While waiting for the water to heat up so I could hop in the shower this morning I reached for the comb and my arm brushed in front of my chest. Normal for clumsy and busty me. What wasn’t normal was my arm got wet. I looked down. Damned if I wasn’t leaking a little.
It’s been a week since I’ve weaned C.
He’s fine. This experience has been another reminder of what a resilient and self-sufficient little guy he is. When he was evaluated for early intervention the therapists explained that he was self-motivated. He does what he wants when he wants and really doesn’t care about fulfilling the desires and earning the approval of others.
He is so different from T. T cares deeply what those in positions of authority think of him. Yeah, he doesn’t just look like me, he actually is me.
C’s self-direction….Z and I have been frustrated with his behavior lately. He is acting out like a normal two year old. The kind of disciplining that worked with T when he was C’s age isn’t effective with C. Because duh. They are individuals. It is our responsibility to parent by responding to their needs rather than what is easiest for us.
This fall has been full of changes for C. He started school and speech therapy. He gave up his pacifier while sleeping. I weaned him. Last weekend we even switched his car seat from rear to front facing. On top of all that he has been sick pretty much since school started. Right now he is rocking a cough that wakes him multiple times in the night. Who knows what it will be next week? Through it all he has been just fine. He adjusts without angst…unlike some 36 year olds I know.
Parenting T is more intuitive to me because we are so alike. The empathy I feel for him is immediate and intimate. Don’t get me wrong, T frustrates the living shit out of me. I fuck up constantly and lack patience with him. But I also understand him in my bones. I love him completely.
Parenting C makes me feel helpless a lot of the time. It is harder to respond to his needs because I don’t have a frame of reference for them. I want to help him, to teach him, to support him, but I am often at a loss as to how to achieve those goals. He ends up teaching me much of the time. His baseline is pretty much happiness. He can fend for himself. When circumstances change he just deals with it and rapidly adapts to the new normal. I wish I was more like him. I cannot believe my body, which has been consumed by anxiety for so long, grew him. I love him completely.
That’s the thing with two kids. We parent them differently because we are responding to who they are as individuals. But we love them both completely. We screw up. Often. The hope is that the love will see us through our mistakes. The love will motivate us to do better. The love will make them feel safe.
I leaked on myself today. I miss nursing him so much it feels like there is a gaping hole in my chest. A week later and my breasts are still heavy and a bit tender. My body does not want to be done. But C only asks to nurse a few times a day. He is fine with Z putting him to bed at night. Fine with our new morning routine. I find myself looking to him as an example of how to deal with change. This strong and willful and adaptable creature I made with my body. He is going to teach me so much. I am grateful to have him as my son.
C on his first car ride facing forwards. His big reaction was basically a non-reaction. More of a, “Oh? We’re gonna do this now? Cool.” Sure is nice to be able to glance in the rear view mirror and see both of their faces. C has started to give me a shit eating grin with he catches my eye in the mirror. Man, do I adore that kid.
After my craziness yesterday morning I got myself together and went for a jog. It was 29 degrees and lightly snowing. I really didn’t want to run in the cold. But I went. And I somehow made myself change routes and face some hills. All these selfies I post after jogging are certainly not flattering. And I don’t use any filters in keeping with the honesty thing. But they are real. I am struggling to do this thing. I’m proud of myself. I had a panic attack and I ran in the cold and snow anyway. Flattering isn’t the point. You can actually see the excitement and happiness and surprise on my face. Seriously, people! If I can do this you can do this!