Saturday, October 11, 2008

"Such a Good Baby"

I had a lot to do today in a small amount of time. There was this silly server meeting at 9am that I didn't even know about until eight o'clock last night. My cousin's baby shower was at noon, in Howard no less, and I hadn't even bought a gift yet. I had to somehow figure out how to go to the meeting, go somewhere to buy a gift, wrap the gift, and get Mady and I dressed and to the shower an hour away. Solution? Strap the baby in her car seat and drag her all over Centre County within three hours.

I was a little nervous about the server meeting. What was the poor girl going to do for an hour and a half? Not sleep. I'm incredibly lucky if I can get her to nap any time before eleven, and since she overslept a little this morning while I was getting ready, I knew that nap was near impossible. She did great, banging her toys on the table, throwing them and getting happy when someone picked them up for her, "talking" any time there was a lull in whatever the hell the speakers were talking about. We started to hit a rough patch at about 10:15, but after I stood up, she was giving kisses to Linda and giggling at Mark. Before we left, Becky says, "I can't believe how good your baby is!". Hey! Me neither! I don't think I absorbed any of the information being spouted during the meeting, but hey, what do I care? I only work two days a week. She was such a good baby.

So then we're off to Walmart. Mady slept in the car, and when I was picking out a cart, I deliberately picked one that had a gimpy wheel so it would rattle the whole way around the store. She slept through the whole trip until one of those stupid cashiers woke her up to talk baby talk. Why would anyone feel like it's a good idea to wake up a sleeping baby? I'll never know. Mady smiled and chatted and tried to touch the woman's face. "What a good baby you have!" So I've heard. I ended up spending a crap load of tip money on baby clothes because I felt guilty for not buying a stupid gift ahead of time and then had to wrap the whole thing in the parking lot. Where's Mady? Playing with the butterfly thing that hangs from her carseat and giggling. She was such a good baby.

Now we drive the hour trip to the baby shower. I'm late, as I always am to family functions, and Mady has decided in the driveway that she just can't take it anymore. I feed her first thing and then let everyone fawn over her while she gives sloppy kisses, does cute things like take her sock off and chew on it, and babbles to anyone who wants to talk to her. What do all these people have to say? "She's such a good baby!", "What a happy baby you have!", "I wish my son were like this as a baby! He was a screamer!", "She's so sweet and so good!". She was such a good baby.

And she is. I have an exceptionally good baby and she proves it to me every day. I always think there's going to be a disaster, but there never is.

So I have to ask, why do I get so annoyed with her that hour before bed time? Why can one hour out of 24 make me forget all the good things she's done throughout the day? Why do I always set our days up for failure, expecting the worse and never remembering that it's always the best?

I don't want to be that kind of Mommy. I don't want to harp on the little negative things, whether it be crayon on the walls or a failed math test. I don't ever want to yell, or make her feel like she's a bad girl. I know she can tell when I'm aggravated with her. I don't have to say anything, she can just feel it. Why though? Why don't I give her any credit for being the perfect little person, for making shopping trips easier than I ever thought they could be and car rides fun and fancy free?

I don't know. Maybe I thought parenting would be harder than this and I'm just waiting for it to start. Maybe that grumpy hour only grates my nerves because I haven't figured out how to fix it all for her. All I know is that today is the day that I stop the madness. No more annoyed rocking of the grumpy baby. No more being surprised when things go exactly as planned without a hitch. No more mean Mommy, grunting and sighing and rolling my eyes, at 8:06 on the dot.

My perfect baby deserves to be rewarded after a long day of being good. And if that means grumpy hour with a smile, I'm going to clench my teeth and force that smile until my cheeks hurt. Maybe it will just come naturally after a little practice. I have such a good baby.

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