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Eating My Words, One Goldfish at a Time

goldfish-brendasteffen

I made it nearly four decades in this world, without children. Having a baby later in life simply meant I had more time to observe (and judge) everyone else. Even though I didn’t really think I’d ever end up having kids, I took a lot of mental notes along the way.

For someone who didn’t even really like babies and kids (there I said it), I had some strong opinions about them, which I wasn’t shy about sharing. For instance:

I was the solo traveler on that long-haul flight, telling your child off for kicking my seat.

I was the one questioning my hippie college friend on her decision to feed her boys hot dogs. Hot dogs!

I was the one craning my neck in church to see who had the whiny baby.

And of course, I was the one who thought nursing a walking, talking toddler was just creepy.

It only got worse when a test from the Dollar Store confirmed my pregnancy. I immediately made up a ton of my own ‘rules’ for when my little one (aka: the Peanut) arrived. Here’s a sample:

  1. The baby shall never sleep in the same bed as me.

  2. There shall be NO plastic sippy cups. NONE!

  3. The consumption of Goldfish crackers is strictly forbidden.

  4. Breastfeeding shall be done within a year.

  5. Perhaps most importantly to my own ego, I certainly wasn’t going to become one of those mom bloggers.

Apparently I can’t even follow my own self-imposed rules, because two years into this mom business, it’s confession time.

The Peanut sleeps in my bed A LOT. Because you know what? He SLEEPS in my bed. He’s never been a great solo sleeper, and if he can actually fall asleep snuggled into my armpit, then so be it.

I however, can fall asleep quite literally anywhere. Years of traveling does that to a person. (One year, I slept in 40 different beds. True story.) In those early weeks with my son, I found it impossible to stay awake while nursing him. No amount of previous jet-lag could even remotely compare to how tired I felt. I even bought a new e-reader so I could blaze through all of those parenting books in the dark, in an attempt to stay awake — most of them making me even more drowsy with useless information on how to get my child to sleep. The turning point came one night around 2am, when I awoke in the rocker with the baby dangling off of my arm, precariously close to the floor. Straightaway, I hauled him into the bed with me. Clearly, he’s gotten comfortable.

The sink is FULL of sippy cups. I caved and bought a plastic sippy cup after the Peanut’s first flight. He had just started solids, hadn’t pooped in five days, and I was terrified of flying back across America with a potential biohazard. I needed to get some apple juice in him STAT. It’s been a slippery slope since then, and I’ve lost count of the number of those cups causing chaos in my sink. And the worst part? The Peanut hasn’t attached himself to a little blankie or stuffed animal at night. Nooooo. He’s attached to a blue sippy cup.

I just found a Goldfish cracker — in my bathrobe pocket. I had visions of organic homemade food for every meal for my son. I neglected to plan for snacks when I had this grandiose vision. Sure, the Peanut runs when he hears the blender churning out healthy smoothies, but rustle a bag of Goldfish, and he’s knocking down walls to get into the kitchen.

I’m still nursing a two-year-old. Well-meaning childless friends asked me several months into mom-hood when I planned to wean the Peanut. I had no idea. I was still getting used to this thing that was constantly attached to me, actually being outside of my body. I stuttered that I would be done within the year. And yet here we are, two years later. (Bonus: I have saved so much money on not having to purchase formula or milk for the Peanut, that I can now afford even MORE sippy cups and Goldfish.)

Somehow I became a mommy blogger. I skirted around this issue for a while, because even though I have a personal blog, I kept telling myself, ‘but at least it’s not a mom blog.’ Dear reader, there is no denying that you have stumbled upon a true mom site, of which I am now a contributor.

Laugh all you want.

However, I feel quite free now that I’ve aired my confessions. I mean really, why do we moms impose such absurdity on ourselves in any case? My husband gave me the best advice, when it was clear that I was making too many rules and stressing out over everything from plastic junk to sleep to nursing. He told me to put the books down and just use my instincts as a mother.

He’s always been a clever one.

My only rule now: Do what you need to do to survive, to keep your own family alive, and to thrive (even if it entails a crowded bed full of sippy cups, goldfish and a nursing toddler.) Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to find myself something strong to pour into one of those (probably dirty) sippy cups. I’ll need it to wash down a few Goldfish, and those ‘rules’ of mine.

I can’t be the only rule breaker around here. Which of your mommy rules have you broken lately?

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