stick in the mud

November 6, 2008

if you haven’t figured it out already, i’m not really good at the “go with the flow” style of parenting.  my baby is not on a rigid schedule but i do whatever i can to avoid wrenches being thrown in the system.  but, of course, wrenches are inevitable and i really wish that i could just chill out and remind myself that she is a baby, not a robot, and i need to adapt when our routine is slightly out of whack. come to think of it, though, a wrench would probably be a good thing if she were a robot because i could use it to more easily turn the power switch to the “off” position when i need a little peace and quiet.  

i’ve been doing this stay-at-home-mom thing for over 14 months, and i’ve gotten into a pretty good groove.  baby wakes up, baby drinks milk, baby eats breakfast and watches sesame street while mommy waits for the caffeine to kick in, baby plays, baby eats lunch, baby naps, baby plays, mommy looks at the clock wondering if it’s 6pm yet, baby eats dinner, mommy drinks wine, baby goes night-night, mommy drinks vodka, mommy goes night-night and does it all again tomorrow.  of course there are days with errands and play dates and walks to the park, but those are normal, manageable deviations and necessary distractions.  they’re part of our overall routine.  what i have a hard time with are the days when our routine is totally blown out of the water, and this is what i wish i could change.

my mom invited me to fly out to california to visit for a week.  of course she offered to pay for my plane ticket so it would be a free vacation for me and the munchkin.  she wanted to take us to the zoo, make home-cooked meals for us every night, visit with her friends, babysit my daughter so i could go for long, leisurely runs at sea-level (i live and run at 5400 feet so i always love running when i go “home” to san diego), and do the grandmotherly doting that she cannot do on the phone or over iChat.  sounds great, right?  i turned her down.  for one thing, i hate to fly.  hate, hate, hate it.  i need about three xanax and a martini just to get myself into the airport terminal, and about eighteen more pills to keep myself from totally losing my shit during the take off and landing.  (side note: this charming trait has rubbed off on my husband and now he’s nervous before flights too.  whoops!  sorry, honey.)  flying solo with a child while doped up on anxiolytics is probably ill-advised.  i have a hard enough time keeping track of my boarding pass and ID in an airport, i would probably lose my child somewhere between security and the gate.  also, i just cannot handle being away from home and away from my comfortable routine.  

i’ve started to wonder if our life of “predictable” and “safe” is going to turn my baby into a less adaptable child and a totally rigid adult.  will she become someone who likes to travel and find adventure, or will she prefer the mundane and familiar comforts of home?  will she be like me and feel panic at the mere notion of throwing caution to the wind, or will she chart her own course and go where the wind blows her?  

i keep thinking that it will get easier, that someday i will become more flexible and willing to take risks. someday i will take advantage of opportunities and venture into uncertainty.  someday i will learn that life is unpredictable and uncontrollable, and the world won’t end when things don’t go as planned.  someday i will go on vacation and i won’t worry about the devastating impact it will have on my daughter’s routine.  i just wish that “someday” was now, and that it was easier for me to adapt and sway and flow.  it’s hard to flow when you’re stuck, and right now this mud seems awfully deep and my puddle is nice and comfy.

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2 Responses to “stick in the mud”

  1. Mikita Says:

    We cannot become what we’re meant to be by remaining what we are. – Max DePree

    i hear it in your words that you’d like to change, but that you’ve gotten comfortable where you are. perhaps with all things – take those small steps. Small successes build confidence that allow us to take the bigger leaps. what other small things are you afraid of doing? start with those – and give yourself permission to fail, it is only in the failure that we learn how to succeed.

  2. Angelika Says:

    I feel ya Liz – right down to the depths of my soul. Its hard and its scary and it is not easy and just “trying.”

    You know what would be an absolute riot? If we flew with the kids together. OMG – could you imagine? At least we could tie ’em together so they would have each other.


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