Lessons from my daughter #25.
Our little Miss L loves to pat things. She pats Rex the dog, Mumma’s shoulder, Dadda’s head, face and anything else she can reach. She pats her blankie and pillow, all the stuffed toys and today she tried to pat one of the ducks at the park. It waddled out of the way. Wise duck.
The thing about baby pats is that they can easily be mistaken for punches and slaps that can make the recipient see stars. Yes, actual stars. It happened to me last night and it was a cloudy night so there weren’t any stars out the window for me to get confused. Miss L and I had migrated to the lounge room floor sometime during the late hours to give Hubs a bit more sleep. I woke at 3.30am and reached for the warm little body next to mine only to find a cool sheet instead. A frantic search in the dark turned up Miss L near the lounge curled up around her pillow that she had somehow taken with her. I pulled her back into our little makeshift bed and got clocked in the eye for my trouble. Thanks, I love you too baby girl.
It’s hard for me to write this because I am worried about what people think. That in itself is a rarity, but that’s motherhood for you I guess. Anyway, the thing I have struggled with the most about being a mother is not the heart condition or the meds or the sleep deprivation or the mess or the exhaustion. It’s the touching. The constant touching. The first time I swam in the ocean after Miss L was born I just floated there, looking up at the sky and remembering what it felt like to be myself again. And then I felt guilty for not wanting to go back to the shore.
I am a fairly private person, something I have always been quite proud of growing up in a family of six children. There wasn’t much space to myself and what little space I did have I guarded jealously. My siblings called it my ‘bubble’ and they would often play at sneaking up to see how close they could get before it popped.
But now there is this amazing little human being that I carried for nine months in my belly and carried for another 11 months in my arms and will carry is some way or another for the rest of my life. I have learned more from this one person in her short life than I have from the sum of everyone else I’ve known for my 32 years. If anyone can teach me to burst the bubble, even just a touch, it will be Miss L.
I’d love to know, if you’re a mother, what is an unexpected thing you struggle with?