Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Love is not selfish.

I reminded myself that selfishness includes the times I whine about feeling underappreciated so I tried to focus on doing what I do out of love.
The exercise included buying something that says I’m thinking of you. Well, I didn’t buy anything as money is tight but I offered to accompany him on his errands to offer support. He seemed to really enjoy this. He said he likes to have his family close to him even on mundane errands. This particular day would be a busy day so the night before, I packed the diaper bag, made sandwiches and packed an assortment of snacks for us. I also pulled out a set of clothes for BG and packed the stroller so we wouldn’t be rushing in the morning.
By the time we returned home at 7pm, I was tired and drained. BG was hungry and needed a diaper change. I knew the night would be rough as her schedule was all out of whack from the day before as Election Day and Election Night get together interrupted her naps.
DH was attempting to be nice by obsessing over my desire to find a NY Times for BG’s scrapbook. I told him in the morning it would be nice but wouldn’t be a biggie if I didn’t get it as every newsstand in NYC was sold out. He kept saying we could go to the NY Times building even though I told him that BG and I were tired and needed to settle in.
He finally let it go and dropped us off in front of the building. One of the things I dislike is how he drops us off or picks us up but sits in the car while I fumble with the stroller, car seat and luggage. So I asked him to help me pull out the stroller as I packed up the toys and goodies in the back seat. It was raining and the sooner I could get BG inside the better. He obliged and then sat in the front seat fumbling for what looked like his iPhone.
I lost my temper there. I finished packing up all the odds and ends and he was still in the front seat so I told him I’d take care of it. I got out of the car and removed the stroller from the trunk. DH got out and said that I need to be patient and allow him to help me or not complain that he doesn’t help. Then he proceeded to go into the backseat and rearrange the odds and ends I piled together to put in the stroller storage. As I stood in the rain outside next to the stroller waiting for him, I grew more aggravated. My breasts ached. I was tired, hungry and now wet. BG needed a diaper change and a bath and needed to eat. I was getting cranky.
He proceeded to tell me that I am too impatient and that if he says he’ll help me, to allow him. I asked him to help me by going back into the car as his scolding of me was not helping me. I unpacked all the stuff he shoved into the diaper bag which nearly ripped because of the overpacked mess. I put the odds and ends into the stroller basket, picked up the diaper bag and snapped BG into the stroller and walked to the other end of the building to enter via the ramp.
DH parked the car. By the time he made it into the apartment, I had changed, gone to the bathroom, changed BG’s diaper, cleaned the kitchen sink, emptied and refilled the dishwasher, threw a few salmon fillets into the oven and boiled a pot of water for pasta.
I started feeding BG when DH noted it may be too late to give BG a bath. I agreed. He then asked me what was for dinner and I told him salmon and pasta as I was starving and needed to sustenance. He then proceeded to inform me that a handful of almonds would sustain me until I cooked dinner. I declined. He exclaimed he didn’t understand why if I was starving why I wouldn’t eat almonds to which I responded, “Because I desire dinner and not nuts.”
Why couldn’t he have said, “Don’t worry about dinner. I’ll take care of it?” I truly dislike feeling as if my desire to eat something more than sandwiches, eggs, grapefruit and nuts is my quirk hence the need for me to be responsible for the meals in the house.
But in the end, I just tried to let it go and prepare for a fussy night.
I knew the night would be a bit fussy because of the schedule changes for BG and my own exhaustion. When the mom is exhausted, it makes everything, breastfeeding, diaper changes, cuddling, that much harder. Plus baby’s exhaustion effects her ability to fall asleep. After her late meal, I asked DH to soothe her. After 30 minutes of fussiness, he exclaimed that I should know better that she prefers to fall asleep on me at the end of the day while breastfeeding. “You’re trying to change her schedule.”
I exclaimed that she wasn’t hungry anymore and was fussing on my breast so I knew she just needed to be swaddled and soothed to sleep. He didn’t seem to like this response and so I took BG and sang and swayed with her for about an hour. We had a few dozes but nothing substantial. After an hour my shoulder was beat. DH saw me and took BG. The next thing I know I was out like a light.
I guess for this lesson it can be said that both of us are unselfish at times. We’re new parents and the sleep deprivation can get the best of us but in the end, after the snaps and jabs, we both tag teamed together. I guess that’s part of parenthood but more importantly it’s I believe it’s a sign of our strong relationship. Sure we’d like to each other to be more attentive to each other but we’ve got more important things on our mind, our daughter. When push comes to shove, our energy reserves are for our daughter and even though we may be snappy and jumpy, in the end, we’re working together for the common good.
This was reaffirmed this morning while we were in bed. DH turned to me groggy eyed. We were both exhausted but through the fog he reached out for my hand and held it tight. We smiled at each other and clinked heads as our fuel supply was low. As we lay there hand in hand, heads touching, DH said he was happy to go through this crazy whirlwind with me. I smiled and squeezed his hand and as we both closed our eyes to catch a little more zzzs, we heard a loud toot come from our daughter’s crib then some babbling. The minions were back on duty.