Four years have passed since the birth of my first child, that means it has been just about 3 years and 3 months ( give or take) since we entered the world of play dates. I know, we were late to the scene. What can I say. Anyways,I digress. So,at that time we had recently relocated to a new part of the country. I, being bound and determined to give my child the best childhood ever ( because that is my quest , you know),signed us up for a couple of the "it" classes that are imperative for children at that age, if they are to become anyone later in life. We go to our classes and I cast my net. I try and gauge from our brief encounters and the public interactions of Mommies with their children, who just might be worthy of our friendship, or at the very least, which other Mommies were on "my" level. I know, it sounds horrible when you say it out loud. Keep in mind, this scenario is very much like freshman year in college. You are scared, alone, new to the area and willing to befriend and accept just about anyone into your "clique". You've got to start a clique so you can be a part of something. So, to recap, we have a need to belong to the best clique (for our children's benefit, of course) but we are so desperate we end up being play date friends with anyone who'll have us. That is until we get our bearings and regain our senses. In most cases, the original play date relationship dynamic devolves and eventually ends in a slow, painful death. You see, the original net we cast to catch some play date friends usually has a lot of throw backs.Just like freshman year, we find ourselves floundering to unmake the original friendships because we find that we have absolutely nothing in common, except for our one common denominator, said children. Unfortunately, this is not usually enough to sustain a real friendship but it can foster a false sense of belonging. It seems to be ingrained into our minds that we need to subject ourselves to rejection in order to feel accepted. I don't know why we do this as people, little lone as Mommies because then we are dragging these poor children into this pit and doing it all under the guise that "this is whats best for my baby". In our hearts, we mean only good and can never, at its inception, perceive or fathom what twilight zone like situations we may soon find ourselves in! Much more to share about play dates, but we will save that for another day!
So, that brings us to the gloriousness of pregnancy. Well, for me, pregnancy was pretty glorious. I only gained 18 lbs. with my pregnancies (of course I started out on the chunky side), mild all day sickness with my first, I had an ass for the 1st time in my life (not so bad), boobs got a little bigger, no hemorrhoids, no excess gas, still loved sex, still slept on my belly, no stretch marks (well, one but it disappeared after birth).No craziness. I just basked in the glory of my pregnancy. It was amazing and I devoured all the attention, ate whatever I wanted (that was allowed), was completely engulfed in the whole experience. Read every book (with and to my husband), sharing facts like they were going out of style. Rented a Doppler, sang to my fetus, played music to it, talked to it, swayed it to sleep. Everything about it was amazing. Took every class, drove a little slower, and kept a journal of my pregnancy. No one told me that I should pamper myself, because it was the last time I’d be able to do anything alone, for the rest of my life. Oh, to go to the toilet without a chaperone trying to eat the toothpaste. Those were the days. But, I wouldn’t trade one moment of toothpaste eating tag to pee alone again, if it meant that I didn’t have my daughters. Alone time is over rated anyways, yeah, just like date nights and spontaneous sex, said the jealous, tired Mommy. That was my first pregnancy!
Fast forward to two years later, we have a beautiful, now demanding toddler (whom I am completely in love with) who wants all of my time, every waking moment. Who decided long ago that co-sleeping was the thing for her, and is still in our bed, with no end in sight? Not that I mind, it’s comforting to see your child’s cherubesque face in the middle of the night when you awaken to pee for the 7th time because you’re 9 months pregnant. But it makes it hard to bask in the glory of the pregnancy of baby number 2, when baby number 1, is still a baby. Still I only gained 18, ok 20, lbs. But for some reason I seemed a lot bigger. Last time, I didn’t even show until I was 8 months pregnant. Seriously, I was thicker in the waist but at my baby shower (2 months before my daughter was born) people were teasing me that I didn’t look pregnant. And I really didn’t, well, only in my ass So here I am, bigger than before, chasing a toddler who has the energy of a boxer puppy on crack cocaine, and I am absolutely drained. I had all day sickness from hell, for 4 months. I had to wear sea sick bands! I looked pretty ridiculous. No one was quite as impressed the second time around. Don’t get me wrong, we were all ecstatic. We planned for baby #2, and got pregnant right away, it was just different because the time that I used to bask in my procreating glory last time, was now being used to shuttle a 2 year old to classes, play dates, and constantly try and explain/prepare her for her new baby sister. I was obsessed with making baby # 1 not feel left out or abandoned by the pending arrival of baby #2. It was exhausting.
I have began to wonder why none, not one,of the parenting books mentions that around the age of 2 children develop selective hearing.Hearing only the things that they want to hear and specifically those things that you don't want them to hear such as the occasional stump your toe curse word or the fact that your friend needs to lose a couple pounds. Of course they choose to hold on to these nuggets until the most inappropriate times for instance, said friend's nervous breakdown over her looks, or they blurt out some unexpected four lettered gem in the middle of mass.Why is this information not labeled with a warning in the parenting books. Is it just another one of those secrets we keep because it is too much fun to watch the provisionals experience the embarrassment and humiliation that we ourselves did, not so long ago?Beware this is quite frequently co morbid with Constant Repeat disorder. In a nutshell, not unlike my child, your child ignores you and repeats anything they say constantly as to make sure that you have not acquired their selective hearing syndrome.My daughter's favorite repeat phrase is " M..o..m...m.y...EAT!" It is usually repeated in sets of no less then 7 times. Furthermore, even more concerning then the 2 year old selective hearing syndrome, there is the very common but temporary ( I am hoping) 4 year old complete deafness disease. This is a little more frustrating because the onset is normally around the age of 3 to 3 and 1/2 years of age and continues on to about the age of 6, only to reappear at around age 11.So, that is something to look forward to in the coming years. My daughter's particular strain of the disease leaves her completely deaf to any and all requests from her father and I, of any kind, especially those requests that pertain to the well being of her little sister, aforementioned victim of selective hearing syndrome. Sometimes it can be quite scary when you are asking, repeatedly, for the child to stop beating on their sibling, sitting on their sibling,annoying their sibling, doing something dangerous, to eat, be quiet or clean or pick up anything and the child simply does not hear your voice in any form. They become completely oblivious to the parent who is making said requests. Sometimes, we are overcome with the desire to shake said child but don't give in. At the very moment you move towards the child, like a bunny, they scamper and scurry to another room. Leaving you even more frustrated because with 4 year old complete deafness disease, once in another room deafness is absolute and there is no hope for said child to hear anything you will ever say fro the remainder of the day..possibly ever again!