Dinner, with a side of REM lyrics

July 5, 2007 at 10:31 pm | Posted in AdoptThis!, More than you ever wanted to know about me..., PiliPiliPili | 35 Comments

We had dinner tonight with two of our closet friends here in the City That Always Sleeps.

They wanted to hang out with us one more time before Pepito* arrives home.

They’re thrilled for us – at the same time as they’re deeply ambivalent, especially one of them.   Afraid of losing our friendship, afraid that it will always be all baby all the time and they’ll be left out.

I’m scared too.  I don’t want to lose their friendship or my ability to complete a sentence that doesn’t have to do with bodily fluids.  I’m scared that we’ll be swept away on the carpet of societal expectations and norms.  And I’m scared of how much Pili seems sometimes to relish the thought of fulfilling those expectations – but of course we’ll need a minivan!  She says this half-joking, and because she knows the thought makes me wince, but I feel like there’s a morsel of truth to the idea that she wants to lose herself in playing this new role to the hilt, complete with all its trappings.

I can’t wait to be Pepito’s mom: I still want to be more than Pepito’s mom.   Can I be a hip indie mom if I haven’t really been a hip indie non-mom?  How do we find the line between it’s new he’s going to fuss and WE MUST STOP DOING THIS NOW he’s crying?

I don’t really feel fine and I don’t know if those post is really making much sense.  But I’m going to post it and see if anyone at least gets the REM reference…

*Now that he’s coming home, I felt like he needed a nickname that was exclusively his.

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  1. Hopefully there will be a new little person in my life in the next few months, and I’ve had “It’s the End of the World…” as my phone ringtone for about a month now (and don’t really feel fine, either!).

    Congratulations on being in the pink!

  2. sometimes i feel like your posts are mirroring my own thoughts.

    things are so different with little one at home, and some days i can’t wait until he is attached ‘enough’ that we can get a sitter and go to some charity auction or just to a fancy dinner.

    other days i am content to watch my baby crack up at us breaking down boxes for the recycling.

    i have to believe we can embody our new roles and still hold on to who we are in our ‘old’ lives IF we decide that is still important to us.

    -samantha

  3. I sang “It’s the end of the world” for a month before I left for Antigua – and it was/is. I worried about those things…I want to be more than just a mom but I find myself too busy/occupied to give it much thought now. I keep telling myself that once X (home from Antigua, moved to TN, unpacked, etc) happens I’ll be able to attend to making sure I’m still me outside of her. I’m hoping I get that chance before I wake up covered in poo and find I have nothing to say outside of talking about the color/frequency of said poo.

    • Knocked my socks off with kngodelwe!

  4. Having a child WILL change things for you, that’s inevitable. Especially because when your baby is looking for attention it’s REALLY HARD to ignore that.

    But that doesn’t mean an end to seeing friends and doing things that you’re doing now. I think you’ll find a change in priorities and in time available for other things.

    And the new stuff that arrives with a child. That’s amazing and enjoyable and fulfilling also. It’s just different. I’ll bet both of you will be just fine. And I’m VERY EXCITED for you.

  5. Just give yourselves a break in the beginning, when you may very likely only want to talk about the baby and his bodily fluids. (Though personally I find the solids more interesting.) After a few months, you’ll be ready to let some of your old life back in.

  6. Um, I may be saying the wrong thing here, but it’s how I feel, so I’m going to say it. Of course things are going to change. Of course you’re going to be focused on the baby. You’re SUPPOSED to. Not, of course, to the exclusion of everything else in your life, but for heaven’s sake, if your friends can’t understand that you will, of necessity, need to focus on this little person who, by the way, is making an HUGE transition, then fuck ’em. I think you need to explain that to them now, before the baby gets home. All you can do is hope they understand that for a while, at least, you do need to devote your attention to this little person.

    You don’t have to become UberMommy, but you can still think of your child, talk about your child, without that becoming the sole focus of your conversations. I have four kids and I certainly don’t spend all my time thinking or talking about them.

    There will be an adjustment period and it will probably be hairy and scary and maddening for a while – expect that. Just do. But also expect that you will get thru it, that by talking to Pili and to your other friends and us internet weirdo friends, you might get thru it a little faster. Or not. And if not, then not. You can’t really predict how things will be. It’s one of the most frustrating aspects about parenthood, at least for me. I like to kind of know when things are going to happen, but kids aren’t like that. It’s made me become a lot more relaxed and go-with-the-flow than I ever was before.

    Sorry for the book – this is something that I really get worked up about sometimes.

  7. It only makes sense to be scared of such a big transition, and the effect it will have on your life. I’d be more worried about you if you seemed unconcerned, frankly.

    And yes, it will turn you inside out for a while. For me, it turned me into a completely different human being. For a year. AFter about a year I started to become more like my old self again. So if it does seem to make you someone you can’t even recognize, try to give yourself a break and relax: it is temporary.

  8. Totally normal feelings, Art. Yes, when the little one comes home (NEXT WEEK!!) your lives will turn upside-down. You will be focuses on him. And rightly so. He needs that. You need that. Truly. You need to give yourself permission to put practically everything else on hold and be with your son.

    You will not immediately turn into the coolest parent ever, and your friends might feel dissed, but screw ’em. They need to be there for you. They need to bring you casseroles and sit with you while you stare at the perfection that is your child. They need to be there when you’re craving adult conversation.
    And haven’t they noticed that you’re moving? That’s gonna put a bigger crimp in your friendship than a little (chubby!) baby.

    Anyway, yes, you’re going to change. You’re adding a new person to your life and your home. Change will happen. Assuming your friends stick with you through the transition, I’m sure you’ll all figure it out in the end.

  9. Wow, Art. I don’t have any kids, but I hear exactly what you mean. I love the name “Pepito”.
    Hope the pick-up trip goes smoothly. It will be fun to see P in his red crib!

  10. Your life will change. In ways that are glaringly obvious, and in subtle “When did THAT happen?” ways. But trust me, its ALL for the better. Every tear, every laugh, every anxiety. ALL of it. Before the plane lands and brings the 3 of you home, you won’t even remember what life was like without pepito. Oh, sure, you might dream fondly of sleeping in like you used too, but somehow, those daydreams still include his crib, his smile, his coos (and you aren’t going to want it any other way!)…

    As trite as it is to say, there’s no way to explain it, there’s no way to prepare for it, so just enjoy the ride. It really is the best one ever!

  11. It’s the end of the world as you know it, but you’ll feel fine 😉

    You’ll switch from one perspective to another and it will become the new normal for you. It might take time, or it might happen right away, who knows?

    As for being a hip mom, I can TOTALLY see you being a hip mom.

    Get to know Pepito, let him get to know you and Pili, and the three of you will find a way to fit into the life you want to lead.

  12. Ditto on what everyone else said above.

    And: let yourself have a learning curve, some time to not leave the house because you’re too afraid of packing your diaper bag without something important like food, and then you’ll hit it and it won’t be such a big thing anymore to do all the fun hip-mama things you want to do AND be attentive to Mr. P’s needs.

    You’re about to get on such an incredible ride. I’ll be happy to share my seat with you…

  13. Yes, ditto everyone. And just from my own experience – it simply all works out. Yes, there will be relationships that are harder to maintain, but we find ways to preserve those that are important to us. And seriously, those who feel the same toward us will make changes on their side, too. I’ve also found that new and unexpected relationships come with parenting that become equally important.

    Yep, it all works out.

  14. As much as I love REM, maybe it’s time you updated your musical library– I think Jonathan Coulton’s “You Ruined Everything” might nicely sum up you feelings. Check it out and let me know what you think.

  15. Everybody answered so well that I have nothing to add regarding the changes in your life….especially since I HAVE NO EXPERIENCE YET IN SAID CHANGES. Hehe. Hopefully, I can make a similar post in a couple of weeks. The minivan….yeah….I’m a convert. A few years ago I was driving a Jeep Wrangler (top off, wind blowing through hair), then I got a Liberty because, really a Wrangler is so small to be your only vehicle even if it was a blast. The minivan came a month and a half ago and, the ROOM in it is amazing. I love it and dream of my first road trip in it….yeah, I tend to dream big…LOL.

  16. Gosh I wish blog comments could be edited. Punctuation errors suck…I need to proofread better.

  17. do “Shiney, Happy, People hold you down, Art?” 😉

    Embrace living in “baby time” for a bit, and then come out of that shell, and life will resume. You WILL need to be enmeshed for a bit as you all get used to one another, and invitations from those who aren’t in “the club” will decrease a bit, but they will pick up again in no time.

    And, of course, you are ALWAYS welcome for one of our well known: “Wine and cheese and diapers playdates!” 😉

  18. I hear you loud and clear on this.

    We too have some friends that don’t really show much interest in our impending lifestyle change. I chalk it up to their uncertainty about how we will be changing and how they will fit in to our new lives.

    And I too am resisting the mini-van with all my might! But all-in-all, I think these feelings you/we are having are pretty normal. And a healthy dose of fear is probably to be expected.

    “Time I had some time alone…Time I had some time alone…” I think these will become the more relevant lyrics from that song…

  19. I think about it too. Here’s what I remember to calm me down: when I think about our friends with kids, I have some role models. Some people I know, of course, embody what frightens me. Others have remained themselves. That’s what I strive for.

  20. O.K. You’ll just double your fun. You can now have a set of friends who would love nothing more than to compare bodily fluid stories. (I’ve got a good one for you), and another set who will get your obscure rock lyric references (huh?) I think there will be enough of you to go around.

  21. I initially came over here based on a comment that you left on another blog in which you refer to yourself as “colorless.” It’s not often that I come across a white person who refers to herself as such. I wonder if you’re familiar with “A Race is a Nice Thing to Have” by Janet Helms or any of her work on racial identity development.

    Anywho, I think I have spent almost all of my internet time over the past two days going through your blog. It’s great stuff – incisive, witty, and touching.

    Congratulations on your little dude. He’s adorable. I hope the pick-up goes well and the transition is not too difficult. For us, life with a little guy has been crazy tiring but also wonderful.

    Just one more thing (since I don’t want this comment to turn into a novella) – you’ve mentioned the ergo a few times. You’ve also referred to yourself as a girly girl. Might I suggest a beco? It’s very comfortable and a helluva lot cuter (with more fabric/pattern choices) than the ergo.

  22. Reminds me of a scene in Sex and the City when a former single nonmom is now a single mom and is trying to breastfeed in front of her long time friend. She talks about how she wants to be present but it’s pretty f-n hard when the kid is latching onto her nipple and her friend is horrified but trying not to be. They also talk about the cult of momhood. It all happens and we get through it. Your friendships will inevitably morph and change, it happens when you go from being single to a couple and again when you have kids. It just does. And it hurts but so does a lot of stuff about change.

    OTOH I do remember trying to hang in with a lesby couple who had a new baby and even offering to babysit but all they would let me babysit was their dog. I finally said that I didn’t want to only be called for dog sitting and they failed to change their approach so I had to let them go on with their lives without me as aunty. If you have friends trying to be there that way, take it!! We haven’t had free babysitting or even so much as devoted aunties and uncles YET and really wish we had someone like we were trying to be for that couple.

  23. Things will change and for a bit all your conversation will be about Pepito, because he’ll be the new love of your lives. But then, like all love affairs, the sparkley shiney newness goes away and what is left is the glow that warms you down to your toes. Then you’ll be able to talk about other things as well as the wonder of him.

  24. Change is scary! And you won’t know what it’s like until it happens. Some of your friendships will change–most will open up to warmly include Pepito, you’ll make new friends–Pepito himself will make friends for you. You and Pili will get closer in some ways and probably find some challenges facing you, too. So it makes sense that you’re feeling apprehensive and wondering what things will be like.

    I don’t know that I think all the changes Curious Girl has brought into my life are positive: to be sure, she’s far and away the best thing to have happened in my and Politica’s life. We love her to pieces and I can’t imagine our family without a child. But there are a few, a very few, things I miss about my life pre-CG. You may find a few of those things, too. But I bet on balance, you’ll love being a family of three.

    But you have to get there to feel all the way good and settled about it. That day will come. And I can’t wait to read the posts about it!

  25. Your post reminded me of something Dh mentioned the other day. He was sitting in a lawn chair, sipping iced tea and chatting with adults. The kids were far away across the lawn, out of hearing range. He said to our yoga-teacher friend, “This is the way my life used to be.” She countered with, “This is the way your life IS.”

    I’ve found that our lives have changed, dramatically, but some of the things from our “past” life are poking their heads out from the darkness, ready to surprise me with their normalcy. Like the time I looked out the window and saw Dh poking around the yard and I thought, “man, is he cute.”

    I think your friends will be happy for you, and happy to meet Pepito.

  26. Oh, ArtS. I remember these exact feelings 7 years ago when I was about to have #1. The thing is, once baby P is home (and I know this is going to sound patronizing as hell – so apologies in advance) your whole life is going to undergo a paradigm shift. You will not be *able* to be the same person. Ever. Again. You will just look through life through a different set of lenses.

    And do I miss the late night, sometimes wine soaked conversations with my girlfriends where we solved the world’s problems? Yes. Yes!!! But now they’ve morphed into early morning stroller runs – and if they don’t have kids they’re just different. I hate that they are, but they are.

    But the good news is that you lose yourself a little at a time so you won’t even notice. 😉 And one day when Baby P is in school and you take an assessment of your “self” you’ll start piecing yourself back together. But you will never be the same as you were Pre-P. Just better. 🙂

  27. Your story actually reminded me of when I came out, or rather when I decided that this “girl thing” wasn’t a phase. I had one particular friend (one of my best firends in high school; I was in her wedding) with whom I had discussed my sexuality. She made clear to me how she felt about my “choice” but for the time that the situation was on the back burner we remained quite close. It all changed when I finally fell in love and my once best friend fell out of my life. It hurt but I had to be who I was. You are a mom now and hopefully your friends will understand that’s WHO YOU ARE now.
    On a side note, I mentione dto Burtle that we should get van when we eventually trade in her car. She asked why (TTC/adoption stuff at least a year or so away) and I said, “Well you know for… later. Carseats and stuff…” I thought she was going to pee her pants. Mini vans aren’t THAT bad 😉 Though she is insiting on a little SUV instead.
    Have a fun and safe pick up trip!

  28. You choose your identity. If you want to just identify with being a parent, that’s a choice. If you want to have friendships that are about more than discussing parenting, that, too, is a choice.

    On a different note, don’t underestimate your friends’ open arms to your new family!

  29. You know, our son has been here 6 weeks now and may be we are crazy but our lives aren’t all too different yet. Yes, we spend more time grocery shopping, doing laundry, preparing all his foods fresh (we aren’t doing the jars), etc, but we still see our closest friends regularly. They came over for dinner the other night. Elijah stayed up to greet them and then it was off to bed. I think we made to much noise talking and playing cards, so he woke up and wanted to join us. Everyone had a great time passing him around. And last night we went to a friend’s house for dinner… He just passed out on the living room floor. And everyone was so protective of him! I think our key to this is not being so strict on the schedule. Life happens! We love our friends dearly and can’t imagine life without them. We figure this way Elijah can just see everyone around him cares for him.

    Y’all will be great, I just know it! Can’t wait to see the arrival pics! 🙂

  30. I can’t wait until Pepito is home. Meanwhile, in case you are not busy enough, I just tagged you with a crazy eights meme that is going around….Have fun, and visit our blog for the details!

  31. Well, sometimes I think that I have this all down pat and other times, well, I know that I don’t. It’s all a crap shoot as far as I am concerned. I am still waiting for my mini van though. With 2 kids and a hoard of their friends I need one. You will always be a hip indie mama! I can’t imagine you any other way. Friendships change after kids come whether they already have kids or don’t. It just does. You make new friends and things continue to evolve. Sometimes its good and other times it really and truly sucks. We over here at Camp KS can’t wait to meet Baby P!

  32. I worried about this, too, and for the most part my fears were overblown. Our friends who don’t have kids say hi and isn’t she a cute baby and then we go on with nonkid talk. There are plenty of moms to talk kids with and it’s nice to have friends who like to talk about other stuff. Having a baby doesn’t take over one’s life to the extent I expected. I still have opinions and thoughts on politics and such. My motherhood has been hardest on my infertile friends who ache to talk about poopy diapers. Navigating those waters has been the hardest part.

    Congratulations!

  33. Your friendships will change. It will require some effort on your friends’ parts, actually, to hold it together. You will talk about body fluids too much. You will be exactly the mom you will be. And in the end, not much of it matters as long as he’s in your arms. Sappy, I know. Did I mention you might get sappy?

  34. Wow, late to the comenting game here. \\

    Things will change, of course, but hey, haven’t you been preparing for that to happen throughout the whole l-o-n-g adoption process? I too wondered about how things would change post-Baby L, but the truth is, I waited a long time to have him and now that he’s here (three months old today!), I’m so thrilled and glad. Enjoy the ride and know that the early frustrations and WTF moments subside and get better as time goes on.


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