I'll Do Better Tomorrow
That’s a blanket statement that I think all humans can relate to, kids or no kids. I’ve always felt that way. It’s a little pep talk I give to myself at the end of a really shitty or half shit day before I cannonball into my extra large glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Never has that statement rung so true, than when we added Billy to the equation. (Are you worried about the Q-tip he's chewing on above? Don't be. My 1960's pink master bathroom is definitely way worse for his health.) Anyway, of course the newborn phase is a tornado of emotional and physical hell on earth (or I’m just fortunate enough to call that my own experience), but you tell yourself, “Self, you’re not really crazy, well a little bit yes, you are kind of a little crazy, but that’s just because this is a crazy fucking phase! We’re in survival mode, and we’ll figure out all the other shit another day!” But then, when does “another day” become today?
Billy just turned one in February and I still feel like I’m shuffling around in the survival mode revolving door. Shuffling like Tom when he got in the same partition with a potential boss in one of those revolving doors right before his big interview, and they could barely make it around because two grown men in that tiny section just shuffle for an unbearably long, awkward time. He did get the job, but Tom breaks into a cold sweat whenever he’s sees a sign on a building entrance asking him to “save energy”. Side note: Tom could have an entire blog dedicated to his unfortunate interview scenarios that somehow always work in his favor. Another time, he was amidst several months of dental work. After realizing he forgot his flipper at home,
he had no choice but to walk into the interview room and introduce himself to the group with a big, fat, missing front tooth. Again, he was offered the job. Fucking Handsome Tom wins again. I’m not even bragging here. I’m genuinely dumbfounded. Are you not?!
Getting back on track here…after Vivi grew out of the fusses, she and I basically became best friends. That was a weird segue, I know, but stay with me. It was Vivi and Mama, day in and day out. I had nothing else to do but to talk to her and teach her shit all day. I was all up in her developmental grill, mentally ticking off the milestone boxes and proudly texting very dull updates to my entire extended family. “Vivi can suck on her own hand now!!” “Wow!” they pretend exclaimed. Then a year and a half later, Billy came to town.
I kept telling myself it was okay that my only interaction with him was breastfeeding or getting peed on by him because every other second of the day was reserved for toddler issues. I would get the weekly Baby Center update reminding me of all the things my new baby was just itching to do if I would stop being such a sucky mother of two and spread the attention around already. Sorry Baby Center, pointing out the blue fucking truck to my one month old is complete bullshit and was a tactic designed to waste time when you don’t have another sobbing anklebiter looking for “somethin else fah dinna” when it’s only 9 in the morning.
But I am not immune to this “mom guilt” you hear about… I thought, well Billy is smiling and eating well. And he seems relatively happy when I…when I…Besides feeding him, slinging diapers and getting this kid to nap for more than a half hour, what the hell am I even doing with him? I, oh fuck, alright, do I do a quick ten minute vocab lesson right now? Ahhh, what do I even start with? Do you even know my name is Mama? I’m da Mama! I panicked (reoccurring theme).
When Billy was almost 9 months old, we were on a walk when we ran into a friend and her new 7ish month old baby. “Hi, baby! It’s nice to meet you!” OMG, what is he doing? Is he..? No! Is he fucking waving and pointing at me? As if this mom read my inquiring mind, she confirmed that, “YES! He just learned how to wave and he’s so proud of himself!” My automatic inner monologue reaction was, “Billy can eat an entire avocado for an appetizer and he's really a sight to behold in a wig. Ehhhh?”
As soon as I got home, I pulled Vivi’s baby book out: Vivi 9 months old- loves to play peek-a-boo, she’s clapping and pointing at random objects I name. Oh God, oh no. Weird things happening inside. I gotta do better than this. I’ll do better tomorrow, buddy.
So many days continued to fly by where I felt like I barely got 15 minutes alone with Billy. I talked to Samm. I talked to any mom of two or more that I knew. “Of course you don’t have the one on one time with him like you did with Vivi.” “Oh every second kid gets the shaft.” “Wait till you have a third.”
Alright, I guess this is just the way it goes. That made me feel a little less incompetent. I started realizing, though, that Billy is a completely different kid than Vivi. He’s doing other things waaaay earlier than she ever did, like smile staring at you while pushing out his farts, so they’re loud enough for all to hear and laugh at. I’m always impressed by that. Way to go, Bill. He’s doing all the other things babies are “supposed” to be doing by now, but he also gets to be smothered and accosted by his sister all day, something Vivi never got to experience.
But honestly, Billy is finding his voice now and he let’s me know when he’s pissed off and wants my attention. Every day can’t be a winner. They’re not all muthafuckers either, though. And in those in between times when the day was just kind of a blur of WTF did we even do today, I remind myself I can do better tomorrow. It’s not an excuse as much as it is a reasonable fucking goal, alright? And also this Oyster Bay isn’t going to drink itself. In fact, have a glass yourself, and maybe get buzzed enough to share below what the craziest thing for you was when going from none to one or one to two lunatics.
Salute! Down the hatch!