Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Stranger and stranger.

After a long hiatus from the blogosphere, literature, intellectual pursuits and human conversation in general, I am finding it difficult to form my thoughts with any semblance of eloquence. I do have thoughts in my mind-- but laziness and my child's fondness for pounding keyboard buttons has stopped me from opening my laptop when I felt the need to write those thoughts down.
To the two people who read my blog, I apologize.
It is weird to have a child. Not in the "I can't believe I'm a parent!" kind of way. But having a child, quite literally, makes you weird.

Example 1: Talking to your baby who can't talk.
Relatively soon after giving birth I noticed that some people, especially older women, stopped addressing me personally in conversation completely. Instead of talking to me- the adult- these ladies direct all questions and responses toward my much cuter but less verbose baby. This feeds into a very awkward situation in which I am not sure if I should remain silent or answer their question. I usually compromise by responding in a baby voice. That way they get a reply that seems to fool them into thinking the baby is actually answering their questions. And so I act regularly as my child's spokesperson at the grocery store, never sure if I am just difficult to talk to or am missing some crucial piece of baby etiquette. A conversation I had today went something like this:
Old woman: (to Flynn) Why hello, handsome! How are you today?
Flynn: (looks scared)
Me: Flynn, can you say hi?
Old woman: Hello handsome! Are you out grocery shopping with your mom today?
Flynn: (silence. yawns.)
Me: Yes we are! 
Old woman: Somebody looks tired! Are you sleepy?
Flynn: (looks scared)
Me: Yes. Almost time to go home, isn't it? 
Old woman: You're a sweetie. How old are you?
Flynn: (staring)
Me: Almost 15 months.
Old woman: I have a 12 month old granddaughter! (still directed at Flynn)
Me: How fun!
Old woman: Bye bye, handsome!
Me: (to Flynn) can you wave bye bye?
Flynn: (stares.)

Example 2: Dancing and singing
I remember when we brought Flynn home from the hospital I tried to sing a lullaby to him and gave up after half of a verse because I felt completely foolish. He wasn't listening and-- who knew? I don't know half the words to most lullabies. Fast forward two months. I am singing everything. Every song I know, and then plenty that don't exist. And I'm not saying I can sing well. I can't. I just do it-- as soon as I would see Flynn in the mornings. He was just so cute and happy and squishy it just seemed right to sing about his breakfast or his toys or his poopy diapers. And then the weirdness took a downward spiral at around 10 months when he started to attempt walking and, consequently got really into dancing. Honestly, years of ballet training have made me a truly horrible, stiff dancer. But Flynn loves music and he loves to dance, so we do. We dance to the opening theme songs of television shows, we dance to dance music, we dance to classical music, we dance to Jim Dale reading Harry Potter even. And while Flynn's moves are pretty limited to knee-bending and head-shaking, my dancing has gotten increasingly more erratic and, if possible, uglier. The more I move my body the happier Flynn is. In fact, sometimes if I stop dancing he starts to cry. I'm not one for New Year's resolutions or exercise but I do believe 2014 will be my fittest year to date.

Example 3: Talking to yourself, talking to your baby
Any woman who is a stay at home mom will tell you it can be lonely work. My mother is an avid self-talker. She has full blown conversations with herself. I've heard her. They are audible conversations that you can hear from the next room. Now before you dismiss her as crazy, remember that she had seven children and a husband with a demanding job that took him away for weeks- weeks!- at a time. 
Not so crazy anymore, is she?
I have never talked to myself. I still don't. But I talk to Flynn. Oh, I talk his ear off! I'm certain I sound positively insane but he seems to expect it, even enjoy it. And when I get tired of talking then I just sing everything I'd normally talk about.
"Okay, boo-bah. I'm getting your yogurt! I'm putting it in the bowl! I'm putting in another scoop! I'm putting blueberries on the top! I love blueberries! You love blueberries! Blueberries are delicious. De-lic-ious. Now I'm bringing your yogurt to you. I'm going to put a bib on you now so your shirt doesn't get super messy and crusty. Crusty baby! Yogurt baby! Put a bib on it!...."
All. Day. Long.

Example 4: Toys 
Before I had a child, I thought I would begrudge that child every worldly possession that cost us a pretty penny to give him. Several thousand dollars later, my favorite pastimes include searching the internet for toys that I want my child to have and planning elaborate DIY projects that we probably don't have room for in our current nursery.
I love buying diapers. I love trying different kinds. I love getting big boxes of diapers delivered to my front door and then taking them out of their box and sorting them in my diaper organizer. I don't know many parents who say they love buying diapers, but I do. I love that I can change my baby's diaper and it makes him feel better, and it's so easy, and then I can throw the messy one outside in the trash. I love buying stuffed animals for Flynn. He has little or no interest in stuffed animals. I got him an expensive Maileg squirrel for Christmas and he looked at it for maybe half a second before running away to play with something else. I'm learning though. He loves trucks and cars so I'm reconciling my need to buy him toys that I also like with his need to play with toys that he's actually interested in. I spend a lot of time looking at toy trucks and baby lit books on the internet. It's foolish. But oh so fun.

Example 5: Talking about diapers.
I'm not going to say much here except this: Anytime Flynn has a blow-out, and enormously bloated wet diaper in the morning, or a really stinky diaper I get really excited to tell Jason about it, and then we laugh and laugh because we think it is hilarious.
I'm not a potty humor kind of person, I swear!

But, like the singing, compulsive toy buying and incessant dancing, this is something that I can't seem to control.

I mean, look at him.

He is just amazing.