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My first Mother's Day.

2006-05-15 - 4:53 p.m.

Yesterday was my first Mother’s Day as a, you know, mother. It started out, as all great days do, with pie for breakfast (my mother’s homemade strawberry-rhubarb, which kicks all kinds of ass) and continued on a high note with a gift certificate to my favourite spa/salon “from” Grommet (who, I'd like to note, recognizably laughed this weekend for the first time). I’ve been planning on being shorn for the summer soon so I’ll be putting that baby to good use.

We brought pizza out to my mom’s, visited for a good chunk of the afternoon, then came home, put the Grom to bed, then watched the first half of Office Space before J had to call it a night. It was, all-in-all, a good day, marred only by the fact that I somehow managed to throw out my lower back a touch. There was no sharp “ping” or anything, and it wasn’t just at my spine; just all of a sudden a dinner-plate-sized area of my lower back got strained and it’s been difficult to lift anything ever since. But that’s okay because I don’t have to lift anything…

… Ha HA HA HA!! Yeah right, like the mom of a young baby doesn’t have to CONSTANTLY lift said baby, plus a host of other stuff. It could be worse because it’s more of a slight soreness/stiffness than a serious pain (though I do feel twinges of it even when I turn my head while sitting), but it’s a pain in the ass, this pain in my back that is. Anyway, back to Mother’s Day.

So, yeah. Me. A mom. Kind of a strange feeling but kind of a natural one at the same time. It’s not like a birthday where suddenly you’re 30 and you’re all, “This totally snuck up on me! I don’t feel thirty!” ‘cause let me tell you, you may not notice the passage of time, but when you become a mother, you notice.

If I had a dollar for every person that told me that my life would totally change (Duh!) when I had Grommet, I’d probably be able to buy myself a nice pair of shoes. That was a statement that was ludicrously obvious. And sure enough, for the last 3 ˝ months since giving birth my life has indeed totally changed. J and I became the moons orbiting around Grommet. We stopped being able to go many places (movies for example); we started to consider everything in terms of whether or how it would affect Grommet. The hockey game at a sports bar? Too loud. But at a friend’s place? That was okay. But if it went into overtime we were outta there to get her to bed at a decent hour, whereas J would have been glued to the set until the bitter end in the old days.

And our actions and decisions will just get more complicated from here on in. For example: We decided to breastfeed – it was a no-brainer given the amount of research demonstrating the benefits of it. Now we have to decide when to introduce solids. The old standard was 4 months, now it’s six. But is six right? Or just the flavour of the day? And after the initial cereals, do we do fruit or vegetables first? When should we establish a routine for eating? For sleeping? No matter what we do, there will be those who approve and those who think we’ll be setting our child up for a lifetime of failure (“Sweet potatoes? You idiots!”)

I guess part of being a mother is finding the right path for your little ones. And yes, mistakes will happen, and yes, you’ll have to be flexible enough to change the direction you’re taking from time to time. But if you’re careful, and perceptive, and just a little bit lucky (okay, maybe a lot lucky), odds are in your favour that you’ll raise a kid that you can genuinely like and be proud of as a person when they come into their own.

Now that woman you saw smoking while feeding ice cream to her baby that couldn’t walk yet… clearly she’s raising a serial killer.

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