Tuesday, April 17, 2007

When was the last time you cried?

Today. Minutes ago. I was sitting at the table watching Ana eat her lunch and I lost it. Suddenly it felt as though everything landed on my shoulders. In a sentence - I feel like a failure. I feel like I'm failing as a mother.

I took Ana to tumbling today (doctor-approved since I was off my feet) and she just doesn't want to play with the other kids. What happened??? She loves playing with her cousins and it's not that she doesn't want anything to do with the other kids, she just prefers to observe them rather than play with them. I know it's sounds stupid but IT BUGS ME!!! I want her to be the outgoing one and the friendly one and the fun one. I'm logical enough to know that this is completely normal, especially at her age, but I don't care. It still bugs me. As I sat there watching the other kids play together and smile and laugh and listened to them talk I couldn't help but compare my baby to them. I know, totally wrong and shameful but I'm being honest. There are kids her exact age that say words she doesn't and are seemingly, dare I say, happier than she is and all I could feel was an enormous sense of disappointment. Not in her (I'm not that bad of a mother) but in myself. It's my fault. It's my fault she doesn't look as happy and it's my fault that she can't say "up" but instead says "bup". It's my fault she's not speaking full sentences and having conversations with us. I talk to her constantly and have been working on numbers and the alphabet now for some time and she just doesn't want to cooperate. She will here and there but only when she feels like it. "Um, that's a toddler for ya" you say? Unacceptable. What's wrong with me? Why can't I accept that this is normal and just because your kid can say the "k" in duck and mine can't that you're not a better mom than I am? Because today I just can't.

And have I mentioned that she's sick? So much for having the baby that hardly ever gets sick. She's had a runny nose for 2 weeks and a cough for almost a week that has been getting progressively worse. Once again, I think it's my fault. I was oddly proud of the fact that this little girl went through the first year and a half of her little life with only one minor ear infection and one cold. It was a nod to me as a mom that I had kept her so healthy. Whether it was the breastmilk or my ability to keep her contact with pesky germs to a minimum, I chose to believe that it was because of me, her GOOD mother, that she rarely got sick. I was proud of that. And now there, too, I feel as though I'm failing her.

So what's next? Well, in the midst of my pity party over lunch my little princess reaches out for my arm, pulls it toward her, and gives it a huge squeeze. Now the "normal, sane" part of me knows in that instance that this was God letting me know it's ok. This was His way of telling me that I am everything this little girl needs and I should cut myself some slack. BUT, the "normal, sane" part of me isn't running things today. So I feel worse. In that moment, I felt even guiltier, as though this child deserved more - more than I've been giving her.

I want to be mad. I want to be mad at someone, anyone. So I choose to be mad at my friends....and my family. I'm mad at everyone I know. I am unreasonably, irrationally, selfishly mad that my friends don't have kids (well, some of them do, but none of the ones that I get to ever see). I'm mad that they can't share this time in my life with me the way I want them to. I know I sound utterly selfish but, at this moment, I want them, every single one of them, at home with at least one child. I don't even care whether or not they're married, just have a baby. And, what's more, have one that's Ana's age please because it is your fault that she isn't as socialized as I think she should be. Ok, I'm not completely insane. I don't blame you completely. My brothers are also to blame. And so are Anthony's brothers and sister. Because you don't live by us (more noteably, on our block) my Ana doesn't have anyone to play with on a constant basis. Because my family decided it would serve them better to stay in their homes instead of move closer to us (who, by the way, are the ones that moved away), Ana only gets to see them every so often. I'm mad about that. What's wrong with me?!?!?!?!

Maybe it's the control freak in me, maybe it's my insecurities, maybe it's my need for perfection. I don't know. I usually try very hard to keep things in perspective and am usually fairly successful. I know that "perfection" isn't defined by having the most beautiful house, the most handsome husband, and the most well-spoken, best-mannered kids on the planet. I know that it's in the eye of the beholder and that my semi-dysfunctional life, to me, is usually perfect. I know this. But some days I can't help but look at other people's lives and compare. Today is one of those days. Today, I want the life where all of my best friends live on my block with their awesome husbands and wonderful kids (that are all Ana's age). Today I want the life where everyone I know wants nothing more than to stop by just because they like us. Today I want someone else's seemingly perfect life.

Ok, I think I'm done for now.

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