Some new parenting experiences I’ve had recently include:
1. Being asked to leave the gym floor after walking on the treadmill (on a flat incline at 2.7 miles per hour) while carrying Willow in the Ergo. Since the gym wouldn’t take her into childcare until three months and wouldn’t let me exercise with her attached to me, I basically can’t use my gym membership. Yes, I know people can trip on treadmills. But I can trip on a curb outside too (but it’s much colder there) and I also could have tripped on the treadmill while nine months pregnant. I was so bummed at not being allowed to exercise I almost burst into tears.
2. I breastfed while having my teeth cleaned. Willow arrived hungry and started crying as soon as we entered the room. I told the hygienist I’d do whatever was easier for her – either feed Willow while she did the cleaning or let her cry until the cleaning was done. She told me to go ahead and feed her, she did the cleaning, and it worked fine. Who would have known?
In addition to those fun things, I’ve been getting a few comments that perhaps lead me to believe that River is under more stress than I might think. One of my friends (the mom of River’s best bud) has twice commented that River seems “sad.” She’s offered to let us drop him off at their place so they can help restore his happy self. The attendant at our church nursery commented that he was blinking a lot, as though he had a tic, something I hadn’t noticed. I have noticed that he has his finger in his nose a lot, which is listed as one of the signs of stress common in three-year olds in a book I’m reading. And then there was our recent trip to a museum, in which he asked if I could “leave Willow,” so that he and I could eat lunch alone in a café.
Mark doesn’t buy it. He thinks River is fine. Perhaps River is fine with Mark, because he is getting more time and attention from him than he used to. But I think he may be sad about the time he has lost with me and this makes me sad. Just yesterday, he kept asking for attention and I felt annoyed, harried, impatient. I knew what he needed and I wanted to give it to him, but I was tired and felt I was dealing with too many demands.
For now, our alone time consists of the one hour weekly Spanish story times at the library. I hope to be able to take him out, alone, on some fun excursions again. Though I know it will be a while before I can do that. I just hope that we don’t lose our bond in the meantime.