Annual State of the Harrison Address

It’s that time of year again! The time of year where I hijack the WMC website and use it as my own little mommy blog. #Freeloading #WhyUseABabyBook

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And show off my boobs. I do that, too.

On the 26th of this month our sweet kind-of-big-but-also-not-so-big boy, our rainbow baby, definitely our last little spawn, Dr. Baby himself will turn two. TWO, people. His vocabulary expands by the day- literally; he’s been saying at least one new word daily for the last few months… it’s insane- and we’ve noticed that he can’t say his R’s (freakin. Adorable. We ask him to say the word Bear multiple times a day). He has compassion for others and wants to kiss All The Bo-Bo’s and while male strangers make him a bit wary (sorry, Old White Dude Harrison Growled At At Sam’s Yesterday!) people with disabilities or who might be considered “different” don’t faze him. He has a lot of love inside of him and isn’t shy about expressing it, either by saying “Li Luh Loo” a thousand times a day to friends as well as family, even unprompted, or asking “Okay?” when someone sounds like they’ve gotten hurt or *cough* might mutter a cuss word *cough*. He hasn’t always been a cuddler, yet he gives the BEST hugs. But he isn’t all sugar. He’s perfected the art of the slow, painless, throwing-yourself-down-on-the-floor tantrum, and he’s a climber. Lord, is he a climber. Fearless and disturbingly strong. I’ve stopped trying to get him not to go mountaineering in the house and have resigned myself to supervising and having Bandaids at the ready. He loves Doc McStuffins and fishing and trucks and baby dolls and sticks and his sister and running and any ball he has ever seen, especially footballs, doubly especially when someone will toss the football back and forth with him.

Life with Harrison and Shelby is, to say the least, full and amazing. It’s wild going from secondary conception problems and loss to vasectomy in just three years. While not without the occasional hiccup, becoming a family of four and completing our unit has been a smoother transition than I’d have thought, overall.

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Sissy continues to be supportive… Most of the time.

I’ve learned how different the experience of being a young mom is from being an older mom. I’ve learned how to juggle mothering a hormonal preteen and a rapidly changing infantbabytoddleromgwhatareyounow. I’ve learned the effects of long-term (think years’ worth of) exhaustion has on the body, and a lot about penises. Like, a lot. I’ve also continued to learn how to let go, and, perhaps vying for most important, learned how to reach out for help.

One of those things I’ve reached out for assistance on is weaning. That’s right… He’s STILL still nursing, y’all! If I could instantly dry up the moment the clock strikes midnight on his second birthday, I’d be a happy woman. But I have a sneaking suspicion that ending this amazing journey isn’t going to be that easy. After coming home from the Nurture and Nourish Retreat I immediately put #TakeBakeTheBed2016 into action. I slept with him in his full bed in his room that first night, and he’s never slept in my bed again. And then I started getting an uninterrupted, full night’s sleep every single night and it’s been glorious.

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lol No. I lied. A full night’s sleep? In this house? HILARIOUS. Or maybe I’m just hallucinating? I can’t be sure. I’ve gotten less sleep at night over the last month than I’ve averaged over the last two years + the last four months of my pregnancy and I can’t be sure that I’m even here right now. While he was waking 3-5 times a night to nurse when we coslept, now he’s waking at least that much, often more frequently, and nursing for longer periods of time. And the best part is, instead of us both groggily finding each other and dozing back to dream land while he nursed, now I have to walk down the hall, get in his bed, nurse for 20 minutes to an hour (or more!!!), then go back to my own bed, while often realizing I need a drink or need to pee or both, and sometimes lying back down just in time to hear him screaming again. I’ve run out of fumes. At this point I’m simply running on spite for anyone that might naysay my parenting choices.

And remember when I said in last year’s post that I was going to try to get Shelby and Harrison to fill their mutual need for cuddles by just sleeping together? How innocent I was. That has happened exactly twice. And while they both slept great, trying to figure out the right formula to get them into bed amicably has been the real challenge. I’ll jot that down on my Goals for 2017 list.

But we have made some progress. When I returned from the beach, I also put into practice the suggestion Amy Jones shared with me to sing a song while he nurses and then unlatch him. Because I will sometimes sing a second round of the Alphabet Song if I feel he needs a little more boob time, I’ve taken to ending the session with a Cha Cha Cha! Super fun in public. But it works. After a few days he seemed to get the hang of it, and the crying has lessened. Sometimes, if I forget to sing, I can even go ahead and say cha cha cha and he’ll unlatch and move along by himself. It’s pretty dang cool.

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Look at that precious face. LOOK AT IT.

In addition to reaching out to the BBC community for weaning help, I’ve also finally sought help with my mental health. Self Care, if not in practice, has certainly in theory become a huge part of my life. Even Dustin has caught on, asking if I need this or that in order to engage in self care, and sometimes even seeking his own. I’m hoping I can continue perusing therapy, medication (especially once H is fully weaned and I can explore that much-needed resource further), and small things like time alone and writing or creating.

Last year, I compared the first year of my baby’s life to an amusement park ride. While that’s not entirely inaccurate, I think the old metaphor of motherhood being a marathon is more appropriate.

I may have found that I didn’t prepare adequately for this, I might be worn out, I might ache all over, I might be out of breath, but the support I get from the sidelines, and that finish line 7 and 16 years, respectively, ahead of me keeps me going. I can’t wait to see what adventure this little boy has for me next. (#Foreshadowing…)

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His first haircut is next week, and his transition from baby to boy will be complete…
Hold me.

__________________
anna

In addition to being an admin and editor for WMC, Anna is a mother and wife and writer and editor. You can see all the Oxford commas she approved in the upcoming book Hard Roll, coming out Spring 2017.

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