Monday, June 17, 2013

4 Things My Mommy Imagination Ran Wild With

The boy had a sleepover at grandma’s last night and I almost feel like a new woman! For such a tiny person, he sure does take up a lot of space in the bed. Yes, he very often sleeps in our bed. When I was pregnant, and even after he was already here, I swore that I would not be one of those parents who would allow their child to crawl into bed with them, no matter what, but real-life has shown me that sometimes no matter how sure you are in your mind that you will be one way, your kid decides otherwise for you.

Here are 4 Big Ideas I had going into this baby thing that didn’t quite turn out how I imagined:

1.  He would have the most comprehensive & complete baby milestone book on the face of the planet – I imagined myself writing down the date and time, right down to the very second, that my boy hit every milestone. (I briefly considered using latitude and longitude coordinates to precisely identify the location the "first" took place but scrapped that idea when I remembered I have no clue how to figure that out.) His first smile, the first time he sit up on his own, the first projectile poop (That one was on daddy. Yes, on daddy. Twice. In the same day.) 

I envisioned this cutely decorated scrap book filled with snapshots and notes that we could look back on together when he was grown. Currently, he is 20 months old and I have one picture marked “first time drinking from a juice box” that I just tagged a few days ago in my pictures folder on my laptop. Don’t get me wrong, I have a bunch of photos and videos of him doing things – you know, important things like batting at a fluff on the carpet with his back to the camera – saved on my hard drive but they are in random order with no tags or captions. There’s a picture frame on his wall with a cutout for each month and a big one in the center for the 1st birthday picture. I managed to put in photos that I guessed were months 1-10 just before his 1st birthday but am still missing months 11 and 12. Maybe I can get around to it before his 2nd birthday.

2.  Each person would sleep in their own bed – I know there are some moms (and dads, too) who think the best place for the parents & children to sleep is in one big, comfy bed. I do not subscribe to that theory. Unfortunately, my son does. They call it a “family bed”; I call it “I’d rather sleep on the couch because it’s more comfortable than my own cramped bed”. Up until he was about 11 months old all we would have to do is lay him down in his crib for naps and bed time and he would happily soothe himself to sleep. Out of nowhere, the script was flipped. I can almost hear the sound of a record scratching in my head when I think of the 360 he made. It began with him crying to be picked up. Ok, we decided, we’ll let him ‘cry it out’. But he would cry until he threw up. Eventually, he would skip the whole crying part and stick his hand down his throat to induce vomiting. This kid cuts right to the chase. We moved his crib to the foot of our bed, hoping being close to us would be good enough but no, he’d rather be scrunched up in bed with mommy & daddy. Wait, who am I kidding? The only ones scrunched up are mommy & daddy – baby is sprawled out like a king while we try not to fall off the edge of the mattress he's relegated us to nightly!

3. He would sleep through the night after he turned 1 – 

I really figured that by 13 or 14 months old, he’d be sleeping through the night. My zombie eyes and foggy brain prove otherwise. Up until about 16 months he was still taking 3 bottles a night! I’d like to say that I trained him to not need any milk through the night but truthfully he just grew out of it himself. What he does still do is wake up and insist on climbing into bed with us. You see, we transfer him to his crib after he falls asleep on our bed. But when he wakes and realizes he’s been moved, he screams and cries until he can get back into our bed. We must have a magical mattress because there’ve been times where I’ve woken to find him asleep, upside down at my feet. He’d climbed out of his crib onto our bed but didn’t quite make it to the top! He’s so sleepy, all he needs is to be in our bed, even if it is by daddy’s stinky feet (my feet do not stink).

4. We would eat veggies and healthy food every day, all day – Yeah, right. When I was a kid, my
mom had to tell me that every meat I was presented with was chicken, I wouldn’t eat anything dark, all the crust had to be removed from my bread & no vegetables or fruit (aside from bananas) would pass my lips. As I got older, I was known as the “Chef Boyardee Girl” because that was practically all I would eat. Then I went through a mashed potatoes-only phase. You could say I was a slightly picky eater. Turns out the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. I’ve read articles that recommend camouflaging veggies in foods kids love naturally. So being the crafty mom I am, I try to give him mac & cheese with broccoli mixed into it. It’s kind of amusing to watch him take a bite, chew it up a bit then let it dribble out of his mouth, down his chin and onto his belly, all the while eyeballing me with that “Go ahead. Test me” look. I’ve occasionally managed to trick him if he’s really hungry but usually you’ll find me trudging back into the kitchen to get him real mac n’ cheese.

Yep, things rarely turn out as how we imagine them. Especially when there’s a kid with his own ideas involved!

What are some things that you expected that didn’t quite turn out the way you thought it would?

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  1. Great post! It's funny how we think things are going to be one way before we have our kids, and then reality sets in. ;-)

  2. Thanks Marvin. Yeah, reality didn't just set in, it crashed in!

  3. At 65 years old, I never expected to be taking care of a 27 year old totally disabled son. I expected to sleep late, go out for breakfast, sit on the deck and hoist a few beers with the wife. So none of the expectations materialized; accidents do happen; parents' commitments take precedence....still life is very good!

  4. You & I had the same expectations (my daughter is 15...)
    Life IS good!

  5. I totally relate to #1 ... I felt the same way; my son would have every memory completely archived, and we could relive the important moments of his life over and over .... yeah, notsomuch.

    Fortunately, for us, #2, #3 and #4 *have* come true. He sleeps through the night (probably 98% of the time ... in bed by 7:15, up by 6am); he LOVES broccoli, fish, etc. (and, *doesn't* like sweets); and -- unless he's not feeling well; he'd rather be in his own bed than with us.

    But, #1 is definitely something I can relate to.