As a mom, moments of sheer joy are often coupled with many more moments of exhaustion, frustration, and insanity. There are so many times when it’s nearly impossible not to just mutter to yourself “WTF is happening here?!”
I’ve had my fair share of those days. Far more than I even feel capable of handling, but we’ve survived. With the help of some well-placed bribes, lots of tears, and more chicken nuggets than I’ll ever admit to… ain’t nobody got time for gourmet. Our lives as parents have been utterly ridiculous. Ridiculously happy, ridiculously sad, ridiculously horrifying (like that one time my kid picked up and ate dog poop, because I needed tested on how quickly I could wash feces from a baby’s mouth before vomiting all over us… Neat).
Last night, despite the fact that I was up until 3am with R, because she decided that perfecting her version of a lion’s roar was far more important than sleep, I was overcome with happiness.
I’ll be the first to admit that I feel like I’ve missed out on some bonding moments with R. She was a colicky baby, and often, tending to her needs while she screamed at us was a 24 hour job. It left very little time for genuinely happy cuddles or enjoyable playtime. Pair that with a jealous toddler sister, and she didn’t get the time I had dedicated to L. Call it Second Child Syndrome, I suppose… But she was a tough baby to keep happy, with good reason. Who wants to put up with anyone’s crap when they don’t feel good? I don’t even want to look at another human if I have so much as a runny nose.
But last night, as we sat at a family celebration, something changed. She looked at me, and clearly said “momma”. Twice. TWICE!
Naturally, I flipped my lid (reining it in as much as I could because people were there and I don’t know how to feel feelings with witnesses present). I was ecstatic. She quickly brought me back down from my mommy high by trying to remove my eyeball from it’s socket with just her fingernails. But she can’t take it back now, no matter how hard she tries. It’s out there, for dear old mom to remember until I’m 97.
There are no words to describe the feelings you go through when your baby experiences a “first” in front of you. It’s like an emotion stroke. Or being choked to death with happiness. My pride was threatening my life.
I couldn’t even miss the sleep I was losing at 3am when she wanted a bottle and to babble at me. I instantly went from mombie to human person with feelings. If you’ve ever seen Warm Bodies, that’s a pretty accurate depiction of me in the middle of the night last night.
Fast-forward to this morning, when I woke up to “Momma! Momma! Mom-Mom-Momma!” Heart explodes. Happiness overload. Too many feels. It wasn’t just a fluke. She knows the word. She’s officially saying it. She likes me, she really likes me.
Long story short, these moments are definitely making up for all those disgusting diaper changes. But I’d be cool if those could just stop anyway. Just don’t grow up too fast, Shortstack.