It is amazing how a day on the couch has made me wax utterly nostalgic. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve had this much time doing nothing since, oh, a really long time ago. Today I had time to trawl blogs Iâ€™d long forgottenâ€¦ and found, oh gloriously, Catherine Newmanâ€™s relatively new blog! Now this woman is almost single handedly responsible for my belief that one can parent a child lovingly and firmly while still having an occasional good laugh at his expense, and for this I am eternally grateful. Catherine used to post at babycenter.com, and it was her weekly essay there that made my pregnancy bearable.
I was terrified that I was pregnant, and DH was oh, at least eighty times more terrified than I was, that I was pregnant. We were not convinced that a baby could ever grow up to be anything more than a babyâ€”which, according to most of our friendsâ€”ruined your sex life, your sleep, and your social life, and that was pretty much it as far as perks went.
Then I started reading Newmanâ€™s essays aloud to DH over breakfast, and we started laughing, and the terror gradually started easing. This essay was our all time favorite, because I do believe Ben has finally and forever gotten to the bottom of why the Grinch is so grinchy. But back then, neither of us could really believe that anything so astute could come out out of the mouth of something that came into the world via a birth canal. We had so much to learn.
Only a slim 20 months into this whole parenting thing, it's a whole different story. Granted, Bean may not yet be making such insightful literary references, but still, heâ€™s doing his part at keeping us entertained. (Sitting in the bath the other night he let one rip, and looked at me wide eyed in surprise. He then spent the next ten minutes trying to SEE exactly where that small eruption had come from, by first craning his neck around and trying to look behind him; and then by standing up in the bath and peering with determination between his legs.)
It seems so funny to me to remember myself there, at the kitchen table in a different state, in a different house, anxiously surfing the internet for information about what to expect from the cashew sized Bean in my belly. I didnâ€™t know about blogs. I had no idea Iâ€™d find friends through the internet, and if you had told me that, I most certainly would have told you how utterly creepy and ridiculous and lame that sounded. Because honestly, when you put it that way, it does sound just a tad lame, doesnâ€™t it?
But itâ€™s not. Oh, no. Itâ€™s been so fabulous to find blogs, to find YOU. To be able to lament to other mamas about the latest perils and pains of toddlerdom, and best of all to ask, and to receive answers. My â€œreal life" friends who know about this blog think Iâ€™m kindof ridiculous when I admit that I get most of my parenting advice from a bunch of moms Iâ€™ve never met in personâ€”but itâ€™s because of people like you, and people like Catherine, that Iâ€™ve stayed sane these past 20 months and also, remarkably, fallen in love with being a mom.
Youâ€™ll have to forgive me for the ramble-on quality of this post. Like I mentioned, Iâ€™m feverish, and before I put him to bed, Bean spent his entire bath trying to hold on to either one or the other of his buttocks. I know you'll understand.