Whew. We made it. One Whole Year. I’m celebrating mostly the fact that I somehow have remained semi-sane and the baby has not been permanently damaged by the 1,000 falls she has taken around the house as she attempts new moves and maneuvers (Baby Seal-ing, as we call it).
Being so reluctant about parenthood, I can now tell you most of my fears did come true. I don’t have much me time. Or down time. Or time to work on the business. Or reading time. Or writing time. Or social time. It is all baby time, mixed in with dog time & loads of chore time and errand time to top it off. There are many moments where I have wondered, “Where have I actually gone? Like the me I knew before? Who would hop in the car, drive to some mountain and go hiking? The girl that would work out 2 hours a day to train for some grueling triathlon? The girl who went to the movie theater and concerts?”
I have gone mostly to the backyard, which we are so lucky to have in this crazy expensive city. There is a pool, a patch of grass, loads of cement & the baby is out exploring all these for hours a day. She plucks a leaf off a plant and licks it, stares at it & rips it apart. She sometimes hands them to me as a gift. She waves endlessly at birds, planes, Huxley, and nothing at all. She applauds the dog as he fetches the ball. I am happy for the new lounge chairs outside & the umbrella. Because I am always there.
I’m also in the tiny ‘back house’ where we live, and where the baby has discovered fun things like opening our trash bin (Huxley discovered how to do this on the same day, making them the ultimate team in destroying all my progress cleaning the house), pushing her high chair, climbing on couches, opening her Diaper Genie, tearing up toilet paper AND MORE!
For my sanity (and the dog’s), we are lucky enough to be outside running at least 5 days a week. That is mostly where I have found myself. I pick a Spotify list (Women of Country Music, etc), put Kenzy in the stroller, leash up Huxley & head outside to our ridiculously perfect weather. It provides me with everything running always has, in addition to extended time where I’m not in ‘supervision’ mode or cleaning up a mess. Huxley runs like he is a perfect obedient angel & the baby has adjusted to it, too, usually not making a peep except to say “HI” to everyone she sees…people, birds, plants…nothing.
I feel I’m living life through a magnifying glass–so many other things have just floated away because my eyes are always on the baby. It is amazingly satisfying and fun for the most part, to see her discovering the mundane & being thrilled by it. It is also very tiring and non-stop.
But beyond the logistics and the balancing and the adjustment (I’m sure I will see my friends again one day! And read a book!), she has brought pure joy into my life. I kid you not–when I come home from work, she applauds me & screams HI (her first and only word) with such enthusiasm that I can’t help but say HI back. If I would have known the reception this baby would give me on the daily, I would have had at least 5 or 6 of these years ago (jkjkjk). An entire audience praising my homecoming! This combined with Huxley’s enthusiasm (the dog trainer said his kind of over-the-top greeting is NOT ok)–tail-wagging insanity, hunting for his toy (so he doesn’t bite me) & jumping up and down no matter how much I try to train it out of him–makes me almost always want to be by their side. It’s a happy place.
So thank you baby girl! A year ago I was throwing up after seeing your beautiful self, and look at me now! We’ve both come so far. I no longer vomit when I see you, and you have only vomited on me a handful of times. We are lucky. Oh and of course in your honor I’ve made a video celebrating our year! What a blast. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KENZ!