Kitten Watch Update: June 11

Knocking on the door of four weeks old, the Qs are equal parts Wobbly and Playful and quite clearly on their way to the Mischievous Monsters phase. Since the Terrible Twos/Threes were some of my favorite parts* of child-rearing, I am here for it. BUT THE POOR Ls, friends. The Tinies have thus far managed to take cover under the mommies and avoid being pummeled by the Qs, but the Ls have fully entered the Exploration phase which means they place themselves inadvertently in the paths of the Qs who come careening down on them without warning—BOOF!—and bowl them over. It’s basically every big sibling vs. little.

Me: “Oh, Lynx, watch out for—“ BOOF! “…Quasar.” 🤦🏻‍♀️

And Lynx is smooshed. Flattened. But ALSO in the fashion of little siblings, oddly unharmed and… sort of cool with the whole thing? Like, “thanks for paying attention to me, Quasar. I’ll just lay here for a minute and catch the breath you knocked out of me.” Little siblings are made out of Tough Stuff. (Ask my little brother.) Or else all the concussions affect their ability to properly process pain. (Also ask my little brother. Except no I did NOT make him bleed from the ears. HE IS LYING, MOM. He’s a lying liar who lies.)

The past couple days, though, the Ls have leveled up. They’re starting to initiate the shenanigans. We’re officially entering Crazy Kitten Fun.

Pictured: Radia with Alula and Lyra.

*Just to be clear, when I say the Terrible Twos/Threes were some of my favorite parts of child-rearing, I mean it was consuming and exhausting and most days I wondered if I’d survive it. I was a dish rag, squeezed out and wrung dry. HOWEVER, unlike many of my peers, I loved the Defiance Stage. Their squished up little faces, feet planted, yelling NO. I mean, I loved my babies—I did—but the whole Guess Why the Baby’s Crying and Guess What the Baby Needs game ABOUT DID ME IN. So when my kids were having full meltdown tantrums because they asked for crackers and I gave them… wait for it… crackers, I was all AT LEAST WE ARE COMMUNICATING.

OK, to those of you concerned about my daughter and son-in-law and the many ways our Very Laissez-Faire, Very Underdressed, Very Procrastinating family (particularly ME) may Ruin the Wedding, THANK YOU. You are kind, compassionate humans who have the best interests of my humans at heart, and I LOVE you for it.

HOWEVER, DO NOT WORRY. Even though the wedding is in a week, there is no need to fret. Here’s why:

1. As you can see from Abby and Chandler’s 2020 Not-Wedding (when they dressed up on the day we were supposed to have the wedding), NO ONE WILL BE LOOKING AT THE REST OF US. These two are UNREASONABLY BEAUTIFUL. Frankly, there’s no way to steal the spotlight from them.

2. For the 23 years of Abby’s life, we have been Absolutely Unconcerned with Appearances, so we have fully brainwashed her into the Cult of Authenticity. Abby is ON BOARD with us being our wild, free selves, and she spends zero minutes thinking we reflect poorly on her. Poorly on ourselves, maybe 😂, but she correctly knows that Isn’t Her Problem. This is one of the Keys to Happiness.

3. Chandler, while only four years in, has been fully inducted into our Wonky Ways. He chose her, we chose him, and now he’s One of Us, through and through. It’s far too late for him.

4. Yes, I realize there are Things I Should Be Doing for the wedding. And I AM, albeit more slowly and with more kitten breaks than probably makes sense. HOWEVER, there are several factors at play here. Mainly, a) I’m old enough to understand that I can get things done WITH lots of stress or WITHOUT lots of stress, and I choose the latter, and b) I have a handle on my priorities which are maintaining good relationships and protecting my mental health. So I spend my time wherever wedding prep furthers my relationships without detracting from my (literal) sanity. For example, I FINALLY finished sorting decorations because Abby cares about them. But Greg is still slated to wear snowman pajama pants—or go naked—because she couldn’t care less about his outfit (see also: Cult of Authenticity.) I want you to know, though, that Greg DOES have a tie that matches my MOB dress, so his naked torso is gonna look fantastic in that. 😍

I had a Panicked Mommy Moment this morning. I’ve been feeding Mary and Jane on a fairly strict schedule, every 3 hours except overnight when they stretch to 5 so I can sleep. Between the syringe feedings and Quantum and Leap feeding in tandem, though, they’re still gaining only the teeniest, TINIEST amounts. Not even close to the weight gain “norm.” Now, they’re not *losing* weight, they’re latching, they’re energetic, their eyes are open, and the mommies are attentive, so I’m not too, TOO worried. But I am diligent, you know? Careful about the schedule.

So when I woke up today and realized I missed my alarm, stretching the weed sisters from 5 hours to EIGHT, I felt horrible. HORRIBLE. Imagining these itty bitty babies GOING HUNGRY because of ME. 😱😭

I rushed to the kitty room with the formula and weighed them. AND WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT, they had their BEST gain in recent days. So I fed them, but I also decided to stretch out their daytime feedings. And again, much better gains. Almost like my hovering interference has been hindering rather than helping. 🤦🏻‍♀️ FFS.

Y’all, raising kittens is, so far, exactly like raising humans. I take my responsibilities seriously. I REALLY don’t want to fuck this up and cause harm. I try hard. I wonder if I’m doing it right. And I work tirelessly… right up until I’m too tireFUL to go on. So I lay off. I HAVE to. My body and brain demand it, and I am at their mercy. Then I beat myself up and tell myself SURELY I BROKE MY CHILDREN. Except… when I lay off? My kids thrive. 🙄 When I lay off? They become more independent. Better able to meet their own needs. More confident. More self-assured. The ungrateful turds. It is ANNOYING that they don’t need me to be QUITE so obsessed with them. **Almost as if they already have the inherent tools to thrive if I will just allow them the freedom to do so.** UGH.

Friends, it is HARD to release our children to their own devices as they grow. It is so much more comforting to micromanage the shit out of their upbringing. I’m not going to lie; I PREFER CONTROL. But too much control hinders them. It keeps them from growing. NO ONE is more disappointed by this fact than me.

ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
1 comment
  1. Yeah, I’m struggling with stepping back, too. It’s especially hard when I’m trying to step back a bit from my neurodivergent son. This is hard.

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