Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mom Knowledge

As the owner of an unreliable brain, as I like to call it, I write things down all the time so I don't forget them. If I don't, I forget far too much, and the results can be comic or they can be semi-disastrous. On top of that, I have the added burden, it turns out, of being a Motherless Mother, which, according to Hope Edelmann, makes me even more likely to take 1,000 steps just in case something happens to me. (Although I actually didn't loose my mom until I was 27 years old, so I should probably try to let these fears go at least until the Bug is potty trained.)

So. In a few days, the Bug will be staying with her grandparents without me. I'll be in a whole different country. I'm a little freaked out by this. I know she'll have a great time and I will have a super productive time at the conference, and my dad and step-mom are going to have a super time with the Bug, but I'm still a little freaked out. I'm going to be in a WHOLE DIFFERENT COUNTRY.

In addition to making sure I have everything I need to take the Bug on a plane without DH, I've created a document called "stuff to know about the Bug" that I'm going to print out and give to my folks. They will almost certainly tell me I'm being silly, and maybe they'll have a point. It is chock-full of practical details like how to get in touch with her pediatrician,  her dosages of a couple different fever reducers, and her bedtime routine, all tidily in one place.

But there is this whole other set of knowledge I'm not sure I can write down or that I'll even remember. It is one thing to say that she takes 1.2 mL of infant tylenol, but what about her preference for emptying laundry baskets, or carrying her stuffed monkey around her neck? What about how she most of the time likes to sleep with her head touching something silky or something soft? What about all of the spots where she is ticklish or the fact that she'll mostly be still to have her nails trimmed during Dirt Girl World, but not during Thomas the Tank Engine? This is the short version of the list. In fact, I'm willing to bet that I don't know the whole list myself.

I guess all of this is what I'll call Mom Knowledge. The 1,000 little things that I know as her mom that no one else knows. I've been the one most intimately with her on a day-to-day basis, and so I know her quirks, I know her likes, I know her dislikes. These are things that other people just don't know, and I'm not even aware of them, I just respond to them, deal with them, live with them. These aren't the sort of things that I learn in an e-mail from BabyCenter. It's just stuff I know, stuff I do, stuff I've stored in muscle memory, where cognition can't mess with it.

I'll bet she'll be more fine than I will. She's younger, and far more adaptable than me.

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