Monday, January 10, 2011

Lest it all sound too easy

After staying up too late writing a blog entry, I found myself gripped by irrational new-mom anxiety in the middle of the night last night at Mademoiselle's first wake-up. As someone who periodically suffers from anxiety, this was, alas, familiar enough -- a side effect of things going too well, perhaps, and my mind wanting to give me something impossible to obsess over.

Then, this morning, thirty minutes into Mademoiselle's nap, someone in the building started drilling a wall and... Mademoiselle woke up crying, and didn't get a decent nap in the rest of the day. She dozed in the wrap or in my lap or my mother-in-law's arms, but by the end of the day she had dark circles.

She spit up all morning. A lot. And I grudgingly realized I'd probably been nursing her a bit too often, and not burping her assiduously enough.

Le Petit was patient and sweet through it all. I took him out in the early evening, leaving Mademoiselle with my mother-in-law, and he was thrilled to finally get me all to himself. We ran together to the Métro, laughing, admiring the Christmas lights, looking for the moon. Then I let him run along the short wall that borders an empty fountain in a nearby square. I held his hand and was dismissing a vague worry that it wasn't such a good (or safe) idea, when *I* tripped and fell and pulled him down with me. He had a bloody nose and a split lip, we both had a scare, and I hated myself, my terrible judgment and my incompetence.

We both felt better later this evening. He ate a healthy dinner, with plenty of green vegetables -- my formerly adventurous eater has become so picky these days, this is worthy of note. Then we got the fussy and exhausted Mademoiselle off to bed early. She nursed for a long time, but didn't seem to want to drift off to sleep in my arms. So I put her down and waited anxiously as she fussed and shuffled in her crib, and slowly -- miraculously! -- wound down and soothed herself to sleep.

So perhaps my anxiety isn't wearing off on my children. Thankfully.

I put some calming Gregorian chants on the stereo, hugged my husband, and told myself that this would all get better and easier, and soon.


Cloud said...

The ups and downs of those early days! At least for me, the roller coaster was largely due to the hormonal roller coaster. After a few months, things mellowed out.

Although I can still get bouts of anxiety and feeling like a mommy failure. I suspect that never goes away.

You're doing great, though. Does Mademoiselle like to watch the lego building? When she was just a couple of months old, Petunia used to love to knock over towers that Pumpkin and I built for her. OK, who knows what she actually thought. But she kept knocking them over, and Pumpkin was thrilled to be playing with her little sister.

Sylvie said...

It really sounds like you're doing great. The little slip-ups are just how life is sometimes. And two relatively calm and satisfied children? Sounds like success to me!