Here we are at the end of what has been, essentially, a pretty damned good week, minor glitches and tantrums notwithstanding. (Glitches having to do with not having money/child care to see Chris and Sam’s show, tantrums having to do with constant irritating interruptions at work.)
Never mind the glitches and tantrums. I want to tell you about Duckie, and especially about how proud and pleased I am that she has charmed the entire staff at the new day care. She seems to be adjusting beautifully, and I’m incredibly relieved. The atmosphere is so much more relaxed and positive than it was at the place she was in before, and I think she must pick up on that – also that I don’t dread taking her in the mornings, or picking her up in the afternoons. What an enormous difference it has made in my attitude just in the first two weeks. The ladies there are just that – ladies, each and every one. And while they each have their own volume levels and flaky days, there’s not a one I don’t completely trust with the safety of my child.
That being said, she has come home with bumps and bruises about every day so far. At Husband’s suggestion of taking Duckie to have a picture made with Santa, I thought that it would be really cute except for the large patch of road-rash on her forehead. For Christmas, I’d like to get her a toddler T-shirt and iron on it “You oughta see the other kid.” But she seems to handle her accidents well, with a minimum of drama (could this really be my child?), moving right along to the next interesting thing.
Our routine in the evenings is finally starting to sink in. She’s usually in bed and asleep by eight o’clock these days, having attempted to eat four helpings of dinner and gulping down a large sippy cup of milk on her way to dreamland.
I had a really nice moment a couple of nights ago. I had opened her door to check on her at around 9 or so, and was drawn to the little footstool that Sam gave me a while back. I sat down (the footstool held – I think Sam must have reinforced the legs with steel rods) and watched Duckie sleep for a couple of quiet minutes. She twitched a little, but was still for the most part, and calm, and just so beautiful that I think my heart grew four sizes bigger in the minute or two I sat with her.
I had thought moments like that were gone. I had thought that I would never really enjoy motherhood again. And I offer thanks to the Goddesses of motherhood in every faith there is, from Maia to Mary, that I still can.
You have to understand; this is a huge difference from Sunday night, when I was calling Heather because I didn’t think I could ever be a decent mother to Duckie. Brent (counselor-dude) said on Wednesday that in my attempts to re-frame my reactions to her crying, I also needed to consider how tied in her crying is (and the upset it causes me) to my anger with Husband. That was pretty much a mind-blower. And I think his saying that may have started to release some of the emotional knots that have surrounded the birth of my child, especially the ones that involve restriction, resentment, and the loss of my freedom. I realized that my anger towards Duckie and my anger towards Husband had intertwined to the point where it was almost impossible to sort out who I was really pissed off at, at any given time.
Almost impossible – almost, but not completely. I think I’ve at least located the platform for the train on the way to Clarity. Even if I’m still waiting for the train, I can at least start to think about what that place will look and feel like when I get there.
Last night we were brushing our teeth in front of the bathroom mirror, as usual. On impulse, I said, “Where’s Duckie?” And she pointed straight to her reflection. From what I’ve read, that kind of self-awareness is supposed to be a big developmental step. It was just another awesome demonstration of what an amazing child my kid is – yeah, I know, they all go through it – but this one is mine.