Monday, October 17, 2011

A Weekend With Stella Brings Out My Sappy Side

There is no logical explanation for why I have three children. I should only have had two children if I had been honest about my capability to handle my children at the point when I got pregnant with Stella. I really struggled with the first few years of my boys' lives and the idea of a baby made me want to throw up in my mouth a little.

A baby was exhausting and sad for me, something I really wouldn't want to repeat if I could avoid it. I have no clue how Alex and I decided that it would be OK to stop preventing me from getting pregnant two years ago, but maybe large amounts of alcohol were involved?  Maybe the frequently appearing moments of sheer lunacy that I experience prevailed that day? 

Or maybe it was just the grace of God, because I can not fathom a greater joy than my daughter right now. 

She is a gift.

I am still smiling from a blissful 40 or so hours alone with Stella.  It was so fun, so peaceful, so different from the chaos of every day life here.  It was magical, truly.

Alex took the boys camping this weekend.  He left Friday night and didn't return until noon on Sunday.  I would have mentioned the upcoming trip earlier but I am a completely irrational, paranoid freak and sharing the fact that I would be alone with my most adorable daughter would have only fueled my fear that someone is going to break in to my house and stab me in the middle of the night and then steal Stella to sell her into sex slavery.

I watch a lot of Dateline and read way too many demented books, because I can totally rationalize these as viable concerns.

Good thing I'm really smart about my security.

There is no way a psychotic killer could bust through this intricate trap. 

Had one at every door.  I'm no fool.

It is no secret that I have been in a funk lately. (It's probably not a secret because I'm writing posts with titles like, "I'm All Funked Up.")  I felt freed of that this weekend though.

For the first time in a long while I wasn't consumed with a to-do list, a mental let down from unmet expectations, or a sense of longing about where I want to be in life, or just at noon on a Saturday.  Oh and no one was whining to me, beating up on a sibling, or begging me to do something.

I did not cook.  I cleaned and did laundry at a leisurely pace that I found therapeutic rather than slave-like. We ran errands and stopped to giggle and destroy displays, because that's the sort of thing you can do when you have just one child with you that can't talk and still trips when she starts running too fast.

I was able to interrupt my activities and pleasantly help her lift her shopping cart over the slight step up from our sun room to living room before she lost her mind from frustration.  I could stop her from eating a Cascade detergent square by playfully diverting her attention instead of shouting across the room. I could share my food with her and not have to do that with two other ravenous children that eat everything in sight.  I hate sharing my food.

I felt like a good Mom, a feeling I have so desperately missed lately.  I felt recharged with enthusiasm for all my children by being able to spend some time alone with just Stella.  I felt like she allowed me to just enjoy her without having to work so hard to keep the forward motion of day to day life going that has simply drained me recently.  I felt like she loved just being with me, even if we were just folding laundry, and that felt amazing.

We sat and read books for much longer than our normal nap and bedtime routines required.  I discovered new pages that make her giggle or prompted her to ask for them over and over again. I marveled at her enthusiasm for hiding and rediscovering anything, including herself.....and laughed until I cried at moments like this.

I mean, she is the height of her adorable status right now and it is truly amazing.   If you don't know her in real life, you are totally missing out. 

As you may have read in previous posts, I have struggled in the past with enjoying the boys.  A combination of postpartum sadness and a very real struggle with submitting to parenthood after Aiden was then only complicated by the arrival of Cole, and my feelings of being overwhelmed by essentially two babies. It wasn't until Cole was two that I feel like I could come up for air and really start to enjoy how amazing they both are.

Then I got pregnant with another baby and complicated the whole thing again.

With Stella connection was instantaneous.  I don't love her more, I simply loved her more easily, earlier.  I continue to feel like there is a pull on my heart toward her.  It feels freeing and sweet rather than being paired with struggle and an uphill battle to simply get through the day.  Don't get me wrong, I still have those days, but from the time she arrived it has been easier to enjoy her and get to know her in a happier space than I feel like I had when the boys were her age. 

She melts my heart.  She always has. 

And she helps me bake!

I am really hoping to milk these feelings for as long as I can, for I know that all too soon it will no longer be amusing when she tries to bite me, that the words of dislike or, God forbid, hate will hurt me, and that we will fight fiercely over things like makeup and clothing and use of the word bitch.  Right now she only says "mama," "dada," "on," "off," and "Aiden," and it's somewhat spectacular. 

I wrote this about Stella soon after she arrived and she is still all heart stopping moments of wonder for me.  I simply adore her.  I think I should have another baby!

Totally joking. 

Geez, that really wasn't funny.


Emmy said...

I didn't mention on-line that Eric was going to be gone for five days until after the fact. Glad you girls were able to enjoy your weekend- she is a doll.

Mel said...

She is most definitely at the height of her adorability! Glad you found some peaceful time to enjoy yourself and her!

Lorilynne said...

You know, I went through a similar thing with my three. My first two are only 17 months apart and I didn't feel like I came up for air and settled into a workable routine until Piper was just about 3. And then I got pregnant again. And I was MAD when I looked at that pregnancy test. I didn't even accept that I was pregnant until my 7th month or so....but my bond with my 3rd, Ethan, is so much different than with my other two. I never know how to talk about it because I don't want anyone to think I'm playing favorites or love him more or anything, it's just that he was and is so much easier. He's the happiest baby and just so mellow. And I feel like I don't get any time to just enjoy him and his baby ways! I'm happy you got a weekend to unwind, I could really use one of those :)

Anonymous said...

I have the opposite - two girls and then a boy. The mommy instinct didn't automatically kick in with my firstborn, and it started a little faster with my second. When my son was born, my love for him was instantaneous and all-consuming. But unlike you, I'm not fantasizing about a fourth. I'm exhausted!

I'm so glad you and Stella got some one-on-one time together.

The Preppy Girl in Pink said...

That type of one one one time with either of my girls really helps my head and heart. Sometimes the two of them at once are enough to do me in. I'm happy that you got some alone time with your little girl and could slow down for a bit. You needed it.
Btw, totally sweet burgular proofing!

Sara said...

I just discovered your blog and love reading it. I have 2 little guys (2y8mos and 7mos) and am almost always overwhelmed by them, yet still get excited at the prospect of a third someday. So glad you had a wonderful weekend with your little girl!

Shell said...

She's a doll.

Those rare moments when I only have one kid with me... wow, does it seem EASY.

momnextdoor said...

It's funny how easy it is when you only have one to deal with. (The kind of easy that only comes with knowing what it's like to have more than one.) I'm glad you got some alone time with her and got yourself to a better place. :-)

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

She is cute. I stopped after 2 for the same reasons, but really? I think 6-7 kids would be GREAT for you...really...! Glad you enjoyed time with her alone, it makes it all worth it!

Missy said...

Such a sweet post. Little girls are the bomb! And Stella is a total sweetie!

KSK said...

I'm so glad you got some much needed relaxing and one on one time with Stella!
*I never post anything about when Jerk Face leaves town! There are crazy people out there.. plus my grandparents will ask me if I want them to spend the night...
:) LB has the same outfit in green from your 2nd photo..

Desperate Housemommy said...

I love your honesty here. About not loving your daughter more...just more easily. I get that.

So glad you were able to enjoy a little girls' weekend together. My Twin A and I did that this weekend, too. And I loved every minute of it.

Two Normal Moms said...

She is sweet. And it's so awesome that you were able to take that time and truly enjoy it, without a to-do list and all the things that make us crazy.

RookieMom Whitney said...

Love this. You are so good at putting words around the hard feelings and being funny at the same time.