The Art of War (Gerber-style)

June 8, 2006

This child is kicking my ass.

She has suddenly become immeasurably stronger, faster and more willful than the strong, fast, willful baby that she was yesterday. Or the day before that. I don’t know anymore. I can’t remember. Because I am SO FUCKING TIRED.

Not, mind you, from lack of sleep. WonderBaby sleeps through the night; she has done, with the exception of the odd night here and there (and on vacations) since about four months. Ever since we bust free of the swaddle, finally, and got her into her nursery and her crib. Lucky, lucky Bad Mother, you’re saying. Pretty baby sleeps through the night!

Whatfuckingever. If she didn’t sleep through the night I’d be dead by now. So it’s simply Nature’s/God’s/the gods’ small mercy that she sleeps through the night. Because she ain’t interested in sleeping during the day, except for the odd catnap here and there. Or maybe one hour in the morning and THAT’S IT. Nada más. Ya esta.

(Which is why, FYI, I have been lagging in blog socializing. Apologies, apologies. It’s one thing to surf and scroll and comment one-handed when baby is clamped to boob. Quite another when baby is swinging from your hair.)

This might not be so bad if she weren’t a turbo-charged baby hell-bent on world domination. Starting with complete and total domination over Mommy. (Scratch that. Mama. MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA.)

Mama’s her bitch.

It was all light-hearted, really, when I began referring to my bright little baby as Future Ruler of the Known and Unknown Universe. But I should have known. She has been, um, spirited from the very beginning. Her eyes were wide open and she was hollering before she’d even made it all the way out of my life-ushering vagoogoo. She was ready for biznass.

I was thrilled, proud. My baby, warrior princess and future philosopher-queen! Watch out, world. My sweet little despot is going to Kick. Your. Ass.

What I didn’t anticipate: that first, she’d kick mine.

WonderBaby’s hungry? More boobie! And then – lunch! Which must be carefully arranged so that she can feed herself. Unless Mama wants to hear some screaming. So the banana and avocado are broken into slices and set on tray. Cereal is spooned into cup with baby-friendly spoon at hand. And then WonderBaby feeds WonderBaby, until WonderBaby grows tired of feeding WonderBaby and Mama must act NOW to get peas (NO NO NO not bananas avocado cereal those are for WonderBaby hands only! Peas! With new spoon! NOW.)

I would make a joke about visualizing whirled peas or giving peas a chance, but it’s just not funny in a state of war…

WonderBaby wants to move? WonderBaby will walk, thank you very much. Which requires the presence of Mama’s hands for balance. Until we reach the couch/ottoman/rail/cat, and then WonderBaby must be left alone. ALONE. To revel in her standing power.

(That crawling thing of two weeks ago? SOOO two weeks ago. Crawling is reserved for the clinch, for pursuing wayward toys and chasing cats. Otherwise, crawling is for chumps. Walking is where it’s at. Never mind the physical limitations of a 6-and-a-half month old body. If world domination requires upright mobility, upright-mobility-training commences now. NOW.)

(Pictures? Of the standing/walking/tearing at Mama’s arms? OMFG are you kidding? Pictures are now only possible when child is restrained. Or thrashing about in crib.)

WonderBaby wants action? Bash toys. Bash Mama with toys. Climb Mama. Pummel Mama until she agrees to go to the park. Refuse to recline in stroller. Sit straight up clutching toys as stroller bounces over curbs. Then insist upon being carried. Then squirm. Squirm more forcefully. Insist upon being put to ground, feet first, to commence walking. Shriek at any sign of resistance.

Keep pushing that swing, peon! Push or I’ll vomit!

Work that playground like the motherfracking future ruler of the universe that you are. Yeah, you, Hippy-Granny-in-the-straw-hat, you’re her bitch, too. Dance! (Cue hippy granny twirling in circles for the sweet, sweet reward of high-pitched WonderBaby giggles. Hippy granny does not realize that this is the dolphin-pitched war cry of the WonderBaby summoning her Army of Infants. Mothers of Toronto – or of the immediate vicinity of Dufferin Grove Park – if your babies are rattling their crib rails and agitating, it is because they have heard the cry and are preparing to take us all down. Be on your guard.)

(You think I’m joking.)

(Ha.)

This child is not seven months old and I’m already whipped. And exhausted. So exhausted. And in dire need of a martini, and pissed off that my body no longer tolerates martinis, because how the fuck am I supposed to get through the coming months, years (gah gah gah), without the cool solace of vodka shaken over ice?

Goddam but this is tough. So tough.

But, but… (You knew this was coming.)

Such sweet, sweet domination. How could I be anything other than completely in her thrall?

Sweet surrender.

Still. One of these days I’m going to do a post entitled How To Know If Your Child Is A Future Despot, which will be based upon a close textual analysis of Xenophon’s Cyropaedia and my personal experiences with WonderBaby. And my tongue will not be in cheek.

*******
By the way – please visit HBM’s Basement again, if you have a chance. There’s another guest there, curled up in one of those beanbag chairs, telling a story and looking for some sympathetic ears. She’s there now; stop in and chat with her.
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    { 36 comments }

    PeetsMom June 9, 2006 at 1:35 am

    That was SO on the money an took me back YEARS to when my first was there…yikes! And Wonderbaby? Really, could she BE any cuter??? I’ve got to stop and go look for the baby albums! Enjoy your baby-bondage!

    mo-wo June 9, 2006 at 1:36 am

    I was going to post yesterday… “I spent 45 minutes arguing with a midget about having something to drink. How was your day?”

    And, I know you post a lot of photos. They are often very pretty. BUT that crib shot is somehow just the loveliest WB photo thus far. sweet.

    krista June 9, 2006 at 6:51 am

    It is impossible to believe you, sorry.

    She is too cute to be so forceeful.

    (Especially in that second to last picture, you tell me that face is causing you trouble? Impossible)

    chichimama June 9, 2006 at 6:58 am

    So, so sorry. May she learn to walk early. It does help, I swear. I had two like her, and once they could walk it got marginally better. Even if it was only because my back didn’t feel like it was going to break all the time.

    She is totally adorable.

    madge June 9, 2006 at 7:32 am

    I, too, have an ultra-high energy girl (HEY, I thought only boys were the super-physical-never-stop-moving types?). I concur that walking makes things a lot easier (mine walked, nay RAN, at nine months).

    I think that also allows them to get more of their ya-yas out and encourages more napping.

    Hang in there. (And try not to think about her at two years old, because…oof.) Also, too cute!

    Dawn June 9, 2006 at 9:14 am

    Yes, I referred to Emily as “Crankus Maximus, Evil Roman Empress”.

    And I am still her bitch. I feel your pain HBM. I feel it. But SHhhhh, don’t let them know, cause it will bad for us…REAL bad.

    Mrs. Chicky June 9, 2006 at 9:19 am

    You know, mothers of older children keep telling me it gets easier but I’m starting to doubt them.

    Yes, you are her bitch and you will remain in that position for some time. Enjoy those martinis.

    Rock the Cradle June 9, 2006 at 9:35 am

    I’m a Manhattan woman myself. Easy on the vermouth.

    I’m Bitch to a former 9 month marathoner baby who climbed out of her crib at 8 months. And the mattress was already as far down as it could go.

    I so totally sympathize. I didn’t realize myself how freakin’ wiped I could be even after she was sleeping through the night. All because she wasn’t sleeping at ALL during the day. No time to myself. I needed her to nap. For my sanity. So after she began to walk, we started religiously going to the playground so she could run herself into exhaustion. Things got much better.

    Now, at 16 months, the Impling is down to one nap a day, and she actually SLEEPS. I just don’t know what to do with myself with all this free time. (Really, I didn’t write that in complete sarcasm.)

    Petite Mommy June 9, 2006 at 9:43 am

    Both of my boys are extremely active too but they are much older. I’m sorry to say it doesnt get much easier until they are older around age 5 or 6.

    Those pics of your daughter are too cute!

    Mother Bumper June 9, 2006 at 9:44 am

    I hope this makes you feel little bit better knowing that I too am being dominated by WonderBaby’s Amazon Admiral, commander of all territories north of the 401. Didn’t you know that crawling is sooooooo last year? Bumper did it for two hours and then immediately I became her bitch “Hold my hands woman I command you to help me walk!”. I guess we should be pleased that we are raising two strong women (who look great in hats). Be strong, HBM, be strong.

    Christina June 9, 2006 at 9:46 am

    Yes, yes, and yes. I understand everything you’ve written, because I’ve also gone through it in one way or another.

    Once she walks, things will get a little easier. As long as you’ve babyproofed the hell out of the house, she’ll wander away to explore, letting you sit on the couch and check mail while she plays on her own.

    But it gets worse in some ways, too. This is just the beginning of the power she will exert as a toddler.

    And I so understand the nap issue. Cordy dropped naps all the time, and now still only takes one short nap a day. My theory is she is afraid of missing the pony rides – she’ll fall asleep, and suddenly there will be pony rides and she’ll miss it and be mad that she missed it.

    bubandpie June 9, 2006 at 9:51 am

    I feel your pain – the Bub loved to walk from the time he was seven months old. It was the best way to keep him happy if you leave my aching back out of the equation and overlook the fact that once you started walking with him, eventually you would have to stop and face the sure-fire tantrum that resulted.

    Check out this website: http://www.thewalkolong.com

    I know some people are foolishly squeamish about anything leash-like, but if I had known about this when Bub was small, I would’ve been on it like a (insert lame simile here: ketchup on a hamburger?).

    J. June 9, 2006 at 9:55 am

    LOL! This is one of your funniest posts that I’ve had the pleasure to read.
    And it makes me miss those days something fierce – believe it or not.

    gingajoy June 9, 2006 at 10:20 am

    oy… just reading that made me want to take a nap, or at least recline and eat bon-bons until this one comes out.
    oh, and I second the endorsement of the baby-leash. sounds like WB and my boy were of the same ilk. Leash/reigns allowed mobility with illusion of freedom. In 6-12 months you’ll thank us;-)

    sunshine scribe June 9, 2006 at 10:23 am

    That goes down in the HBM hall of fame. Hysterical post. Hope the bruises heal :)

    kittenpie June 9, 2006 at 10:23 am

    ugh, it starts now. Pumpkinpie was relatively easy for a long time, but a steady increase of knowledge and will, and some days, yeah, I’m pretty beat myself. It’s all uphill these first few years, isn’t it?!

    Michele June 9, 2006 at 10:24 am

    I KNOW of what you speak, and I believe every word. But damn she is so cute while she does it.

    mothergoosemouse June 9, 2006 at 10:36 am

    Right there with you. CJ is so different from Tacy, in all the ways that you have described WonderBaby. She doesn’t talk (much), but she certainly can shake her head “no” (to every bloody question I ask her) and throw a hell of a tantrum. It’s been this way for months, and the only reason I haven’t yet sold her to the gypsies is that she is so damn cute.

    Jenn June 9, 2006 at 10:44 am

    I know this is like the lame comment that everyone leaves….but YEA! I’m with ya totally on this one! I have an 8 month old daughter and she’s tough! I thought I was tough, but NO! I’m whipped, and she’s boss. And she sleeps through the night and people say….Oh, she sleeps through the night? What are you tired for? *sigh* Whoa….yea, I’d be dead if she didn’t. I’m just a big mama puppet to cater to her. And I’ll like it!!!

    Bahar June 9, 2006 at 10:55 am

    (previously Sky) Dear HBM, when I read what you have written, it feels like my mom is describing my first 7 months! Apparently first babies (girls) like to dominate! As my dad recalls, I started climbing ladders, trees and other structures(!) before I was one year old! (did I mention I was born with wide open big-fucking eyes that scared the hell out of the doctor?)

    She is going to rule, no doubt.

    metro mama June 9, 2006 at 11:07 am

    I hear you! I too have a little tyrant. If I don’t give her what she wants fast enough, she screams at the top of her lungs.

    As soon as she goes to bed at night I reach for the martini shaker. :)

    Andrea June 9, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    I was shaking my head with the funny of this. Oh the funny! And I still have a pat on the back for Mama. Mamamamamamamamama! It gets better. And how cool is that that you’ll be the mother of such a leader! Special privileges for you when she gets there!

    In all seriousness, I remember those days. Hang in there. They are fun-filled (tongue not in cheek) because you will laugh with them so much, but they are heinous because they just kick your ass. And I’m thinking of another one??? Hullo!

    Jaelithe June 9, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    My son was a non-stop mover and shaker like this at this age, and also did not sleep through the night.

    And you’re right, it did kill me, I think. I am fairly certain I now qualify as a zombie.

    Jezer June 9, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    oh dear god, you’re scaring me. really.

    MommyWithAttitude June 9, 2006 at 1:38 pm

    Push peon or I’ll vomit!

    Bwahaha! Just snorted coffee through my nose, and what a perfect picture!

    Annie, The Evil Queen June 9, 2006 at 1:41 pm

    I think she and my son, El Presidente, may be plotting to marry and rule the universe together. He has been waking up through the night again lately and naps sporadically during the day. He wants to feed himself until he gets tired, and then flings the food until I feed it to him. Today, he pinched my face hard enough to break the skin.

    But then he does something sweet like pull up my tee shirt so he can rest his sweet baby head on my belly.

    Did I mention my husband is on a three day hiking trip?

    Do you think your body could manage a cosmopolitan if I brought them along to the basement?

    Veronica Mitchell June 9, 2006 at 2:13 pm

    We know how it is. And it is funny.

    And I prefer to think that the indomitable will of my girls is a sign that they will lead the resistance against future despots. Think French Underground, not dictator.

    Amber June 9, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    LOL! You are funny. It’s a good thing she is so cute, huh?

    I lurk around here often, so it was such a nice surprise to see your comment on my blog! Thanks!
    Hope you can come back some time.;)

    :)

    motherhooduncensored June 9, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    I remember those days quite clearly – except Q wouldn’t sleep. I would (ready for this) HOLD her for naps 2x a day, every fucking day.

    It gets better. If you call chasing around a mouthy toddler better :)

    chelle June 9, 2006 at 5:25 pm

    hehe! Ahhh Motherhood, whoever says it is easy hasn’t done it or lying! I adore your full on honesty.

    I wish I could say it will get easier however, they learn how to run and screech!

    Mel June 9, 2006 at 6:56 pm

    Oh, yes. Those are such good times!
    NOT.
    I had a smile on my face for this one. Great post!

    lildb June 9, 2006 at 11:26 pm

    I’m having one of those days where I empathize with everything I read. But this post – THIS post. Sheesharooni! I feel like you wrote that from notes discovered sloshing around in my soupy brain.

    Well, except for the fact that they’re *your* words, and they’re funny and wise and articulate and nothing like mine. But other than that, exactly! Yes.

    *hugs HBM really hard for solace, then runs back to check in with her lord and master, the lil mister, to see if he deigns to accept a token of her servitude*

    bunmaster June 9, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    Her loyal servant & rear-guard Admiral Squirmy Mc Twistalot awaits marching orders in the nation’s capital. Perhaps the babes shall overrun Parliament & secure wonderous free daycare for anyone who wants it. Either that or they can spend all their time banging on the desks & swinging from the lights. After we walk them around the Senate with our backs breaking of course.

    I am now a jungle gym & my laptop is covered in drool. Ditto on the lack of naps & exhaustion. I’d write more but Doodles squirms on my lap yet again at 11:49 pm. Argh!

    Karen June 9, 2006 at 11:56 pm

    Take heart. My own small despot did not nap AT ALL EVER.

    And then all of a sudden, at 11 months, she fell into a 2.5 hr daily nap. The trick was not trying to make it early, but around 11 am with a later lunch. It rocked my world to have those 2 some hours to myself.

    Of course, she gave it up cold turkey at 27 months, but my oh my, it was beautiful while it lasted!

    T. June 11, 2006 at 12:54 pm

    Oh the memories you are resurrecting…

    How I am jonesing for a baby. I’d take the squirmy squiggles of a child hell bent on mommy domination any day over the whines of a pathetically sick nine year old, whose only goal in life is to see how quickly she can drive me to the funny farm…

    Nancy June 11, 2006 at 11:20 pm

    Oh, I have one of those. No interest in toys, unless it’s flinging them on the ground. Moving constantly, climbing EVERYTHING, eating on a whim and then refusin the next second. Sporadic sleeper. I hear ya.

    But damn, Wonder Baby’s so adorable. I guess mine is too, theoretically. ;-)

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