Wednesday, April 30, 2008

She-Creature Life Lessons

Anya is trying her hardest to roll from her back to her front. She's got the idea and can get consistently to her side, and she makes all the right motions to flip the rest of the way, but that damn arm keeps getting in the way! We've been trying to encourage her to keep her arm down, but every time we move it for her she looks at us like we are crazy. "Uh, Mom, that's my chewing fist! I need to keep that right near my face, what if I suddenly need to gnaw on my hand?"

video

The worst part is that she's trying so hard to do this, and when she finally does it she is going to be totally frustrated to be stuck face down on her belly. I mean, that's a tragic life lesson to have to learn at 14 weeks: Bust your ass striving towards a goal and when you finally achieve it you will be in a worse, less escapable position than you started out in. I don't think I learned that lesson till my first (and only) year at Sarah Lawrence!

The other truly awesome development is that the babies have begun to not just notice each other, but to smile, coo and laugh at one another. But I will save my gushing about that till I get some good footage.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How I've Changed Since Becoming a Mother

Luke's father came over to babysit last night so that Luke and I could go catch the latest kung fu movie in the theater. We played video games in the arcade before the movie, snuck candy in my purse, discussed the awesomeness of Jet Li and Jackie Chan in a Woo-Ping movie and generally acted like our pre-children selves.

Then we went into the darkened theater and I promptly fell asleep on Luke's shoulder.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Three Months Is an Irate Genius

Three months today. I'm so stressed about money and how money is affecting my relationship that it's hard for me to get clear-headed enough to write, and if I can't write about the babies at three months, does that mean I'm sucking it up at mothering them at three months? I don't think so, I think I can be still and just focused on them most of the time that I am with them, but when they are napping and I am left alone with my own head, the anxieties spin so fast, feels like my brain is in a blender.

But here, there's this: Alex's lower jaw quivers in excitement every morning when we wake up and I start talking to him, the smile that lights up his face, as if he can't believe how awesome it is that I came back into his life after the long night.
Alex modeling his Haute Pockets

And Anya buries her head against my neck when she is tired and snuffles there till she falls asleep, where she makes tiny contented sighs of satisfaction and happiness.
Anya Sleeping

Not that everything is rosy. Alex shrieks so shrilly that it physically hurts to listen to him, and he's been known to do it simply because I tried to put him down after four hours straight of holding him. Anya melts down every single night about an hour after Luke gets home, squawking inconsolably for an hour or more. I have an elaborate calming ritual that involves the water blasting in the pitch dark bathroom and a precise jiggling motion.

I've been in contact with some old friends recently, people who knew me when I did not want children, when I rarely stayed in one place for more than a year, when we all were so absolutely sure of the complete depravity of the modern world that to even consider leading a "normal" life was an unethical act. It's been a long time, and I hate the gulf that emerges when friends express shock that I settled down, moved to the suburbs and had kids. But a "normal" life is not a life without meaning, and I'm never quite sure how to explain that I've discovered a peacefulness, a stillness within myself that I never dreamed possible back when I was a wild child.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Week 10 Generalized Cultural Pizza

This week was the social event of the season, our post-baby shower. I say that sort of sarcastically for those of you who aren't in this breeding phase of life, but some of you know that a trip to visit other adults, having other people to hold the babies for a whole glorious afternoon and a reason to wear something other than yoga pants is damn well the social event of our season! We went to Gabe and Kristina's for a Meet-The-Babies Party with Luke's mom's family. We didn't do the typical shower thing when I was pregnant because Luke and his mom were having some Not-Speaking-To-One-Another Issues during my whole pregnancy. You always hear about how you are supposed to table your intrafamilial shit in the name of everyone's potential relationship with the All Important Babies, but the whole experience of breeding ramps up the emotional intensity, and suddenly that thing your mother/brother/Aunt Sally does that sort of bugged you before suddenly becomes Something That Could Affect My Child's Emotional Development. And before the babies get here, you worry a lot about that shit. The idea that grandparents, in particular, will have a special relationship with your kids seems awfully abstract, while the worst memories of your own parental conflict are turned into nightmare imaginings of your kid having to feel the way you felt when things were at their worst. Then the kids are actually here, and little people of their own, and it's just amazing how things change.

Alex spent the morning of the party alternating sleeping and fussing in Uncle-Godfather Gabe's lap. I knew, after her last visit, that Grandma would be able to soothe the kid, and Alex is not always an easily-soothed baby. When she took him into her arms, she curled her whole body to be closer to him, and beamed down at him, cooing, "Let's cuddle!" And Alex's little face lit with joy and he beamed right back at her, cooing lovingly up at her face.

Grandma Heather Cuddles with Alex


Anya continues to teethe. Heather told me that Gabe cut his first tooth at two months, so there is some precedent for this happening so early. I sort of hate that she has to go through this so early, but I suppose if she and Alex aren't teething simultaneously I should be counting my blessings.

Anya is Teething!

Dad's finger is the preferred teething toy. She will take my finger, but really prefers the big calloused one. Or maybe she likes the taste of motor oil.