On Wednesday, I had a doctor's appointment and Genevieve was due for a vaccination. Both went smoothly, and while our usual nap routine was thrown for a loop, it wasn't altogether a terrible trip.
When our routine is interrupted, there is always a recovery period. The recovery period usually involves an exhausted baby who can go in a moment from this:
So, we've both been exhausted. Genevieve has wanted to be held in my arms at the exact same time that she wants to run around. She was so tired that she couldn't figure out which way was up today.
What do you do when everything is upside down and inside out? Go with the flow.
We read a little, played a little, and nursed down to "Down To The River To Pray", which makes me happy down to my toes. She didn't nap for very long, so I did something that we never do.
We sat in the glider, rocked, and watched television. Not very much, but I let go of some of the ever-present Mommy Guilt ("Oh, no! Her brain is turning to oatmeal RIGHT NOW!"), and figured if she was tired enough to stay put on my lap, we could veg out for an hour. So we did.
Generally speaking, I think mothers are too hard on themselves. We all do our best, and - in my experience - still feel like we're not doing enough. That we're always leaving our kids wanting something. It's like trying to fill a colander with water; you can try your hardest, but it's never really going to get full.
Crazy, right? A colander isn't a bowl. We use colanders to wash vegetables, strain pasta, and occasionally as an improvised helmet. Not to hold water. As parents we are a lot of things to our kids, and I think that if we agonize over the things we're *not*, our kids will inadvertently miss out on all the great things that we *are*.
I'm actively working on focusing on my strengths as a parent; I'm fun. I'm organized. I'm feeding her a nutritious, varied diet. I problem-solve. I'm creative. Most of all, I'm present and engaged. I'm a colander. Or a paring knife. (Andrew says he's our Tomato Knife.)
In that spirit, I bring you today's silver lining: her first real word. She picked up Horns to Toes and in Between by Sandra Boynton (my personal favorite), brought it to me and said "Book!" clear as a bell.
What do you do? Read her the book, and swell with pride that you're doing a good job.