Posted by: mommytoo | April 3, 2008

all hail the swing and sling!

nate’s been sleeping 2-3 hours at a stretch, which i have to say impresses me.  he’s been going to sleep in the co-sleeper and once he wakes up, we feed him and he usually stays in the bed with us after that.  there’s also usually at least one time a night when he wakes up not wanting to eat, but not going back to sleep.  then one of us gets up and walks him, or rocks him, whatever.  last night he really wouldn’t settle — so i tried the swing for the first time!  and we were both (all three, actually) so happy.  he watched the lights for a while, then dozed off (so did i, on the floor).  he settled into a sleep so deep, i was able to pick him up and take him to the bedroom and put him back into the co-sleeper, all without waking him.  i’m sure most parents know the miracle of the swing.  but people, if you don’t have one, buy this!

this morning we slept in with him, as usual.  then i took him out for his debut!  i bundled him up a little, as it’s chilly out there.  then i put him in his sling.  i’ve wanted a baby for so long (way before it was a real plan, way before it made any sense in my life).  and this sling thing, for some reason it’s always played a key role in my baby fantasy.  so this morning, i put him in, and he fell sound asleep.  i walked strutted to the coffee shop on the corner, and then to the bookstore.  it was a strange and wonderful feeling to be the one with the baby everyone’s staring at.  a couple of people complimented me on how good i looked for having a 10 day old baby!  i had to confess that “his other mom gave birth,” but i worked on not sounding apologetic about it.  and i felt good about that wording, because it doesn’t take away from my being his mom.  it’s a positive statement, not a negative one.  mostly i just grinned like an idiot and snuggled nate.

i did have a few moments when people complimented me on how gorgeous he is, or asked how old, and i wanted to say “thank you ten days i didn’t give birth to him.”  i’m not sure why i felt that.  even in my progressive neighborhood, people assume i’ve given birth, and by walking around with such a teeny babe, i feel like i’m lying.  like i’m just letting them believe i pushed him out.  i know i shouldn’t feel that way, and i don’t want to.  it’s just another dimension to this process — dealing with other people’s assumptions, and not taking them in.  not letting them rule my relationship with nate, or my unconventional little family.

my family of origin is not conventional either, and it feels good to remind myself of that.  i come from a long line of political radicals on my mom’s side, and i know they would applaud my living the life i want.  when d and i got together, my beloved grandmother was still alive.  she wasn’t the woman she had once been, but she still had plenty of lucid moments.  i wrote her a letter to tell her that i was in a relationship with a woman — not because i couldn’t tell her in person, but because alzheimers made conversation difficult.  she was born in 1912, which would make her close to 90 when i wrote her that letter.  i think she had already met d at the time, and instantly loved her because d is tall (what can i say, we’re a short family and she was easily impressed).  the next time grandma saw us, she told me that if people gave me a hard time or didn’t accept us, “fuck ’em.”  easy for her to say — not because she was straight, but because she lived her life that way.  i like to think i’m similar to her, but i don’t have that kick, that ability to do what i want without worrying about others’ judgments.  i think of her all the time, watching my life and nodding, “atta girl!  don’t apologize for who you are!”  when i have a moral or ethical dilemma, or even sometimes a personal one, d frequently asks me what my grandmother would do.  it’s a great compass, and often guides my actions.  the way i do it is different, but she would even love that.

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Responses

  1. i love this story! every part of it! i esp love your grandmother!

  2. I seriously teared up a bit seeing the picture of you with Nate in the sling. Motherhood definitely suits you. I love the sling, too. Where did you get it?


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