MOMMY MADE ME
They told me it would be easy. They told me it would be better with multiples. Who are “they” and why did I listen?? As I sit back on my $4000 bed a sigh of relief comes over me, they are all tucked in snug as bugs in a rug and I can finally relax. Whew my evenings are so very short and my days seem to go on forever…… Do you have any idea what I am talking about? The mom of two asks me at the bus stop. Um as a matter of fact I do (giggling) I have a very good idea.
You see, I happen to have five. Yes, you heard right – five children, all boys!! Well six if you count the husband and seven if you count my now live in mother. How did I end up here?
It all started with my Jeff Michael back in 1996 when he graced my world with his presence. I was a mom! I was born to be a mom! Perhaps quite flawed depending on who you speak too. These days no one can mind their own business and everyone has an opinion, a better way, their sister’s friend’s cousins Aunts Uncles Mother told them that……… AAAHHHHHHH shhhhhhhhh I got this!! Ill figure it out and if I stumble or fall or screw it up its on me… not you, it’s on me!! I’ll never forget being in the hospital awaiting my baby’s arrival…. That took three days OMG three days of walking up and down the white hospital hallways for three whole days walking and walking and walking…… until he finally decided to show his pretty face. The poor thing was so damn beautiful he often got mistaken for being a girl. I recall on line at the supermarket a woman commenting on how gorgeous my little girl was…. Hey lady did you not see the BLUE blanket and the BLUE car seat and the BLUE hat???? Come on now, I know color may not always be gender specific however…. Well he was very pretty lol. Any who so there I was waiting and the damn nurses looked at me as if I had just been born my damn self. I could feel their displeasure as I was all but 20. What did I know about being a mom? How is this kid going to take care of this baby she’s a baby herself? They whispered. Well I’ll show them I thought. I’m going to raise this kid and be the best mom I can be!!
Since then 2 more kids, a divorce, another kid a new marriage and a step son later whewwww Ill fill in the blanks a bit later- I’ve had a lot of mommy practice. However, it wasn’t until about 2 ½ years ago my now almost 21-year-old Jeff (I now leave off the Michael) sends me a text message in the middle of the night … “Mom?” HOLY SHIT I jump out of bed turn on the light and my heart begins to race!! Nine thousand things go running through my head. Did he get into a car accident? Did he get arrested? Who was he with? SHIT did something terrible happen? Why is he texting me “MOM?” like that at quarter to 12? ugh panic makes my legs weak- I sit down…
“Are you ok?” I ask. “yes, mom just wondering if you were up?” he says. “I’m up baby what’s the matter?” “Nothing I just wanted to say Thank you. Thank you for making me the man I am today. I love you” the conversation continued a bit more and we said our goodnights…
OH, my lord and baby Jesus you damn near gave me a heart attack kid!!!!!But it was at that moment, that I realized that if my kids don’t hate me (at least until they graduate high school) then I wasn’t doing my job.
HUSH LITTLE BABY… trial and error.
All of my kids were sleeping through the night by the time they were three weeks old. Was I lucky? Or was it just me how I coddled them? What I fed them? Who knows… However, it worked and I didn’t mind the extra hours of sleep.
RULE #1 – Play time is play time, bed time is bed time. Not to ever be confused with each other!!! This is the most important rule to me, if you want a sleeping baby.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the snuggles and kisses and smell of your brand-new addition. Get over it! Ha Ha just kidding, although do remember that there is a time for it all and you need to have the will and sense to know what time it is? Fuss over your baby, love him, pamper her, spoil him, over indulge in all his cooing and smiles…. During the day… get it all out of your system so you can both get a good night’s rest and start all over the next day…. Babies need lots of love and attention however they also need structure and discipline. You are their number one teacher. You will show him (whether you realize it or not) everything there is to know about life outside of the womb and he or she will happily follow suit.
I can’t get him back to sleep after he woke up for his feeding or he soaked the bed and I had to change all the bedding and now he’s wide awake…. Well let me ask you this. When your precious baby woke for his feeding did you turn on every light known to man? And were you sweetly commenting on how adorable his tired eyes are and how he should come to mommy, my little angel face…. WRONG lol trust me!! Well that’s where you probably make the biggest boo boo for your baby’s sleepy time. You just made it play time and now the kid is going to be up until the cows come home or until he cries so much he’s worn himself out, and you, to the point of exhaustion. Bed time is bed time. NO need for lights, set up a change of clothes, a set of sheets, diapers and wipes at an arm’s length. Get in and get out no time to fuss you’ll have all day tomorrow for that. Feed him change him and be on your way…. You’ll thank me when you’re not beat up the next morning. Just think of all the energy you’ll have to take him/her for a walk or to your favorite mommy and me class. Or how about all of the laundry you can get done while he’s napping hmmmm theirs an idea right? … energy for chores while the angel face is napping! I’m a genius! Now- let’s not confuse nap time with bed time, naptime should not take place where bed time takes place… set up a pack and play right smack in the living room yup I said it! Now I know the dog may bark and the phone may ring. You may even need to vacuum. Well go right ahead they’ll love it! Do you have any idea what the inside of your body constantly gurgling and moving about waste sounds like? Its loud as hell in there and he slept just fine… stop tiptoeing around you’ll be surprised. And better yet when your girlfriend calls to shoot the breeze about her new hair color you won’t fret…. Babies love white noise run the blow dryer they’ll knock right out…. Your welcome J
THEN THERE WERE TWO
Three years, five months, and four days later I was blessed with my Alexander Thomas. But this time around the nurses didn’t snarl at me. They were attentive and willing to lend a helpful hand. “Would you like us to wake your son for a feeding?” They asked? “oh, no thank you he’ll wake up when he’s hungry, don’t you worry.”
Rule # 2 trust me, your baby will let you know when he is hungry! NO need to wake up a peacefully sleeping baby to force feed him. When he’s hungry hell let, you know. And boy could my baby boy eat… breastmilk? The kid wanted a T-bone steak by the time he was a week-old Ha Ha that is of course while he was awake… he slept like a dream, napped like nobody’s business, and ate anything I put in front of him. No fuss no muss… and his big brother sure did love him!! He was probably about a week or two old as I had had him in the bassinet next to my bed. Jeff was so excited to finally have his baby brother out of mommy’s belly and into his little world. That all he wanted to do was see him, touch him, protect him. And he thought he was doing just that when he heard him crying and decided it was a good idea to pick him up from his basinet and put him on the bed to change him (he just woke up and probably needed to be changed right?) OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! My heart sunk to my chest as I walk into my room after hearing him get up, to see my three-year-old holding my infant with one foot still in the basinet and the other on the bed stretched like the mom from Disney’s Incredibles HOLY COW!!! I flew to them as fast as I could to hear Jeff say that he needed to take care of him and that Alex wanted him to pick him up…. Rule #3 Don’t startle so easy. Yes, it’s scary as hell and I wanted to freak out and yell and scream it was wrong but what would that have done? He would have gotten terribly scared and perhaps never have wanted to touch him again for fear of being in trouble. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want him to be afraid. I wanted to teach him, I wanted to let him know how delicate his new baby brother was being so little and fragile. That he could have gotten hurt, or he could have hurt his brother. I wanted him to know that it was ok to protect him and care for him as long as he was doing it in a way that wouldn’t cause harm to either of them. Oh, lord was that tough, but my mission was accomplished. I was able to calmly say all of those things and, in a way that he understood. Without damaging what he felt was a good deed. Till this day almost 21 years later he still looks out for him. They have such an amazing, impenetrable bond; any mother’s heart would be warmed.
Two are easy, Hey Jeff Michael do mommy a favor please and grab me a new diaper (the one I was about to place on Alex was just soaked with a stream of pee that shot out of nowhere) * diaper changer BEWARE! And mommy’s little helper goes running off to save the day (build their confidence early, it’ll last a lifetime) by allowing Jeff to help, it also saved him from being overly jealous of the family’s new addition taking up so much of mommy’s time. And all is right in the world. 😉