Mother’s Day is just around the corner and thinking about it, I am reminded of a wonderful little bundle of joy I was given last year. No, not Annika. That was two years ago. Yep, she was born the day before Mother’s Day. It was definitely the best Mother’s Day gift I have ever gotten and every year she will continue to be the best Mother’s Day gift.
I have already sworn that I will never one of those moms that hints around for gifts and instead I will use Mother’s Day to remind myself that the best gift my child can give me is her presence (pun intended).
However, I am lucky in that, Toyin, even though he certainly doesn’t have to, still buys me presents occasionally.
Last year, on my second official Mother’s Day, Toyin gave me an iPod Touch for Mother’s Day and it was hands down the best gift he has ever given me, other than Annika. And he, unlike previous men in my life, gives really good gifts.
The year before, a couple of months after Annika was born, he split the cost of a new laptop for me. The first year we dated, he took me to a bed and breakfast for my birthday and bought me a digital recorder, which would come in handy for my job as a newspaper reporter. He’s bought me clothes, fancy dinners, and gadgets in the six years we’ve known each other. But even so, the iPod was the best thing he could have ever bought me and I’ll tell you why. Even though it wasn’t the most expensive gift he ever bought me, unlike those other gifts, this one saved my sanity.
At the time, Annika was working on about the fifth month of what looked like a never-ending life being attached to my breast for sleeping. And 1-year-olds sleep a lot! We’re talking, like 14 hours a day I was strapped down next to her while she slept.
In the first months she did this too, but I could pop her on my breast on my Boppy nursing pillow and once she fell asleep, I’d turn on a TV show or read the news on my laptop.
But as she got bigger and more aware of the world around her, the noises from the laptop irritated her. At night, for a while, I could leave the light on and I’d read books. During naps, I did the same, but a person can only read so much, plus it’s exhausting on the fingers and arms trying to hold a book up with one arm for an hour or two while flipping pages with the same hand because your infant is sleeping on top of the other arm.
So for several months, off and on I’d lie there, bored, staring at the ceiling, thinking about e-mails I wanted to respond to, news I wanted to read, things I’d like to write about, videos I could be watching, funny Facebook statuses came and went through my head that never got posted.
Twitter remained elusive. I’d hear about news events and be surprised, even though they had been all over every major news station in the world. Even though a lot of those moments were good extra time for sleeping and lots of good bonding with Annika also happened during that time, it was tiring and lonely, lying there while my child slept next to me with my breast in her mouth and all I could do was lie there, unfulfilled, bored and not tired.
So when Toyin bought me the iPod Touch, it changed my life.
I still use it even though it has gotten way easier to sneak out of bed after she falls asleep. Naps are still hard to sneak away, so I use it during those. But the iPod has actually made it easier for me to stay in bed longer with Annika at night and has given us even more cuddle time. Surprisingly, this little gadget has made it so that I am not longing to get up and often, after Annika falls asleep, I will get on my iPod for about an hour and then I turn it off and roll over for more snuggles as I drift into la-la land.
This little gadget isn’t perfect by any means. Even though I’ve had it for less than a year, many of the apps I want need the upgraded version, so they don’t work. And for some reason YouTube videos stop playing after we’ve watched them several times. Occasionally, the wireless gets hung up and I have to reset my modem.
Another problem that I didn’t originally foresee is that now Annika fights me for the use of it. On the one hand, it’s a nice toy for her because I have some cool toddler apps that she really likes. She has learned her shapes using the iPod and her eye hand coordination is remarkable for a less-than-2-year-old, in my opinion.
But she has gotten to the stage where she will demand the use of it. “Have it!” She tells me when I am using it to check my e-mail, or, she will demand to watch a “boo do” (video).
But all in all, the iPod Touch has been a lifesaver for me. I have often thought that it’s something no attached mama should be without.
So if your husband or significant other has asked you what you want for Mother’s Day, tell him or her that you want an iPod Touch, or hell, make it an iPad. It might come in handy during the heavy flow days. (Pun intended.)