So Andrew and I took Ewan to his first house party tonight. It was a birthday party for a younger friend of ours, a fantastic gentleman by the name of JW who I did my Masters with. JW used to live in the bachelor apartment above our old place and is famous for getting “disasterfaced” and saying/doing hilarious things. When Andrew was away, I spent many a night drinking and joking around with JW and the odd night dragging his drunk ass up a few flights of stairs to bed. It had been ages since I’d had a drunk JW night so I was particularly excited to go to his birthday party, have a beer, and reminisce.
Well, Ewan charmed the pants off of everybody and even though it was 2000 degrees in JW’s apartment and there were semi to full-on intoxicated gentlemen everywhere, he didn’t seem bothered. It seemed that as far as he was concerned, there was heaps of stuff to look at, plenty of people goo goo-ing at him, and so therefore nothing to get upset about. Excellent. But Mummy Ezmy? Well, she had fun. But it was all weird, for a number of reasons. First Andrew and I are the first of our younger group of friends to have kids. For obvious reasons – we’re in our early 30s and they are in their mid 20s, an age difference that generally means nothing but in this case is something. I got the distinct impression that some people were uncomfortable with the presence of said baby or at the very least thought I was strange for bringing him. And maybe I am strange. I’ve always been of the mind that kids should only change things so much; further, I’ve never quite understood why some places/social situations aren’t considered kid-friendly. I mean, it’s probably not the best idea to bring a toddler who has just discovered her own voice to, say, an important speaking event or a quiet restaurant, but house parties are house parties and as far as I’m concerned, people need to get used to the fact that I come with a kid now. So there was that.
Second, it was the first time I had gone to a place where I wasn’t expected to talk about the kid the whole time and that was beyond refreshing. It can be tiring, relaying the labour story and such over and over again, and the great thing about a room full of mostly young men is that you can be pretty much guaranteed that none of them wants to hear the tale. Instead, I got to talk about school and politics and life outside our house and that was just delightful.
And third, there was the fact that I had to leave early. Boo. It was the first time that Andrew and I had to do the “ok, so we’ll both go but one of us has to leave early to look after the kiddo” thing and, because the kiddo needs me as a source of nourishment, I had to go home early. Lame with a capital L. See, the house party was moving to the bar and of course I can’t bring Ewan to the bar. Which is stupid – bars are non-smoking now and he sleeps through pretty much anything so what the hell. Sigh. Andrew drove me home and went back out and I felt…well, sad. Like I was missing out on something – fun conversation, dancing, and so on. But here’s the kicker – I was tired too. I needed to go home. I needed to relax on the couch with the kid. And as I sit here, writing this blog with my handsome little boy lying next to me, I can’t help but be happy to have these few moments alone with him, all maxed out on the couch with a hot milk.
So I’m between Ezmys. I feel like I’m losing this old way of life that I’m not quite ready to let go of. I loved that life – random pub nights and wine bars and house parties and dancing. I loved the freedom and I miss it. A lot. But then I look at this little man and I suddenly don’t want to do anything but stare at him and kiss him all over his cute-as-hell little face. Most confusing.
I feel like things will get better when he’s not breastfeeding and when we can actually get a babysitter. Breastfeeding in particular really takes away from my sense of self. Indeed, I can’t think of a single activity in the child-raising experience that makes me feel less like myself and more lost and disconnected than breastfeeding. If it weren’t for the health benefits and the money, I’d stop right now. And it’s more the money, if I’m being honest. Frankly, I’m a little disappointed by this realization. I always thought breastfeeding was weird – great for other people but weird. But I thought that once I had my own kid, I’d sort of come around to it. Well, here we are and I still think it’s weird. I have moments where I’m proud of myself for creating such a fat baby with my own homemade food. But a lot of the time, I resent the fact that I alone am responsible for feeding him. I hate that I’m chained to him through the boob and others (read: Andrew) are not. I just don’t feel like myself when I’m engaged in this act – sometimes I even feel like I’m losing a part of myself while I’m feeding him. Terrible. Worse, I find myself looking forward to a time when he’s on solid food and on the boob less and that troubles me because I don’t want to wish away this time when he’s all cuddly and little. Sigh.
Speaking of feeding, off I go now to pump the little munchkin full of boob milk….tata for now.