Real, irrational, chaotic absence of form. Surreal. Blurring the boundary between body and body.
“Touching infants changes their breathing, body temperature, growth rate, blood pressure, stress levels and growth itself. In other words, the mother’s body is the only environment to which the human infant is adapted.
“As Dr. Winnecott, the famous child psychologist put it, ‘There is no such thing as a baby, there is a baby and someone.’”
Yeah little dude, I don’t like it when I put you in your swing to go to the bathroom either. I too am more comfortable letting you squirm on the bath mat at my feet.
Yup, Theobear, holding you beats wearing you beats pushing you in a stroller. Simultaneously talking/singing/dancing is ideal because it’s best to keep the maximum number of my faculties engaged while moving you through the world.
Oh Theo buddy, when I left you in your crib during the day to see if you’d sleep there, it didn’t kill me that you lost your mind. Someday I won’t hold you for all your naps, but that day is not today.
I enjoy worrying the question of the moment and degree to which I separated from this baby. When did I become we? When he was a fertilized egg: one person. When he was a lizard-like being totally connected to and dependent on my body: I’m going to go with still one. When I felt him kick, was he then a separate person? Or was he just the part of me that kicks? When did my body divide, exactly, into one large and one small human?
I am sure it’s not as simple as we were one person before he was born and two after.
Looking at baby Theo’s form separated from my form, I see his eyebrows knit in sadness and it’s an expression I’ve seen looking in the mirror. I know just the feeling that makes a face look like that. Or I imagine I do. Is it still empathy if it feels like it’s you?
Theo feels like the part of me that’s tired. The part that cries. The part that just learned to roll over. The part that smiles at the ceiling fan and sits in his dad’s hands like a throne.
If we’re still in the process of separating, when does it stop? When I leave him for a night? When he stops nursing? When he goes to college? When will I have that important understanding that he is separate from me and give him autonomy?
I hope it’s at the right time.
These days, yoga is the most personal thing I do in a week and my critical yoga gear is now one headband and one baby.