Sunday, May 31, 2009

Selfish Mamahood

Yesterday was my husband's birthday. This wouldn't be the sort of thing I'd write about except it makes me all the more selfish.
We have a son. Our son, Snapdragon (because man can that kid snap his jaw shut so hard & fast you'd swear his gums were metal) is 26 days old, and my spouse, well, he's just getting over his wobbly-head paranoia and getting comfortable with the notion of holding our Snapdragon.
Yesterday, Spouse was holding Snapdragon, smiling like something out of a horror flick, with the misguided notion that Snapdragon would smile back. If you have kids, I'm sure you remember the first few weeks of life when every facial contortion makes you hope against hope that your precious and perfect baby has finally a) noticed you, and b) taken to approving of your presence enough to smile instead of wailing in that heartwrenching way that can only mean one thing: feed me now. Did I mention he's a snapdragon?
So there sits Spouse, smiling like a serial killer clown or something, as I lay on the bed taking advantage of a few precious seconds of rest time while someone else is holding Snapdragon. You see, he really likes to be held, and if you have kids, I'm sure you remember how tiring the first weeks and months can be.
So I am laying there, watching Spouse smile like the Joker, silently mocking him in my head because I hold or play with or feed Snapdragon most of the day. he probably spends a cumulative 4 hours a day not being held or directly interacted with, and those hours are asleep. He typically sleeps touching mama, being held or holding my hand. So, since I spend the other 20 hours a day with Snapdragpn, I *know* that Spouse is wasting his time. The closest this kid comes to smiling is when he's got gas.
So of course, the inevitable announcement as my husband's face lights up like Christmas morning (and believe me, he believes in Christmas lights) as he aasy, "he's looking at me and smiling! Really smiling."
I smile cynically from the nearby pillow "don't worry, he's just gassy. Wait for it."
"No, he's really smiling."
I raise a skeptic eyebrow and close my eyes, secretly counting to 10, waiting for the burp, the fart, anything. 1...2...3... Then the panic sets in. What if Snapdragon's first smile really was at daddy? What if he didn't first smile at me? 10...11...12... Its like when babysitters and daycares get axed because they announce some kid's first steps to the mom without knowing how much of a biological imperative it is to hear the first word, see the first everything.18...19...20... So what if that really was Snapdragon's first smile?
25...26...27... I'm seriously getting worried here.
32...33.. BELCH.
I smile and giggle, secretly relieved that I still have a shot at that milestone. "See?" I practically sneer. He shrugs. I don't mention that gassy smiles and burping are usually a little, okay a lot more closely related. That's not the point. I still am on the roster for first smile, and that's all that mattered to me.
This morning Snapdragon woke up wet and crying from his cosleeper. As I pick him up he stops crying and makes eye contact. I smile. I love that he's finally making eye contact.
What's this? He's holding eye contact! Go Snapdragon, yay team eyes! Uhoh, something else is going on, I notice. He's smiling. Not the lopsided gassy smile, but this bright even and perfect smile. I wait for it. Where's the gas? No, he's smiling, and he's smiling at me!!! I could junp for joy and happy dance like I did when the stenchtastic grossarific cord stump came off. Snapdragon is smiling at me.
But wait, does this mean that he might have smiled at daddy first? I've decided to stip being selfish, and either way, his first smile goes down as on daddy's birthday, at daddy, in the baby book. Its a decent birthday present from a newborn, and I secretly can believe that his perfect smile, he saved that one for me.

3 reflections:

Christine said...

How adorable :)
I refused to believe that my son's first smile was at his Daddy... and that his first laugh was with Daddy while I was in class. I've never spent more than 3 hours a day away from him, so I felt like I DESERVED them! But nope.. to this day(nearly 5 months), his Dad is the one who gets the laughs easiest.

Upstatemomof3 said...

Oh how funny!!!! I have been the daycare and I cannot tell you how many times I have told a parent that their kid rolled over/crawled/walked/etc that day only to have them turn around and claim they have been oing this for weeks at home.Yeah, whatever. But I think it is natural for us all to feel like we want their firsts to happen with us. Either way - yay for smiling!!!

Future Mama said...

Aw that's too cute!! I worked at daycare a while and it would be hard for parents to see their kids so happy with me, haha! I can totally understand though, you want them to miss/love you!

Great story! Thanks os much for sharing!