Pee Happens

It took a five-day nursing strike (where the baby doesn’t nurse) to open my eyes to the importance of this relationship and this chapter in this relationship. I knew I was in love with nursing, and have written about blissful moments right after our daughter was born, and under a tree while shooting our family portrait in the forest, and on the beach with sea spray and coffee waking us up to another day in El Salvador.

I know there’s a chemical, oxytocin, that triggers that loving feeling—but there is so much more to it.

So, when our daughter started biting (ouch!) and refusing milk (double ouch!), I had a crisis of confidence I’d dreaded. I knew it would come, the day she weaned, but I didn’t expect it to come so soon. I envisioned rolling my eyes and yawning and complaining, “Will she ever let go?” and planning to wean her myself. I know this is only the first of many times Adela will turn the tables and surprise us with her independence. She has started to walk.

The nursing strike coincided with her first independent steps—and with her first birthday.

We’d planned an extravaganza for her at one of the indoor gyms. The package included activities, balloons, food, and music. I was just happy not to have it at our house. It was joyful chaos and almost everyone we invited said YES, so it was a full house. However, leading up to the party, a row of fiascos clobbered us and made us beg for mercy.

My parents were staying in the guest room I’ve been polishing for a year. I’d just bought a new rug and hung hand-made art.

Saturday night, after ten o’clock, I’m crying on my husband’s chest about how our baby has weaned, and my hormones are going haywire, when I get a text from my mom: “I think the cats peed on the bedspread!”

Oy vey! My parents ended up sleeping on separate couches with spare blankets, and our queen mattress is ruined. (I’m having it cleaned tomorrow—we’ll see. I have little faith. The first company I called said, “Nope. You’ve pretty much got tough luck with cat pee.” Tough luck?! I thought any company who wants to stay in business should say, “Yes, we can clean it,” and charge me the dough. The second company I called, Mr. Green Carpet Care, is willing to take my $99 and make a good show of trying.)

My parents said they slept well. But, I didn’t. I was mortified.

The morning of the party, I charge my husband with one important task. “Your job is to tire the baby out, so she takes a lonnng nap.” I encourage him to bundle her up and take her outside. Meanwhile, I’m begging for God to send down a sedative from Heaven, and so is everyone around me. Daddy’s a sport. He bundles the baby and heads for the front closet to put his own coat on, when HE SLIPS AND FALLS DOWN THE STAIRS HOLDING THE BABY. The thud could be heard from one end of our 40-foot-wide house to the other. We all come running. My mom thinks it’s my dad who might have fallen. I ask, “Are you okay?” and get no answer. My husband looks stunned. He’s worried about the baby. The baby looks surprised, but thankfully is not hurt. My husband’s finger is bleeding, and we bandage him up, give him a couple Advil and trudge on with our day, wondering what else will go wrong. My husband also cut his finger slicing a bagel before the party, but, all said and told, we survived.

And that’s what today’s post is about: SURVIVAL. If you’ve read this far, I thank you for coming to the point. I sweat the small stuff. I do. I get bent outta shape over stains and stupid stuff. In many ways, having a kid changes your perspective. Especially worrying about a kid. And you say, “Wow. Now I know what’s important.” Some days are long and tiring and you do what you can to get through them—and you always, miraculously, get through them. But, these days, grim news of loved ones with devastating diagnoses, and strangers far afield surviving earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear fallout, and more earthquakes… makes my problems shrink to nothing and I want to nod to the true survivors.

Adela is back on the boob. I have wine and chocolate. My house is warm. There’s a cat in my lap (not the one who peed on the guest bed—he’s a bastard—a lovable bastard, but he’s in the doghouse). There’s a one-year-old asleep upstairs who’s discovered how to walk. And she nursed on both sides tonight, looking up at me, humming along with my hymns. What more could I ask for? We’re thriving, not just surviving.

How are you?

About MommyTheorist

Editor, writer, photographer, and new mom
This entry was posted in Family, Health, Marriage, Parenting, Psychology, Relationships, social networking and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Pee Happens

  1. Becca says:

    Omg she’s walking??!?!? Can she teach our 14 month old??? He’s so wobbly!!! I wonder if you have the mattress cleaned and then you cover it with a waterproof cover…would it at least mask the smell? I’m a helper.

  2. mom says:

    I loved this post! You’re “getting it” now, my dear daughter! Love, Mom

  3. Tom Lewis says:

    No matter what you think you will get, your children have another think for you. Great post.

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