3/9/08

Are we ever going to have an adult conversation again?

When Z was 6 months old, she and I would have "playdates" with a friend I stalked from my breastfeeding support group. My friend and I would talk at length about how little we could get done. Often we would take turns at each other's houses, with one of us watching the girls as they sat on their little blankets and DID BASICALLY NOTHING while the other mom ran around the house doing laundry or picking up. It all seemed really helpful and necessary at the time.

Really, though? What was so hard, Past Self??!?! She SAT ON A BLANKET and DID BASICALLY NOTHING! How is that I felt I couldn't get anything done?!?!

Now that Z is really a walking, talking human (as opposed her to blob-like days), we are constantly shocked at all the changes in this new phase of parenting. If the last phase of parenting was "get as much done and carry on as close to usual as possible while the baby is relatively happy", this phase is "nothing at all will get done as long as her eyes are open, all transitions and errands take an extra HOUR and all conversation in her near vicinity must include her".

The hardest adjustment this week has been trying to catch up with CG. We used to spend time over dinner talking about our days: how his day at work was, how mine at home/work/home was. In between long, substantive, philosophical paragraphs, we would feed Z, ask her if she liked her pablum and gently pat her on the head. (Okay, maybe there were a few meals spent dodging flung food and disciplining for thrown sippy cups but still! We could dodge and TALK. Discipline and TALK.)

Now it's all Z news all the time. Z's mealtime entertainment requirement these days is talking all about her "DAY! DAY!!!". She likes to have us recount every diaper change, meal and activity in exhaustive, repetitive detail while she sits there scraping the cheese off her bread with her teeth and nodding in agreement that, yes, she did go down the slide many, many times today.

This dinnertime recounting of her day started off sweetly enough; it was actually fun to get to converse with her a bit. But now I'm quickly realizing that soon I'll wish she would just be quiet for a few minutes so Mommy can tell Daddy that the doctor called for him or the dog needs to go to the vet or Bret really needs to kick Kristy Jo to the curb on Rock of Love 2 some other vital piece of information.

We've had to add an important new category to our ever-growing To Do list: "Have conversation about:".

5 comments:

grammalouie said...

You are right on, daughter dear! As a long-time married woman who has been through this (with you and your brother, by the by), I am impressed by your awareness of the importance of earnest attempts to have those adult conversations. They absolutely must be squeezed in somewhere and not forgotten.
Love you forever, Mom
aka Grammalouie

My Buddy Mimi said...

Heeee. Our list usually looks more like "finish conversation about..."

miyoko said...

Helloooo there! Yes i had a rough week of: "man this toddler is kicking my ass on a minute by minute basis!!" She tricks me, outsmarts me (yes, i am aware of what i'm saying--- outsmarted by an almost 2 year old) and says her "NO!" "NO!" repeatedly.'
We also learned that our days of dining out in public restaurants are either numbered or over. We went to Greek and just as I had my last bite of my appetizer salad, i looked over to a toddler signing "ALL DONE" repeatedly and boldly saying "ALL DONE, HOME???"
So we are learning new lessons once again of what it is to have a kid. New adjustments once again. I don't mean to complain, i just have a LOT to learn QUICK. It's just like in her past when she was a tiny grub, finding out my baby may not just "go right to sleep without protest" or "she doesn't want to eat any vegetables whatsoever", etc, etc, etc....

In exchange for not being able to do anything unless my toddler is unconscious... i get the cutest little statements and lots of really great hugs. (or hudges, as she says)

The learning is an ongoing process i guess. All i know is, coffee--- a good thing.

Mirasmom said...

I think it won't be long until we are in your shoes. We are still in the "isn't it cute she likes to hear about her day" phase. Though we are at the point where she reacts to what we say to each other so we need to watch ourselves.

As we begin to think about kid 2, I look back on "lump" stage and also wonder what was really so hard. I know this is that amnesia that allows our species to survive. But what really was so hard? I didn't have a toddler to negotiate with every time I need to do anything. Though, Mira does sleep through the night... Sleep deprivation is a bad, bad thing. If toddler's didn't sleep I think the species would die off...

Stephanie said...

It is called:

1. Real-live babysitters or
2. The electronic babysitter that plugs into the wall and shows little cartoon people on the front.

I was totally anti-TV until I realized that I could actually talk to Darrell (or other friends or myself) during these times.

Beyond that you can wait until Zoe goes to bed and then hope your husband doesn't fall asleep ;)

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