Nearly two years ago when my cousin had a baby girl (her second child), my mother groaned and complained to me that she (my mom) did not like the baby's name. I remember thinking (and I even posted about it), who cares what the name is....she has a baby!
Well, that's how I felt. But now, you see, I do care. I care about my baby's name, and about other things. I look at it like this: I am getting ONE chance in this life to have a baby (I hope and God willing). I want his name to be something I like. I want him to wear baby clothes that I like. I want to pick the color of his room. You know?
Imagine you've just gotten engaged, and it's time to plan your wedding. You begin to think about all the fun things....trying on wedding gowns, picking the colors for your wedding, choosing the food for your reception, tasting cakes and picking the design, flavors and frosting for your cake, will you have a live band or DJ? Where will the wedding be? The reception? What sort of fun favors will you give your guests? Yeah, these things are costly...but they're fun. It's your one wedding, and even if you don't have a big budget, you can't wait to start the planning.
Now imagine your mother, ever-so-well-intentioned, says to you, "Don't bother trying on wedding gowns, because - HERE - I'm giving you this gown." And when you start dreaming of your colors, and you mention to her that you are thinking of "blue," she nearly bites her tongue off saying, "Blue?! What shade of blue?!" Because, you must realize, that your color choice will have to meet with her approval, and she is suddenly gripped with fear that you are thinking of some gaudy, too-bright, horrible shade of blue that she will be compelled to tell you makes your skin tone look like death. And when you tell her that you've chosen XYZ as the location for the reception, she can't seem to stop suggesting that you consider ABC, then DEF, or perhaps GHI.
Welcome to my life with my mom.
I told her I was going to look at paint colors for the baby's room. "Oh, what color are you thinking of?" she asked, ever-so-casually (but I knew what was coming).
"Blue" I said.
"Blue?!" (you'd have thought I'd said neon pink). "What shade of blue?!"
"Oh, something really horrible and dark and gruesome" I said flatly.
"I"m just asking" she replied, hurt.
Well, yeah, maybe she was just asking. And maybe (more likely) she wanted to be sure she approved and that I wasn't about to make an irreversible mistake in painting the baby's room Midnight Cobalt.
We've chosen a first name (to be revealed upon his birth). I mean, we've chosen. My DH and I refer to him by his first name now. My mom? She's still tossing names out there for us to consider.
"Did you know Joshua is one of the top ten names? I like Joshua. How about Jake? I always liked the name Jake. I also like Taylor. What about Andrew?"
I mean, she knows the name. Apparently she does not entirely approve of it.
Remember my analogy of the wedding gown given to the bride, with instructions not to bother trying on gowns? Yeah. My mom actually told me not to buy baby clothes. She told me to save our money to buy diapers and bottles. She sent me a 20 pound box full of newborn clothes. Do you have any idea how many outfits it takes to make 20 pounds?
This will be my one newborn baby. Might it occur to my mom that I - the baby's mother - might want to buy my baby a few outfits? That it's fun to shop for baby clothes in the way it is fun for a bride to go try on wedding gowns? Apparently not. Let me tell you, there are more baby clothes in the box my mom sent than could possibly fit in a closet and dresser combined. More than the baby could possibly wear before he outgrows them.
I cried when the box arrived. My DH, bless his heart, told me that we could store the box out in the garage and I can go buy whatever baby clothes I want. I haven't opened the box again since.
It's not that I'm ungrateful. And my DH pointed out that it's good that my mom wants to be involved (despite the fact that the baby is not the precious granddaughter she wanted). But he also told me not to let her hijack this experience from me. Hijack. That's just the word he used. I know she's trying to be helpful, but it was beginning to feel like I was being hijacked.
So today, I painted the baby's room. I wanted a soft, pale, blue/gray/violet color. Not yet dry, it looks a little too violet and not enough blue. And if I don't like it, my DH said "Paint's cheap" and I'll go buy another gallon that is more blue.
Although my quads are already aching, my back is sore and my hand is cramped from rolling/painting, I enjoyed every minute working on his room today. After all, this is my one chance.
4 months ago