Sunday, April 01, 2007

52 Weeks Ago...

I was exhausted and pushing. The Bee arrived via Cesarean section just before 9:00 in the morning. Receiving magnesium sulfate through an IV, I was so weak I could barely hold my newborn son and struggled to focus on his face. Despite the fatigue and disorientation, I was so happy he was finally here - perfect, intact, healthy... what a lovely baby boy.

Seeing Bee today, it's incredible to realize this baby boy is growing up; he'll never get any younger or smaller. He'll just keep getting bigger and eventually more independent. I really like his sense of humor... he enjoys fake outs: offering you something to eat, only to put it in his own mouth when you think he's really going to put it in yours. He'll put his arms out to be held by someone, only to turn away at the last moment, wiggling and smiling mischievously. He loves dancing, using his whole body and wiggling his shoulders - it's hysterical! When he coughs, I have instructed him to "Please cover your mouth when you cough", as it's the polite thing to do. Of course he sees mommy & daddy cover their mouths, and he's actually started doing that this week. He has also discovered his tongue, and will be happy to show anyone who inquires as to it's whereabouts. He is a delight and I'm grateful to have him in my life.

Oh, and my Dad did make it to the party. He felt bad, but better then yesterday. I was so pleased he could make it, but I hope he gets better very soon.

I think the most difficult thing about having a baby has been... dealing with the grandparents. Specifically my in laws. To re-cap, they live 10 minutes away. My MIL works with us in our business and as my FIL wasn't really doing his job, he watches the Bee in our apartment upstairs from where we work. He does a great job and loves him a lot. Being a Cancer male, he's practically a breast and some of his actions I find a bit smothering (sometimes when Bee crawls, FIL crawls right over him; he did this today at the party). He told me once that when the Bee starts walking he wanted to get a leash and harness and walk right behind him, so that if the Bee started to fall, he could hold onto the leash and prevent him from falling. Mr. Right and I told him that this was not a good idea, but thanks all the same. Mr Right told me was mollycoddled terribly by his parents growing up and he didn't want the same kind of upbringing for his children. I couldn't agree more. I always thought I would be a control freak worry wort kind of mother, but seeing their over protective behavior has really brought me up short. I was a little taken aback by my FIL sitting himself down with the Bee to open up his presents in front of everyone... I guess I always thought the mom and dad should be doing that with their first child's first birthday, but I could be wrong. I think I am still a bit of a control freak, but there are some things I'd like to do with my son. We tried so hard for a long time to get him here, and now that the Bee is here with us, I want to be able to enjoy all the little moments, like opening his presents with him on his very first birthday. We did save some, the presents he received at play group, to open tomorrow morning with him. We enjoy being a family, just the three of ; we don't have a lot of time for that. So the moments we do share are so very precious.

Unfortunately, I snapped at my MIL this evening and while this was not a big thing, any contradiction is enough to send her into a nuclear meltdown. Tomorrow morning I will approach her as soon as she arrives for work and apologize profusely. I certainly didn't mean to hurt her feelings, but I only contradicted her. The scenario was this: I put Bee down for a nap and he fell asleep. About 10 minutes later he woke up. (Sometimes he does this; if left alone, he settles himself and falls back asleep without further incident). Upon hearing his cry, my FIL rushed into his room as I said "Don't go in there! He'll go back to sleep on his own!" He ignored me and closed the door behind him. Feeling frustrated, I went into the kitchen and started putting some clean dishes away. My MIL followed and said "Don't worry about it; no one listens to me either. That's the role of motherhood - everyone ignores you." I said "That's not okay with me. Bee needs to be able to soothe himself to get to sleep (which he does fine when he's with me). It's not okay to just ignore what I have to say." So that's pretty much it. I don't think this is way out of line, but after a very lengthy discussion with Mr. R, I performed a huge transgression - I didn't just say, " Yeah, well... so... those were such adorable outfits you got for him! Where did you get them?"

I've got to learn to play the game. Mr. R learned at a very early age that his parents need to be handled just so. It's like handing radi*oactive material; the tiniest bump will cause a massive, ugly meltdown. One of the scariest things I ever saw in my life was a full on screaming match with his parents. I never saw people act that way before. Sure my parents argued occasionally (and I saw them flip the bird at each other more than a few times), but I'd never seen insane fury like that. Even in the movies. And the really sad part? Mr. R said that was what growing up was like, several times a week. With things sent flying. That was why he worked so hard in college to get a job upon graduation. Because the alternative was going back to live with them.

They've since calmed down considerably. I was very apprehensive about them spending so much time with Bee because I never wanted to expose him to such ill behavior. However, thus far, they have proved my fears wrong. I pray this continues and I will remain watchful of their interactions in around him.

There are a lot of things they do that are very kind and lovely; they are not horrible, beastly people. It would be easier to hate them if they were, but nothing in life is that simple. Like with most other things, I must look at them and see the good. They are very good with Bee and love him to distraction (although in asking his dad to watch Ben from 9:30am to 5 pm, my FIL did say that he was emotionally exhausted at the end of the day. Then he calls on weekends to ask how he is because he misses the Bee so much). They have done so much to help us over the years, but of course everything has its price. They can be very sweet and thoughtful. My FIL made a picture book for the Bee; clearly so much thought went into it. It's a book you keep business cards in; he put in pictures of the Bee, me & Mr. R, Mr. R as a young lad, pictures of babies, pictures of himself, toys... it was very touching. What's awful is that, Virgo that I am, I am terribly nit picky. My inclination is to find the errors and bring them to light (excepting, apparently, grammar and spelling). Because, you know, everyone just loves having their faults aired.

Sorry for yet another rambling post. It started off reminiscing about the Bee's birth, I divulged into ranting about my ILs, and figured out I need to see the good in people instead of zoning in on their flaws.

What will tomorrow bring? I'm taking the day off to spend with the Bee on his first natal day (when I told my FIL, he said he was going to ask for the day off, probably because he heard my contradictions. In their mind, contradiction = ungrateful). So we're going to have some fun. Anytime I get to spend with Bee is fun, and I treasure every minute. I look forward to a very happy birthday with my little, dearest love.

2 Comments:

At 4/02/2007 9:11 AM, Blogger NME said...

A very happy birthday to the Bee!
I had to laugh because I'm a cancer - and true to form I'm incredibly clingy. And my husband is the nitpicky Virgo - ha.

Spending large amounts of time with anyone can be difficult - people start to get on each other's nerves. I've always said that you could tell the person you should marry if you could spend huge amounts of time with each other and still love each other after. And making personal parenting decisions is hard - and getting everyone to follow them is even harder. Sometimes I've learned you have to pick your battles - and realize that not everything is as big of a deal as it sometimes seems. Sounds like your parents are incredibly caring and involved grandparents - and that is a thing for which to be very grateful. Even if sometimes they seem a chore.
Hope you are enjoying your day.

 
At 4/02/2007 10:36 AM, Anonymous Jen said...

Happy Birthday, little man!

As for the in-law situation--it sounds like you guys spend an awful lot of time together, which certainly tends to magnify any existing conflicts. And it's always difficult when the person you generally bitch to--your husband--is their son!

Hope you & Mr. Bee have a lovely day together!

 

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