Monday, April 7, 2014

Never again. Ok, maybe again.

When I was a mere infant of a mother, or rather when I was just a young lady mothering my first infant, I made the decision to take the trek to my home town of Steubenville alone with 4 month-old Naomi. I thought I was so BA at first and then when I got home from the trip I declared decidedly that "I would NEVER do that again. Ever." The time with the family was great, but the hours of car screaming by baby which left me feeling like a rung out dirty dish towel did not seem to make the whole thing worth it.
^ All taken during that trip 5 years ago, which we did end up living to tell about.

Fast forward 5 years and at least 4 additional solo trips back with more than one child in tow and I have to laugh a hearty belly chuckle at new-mom Ana: so naive, so wimpy, so lame. I'm still wimpy and lame, but I know what I am getting myself into and I knew full well that this past weekend would not be a walk in the park when I decided to take all three girls (+ one gestating male) back to the "Burb of the Burgh" alone for my little sister's baby shower. And it wasn't a walk in the park, but it was fun and I think I'd do it again.

I called my mom crying a couple days before I was slated to leave telling her that I was not coming due to my utter terror at the thought of feilding any of Bernadette's tantrums in front of family or at potential rest stops alone, it was sad and pathetic. But then we had one good day with minimal tantrums and I figured, "what the hell? how much harm could it do either of us?" Well probably a lot but in the end that was not my primary source of frustration other than one mid-interstate tantrum involving Bernadette getting out of her car seat and walking to the front of the car (while I am sailing along at 75 mph) to "pull my hair! for not putting her boots on while I was driving!!!". I had to pull off to the shoulder to deal with that, but at least it wasn't in front of any random people. I guess?

                                                     ^ She was a peach most of the time.

No, the bigger source of frustration was my new child-sized tumor name Lucy who would not leave my body for the duration of the weekend and who screamed as if someone was attempting to water board her every time I put her down, attempted to pass her off to anyone, or if a loving family member or friend even looked  at her. You may think I am joking, but feel free to ask any one of my family members (other than Mike's dad who she inexplicably loved at first sight) and they will corroborate. It was the most annoying thing in the world and definitely served to confirm some suspicions in me that I need to seriously "cut the umbilical chord" now before the next babe comes with an actual umbilical chord. I did not even realize how horrible her clinginess was until we were there and everyone was trying to be so sweet with her and she would not have any of it.

^  Lucy is only out of my arms and smiling because of that cookie, and it did not last long.

However, despite having another fairly sizable baby human attached to my person the entire time, I had a great time seeing everyone and seeing the utter cuteness that was this shower.

If you are in the market for stationary awesomeness, please just click to my sister, she is amazing. And my mother and other sisters just know how to do up a shower right, and they do it.

It was definitely worth it and I would probably do it again.

And now today we are back to life and reality and commencing day 1 of mother-baby attachment detox, or I guess you could just call it detachment parenting in full force. I am sure I will keep you all unnecessarily  abreast of the progress of this venture, as I do all my endeavors. In the mean time, have yourself a splendid beginning of the second week in April.


  1. Okay my husband and I are debating how to survive a 6 hour long van ride to my cousin's wedding this summer. Do we break down and use a portable DVD player??? We are very adamantly against them in theory but maybe not so much in practice? How did you logistically handle occupying three humans in the car for long than 1 hr and 2 minutes - because that's when mine start breaking down.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. You are a brave and awesome woman! I had to laugh at the Bernadette unbuckling story, I had the same experience with my older son. So not fun, and I nearly hit a tree when he spooked me by tapping me on the shoulder. The same son was my clingiest child too, so I can sympathize with that as well. Even loving grandparents could not win him over much, and merely dropping him off at my in-laws' house was, in my husband's words, like pulling a pin on a grenade, throwing it in and running as fast as you can. Bless your heart, I feel for you!

  3. Hehe, detachment parenting.

    My Lucy (age 2) freaks out about other people being near her still. If someone she doesn't want sits next to her for a meal, WATCH OUT. But I don't have to carry her around all the time, so that's something.

  4. Bernadette and Lucy sound very similar to my 3 year old and 2 year old!

  5. Joanne, we have decided we're against over-use of the dvd players in the car...not the sensible use of them :) Basically our rule is if the trip is over 2 hours we will allow the dvd player. Also, we don't allow the DVD player to come on until the 2 hour mark. We bring some toys, books, and there's always the good 'ole looking-out-the-window activity. Also, earplugs may or may not be a good idea ;)

    Ana, I totally understand the child-tumor syndrome! I call Tahlia my barnacle, she's always conveniently attached to me. We're also working on detachment parenting with her with a little bit of success, lol!

  6. We've been on two 16 plus hours car rides to florida with little ones. I used the dvd players from the get-go but we don't use them any other time so they're a special treat. If you can, plan on leaving early in the morning or late at night so the kids will sleep for a good part of the trip. There's always dranamine, especially if your kids are prone to car sickness (you can't use it with really little ones). Of course, pack snacks and plan on extra time for food and potty stops (or traffic jams).

    Ana, my firstborn child was a clinger, he even hated grandma and I was a working mom at the time. He cried EVERY morning I left for work, it was horrible. I thought he would eventually adjust, but no, he was still crying every morning at 21 months old when I finally left the workforce when my second was born. Having the next baby did help a bit with his velcro status, but he truly didn't come out of his reserved nature until about 4 years old. Happy to say he is a very well adjusted teenager now, and very sensitive to the feelings of others. Sometimes I wonder if his sensitivity is what made him so upset as a toddler, like he couldn't process everything going on when he was in a new situation. My mom says I was the same way, I was a "terrible" baby but a wonderful child growing up. There is hope for Lucy, hang in there, you're doing a great job. She may turn into a wonderful helper with her new baby brother.

  7. Ok this was so funny. Not funny for you in the actual moment, but, funny now. I just discovered your blog and I'm loving it. And I'm realizing now (seeing that pic with you and your parents- that we must have met before??) your parents and my parents are old friends! My dad is Ken Hensley... Have we collided at the Catholic Family Conference in SoCal years ago?? Anyway, keep on trucking sister.

  8. Ugh I'm just starting to detachment-train the twins - I've found I'm MUCH happier now that they're willing to leave me alone for more than 8 seconds/day! Sometimes I bribe John Paul and Cecilia to play with them in their cribs so that I can get dressed in peace... Of course, this backfired when one of them stuck a large basket in a crib and Mary Claire turned it over and catapulted herself out of the crib.

    But mostly we've reached the wonderful point where they understand words, and they understand "No" and they understand distraction, so while Elizabeth might fling herself to the floor sobbing if I refuse to pick her up, if I mention legos or the color purple she immediately perks up and goes off in search of such treasures. Gotta love those crazies :P

  9. I have an umbilical baby. My husband literally calls him that. And he's 9..... He's better now, but he just loves to be at home with Mom. I used to joke that I had a two foot radius around me and he was not allowed to cross outside the circle.