Being a mother exposes a woman to multiple facets of her personality; she discovers that she is a fountain of love that never stops giving, but she also realizes how short she is on patience and tolerance. On one hand, she learns how weak she is when her child is pricked by a syringe and on the other, she is amazed at her strength when she ignores her crying child throwing a tantrum. But there is also a side to motherhood that is silly, weird and downright hilarious. I have noticed that being a mother has made me do things that I would never have expected from myself and what makes it funny is that there is always another person witnessing this side of me. Most of the times, it is my daughter, whose opinion I don’t really worry about at this point in time, because she thinks her hand is a phone. But when I find my husband observing me making a fool of myself, I can’t help but wonder if he is asking himself whether he really knows me. So here I am putting down some of the wacky things I have done since becoming a mom.
- BabyZ was a few days old and we were having a very bad night. She wasn’t sleeping for more than a few minutes at a time and we were dead tired. I finally got her to sleep in a weird position in her crib and went to bed where The Husband was sitting, waiting for me in solidarity. As soon as we closed our eyes, she woke up and started crying. My immediate response was “Let’s hide!” The Husband found it funny that I would say something that extreme and we had a good laugh at my ability to joke under such circumstances. The truth is, I was serious. I was contemplating hiding from my baby because I didn’t know what else to do. Even now, if she is disturbed in her sleep when we enter the room, my emergency response is to hide. I don’t know why.
- Imagine a person, standing in a dark room, observing and smiling at a sleeping individual. I would definitely question the sanity of this person and the thoughts he was having. But I do it, at least once every day. I have often found myself smiling at my sleeping baby. Do all mothers do that? Is it normal?
- When BabyZ was small, she used to sleep in her crib right next to my bed and I could easily reach over and touch her. This was great because if she was crying in her sleep I could pat her gently and put her to sleep without having to sit up. The Husband has claimed that many times, in the first few months of our daughter’s life, I was patting him to sleep instead of the baby. In my defense, I was extremely tired and didn’t know my right from my left. And if BabyZ’s crying didn’t wake him, my patting certainly did.
- Time and time again it happened, that if my newborn baby was asleep and I sat down to enjoy a nice meal or a long shower and thought to myself, “how great this feels,” she would instantly wake up. So call me crazy, but for many months after becoming a mom, I kept telling myself “I am not enjoying myself, this isn’t fun,” even when I had been watching The Office for the past hour or was having a long chat with my sister. I had convinced myself that if I wasn’t enjoying myself, she will stay asleep. And it worked.
- This happened when my baby had just learned how to crawl. She looked adorable on her hands and knees in a tiny onesie following me around the house like a duckling. So adorable, that I am guilty of walking from one room to the next for no reason just for the pleasure of watching her follow me. And I did that until she gave up and cried. Very cruel, I know.
- Sometimes mothers have to distract their kids from the nonsense they are insisting on and all mothers have their strategies that work for this purpose. I myself have nailed a few ways to sidetrack my daughter, but on the rare occasion that they fail, I go to a relatively clear part of the room and start spinning. An onlooker (The Husband) might be baffled at why a grown woman is spinning for no obvious reason, but it works on my daughter. Before you know it, she has forgotten what she was upset about and I can stop spinning and talk to her like a normal person.
- I give a bowl of snacks to my daughter when she is playing on the living room floor. Mostly it is something dry like O-cereal or puffs and when she is done eating, half of it is scattered on the carpet. As a new mom, I was constantly picking up or disposing off of the left-over food. Now I leave it right there because she always comes back to eat it anyways, so why waste useful energy in picking up what will eventually end up on the floor again. Unhygienic, I know, but I guess my floor isn’t that dirty. I sure hope it isn’t.
- I have been very fond of accessorizing my baby with head bands and hair clips and we had a great run with them when she was smaller. She was unaware of wearing them and looked so put together at all times. Then she grew older and started pulling them off as soon as I put them on. We have now established a scheme where the husband distracts her and I put on the hair clip. This prolongs the staying period of the accessory by a few minutes. On the odd occasion that the clip stays in her hair for an entire trip out, we genuinely feel very lucky, we look at each other with warmth and pride, as if our daughter has graduated from college. Another important part of our strategy is to never use the words “clip” or “band” around BabyZ when she is wearing one. So we have a code for hair accessories which is roughly translated to “the one that must not be named.”
- My baby is trying to walk independently these days, which means that she tumbles a lot and each fall is followed by a loud wail and tears of embarrassment and anger. I decide on the spot whether I have to pick her up or ignore her. When I do pick her up, I hold her very close and do not let her see my face. This is because I am laughing silently and uncontrollably every time. There is something very funny about her uncoordinated walk and fall and her tears of anger. Very mean, I know, but I can’t help it.
Writing this post made me realize that alongside the many valuable lessons motherhood is teaching me such as communicating with an irrational person and directing my anger of unfinished breakfast towards something other than my baby, it is also teaching me to laugh at myself. It felt good to share and I hope all mothers are as silly and weird as I am.