Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Was I Being Selfish for Wanting to be a SMC?

I hesitate putting this out there because I know it can cause some, uh- let's say, heated opinions on the matter, but I've really been questioning if being a SMC was selfish on my part because it's what I wanted without really considering Sidekick's (well, really at the time, my "unconceived"/unborn child's) opinions/feelings on the situation.  I hate to put that in writing, I really do, but lately as I see this little guy turning into a "real" person, I wonder if he'll be angry with me for doing what I did. The fact that he most likely won't have a sibling because of the cost of daycare and I refuse to go into debt, I wonder if he'll be even angrier with me because he has no one but me to grow up with and absolutely no one with whom he can share this unique situation in which he is growing up.  Sure, he has other wonderful people in his life, but not a sibling and not a dad.  It's just Sidekick and I (unless I am fortunate to get married one day).  I've often had conversations with myself (and blogged) about the conversation he and I will have when he asks where his daddy is.  I kind of fear that day when he realizes his family is different than his friends' families.  Did I do him a disservice by becoming a SMC?

(I've now been staring at my computer for at least five minutes hearing so many people's thoughts and opinions in my head as they read the above paragraph, but I'll continue anyway.) 

I've never loved someone as much as I love Sidekick, but is that enough for Sidekick?  I am obsessed with this amazing little boy growing up so quickly in front of me, and I can't get enough of him.  Sidekick makes my life so wonderful and fulfilled, but will he have the same feelings as he grows up?  Will I be enough for him?  Will he look at me one day and say, "F you for doing this to me!"  Will he be teased in this cruel world because his mom bought some sperm?  Or will he stand proud and tell everyone that his mom wanted him so badly that she would do just about anything to get him? 

I have never had any regrets about being a SMC, and honestly, when I was pregnant I thought I might. I've never had anyone say to my face that what I am doing is horrible or wrong.  In fact, I've had nothing but support from everyone, even those I thought wouldn't agree with my decision.  My life with Sidekick is so incredibly wonderful, but I am fearful that Sidekick's life with me might not be as wonderful because I decided to do what I wanted and have a baby in what is considered a unique situation, and he didn't have a choice. I've always believed we get the child(ren) we are meant to have, so perhaps the children of SMC are those that won't think anything of it and are strong enough to deal with whatever ridicule from others and inner struggles they may have. I also try to remind myself that our family is more common than I think and that there are so many different types of families (two parents, divorced, gay/lesbian, single moms, single dads) so Sidekick's family is just another "type" of family.  I just don't want this little boy to grow up resenting me because I did what I did to fulfill my dream.

So fellow SMC, am I the only one who thinks this way and is worried?  I'm pretty sure that those who follow my blog are SMC, but I'm curious what people in a "nuclear" family think about this.  Thoughts?  Comments?   (Thanks for letting me get this off my chest and throw it out to cyber world.)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Blues

I admit it... there are times when I can't wait until Monday so I can take Sidekick to school and get a bit of a break.  Today is not one of those Mondays.  Sidekick and I had such a great weekend, and I really didn't want to have to take him to school (and work).  On Saturday, my friend came was town with her baby, so we got to hang out with them.  Sidekick enjoyed sharing/"reading" his books to his seven month old friend.  It was sweet to see him with her (and tugged at my heartstrings for my desire to have a second... stupid money making me not have another one.  If only I was willing to be in debt...).
Sunday we got a huge warm up, so we took advantage of it.  Instead of running errands in the morning, I said "F it!" to myself on the way to the store and went to the park.  Sidekick and I don't do well being cooped up, so the warm temps made for an exciting day for us because we could finally get out and feel alive again.  Sidekick was just mastering walking shortly before it got cold last fall, so he didn't get to master or really explore the playground.  I cannot believe how much more adventurous he is on all of the playground equipment!  The kid has never had fears, and I really enjoyed his eagerness to try everything... even if he was too little for it.  And I sure felt my age when climbing through things, squeezing into tight spaces, and sliding down winding slides with him that I barely fit on.
At one point, Sidekick strayed from the park and began collecting sticks.  One of them was really big!  (see pic)  Anyway as we were walking along a path, away from everyone, this little ten year old (I'm guessing his age) rode past us on his scooter and stopped.  He said to me in his little geeky, wimpy (sorry, but it's true) voice, "You really shouldn't let him play with sticks because he could hurt someone."  REALLY???  Did I just get reprimanded by a ten year old?!?  I looked at him stunned that he was basically insinuating that I was a bad parent.  So much ran through my head like: "Where the hell is your mom?  Mind your own business.  If you are going to reprimand an "elder", get a stronger voice so you sound more authoritarian.  Who made you police patrol?" After I recovered from that, Sidekick and I kept walking and he kept collecting sticks until it was time to "put them away".

After his nap, it was time to go outside again.  This time we stayed in the neighborhood to walk Dog.  I love these pictures of him:  his surprise when Dog jumped on the bench and his big boy look while stopping for a picture. I just enjoy watching him experience everything.  Who knew that gathering sticks could be so fun or that dodging goose poop could turn into a great game? 

I figured Sidekick would be so tired after playing outside for about three hours. I put him in his crib at 7:40, and at 9:15, he was still happily playing in his crib. I wanted to crawl into my bed because I was exhausted, and there was my 18 month old talking to his monkey, kicking his legs up and down in delight, and then quietly sucking his two fingers while grasping "Tag" (his blanket, which has a tag) when he finally drifted off to sleep.  I love his video monitor. 

And this morning, life was back to being rushed again.  There was not a lot of snuggle time, not a lot of time to be goofy, and not a lot of time to be patient because we had to get out the door to start another week.  Whoever made the work week five days surely never had kids.  Or maybe that person did have kids because we've all had those weekends when we couldn't wait until Monday!  Today was just not one of those days for me, and it certainly didn't help that the temps were back in the single digits (not counting wind chill). 

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Kid Can Read????

I toured 11, yes 11, daycares.  When I got to #10, they explained that one of the things they do with kids is "Your Baby Can Read".  I heard about that program a loooong time ago when it was advertised on TV, so I kind of blew it off and thought it was a bunch of BS that my kid will read early.  I ended up taking Sidekick to daycare #10, and "Your Baby Can Read" began playing (it's a video that shows pictures of things and then shows the spelling of the word followed up by some instruction and flash cards) in the classroom at 4:00 every day when he was about 6 months old. I'd show up to get Sidekick anywhere between 4:00 and 4:30, and regardless of age, the kids were glued to it.  I knew if I came before it was over, Sidekick would fight me to leave.  Up until recently, that is the ONLY thing he would watch on TV. 

Fast Forward about 11 months... last month his teachers told me he could read words.  At the time, Sidekick could say about 20 words, but apparently, he could read a word and sign, point, make a movement, etc. letting his teachers know what the word is.  Yesterday, his teachers showed me because they were so excited.  I about toppled over that my 18 month old son was actually reading words. The former teacher in me immediately wanted to make flash cards to try at home to see if he really could read.  The video below is what he did tonight with the flash cards for the first time with me (unfortunately the video was too long to email to myself to put the entire clip here, but you get the point).  To clarify... I typed large words (no pictures) on white paper and went through each of the 15 or so words.  I am truly amazed that he can read words he's learned at school! (By the way, the last one before the video was cut off was "tongue", and he showed it to me while pineapple fell out of his mouth-- haha!)

Sidekick has always had a love of books, and he can "read" for very long periods of time by himself and will let me read to him for as long as I am willing to do.  I don't know how many words he should be saying at 18 months (I guess I'll ask his pediatrician next week), but I'm thinking he's on track with 40, so I certainly don't think this type of reading is hindering his learning. I'm pretty sure what he is reading is memorization, but even that blows me away.  I certainly don't think that I have a prodigy on my hands, but I am impressed that he can read words, even if it is just rote words.  Each time I was finished the flash cards, he said "more", so he is obviously having fun reading words, and that's what being a kid is all about!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Things I Think About When I Have Insomnia

Sometimes I have really bad insomnia, but it definitely stopped when I started taking pain meds and a muscle relaxer for my back.  I felt pretty good yesterday, so I didn't take anything before bedtime... hence the insomnia last night.  I think part of the reason I can't fall back asleep is because my mind races a mile a minute!  Here are things that kept me awake:

1.  I should have done a helmet for Sidekick's flat spot on the back of his head.
2.  Will I hold Sidekick back in Kindergarten because he has a July birthday?
3.  I want to have another baby so badly, but I can't afford daycare for two.  (I ran numbers in my head all night long to try to disprove that fact.)
4.  On Wednesday, I have to travel four hours, attend a five hour meeting that starts at noon, and travel four more hours.  Do the math... that's a long day! I'm worried about the logistics of that day.  Sidekick's teacher is driving him back to my home to take care of him until I get home at 9:30 PM.
5.  We are growing out of our condo, and when I put my condo on the market in the next month or so, I worry about the fears of purchasing a house and all of the responsibilities that come with a house.
6.  What if I don't reach my sales goal?
7.  I have been inundated  with so many sales presentations this month and am feeling stressed.
8.  I won a trip through to Cabo work for being a top account executive in my company, and since my stepdad's cancer is bad, I'm not sure I'll be able to go since my mom was going to watch Sidekick. 
9.  Will I ever get married?
10.  Will I bother having a second birthday for Sidekick?  (I barely had one for his first birthday.)
11.  I feel very badly that our dog growing up lived in a kennel outside because that's the way it was done "back in the day".  I seriously get upset decades later when I think about how she used to be outside when it was so cold. 
12.  I cannot stand when people don't clean up after their dog.  My neighborhood is full of dog shit right now!
13. And lucky #13... Why does that lady park on my side of the building and occupy a parking spot when she has a carport on her side of the building???!!!
14.  Finally... where are Sidekick and I going to spend Christmas?  Disney cruise?  Sandals resort? 

Yes, I believe all of that went through my head last night (there may have been more that I can't remember), and I wonder why I can't sleep!  I just cannot shut down my brain.  Am I the only one out there like this???

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Outside Excursion

It's never fun to bundle up our kids to head outside because it seems to take a long time and a lot of patience.  Dog needed to go for a walk because I hadn't taken her outside to go potty while Sidekick was sleeping (video monitor is awesome so I can do this even if I can't go very far!).  Earlier today, it was snowing pretty hard.  After I carried Sidekick down two flights of stairs from on our condo while holding big Dog's leash, I realized it was pouring rain!  Knowing how long it took us to get out the door, Dog still needed to go potty, so I put Sidekick down to see what he would do.  With very little hesitation, he started walking without a care in the world that rain was pelting him, so I decided to continue on with our plan. Thirty minutes later, Sidekick had played in mud puddles, had climbed on what's left of piles of snow from the plows, and had chased a flock of birds in the field. Our trek ended with me carrying him home while he kicked and screamed because despite how wet his shoes, mittens, and pants were, he wanted to keep going. (Of course I didn't have my phone to take any pics of him during this fun excursion.) With Sidekick trudging forward, the rain and cold seemed less painful, the long walk with my bad back didn't seem to matter, and the muddy, wet clothes was only one more load of laundry. I love seeing and experiencing the world through my son's eyes because sometimes I think I'm seeing/doing things for the first time also.

Monday, January 13, 2014

It Must be the Pain Meds!

Yesterday I felt so blessed to have Sidekick in my life! (I go through periods where my love for him is so strong.)  It could have been the strong pain meds I've been taking, but while we snuggled on the sofa and watched Sesame Street before bedtime, I just felt so darn lucky that he is mine!  He's just recently taken an interest in TV, and since my back has been so bad for ten long days now, I appreciate that he will quietly sit still for even 20 minutes to watch a little bit of a show.  He'll also sit and read books to himself for quite some time (or with me for an hour if I keep reading to him!).  Anyway, for whatever reason, last night I just found myself just being so thankful for this little guy and loving him so much.  I was reminded how I made the best choice to move on to my dream (have a baby) instead of find a man before it was "too late" to reach my dream. 

In all honesty, sometimes I find myself thinking about what life would be like if Sidekick was a girl.  Every once in a while I still have gender disappointment (I would never utter that to any friends or family, and I never did when I found out I was having a boy), and I think it's pretty common, but I wonder if it's common 18 months after a child is born.  I think about getting manicures with "her" (let's be honest, I don't even do that that now!), helping "her" pick out "her" prom dress, seeing "her" dance on stage in "her" recital, etc.  As a SMC, I've always had trepidation when thinking about raising a teenage boy because I obviously have no experience with what it is like to be a boy/man. However, surprisingly, I have found myself being obsessed with shopping for new clothes or shoes for Sidekick (I can't remember the last time I bought clothes for myself!).  I enjoy the hunt of making my son look preppy, rocker cute (yes, I've given his "style" that name).  I don't even gravitate towards the girl clothes anymore. I'm enjoying playing with his favorite train set or a little tool box with which he is obsessed.  He knows when things are "bwoke" and will get his tools to fix them and then give up and ask me to fix it.  I can't wait to use the T-ball set this summer that I bought him a couple of months ago. And, I can't wait to raise him to be a respectful, helpful, successful, loving, happy young man.  (Apparently all of the qualities I'm looking for in a man.)

So... when I have those moments of wanting a girl, I remind myself when I am snuggling on the sofa with Sidekick that I would never, ever, ever trade him for a girl!  I have the happiest, easiest, funniest child around, and I wouldn't give him up for painted fingernails or a tutu.  Besides, along with a girl comes sassiness, snottiness, mean-girls, drama, hormones, needing to keep up with the Joneses, etc. I'd rather Sidekick punch a boy in the face (not really) and then their fight is over instead of cyber bullying with mean girls that go on for weeks.  I'd rather Sidekick be thrilled with his jeans from Old Navy instead of demanding a $200 pair from The Buckle. I'd rather Sidekick just shake things off instead of get so wrapped up in the drama of simple things that always seem to blow up so out of control . I'm worried about raising a boy, but I think I just might be more afraid to raise a girl. 

I've always believed that we get the child/children we are meant to have.  I am meant to have Sidekick and he is so perfect in every, single way I could imagine.  So... gender disappointment, if that's even what I can call it because it seems so unfair to Sidekick, is gone... at least until the pain meds wear off.  : )

Friday, January 10, 2014

Momma the Invalid

I think I previously mentioned my bad back in another entry. Last weekend, it got so bad that I went into my stash of pain pills from delivering Sidekick 18 months ago and getting a kidney stone removed and others crushed 14 months ago. I was popping these expired pain pills like they were M&Ms all to no avail. I was miserable! Being on the third floor condo with no elevator, digging both of my cars (one company one personal) out of 12 inches of snow, and schlepping around an 18 month old didn't help. I honestly couldn't walk.

I happened to have a follow-up appointment with the back specialist this past Wednesday. I couldn't bend forward more than about 5 degrees. (I can usually easily touch my toes.)  Upon examining me and seeing me burst into tears when she touched me, I was immediately sent for an MRI with a follow up with the doctor right afterwards. We discovered a couple of months ago that one leg is 8mm shorter than the other which is pretty significant, so between heel lifts in every pair of shoes and physical therapy, we got the SI joint under control. For whatever reason, something happened to my back last week. Anyway, preliminary view of my MRI by doctor (not radiologist) shows a bulged disc which was discovered years ago and a lipoma somewhere on the vertebrae (?). Apparently the bulge must have gotten worse, but we are still waiting to see the radiologist's report.

I was started on a five day pack of heavy steroids. I finished day three and have had no relief... not even a bit!  I had a seven hour team meeting today, and I stood for most of it. I want to curl up and die. I was encouraged by my team to call my doctor during the meeting  after they witnessed how much pain I was in to get some unexpired pain meds-- haha. I couldn't take the pain any longer.  The doctor told me in severe circumstances, the steroid pack might not kick in until a week after I finish it. F'ing great!  I can't deal with this for another week.  I can't. 

The other night, I was in such incredible pain that I put Sidekick in his crib at 6:45. I usually put him in his crib between 7:15 and 7:30. He hadn't taken a good nap at school, so I figured he'd go right to sleep. At 8:10 when I crawled into my bed crying from the pain, Sidekick was still awake. I have no idea what time he finally fell asleep, but I'm pretty sure I beat him. I am so lucky he loves his crib!  He always has. (I swear it's because he's never slept anywhere else.)

I seriously can't handle keeping up with him right now.  I can barely take care of myself.  This is a time when having family in the same state would be great because maybe someone could take him off my hands so I can just lay flat on my back for an entire day. I am dreading the weekend and have cried just thinking about having to entertain Sidekick, get to the grocery store, finish laundry, clean my messy home, etc. I honestly don't know how I will get through the weekend. 

I took my first pain pill a couple of hours ago, and while it took a very slight edge off the pain, I still hurt so much.  I cannot understand what is causing all of this pain, but it's unbearable.  On a scale of 1-10, I'm at a 20.  I'm pretty sure it hurts far more than my contractions.  I'll take 23 hours of labor and delivery any day over this.  So... Momma is an invalid, has been an invalid for seven days, and will probably be an invalid for another seven days.  Make this pain go away!  I may turn into a crazy person if it doesn't get under control.