Meet Thumper – The Oldest Boy of Aspen Real Life. With him I became a mother, which brought forth a fierceness that I didn’t know I was capable of.
With the birth of Thumper, our now seventeen year old son, Baddy and I were the happiest people alive, running to his crib at the first sound of his little voice singing and calling “MAMA” & “DADA” each morning. Our love grew stronger for each other as we fell deeper in love with our baby boy.
Mothering the First Baby
I adored being a mother and was surprised that I was capable of so much nurturing. Refusing to have one of those greasy-haired, snot infested babies that make one quickly glance away and move on, our baby was going to attract people with skin fuzzy as a fresh peach, trimmed nails and newly washed baby-chicken fluffy hair. Like a mommy Gorilla, I was incessantly grooming and futzing with him, straightening his clothes and pulling prize boogers out of his nose into a readily handy tissue.
Everything was new and exciting, even when his schedule flipped and he began to sleep during the day and nights became lessons on how to entertain a baby as awake as a bat at sunset. That was when Baddy kicked in, walking and singing to him in his arms as he strolled around the house, becoming Baddy Zombie with each passing sleepless night.
And then there was the diaper changing. All it took was a coupla shots directly into my surprised mouth before I developed an efficient system with diapies, mama’s best friend – I didn’t realize it at the time but Thumper knew exactly what he was doing. This was a game for him…”Wait for it…..”
We catered to Thumper’s every demand, disabling him from learning how to be independent and master challenges on his own (we didn’t know that too much catering makes for bad husbands). As I did my chores around the house I had to move him every 10 minutes when he would start to fuss, from the baby bjorn to toy stations to exercise saucers to the play mats to the vibrating chair to the bungee jumper. Even then he had a restless energy that needed constant attention.
Motherhood redefined me as a person. Gone were the days of leisure. Gone were the spontaneous nights of play and fun with my friends. Gone was the sex. They should have had a sex therapist preparing me on how to keep the love alive with my horny, starved for attention husband who would come into our bed and snuggle up to me after I had just, after falling asleep mid-suck, swatted a baby away from my nipple. “The sucking,” I’d moan, “It never stops,” sending him the loud and clear message, don’t even think of sucking or being sucked because I am oh so done.
Sex was no longer on my list as one of the simple pleasures in life, and Baddy’s Chippendale mating dance on our balcony wasn’t helping.
What I really needed was a double shot of espresso dumped into a few ounces of tequila, but I learned quickly that the payback spit-up was not worth the short fix into buzz-world.
Regardless of how much I adored our Thumper, I was in a state of constant shock at the reality of the responsibilities that went with raising a rambunctious, inquisitive, funny, little curly-headed boy. Nobody ever told me that life doesn’t stop so that you can sniff, bounce, coo to and nurture your new baby with all of your heart and soul. The perfunctory routine of life still continued and if you were going to be a mama, you had to keep up.
I often wondered why, along with birthing classes, there wasn’t a mandatory class for unsuspecting parents on child rearing. I think they didn’t want to scare us into not wanting the kid anymore….actually, it would be way better idea to have parenting classes before you decide to throw caution to the wind…..
Wise Words For Those Pre-Parents Getting Ready to Throw Caution to The Wind
Those maternity nurses spent so much time preparing you on how to breathe properly when in labor, a waste of time for people like me who have no tolerance for pain and go for the epidural without fully asking about the risks (It’s our childhood dentist’s fault really, giving me and my sisters laughing gas to kill our brain cells while pulling a tooth).
They should have had a consultant from La Leche League to teach me how to drink enough water and eat enough milk producing food so that I could have prevented my large American breasts from becoming horrifyingly deflated South pointing sacks from my ravenous milk-sucking boys.
I was living proof that boys are more demanding from their mothers than girls in the early stages of infancy with their ravenous appetites.
But Thumper was, and still is, an adorable Golden-Retriever of a boy who loves to entertain…even though a smug-mouthed (soon to be fired) babysitter once informed me that Thumper was very good at needing to be entertained by the other child in the playgroup who was actually very good at entertaining. Who never gave her the memo to NEVER criticize a mother’s child?
At the age of three, the time when boys tend to reach their terrible twos, his humor began to shine, as did his crazy energy. Soon I noticed that I had grown a button on my bottom that was wired to him where whenever I sat down it rang an alarm in his head causing him to make a demand. It became apparent that the time was now to go for number 2. Thumper needed a playmate. (Segue to Axel).