I used to love to drink. More than drinking, I enjoyed having a bottle of something, anything, in the house that I could mix with random juices, crushed ice, capri-suns (gag), and kool-aid to make the perfect "Aimee Cocktail." Sometimes I added too much vodka, or the wrong combination of purple kool-aid and ginger ale, coming up with something that tasted awful but looked pretty good in a glass. I would drink it anyways, waste not. So now it's no surprise to me that I'm looking at parenting kind of like mixing those "cocktails". I add a little of this, a little of that, shake it all up and hope that I have a smiling baby as the end result. Sometimes I add too much nap time, not enough breast milk, or a little too much stimulation and end up with a fussy screamer but she still looks pretty. I'm looking forward to finding that perfect combination but dreading the day that they stop selling that main ingredient and I'll have to start all over. I'm still talking about the baby here.
I find myself thinking these things, sitting outside watching nothing while Mady sleeps and smiles, smiles and sleeps. I think I might be going crazy. I remember the first day Madelynn smiled at a stranger. Her name was Ellen or something or other and it was at Ross. Mady was in her sling facing out and this Elly woman came over to talk baby talk. She made the same faces to Mady that I always do and she was rewarded with an all gums grin and waving arms. That smile, that grin, used to be only for me. My heart broke. I couldn't help wanting to smack the woman upside the head and yell at her for brainwashing my beautiful baby. On the drive home, thinking it over, I felt like an idiot. Of course I want my baby to like other people, but for a moment (felt like a long moment), I felt so betrayed. Now, weeks later, I've gotten used to Mady liking anyone and everyone. She's just happy, how can I argue with that? Like yesterday at Jeffrey's work picnic, Madelynn had a special smile for everyone that looked at her, and it was OK. I wasn't jealous, I actually felt pretty good, proud, my baby was a star. I probably only felt so OK with this because I was noticing a new Mady-ism. She had to see me. Anyone could hold her, as long as she could see me. So now that's what I'm holding on to, my own Mady and Mommy thing (besides marathon breastfeeding sessions). I know that one day this too will end, and it makes me sad already. For now I'm not going to think about it. I'm not. I think I might be crazy.
Maybe I just need more sleep. Or a very large cocktail.
Question of the day: Do babies ALWAYS fart when they sneeze?