On Being a Mom

Davis turns 8 weeks old today. For those of you who hate that week thing, Davis turns 2 months old today. In some ways I can hardly believe it. In other ways, it seems like he has been with us for much longer. Sometimes when Tracy and I are driving down the road and Davis is asleep in the back, it feels like it’s just Tracy and me again. Then I glance back and see the car seat and am reminded that we have a little boy back there.

When we first brought Davis home, I have to admit, I felt overwhelmed. I felt like there was no way I was going to be able to continue doing the mom thing. I kept saying, “Oh my gosh, this is work!” Everyone said having a baby was the most awesome thing in the world, the greatest love you would ever feel. But, I have to be honest, although I loved Davis even when he was in the womb, I felt a little like, “Who is this person who has come in my home and taken over?” I couldn’t sleep when I wanted to, I couldn’t eat when I wanted to, I couldn’t leave the house when I wanted to. Notice all the I’s in that sentence. One thing is for sure, and I learned it quick, once baby is here, there is no more “I”, not ever. Before we got pregnant, I told Tracy that I was selfish and that I could not have a baby because of my selfishness. Well, let me tell you, having a baby will make you realize just how selfish you are. After having all the selfish thoughts, I would ultimately end up in an emotional whirlwind, thinking to myself, “How can I be so selfish?” I guess some of it is the result of growing up alone and having things my way a lot of the time.

When Davis arrived on the scene, he looked at Tracy and I with a furrowed brow as if to say, “Who and what are you and why am I here?” We were just as strange to him as he was to us. Well, now that Davis is 2 months old, that has been replaced with smiles and coos and looks of true affection. Because of these new interactions, a great deal of my selfishness has been replaced with nothing less than adoration for that little boy. I completely understand what people mean when they say, “You will never know a love so awesome.” I more completely understand Christ’s relationship with us and how he could give up his own life so that we could live. When I look at Davis and see him look back into my eyes like he knows I am his mommy, I would give up everything that I want or even need to make sure that he is okay.

Tracy and I have never really been country music fans, but we realized while driving down Highway 17 with Davis screaming in the backseat, that our son is. It’s the only music on the radio that he stops crying to listen to. So now, when we all three get in the car, Davis has us turn the radio to a country music station. If he cries, we know it means to turn it up louder. He has given us no choice but to begin to at least accept country music. Apparently we are beginning to like it because Tracy even listens to it when Davis and I aren’t in the car. The other day he came home very excited about this song by Rodney Atkins (I think that’s the guy’s name) about a little boy and his father. The little boy looks at his father and wants to be just like him. He surprises his father by uttering his first bad word. When his father inquires about where he learned that word, the little boy’s response is that he’s been watching his dad and basically wants to be just like him. In one of the final verses, the little boy and his dad sit down to pray at night and the dad is surprised by how well his son prays. When he asks where he learned to pray like that, the boy responds by saying that he watches what his dad does and he wants to be just like him.

Well, as I listened to this song, I was standing in the kitchen with tears streaming down my face. It made me realize even more what God has trusted us with – a person, to shape and mold and teach about God and how to treat others. I realized how completely overwhelming this parenting thing is going to be. Not because of having to let go of a little selfishness, but more now because we can’t just go around living accidentally. Every word we speak and every choice we make teaches Davis how to be. I am quite certain that at some point, we are going to be watching Davis do something that is completely unacceptable and ask him why and he is going to respond exactly as that little boy in the song did. We’ll feel like we’ve been punched in the stomach. Nothing like a child to make you see yourself for what you are. But, then there will be those times that he is being completely awesome and we’ll know for sure that we did something truly right and meaningful with our lives. And we’ll know for sure that relinquishing that selfishness will be the best thing we ever did for ourselves.

Davis’s Top Ten Favorites List

10. Having his very own bedroom

9. His swing that has a ceiling fan sort of thing that moves around and around while he swings

8. Having his diaper changed

7. Having Mommy rub his arm or his hand or his leg

6. Daddy letting him lay on his belly

5. The painting that hangs above the couch – he stares at it endlessly

4. Snuggling on the couch until he and Mommy fall asleep

3. His new Baby Einstein play gym

2. His paci-

1. MOMMY’S MILK!!!!!!!!

 

My Little Piglet

I noticed just about a week ago that Davis’s onesies were starting to look a little small. When I put them on him, his legs remained bent at the knees even when he tried to stretch them out and the collar area of the shirt seemed to show a little too much of his chest. I figured, okay, it’s time to move up a size.

The only issue with moving up is that most of the 0 to 3 month onesies say that they will fit a baby up to 12 pounds. This can’t be right, I thought to myself, there is no way Davis can weigh 12 pounds…10, maybe, but not 12. After a few more days of trying to make him fit into newborn size onesies, I decided I’d pull out some of the ones that were a size bigger – 3 to 6 months. He acted relieved. Finally, he could stretch out his legs, his chest was covered, and his sleeves went down to the wrist instead of being three quarter length. We truly had know idea how much he weighed, because we don’t even own an adult scale.

But, today we had to go to the doctor. For the past couple of days, I had been seeing a dot of blood in his poop. Before I delivered Davis, I read about how obsessed parents were with poop, the color, the consistency, the aroma, and I thought they were crazy. That was until a few days ago when Davis’s poop changed colors and then there was the dot of blood. Not only that, but because of my hypersensitivity to my child, when I was breastfeeding him at midnight I felt his neck to find a pea-sized lump. I woke Tracy up yelling, “Feel this!” All of a sudden, my perfect child was falling apart. I calmed down just a little when I flipped him over to the other breast and found that he had one on that side too. Even still, I was a bit frantic and decided we were going to take advantage of the walk-in hours at the pediatrician’s office. We got there early and were second in line. The pediatrician reassured me and was close to certain that he was having a digestive sensitivity to something I ate. She said that it should clear up on its own, but to come back if it didn’t and I could call if I was just worried. How awesome is that? As for the lumps, the were normal lymph nodes. She didn’te even laugh at my hypochriacism.

Anyway, I said all that to say this, Davis now weighs 12 pounds 8 ounces. The doctor asked if he had been eating okay. She then looked at his weight and called him a little pig. No wonder he has to wear 3 to 6 month onesies.

Masterpiece

Davis has reached the one month old mark; hardly even an infant anymore. He’s basically doing what the textbook one month old does, looking at his surroundings (he especially likes to stare at the air conditioning vents), lifting his head for a few moments only to have gravity take hold and pull it back down again, pooping (sometimes in his diaper, sometimes projecting it across the changing table and onto whatever is in his path), and cooing, mostly after he has eaten and his belly is full.

2006-davis

For the first 3 weeks of his life, he spent his nights sleeping with mommy and daddy in a Moses basket on the floor of our bedroom, mostly for our own security. Now that he is a whole month old, he is sleeping in his crib. He actually sleeps more soundly in his own room, we think because mommy and daddy don’t rush to his aid every time his breathing increases or becomes inaudible. I will say though, that having him in our room taught us that babies make all kinds of startling sounds in their sleep. Sometimes he sounds like he is gagging, sometimes he grunts like a pig, and sometimes he makes this sound that makes us wonder if he is wandering around in dreamland with a herd of baby elephants – he sounds like he is imitating them. So, I’m glad he stayed in our room so that we could learn about all this strange behavior before having a coronary and rushing frantically across the house to save him.

We have also learned that although all the baby books say to bathe baby only once or twice a week, Davis has to be bathed about every other day, 3 days is pushing it. He starts to smell. It’s funny how everyone says they love that baby smell—well it’s really the Johnson and Johnson baby lotion smell that they all love because babies don’t really smell that way on their own.

I told Tracy the other day that babies were a lot of hard work. I dare say that my job teaching 20 or so kids that belong to other people may even be less exhausting than staying home with one child that belongs to me. But, I wouldn’t trade him for the world. I asked Tracy if he thought he would like to have another child anytime soon. He held Davis at eye level, looked at him for a moment, and said, “No, I think he’s our masterpiece.”