Thursday, August 28, 2008

All this evolution, and for what?

I am freaking out. We are moving the day after tomorrow, and I think that will be okay, in terms of getting things packed and getting the truck set up and all that. What I'm really concerned about right now is Charlotte.

I'm sort of concerned that she's going to be confused and upset that suddenly her room is not her room. 11 1/2 months is a little young to explain about moving. We have explained it to her, telling her that we're moving, and that all our stuff and us and the cats will all be in a new place, but we'll all still be together. Charlotte just blows raspberries and continues smearing beets everywhere.

The other thing just completely weighing me down is what we're going to do with Charlotte during the actual move. My mother-in-law has agreed to watch her all day, which is very helpful. Unfortunately, the plan that she proposed, and that we somehow agreed to, is that she is going to come pick up Charlotte at 8:30 am, take her to her home, 1 1/2 hours away, and watch her there until 6:30 or so, when my father-in-law gets out of work, and then drive her back. I am so nervous and uncomfortable about this.

It has very little to do with my mother-in-law actually watching Charlotte. I know that even if she doesn't agree with my parenting tactics, she does respect me (or fear me) enough not to, like, feed Charlotte peanut butter or anything. But I've been to their house, frequently, and I know that nothing is really childproofed. I'm scared Charlotte is going to hurt herself because MIL underestimates Charlotte's mobility. I'm scared that Charlotte will be so excited that she won't nap or eat, and when she gets back to her new house she'll be too freaked out to sleep. I'm worried that Charlotte's recent mom-clinginess will make her sad the whole time, and that my MIL will leave her to cry it out. I'm worried that being away all day is going to exacerbate her current separation anxiety once she's back.

Mostly, I just don't want to be that far away from Charlotte for that long.

I know there are people in our family who think I'm ridiculous about this, but Charlotte is still really little. I know other people go off and leave their 3 month old baby with family for the weekend - but that's not me. I don't think it's good for kids, and I know it isn't good for me and Charlotte. We're buds. We hang out. And she's only going to be little for such a short time - I want to take advantage of every minute.

And, of course, I am afraid that something horrible is going to happen and I won't be there with Charlotte.

I've always been a worrier, but since I've had the baby, it's gone overboard. Just anxiety over stuff that I can't help - what if a car crashes into them on the highway? What if she eats something in the garden that she's allergic to and we have no idea? What if someone drops her? What if *I* drop her? What if she dies in her sleep? Just all the shit, all the terrifying things you can think of. Every worst case scenario, horror story, blog post on Strollerderby...all of it just floats around in my head constantly. I haven't been this anxious about random shit since I was in high school and constantly lying and hiding things from my mom (smoking, boyfriends, girlfriends, self-destructive behavior) or when I was in middle school and had constant overwhelming nighttime fears(mostly about aliens and alien abductions). It's not fun to be this anxious, this vigilant. I feel like Mad-Eye Moody and Mrs. Weasley had one asingle, very nervous progeny.

I think I mostly do a good job of covering it. I am somewhat nonchalant in what I let Charlotte eat (though if it's a vegetable, it's gotta be organic). I allow her - nay, encourage her! - to crawl around on the ground and pick up dirt and grass. I let her climb around her room, and play with random stuff, as long as it isn't blatantly dangerous. My sister comes over and watches her occaisionally. Charlotte is free to explore, and I let her get small bumps so that she learns to keep her balance. But still I know I seem like the most ridiculously overprotective, overanxious parent. I guess I just still can't shake the feeling that something is going to happen to Charlotte and I'll lose her. I know it's something I need to get over. You can't worry about this all the time or you'll go nuts. I think my imagination is just a touch too vivid, and that I've read to many books. I can't stop imagining what it would feel like to lose her and what I would do.

I feel like an idiot. I know this is ridiculous, and part of being a parent, and that I should just be able to get over it. Every separation shouldn't fill me with terror. I have, for the most part, realized that a lot of this is unreasonable, and I try to calm myself down. For the most part, I do a good job, I think. I mean, I know there are others out there who are more panicked than I am. Not in person, but hey, there are blogs. It's just so hard to know what's a reasonable fear and what's an unreasonable fear. And I'm sharply aware that for some poor family every day an unreasonable fear is suddenly reasonable. I don't want to win that lottery, I dread it.

So, yeah. That's my big revelation of the week. I'm a mom, and I'm scared stiff. I feel kind of embarrassed and helpless. I can't really laugh or shrug it off. I'm just one big ball of maternal instinct, constantly locked into fight-or-flight. And you know what? It's exhausting, and I can't turn it off.

Monday, August 25, 2008

crazy train.

We are moving on Saturday. SATURDAY. Today is Monday - needless to say, it's a little crazy around here. Sleep is practically non-existent. Hopefully I'll post about that, eventually. Matt wants me to do a recap of 10-11 months, but that's gonna have to wait. For now, here's a picture from Charlotte's 11 month birthday, yesterday. Will post again when I am less crazy.

Friday, August 8, 2008

And now for something completely different, I swear.

In an effort to get out of the funky/kinda-depressed/lonely/self-loathing posting cycle I've been in lately, I decided to make another bullet-point update list of stuff Charlotte has been up to in June and July. It was awesome to revisit this stuff. She's really gone from little baby to baby-with-an-agenda this summer, which has FLOWN by. We're moving in 3 weeks (!!!!) and a close, close friend is getting married in 10 days, so that's kinda hectic. As much as I'm dreading moving with an 11 month 1 week old baby, I'm sorta looking forward to the new place. We'll have a washer/dryer in the actual apartment (yay cloth diapers!) and wall-to-wall carpeting. As much as I hate wall-to-wall carpeting from an aesthetic standpoint, I think it will be awesome for Charlotte to fall face-forward on, and it will be easier to clean than hands-and-knees hardwood.

In June and July, Charlotte...

* Crawled all over the damn place.

* Made her first trip to Syracuse.

* Went to two bridal showers, a retirement party, a housewarming party, and two birthday parties.

* Met a jillion new babies. Or, you know, 3.

* Started eating tiny cubes of tofu, pears, cucumbers and overcooked pasta.

* Stopped sleeping through the night. Again.

* Started hanging out at the playground, especially with Daddy.

* Went swimming for the first time - in a lake!

* Went to Yankee Candle and had a scary fall.

* Loves bathtime, splashing, and bath toys.

* Ate out at two restaurants! Red Robin for dinner (three times!) and Sylvester's for brunch.

* Started pointing at things! So cute.

* Started using the baby sign for "more." Except she thinks it means "Snack/cheerios." So I guess that's what it means now.

* Is *thisclose* to talking - we think she's said "kitty" and "hi!". And I think she's saying "Mom" sometimes when she says "ma-ma-ma-mamamama!"

* Waves bye-bye.

* Still loves story time!

* Thinks standing and clapping is actually a hobby.

* Favorite toys are the piano, the mailbox and of course - Tigger. (as an aside, ooh, I found Tigger online! Auntie Heidi strongly recommended getting another Tigger *just in case* and here he is! I might have to consider this.)

Video of Charlotte in her playpen with her piano...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I am deciding that I'm tired of all the negativity and scare tactics surrounding parenting media. I love more than any other "parenting" site out there, but I am getting frustrated with the tone in the Strollerderby blog section. Everything is kind of tossed off casually and carelessly, with an eye to the most controversial story and thing to say. Luckily people are starting to come down on the bloggers in the comments, but I'm a little irritated. I have more specific things to say on this, but I'll get to it later.

Same thing with the attachment parenting group on LiveJournal. Super-strict definitions about what it means to be AP, with all these weird sub-sets that have nothing to do with actual attachment parenting. Panicky posts on vaccination campaigns and hysterical posts about how to talk to a friend who formula feeds. Here's a hint people - everyone friggin' knows that breast is best. What do you think a mom is going to say if you say to her, "You know, breastfeeding really is the best way to feed your child..." Do you think she's going to say, "Wow, no one has ever told me that before!" I can't believe that there is so little critical thought out there.

I don't know, I'm just tired and lonely.

And why can't I find any more summer shoes for my kid? I just want a pair of sandals in size 4! There's still a full month of summer left, not to mention that September in Massachusetts is really hot.

I just found these baby boots on Old Navy - cute or hooker? I can't decide.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Weekend. (Not this one, the last one.)

This is the entry I started about last weekend, before I got sucked into more family drama. This afternoon Matt is over at my sister's house doing laundry and re-arranging the basement so we can store more stuff down there when we move again, which is in just about four weeks. Eep! Charlotte is napping, and I'm simultaneously working, blogging, and making some baby food. Rice and peas, and beets, if you were wondering. Carrots, too, if I have time, and maybe some israeli couscous tabouli (minus tomatoes) for myself if I get to it.

Last weekend we went to a housewarming, and got brunch.

I'm getting blase about letting Charlotte eat bits of people's bread products. At the housewarming party I gave Charlotte a tiny piece of some sweet coffee cake type of bread, and also some hamburger bun.

(picture taken by our friend Jen)

There was another baby at the party, and Charlotte chased him around and tried to take his toys and use him to pull herself up. E is a new walker, so Charlotte chasing him on all fours was actually kind of a close race. E's parents don't have any friends with kids, so we had a pretty intense hour of talking about babies and kids and toys and all that.

Sunday we went out for brunch, well, breakfast, and Charlotte got to have some pancake, which she greatly enjoyed. The rest of the day was kind of a was - we were all three cranky and we went to a friend's house to do laundry but the power went out, and there was such a big storm and so much traffic that we didn't go grocery shopping...but we had a nice brunch.

This past week was Shark Week on the Discovery channel, something I loved forever - I remember watching Shark Week with my grandfather years ago, and him telling me about some sharks he saw on the air craft carrier that he'd been on in the Korean War. Matt and I watch the new episodes when we can, though we are both disappointed that good ol' documentaries have gotten taken over by more reality-style and list-style shows. Top 10 this, When Sharks attack that...I just want some Nova style shark info. Though I did love the Dirty Jobs episode about searching for Greenland sharks up in the Hudson Bay.

Here is Charlotte, ready for Shark Week with her new jammies.