blonde and blue-eyed, colored more like her Aunt Laurashmaura than her mama. She’s cute and obviously brilliant, but no real surprise there.
But parenting hasn’t looked exactly like I anticipated, either, as I’ve discussed once before. My mom commented today on how much I have changed since Abby has born, and it got me thinking–there are lots of things that I do (and accept as normal) today that the Lindsey of 2009 would not believe. I’d like to list a few of them here, in the presence of that old picture.
I’ll pick up Abby’s paci off of the floor, wipe it on my jeans, and give it back to her. And not just when it’s my own floor, either. If we’re in a totally grody place, I’ll swish the paci in a glass of water or run it under the faucet in the bathroom. (Building her immunity)
I pick Abby’s nose and do not always use a Kleenex.
I have used the restroom while holding the baby. (Don’t try to get a visual.)
I have eaten a bite of squash, because I had to test its temperature before feeding it to Abby.
I have nursed in public. I’m so brazen now, I’ll just announce to the room, “Don’t look if you don’t want to see anything!” (although I still sometimes use my cover)
I have looked at the clock when Abby has started crying and thought, “Thank the Lord; she let me sleep in until 7:00!”
I have dropped (not too) hot oatmeal on Abby because I was trying to eat my own breakfast while she was having hers.
I have sung “Abby, Abby, Bo-Babby” a thousand times in the past month. I hate that song, but it makes her laugh.
I have listened to a cartoon rhinoceros sing all the verses to “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” and “Pop Goes the Weasel” and several other completely ridiculous songs…while in my car…when I haven’t even had Abby with me…because I was trying to learn new songs to sing when we are at home playing.
Not only do I sing a lot more than before, I also dance to my singing. Neither one is pretty, but I hear it’s what moms do.
I’ve had to sit through church with a big wet poop spot on my beautiful Ann Taylor dress pants. No one ever told me to bring an extra outfit for myself everywhere we went.
I’ve become an expert on Koala stations all over Central Texas. I have very strong opinions about proper placement of said stations.
I’ve put Abby in the trunk of my car to change her diaper. (Helpful tip for you new moms. It’s nice and flat.)
I’ve put Abby in the trunk of my car while I unfold her stroller.
I have never shut the door of the trunk while she’s inside. Just in case you were wondering.
I have sat in the parking lot of HEB for an hour because Abby had finally fallen asleep in her carseat and I didn’t want to wake her up.
I have gone for more walks in the past eight months than any other time in my life, except when Karen and I lived close to each other and walked for exercise. I am something of an expert on the far reaches of my neighborhood, the condition of the sidewalks downtown, and several local parks.
I have sat at a table of adults, trying to think of something to say that did not pertain to diapers, breastfeeding, or baby sleeping schedules, and come up blank.
A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined how delighted I’d be by toothless smiles and happy baby babbles, and how much I would love slobbery kisses and unexpected tender cuddles. I’ve given up personal time, personal space, personal hygiene, and personal ambitions to take care of this little girl. A year ago, I didn’t know how I would do it. Some days, I don’t know how I’ll do it for one more hour. But then I get a glimpse of that little baby grin, and it doesn’t feel like such a sacrifice after all.