Friday, January 05, 2007

What a week

Well, we survived the first week of the New Schedules. Just barely, though. Our hacking coughs persist, and I have yet to get anything close to a good night's sleep. We seem to have existed these last few days on sheer willpower. Ess has done very well at daycare, and I've been productive when she's been out of the house. But, yeesh, it sure has been quiet here.

As it is right now, in fact. She is in bed for the night -- she had two eensy weensy naps today and was rubbing her eyes from the moment I picked her up -- and D is still at work. He's not expected home until 9:30-ish, so I'm planning a thrilling Friday night of ravioli and sauce from a jar, plus some work on my freelance story that's due Monday. That is, if I don't collapse from exhaustion first.

Or self-doubt. That's the other thing I might collapse from. I've been meaning to write a separate post about my relationship to authority figures vis a vis Miss Ess, but it's sort of seeping out of me now, so here goes. I think perhaps the very biggest lesson I need to learn right now is that I am Ess' mother and thus know what is best for her. And not only that, but that I have a responsibility to advocate on her behalf.

Now, nothing serious has come up that causes this manifesto to spring forth. But I have a bad habit of automatically deferring to authority figures and then bitching about it later. Or, worse, figuring out later that something I've nodded along to actually won't work.

Case in point: In her rundown of Ess' day, our daycare provider mentioned that Ess had been ravenous all morning. So she ran through the three bottles I'd provided, plus three meals, by 12:30(!). So in the afternoon she defrosted one of the backup containers of milk we brought over. Which means that Ess had as much breastmilk in nine hours today as she usually does in the twelve I am gone on Thursdays. I let that one slide, under the theory that our daycare provider is still getting to know Ess. Inside, though, I am totally panicking, because there is no way I can pump 12+ ounces of milk in nine hours. No way. So I spend the whole walk home stressing about milk supply and pumping and yadda yadda.

Actually, that's not quite true. What I spent the walk home thinking about, in addition to the bottles, was the fact that she fed Ess spinach -- a food we have not yet introduced -- at one of her meals today. On Wednesday, I provided her with a list of what food Ess has had -- at her request -- so this shouldn't have happened. Like the bottle, it's no big deal in the grand scheme of things, and it's part of the adjustment process between the DCP and us.

But what bothers me is that when the DCP rattled through her rundown of Ess' day and mentioned spinach, I didn't say anything. She's a fast talker, and it's sometimes hard to break in, and I have not yet had a conversation with her in which we are discussing anything remotely unpleasant. On top of which she is older than I am... which makes me feel good about her ability to care for Ess, but also makes it more difficult for me to realize that she is not automatically right about everything. So I didn't say anything, and I should have. I thought about emailing her over the weekend, but that is totally the wussy way out, and I don't want to establish a pattern of using email to deal with things I find difficult to say out loud to her. So I've resolved to either call her on Monday or talk to her on Wednesday when I drop Ess off next.

The other incident that I've been pondering happened a few months back, when the caseworker from Child Development Services was here to screen Ess. She's a perfectly lovely woman -- very low-key and pleasant. She and her co-worker sat on the floor with us and Ess, and cooed at her while they did their assessment. And when they were done, they handed her back to me and I asked if they minded if I nursed her. My own baby. In my own home. As if they could've said no and I would have deferred to them? That's just crazy.

And of course they didn't say no. But it's not them, or their reaction, that I'm bothered by. It's my own automatic deferral to the Official People, especially those who are older than I. It's gotta stop, because there is enough second-guessing in this motherhood business without constantly kicking myself over a decision I should have made or a stance I should have taken. I've gotta get a backbone, and soon.