Monday, July 9, 2012

The Alpha Monkey

I am a mom.  I grew a person inside of me and that person is now part of the world.  I made someone who will think for herself and walk and talk and be something.  And I'm still not sure how it all happened.

In the 7 weeks that I've had to figure it all out, I'm still living each hour by trial and error.  I still have to convince myself that standing up out of the chair while she is asleep is not going to cause her to scream now or hate me when she's 13 (she'll most likely do that regardless of how many times I stir her while she's sleeping).  When I'm frozen, breathless, by her crib, I have to remind myself that 1. She's surely not listening for me to breathe and 2. I do need to leave the room.  But there are a lot of unwarranted fears that come along with motherhood.  Many of them are concocted in my head.  Many of them come from what everyone else has to say about caring for a child.

In the 7 weeks that I've had to figure it all out, I've come across something that every mom struggles with, it seems.  For 7 weeks, I haven't been able to put it into words.  And then I ran across this blog from one of my favorites.  Alpha female monkeys.

A friend of mine had her baby one week after I had Emerson.  We have gotten to share the many joys and struggles of the beginning of motherhood.  We have also swapped advice or information on good products.  I will admit, however, that there was something inside of me that wanted to advise and warn her about all of the things to come in the week ahead (because I was a whole week ahead of her--duh!).  So, the alpha female monkey phenomenon happens to even the newest of us.

It does make me feel better to know that all of those seemingly normal women who smothered me with sage advice and backdoor comments are only acting out of instinct.  There was no physical way they could bite their tongues.  Something literally takes over their bodies and they must shove everyone out of the way to care for your child.  Give them a break--its natural.

But because you are wondering: Yes, my baby is getting plenty to eat and, actually, she's rather plump.  She's sleeping like a champion, so she's probably not tired.  In general, we keep a clean, dry diaper on that little bum at all times.  And, given the manly burps and farts that come out of her, I doubt she's got a horrible gas bubble sitting in her belly.  Babies sometimes just cry.

When my blogger friend says this, however, I think she may be taking it a bit too far.

All you have to do is gently, but firmly, hold their arm and whisper, "I know what you're trying to do. You're trying to steal my monkey baby. Don't bother though because, let me tell you something, I am the Alpha Female here so you need to back the hell off and go back to smelling your ass."

Personally, I just go for the silent nod and ignore.

But I do like to imagine these alpha female monkey women as gorillas instead of the cute, small monkeys that they really are.

Because my baby likes me more than gorillas.

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