Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Surrendering to the Stereotype

The Tyke had his 8 month check up today. They weigh, measure, poke and prod him to make sure he's exactly where he's supposed to be which is something I already know. He's perfect but getting him and his sister in and out of the Dr.s office is not. Allow me to give you a rundown.
Of course the Tyke fell asleep in the car on the way to the office so getting him out of the car is twice as unpleasant because he wakes up when I adjust the sling around him. Pudding sprints into traffic the second her feet hit the ground and when I yell at her the Tyke starts to fuss. Off to a great start.
We wait in the waiting room for nearly half an hour while the Tyke alternately distroys my hair or ruins my shirt. He does this in the most loving way possible with cute little baby noises that mean "I love you, Mommy" and "I'm so happy you're holding me." Lots of fun.
While the Tyke is destroying me, the Pudding claims that she is tired and wants to snuggle up next to me and sleep. So there we are on the love seat in the waiting room, one on my lap, one next to me, probably looking like everyone's nightmare of motherhood.
Then we get back to the exam room. The Tyke is measured for height (29 inches, HUGE!) and head circumference. The nurse and I had to double team him for both of these. When Pudding was a baby, I always wondered what all the fuss was about. Then we weighed him which means no diaper (21.5 lbs!) and while the nurse had stepped out to find a watch and I was fussing with the new diaper, the Tyke peed all over my leg and onto the floor. This was mere seconds before the diaper was ready. This is one of the downsides to using cloth diapers, if you use the prefolds they do take a second to assemble and apparently this was a second that the Tyke didn't have. So, I clean my leg up and the floor, and my shoe and the nurse comes back in to take his pulse (that's what she needed the watch for). When she leaves I have a few moments with the kids during which the Tyke finishes the job of destroying my hair and spits up all over my other leg while he's giggling at the Puddings dancing. By the time the Doctor actually sees us, I feel like a dishrag.
Luckily our Doctor is a mommy too, she only works three days a week and totally gets how freaking insane mothering is sometimes. I told her that the Tyke was cruising around furniture and that he feel off the bed this morning (he landed on some laundry, he's fine) and she told me about her daughter rolling off the clothes dryer. It's silly but it makes me feel better.
On our way out I grab Pudding a sticker and we make it out the door. As soon as we hit the sidewalk Pudding darts towards traffic and I see myself as though I'm someone else. I see an overweight woman with a crazy ponytail hanging on by a thread, a big baby on her hip and a big purse on her elbow pulling out the scary mommy voice and screaming at a toddler bent on self destruction. I see this woman getting into a mid-sized SUV with a profusion of water bottles, Sunday School take home sheets and old Starbucks cups on the floor. I see her buckle her kids in and give one of them a talking too about running into traffic then I see her very firmly shut the back door. Before she gets into the front door I see her attempt to collect herself.
My formerly childless self would probably have judged this woman harshly. I probably would have thought something along the lines of "Why did you even have children if you don't enjoy them" or something ridiculous like that. The thing is, I did enjoy that little outing with my little ones. When I reread the things I just wrote, I know none of it sounds very fun but, asside from the darting toward traffic bit, I enjoyed the time with my kids. I enjoy seeing the Tyke progress up the growth chart and seeing how protective of him the Pudding is. I enjoyed how all the nurses Ooh'd and Aah'd over how beautiful my babies are. I enjoyed getting mauled by my beautiful little Grizzly because I know he only does it when he's feeling the love. Yes, I yelled at the pudding but to my way of thinking, she needed a yelling at so that she will know that darting into traffic is never a good idea and mommy is never going to think it's ok. So I guess I fit the cranky suburban housewife stereotype pretty well. I'll have to learn to be ok with that.

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