Muffin’s one year developmental checkup with the preemie specialist is on Monday. I hate these visits. I always feel like my baby is being made to jump through all these hoops just to satisfy somebody elses opinion of what she should be able to do, and no matter what new skill she is so proud to show off, she isn’t quite perfect enough.
I hate that she has to be evaluated so critically when all she want to do is be a happy little baby who loves everyone, and that I get pages and pages of helpful advice aimed towards making her “THE SMARTEST BABY WHO EVER LIVED” by the next visit.
I hate that before I even leave, I know that this stack of advice will sit untouched on my kitchen table for one month, in a neat stack on my bar for 2 months after that, and then find itself in a reusable shopping bag in the back of the pantry a week after that. It will not get thrown away, because that would be a whole lot like admitting that I am an uncoachable, ignorant, lazy mother.
I imagine that upon Muffin having her first child, I might compile all of these stacks of papers into a book entitled “THE SMARTEST BABY WHO EVER LIVED,” and allow her the continued joy of feeling too lazy to actually follow the instructions, and too guilty to get rid of them.
I hate that I am the mom who even has to be in this position in the first place. I hate that I missed out on the last 12 weeks of my pregnancy, and that I was always better at pumping my breast milk than actually breastfeeding her, and that she was totally put off by the whole breastfeeding thing by the time she was 8 months old.
I hate that her 1st picture with Santa was while she was still completely wired up and in the toaster-bed, and that NICU nurses I didn’t even know got to make her 1st foot-print Valentine. In fact, I think the entire situation has made me a little angry. Apparently, no matter how I feel on the inside, I always look like I am in “kill mode” at my martial arts club. I am unclear whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, at this moment.
But the saving grace in all of this? Muffin doesn’t hate any of this. At the end of four years of trying for a baby (hell on earth, if you don’t know), one ectopic rupture, one Army-doc who I would still like to write a hot-tempered little note to, and one super short pregnancy, is a baby who loves life and hates nothing. Except diaper changes, that is. She hates diaper changes, the word “no,” and when people go spelunking into her sinus cavities on booger patrol. She frikken HATES when we go on booger patrol. I guess I can live with that. My Taekwondo peeps should maybe just work on blocking and perhaps ducking, but I think we’re going to be okay. After all, she is THE SMARTEST BABY WHO EVER LIVED, right?