The Portugal Years: Year Five – Not The Momma!

Susie in the Jumper.
Susie in the Jumper.

After two years and four months with my compliant first-born, I had, I thought,  certain understandings about babies. One of them was that when people want to hold the baby, that said baby would entertain those people in an adorable and engaging manner. Another expectation was that I would have ten minutes a day all for myself.

In the early 1990’s there was a TV show called Dinosaurs where the baby dinosaur was  attached to his mother. His response to any other people was “Not the Momma.” Though we were still in the 80’s and the show debuted in the early 90’s, I am convinced that Susie was the prototype for the show. She had no time for other people, but she was a real cuddle bug with me.

I fell in love with her in spite of the lack of time alone. After she was crawling, I tried to get a solo stint in the “necessary” one night. I snuck out of the living room and tiptoed down the hall. I didn’t turn on the light or close the door. She missed me and began the trek down the hall and passed the bathroom saying “Mama, Mama………..” in time to the sound of her knees.

Sweet as she was in her devotion to me, it presented certain challenges. Her “fussy hour” coincided with time to cook dinner. I could nurse her until she fell asleep and before I could open a cookbook she was singing her “I’ve been abandoned” song. I tried putting her in the “Johnny Jump-up”  over the doorway. The idea was that she could be able to see me. Except she was crying with her eyes shut.

One day I remembered the front carrying baby tote I had received when Bethy was a toddler. I looked at the gas range and the length of my arms and decided that if I was careful, I could bundle her into it while I made dinner. It worked! Susie slept and I knew she was fine. Bethy lost her worried look because Susie was not crying and Daddy came home to a peaceful house with dinner on the table.

And the summer and the winter were the fifth year…

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24 thoughts on “The Portugal Years: Year Five – Not The Momma!

  1. I love coming here, especially in the Holiday Season. It’s always snowing!
    Your stories of the trials and tribulations of raising your sweet children, not just raising them, but raising them in Lusitania, are always fresh and wonderful to read. Never stop writing.

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    1. Thank you, Mr. Spencer. Walking down memory lane is a bitter-sweet experience. And I seem to find too many whatifs. You know. If I had done this, or that or hadn’t done the other…But overall I’m enjoying it.

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    1. Ah well. She’s got one of her own now. 😀 My mother used to tell us that she hoped we got one just like ourselves. Apparently, one does not need to put the mother’s curse for it to come in any case. My beautiful granddaughter is very like her mother.

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        1. Now, you see, there is no easy answer. Middle daughter is the only one of mine who was difficult with sleep. She is also a highly sensitive person like her mother and we both can get easily overly stimulated to where we find it difficult to get right to sleep at night. My son was sleeping through the night from the time he was born.

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  2. Aww, she’s your Mama’s Baby! My son was mine…and he, too, reminded me of Baby on “Dinosaurs”. It was a big difference between him and my Little Miss Independent daughter. LOL! ❤

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    1. I loved that connection, too. We still have it, it just manifests differently. I was blessed to be able to spend so much time with my children, and I LOVED them then and now.

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