Posted by: mommytoo | March 31, 2009

mr. generosity

nate is very into “sharing.” he’s in that phase of handing everything to someone else, and looking pleased as punch when the person takes it and says “oh, THANK YOU, nate!” and then hands it back.  he takes it back and hands it to another person, who gives it back, etc.  he also enjoys taking things out of their containers and putting them back.  as my dad said, he’s into “reversability.”  it also translates to handing things to strangers, like giving chopsticks to the people at the next table in a restaurant — things like that.  and he loves to share his wet cheerios, after they’ve been in his mouth.  yum.

last night he used a spoon to eat ice cream, but in the most delightful, illogical way — he put the back end of the spoon (the handle) in the ice cream, and the actual eating part (where most of us eat from) into his mouth, over and over.  so he kept getting the ice cream onto the handle, and putting the empty part in his mouth.  needless to say, we couldn’t stop laughing.

a few weeks ago i posted some thoughts and feelings i’d been having about the challenges of being an NGP.  i got some lovely responses – comments and emails – and have done a lot of thinking and talking about what is so hard for me.  i think a large part of it is that for most of my life, i imagined being a mama in a more traditional role.  the main issue is not having a baby with a man, in a more traditional model.  and it’s only partly that i imagined giving birth to all my children.  the truth is that as long as i work more hours and longer days than d, she spends more time with him and is his go-to.  and i think it’s easy to become almost scared to step in the middle of that.  it’s hard to admit that i am not his primary caregiver, and i start to become insecure.  in the last few weeks i’ve been working extra hard on being the primary when we’re both around.  when he hurts himself, i reach for him, i don’t assume d can give him better comfort just because she can nurse him, or even just because he looks to her.  how can he know, unless i show him, that i can give him what he needs?  i’m not just a playmate, who can provide “extra” to him.  and i am most definitely not a secondary mom.

and it actually feels different already.  i feel more competent, and when he cries for d, i feel less hurt, because i am confident in what i am doing as a mother.  i think there’s been a part of me that isn’t sure i do everything i can do for him, a part of me that shies away from my primary-ness.  i’m kind of ashamed to admit that, but i think it’s the truth, and it feels so much better when i shake off my insecurities and just jump in there.  i didn’t realize i was holding something back until i pushed past it.



  1. Good job getting in there (and good job to D for giving you the space to do so, that’s not always easy either).

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