Friday, 27 May 2016

7 Quick Takes 32: Geriatric Mother: One Year On

Apparently I have survived a year. At least, I know the baby's a year old. I have trouble remembering my exact age. A few reflections, a little rambling due to #6.

The birthday boy already knows how to take selfies.
Not the best photo, but it shows nicely the chaos
 that went into baking a handful of cupcakes.

1. Most people kindly said, "It'll give you a new lease of life." Only one friend at church, who started having children at thirty-nine, said, "Don't believe them. I was exhausted." And... she was right. You out there in your early thirties, with several small children. Think you're exhausted? You're frisking about like Bambi. Me, I'm more like Bambi's father. 'Nuff said.

Young parents: your life is like you fart butterflies. (I didn't say that out loud, did I?)

2. What having children late does do is slow down time. The cliche that the years go by faster and faster was getting more and more true - but now, it seems a lifetime ago that I was counting down the half dozen years to an empty nest and plotting what to do with my future. Instead of years, I now count my hours playing, strolling, rocking; instead of huddling in my own little bubble, I watch the universe unfold through a baby's eyes. That, and plotting how to use pension funds to pay for his college :)

3. I don't have to waste time reading child care manuals. We just follow the baby's lead and trust we'll recall enough to get by. My mantra is "Out eldest is studying Mathematics at MIT; I must know how to bring up children." Or create mentally scarred mathematicians. But many of the best mathematicians are mentally unstable, so.. ahem, on to the next one.

4. One thing I have learned without cracking open a book is that there is a reason "boys" rhymes with "noise". His love of noise is incredible. When our contractors were running a compressor for their nail gun, he yelled along. Getting out the vacuum cleaner is party time. He shouts randomly just for the fun of it.

5. Less is more. Apart from socks and a couple of books, I've bought no new clothes or toys, but, thanks to the cats, our home is full of enriching activities like anatomy (whatever half-eaten animal the cats leave on the rug) or a second language (from meowing to hairball coughing, the baby's cat is fluent), and adventures in nutrition (hello, cat food).

6. I know what full-blown mastitis is. Got it the day after he turned one this past weekend - it went from pain to fever and chills in about 30 minutes. Luckily, I nipped the worst of it it in the bud, but I've still had to spend a lot of time sitting on the sofa. And just when I was going to spend the week tackling all the chicken coop/yard jobs I'd left undone for months. Oh, darn.

7. You can still achieve your lifelong ambitions. I've had a copy of Moby Dick sitting on my shelf for about twenty-five years because I know I ought to read it, but it's about whaling and I'm a vegetarian. Enter... Cozy Classics. Classic books with felted illustrations, in twelve words. Who needs hundreds of pages describing the whaling industry when you can have:

Come to think of it, that's pretty much a metaphor for the past year.

My husband says he's still having trouble following the twelve-word plot of Jane Eyre, though.

For more quick takes, hop on over like Thumper to Kelly's at This Ain't the Lyceum.

1 comment:

  1. Your #1 is the truth. Always tired. Thinking of the things I used to do with 5 kids in my early thirties compared to how much effort it takes to get me to take the two little ones out now in my elderly 40's. I try talking myself into more -but there's just no energy.
    I do take the child care manuals out every so often - we might have known it all once, but I forgot how I raise the two charming oldest.
    I hope you recover from your indisposition!