one of these things is not like the others

Oh, the inadequacy.

I guess you can say it all started with class picture day in kindergarten 26 years ago.

kindergarten

There we were–Mrs. Moran’s star pupils–all decked out in our Sunday best.

Except, well, me.

While most of my peers donned frilly new dresses, matching sweater vests and crisp collared shirts, I on the other hand was adorned in a fashionable thrift store red turtleneck and grey corduroy pants–the pièce de résistance obviously being the brand new (brand new was a big deal to me as a kid) velcro shoes from BiWay.

biway

Remember BiWay?

Growing up, I was shy and weird and different. I was always playing catch-up when it came to physical and social norms. For example:

  • I was a big time nerd. I spent recess in the computer lab
  • Being the shortest girl in the class relegated me time and time again to the front row (the least cool row) on picture day
  • My mother insisted that I always wear my hair in a stylish ponytail, because you know, lice
  • I’m fairly certain that most of the birthday parties I was invited to were out of pity/due to my mother threatening other mothers
  • School dances: LOL
  • One time, the girls in my class gave me a She’s All That makeover at camp, as part of what I can only assume was some sort of dork outreach program
  • In the eighth grade, the cutest boy in the class told me that my hair “looked good down”, and I nearly passed out and banged my head on the desk

Mercifully, I grew up in an era where schoolyard violence wasn’t really a thing, and bullying was limited to the cool girls who could afford new clothes and dance lessons shouting, “Rebecca smells!” across the locker room.

bullying

I didn’t, by the way.

Growing up was really isolating, so I guess that’s why I’m such a pushy, impatient new mom now. Sometimes, all I can think about is how badly I want my son to catch up. To be just like the other kids.

All around me (and by ‘all around me’ of course I mean ‘via photos of everyone’s children on Facebook’) babies his age–and sometimes younger–are reaching milestones before him. Milestones like lifting their heads more than two inches off the ground, deliberately holding their toys, and rolling over unassisted.

This guts me, and the rational side of me knows how stupid that is. I need to cut him some slack. After all, the poor sod spent nearly the entire month of February lying horizontal in a hospital bed. He’s going to be a little behind. But the emotional side is a lot harder to appeal to.

Almost as hard as resisting the urge to capture his adorable little fails on camera.

For example, here is a series of him trying, and failing, to lift his gigantic head off the ground during tummy time:

tummy time

Here he is demonstrating how to improperly use his sit-me-up chair:

2015-03-11 10.37.06

And here he is doing half the work of rolling over:

2015-03-25 15.39.36

I recognize how unfair my frustrations are as I write this very sentence. I know he’ll get there. He’s had some setbacks, but truthfully, if he can make it through 22 days of hospital hell, he can make it through anything–particularly his mother’s neuroses.

2015-02-26 21.52.18

Does it look like I care that I can’t hold my head up yet?

Now I’m going to finish this entry the way it began–with another humiliating anecdote from my youth.

One warm day late into my eighth grade year, I was beckoned over by the cool girls at recess. I don’t really remember much of the exchange, but as I walked away, I heard them joyously proclaim to everyone within earshot that, “Rebecca has a pretty face, but no chest.”

Oh ya?

girls

BOOM. And that’s BEFORE I had my baby, ladies!

Seems like things worked out okay for me. I have high hopes for you, kid.

I’ll be waiting for your call, Maury.

365 fetus-filled days

I’m surprised I even remember my name after spending 22 consecutive sleepless nights in the hospital with a sick baby, but shockingly, I woke up this morning remembering that exactly one year ago today, I found out I was pregnant.

oops

Does ‘pregnant’ mean what I think it means?

A lot has happened during this particular journey around the sun for me including, but not limited to:

  • Feelings of regret over destroying a case of beer two days before I took a pregnancy test
  • Additional feelings of confusion, inadequacy, fear and panic
  • Three more pregnancy tests, because sometimes pee can be wrong
  • Tears (the petrified kind)
  • The beginnings of a lifelong cycle of cat neglect
  • That thing where you think you’re going to throw up but you don’t, which is almost worse than actually throwing up
  • Eating habits that would put my aunt’s trash compactor to shame
  • Missing wine more than I miss seeing my own feet
  • A series of “bump day” mirror selfies that no one will ever, ever see
  • Giving birth to an actual human child–a feeling so surreal that I can only describe it using the phrase, “holy shit, man”
  • A terrifying three week hospital ordeal where said child nearly died (please don’t ever make me talk about this again, I hate you for even bringing it up)
  • Experiencing this weird, tingly sensation I’ve never felt before deep down in my chest–oh ya, unconditional love for another human being
  • NO SLEEP LIKE EVER

That’s it.

That’s all I have to say.

That, and how happy I am that this 13 pound diaper destroyer came into my life.

liam today

I’ve made a lot of mistakes, kid. You’re not one of them.