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Happy 8 weeks Baby! I’m not going to tell you about your 2 month check up on Tuesday where OHMIGOD AWFUL HORRIBLE TERRIBLE things will happen to you in the name of protecting both your tiny self and others from crippling and/or deadly childhood diseases. Good thing you can’t read or you’d be giving me this face right now:
Have you seen The Break Up? Or at least the preview they ran on TV every twenty seconds for The Break Up where Jennifer Aniston says “I want you to want to do the dishes” and Vince Vaughn says “Why would I want to do the dishes??” That one line embodies my marriage so well it’s almost not funny. I’m pretty sure we have some version of that fight at least once a week. Just substitute the words “unload the dishwasher”. Or “fold the laundry”. Or “change the litterbox”. There is no end to the list of chores no one WANTS to do. What Jennifer Aniston and I really mean is “I want you to know that I went to a lot of trouble to make a nice dinner tonight and if this was a truly balanced relationship with equal contributions from both partners you would do the unselfish thing and take care of the clean up without my having to prod and nag you. Oh and you could trying actually SAYING thank you sometime too.” But I’m not married to a guy who’d still be paying attention after “truly balanced relationship” so this fight keeps happening.
Now there’s a whole new list of baby-related chores. Feeding, burping, changing, rocking to sleep and entertaining. Can I expect E to WANT to change diapers? That’s even less fun than doing the dishes. But what about rocking the baby? When he’s quiet and sleepy he’s pretty cute, even if it is midnight. I also thought the mommy feeds/daddy burps system was working pretty well but E’s enthusiasm seems to be waning. Of course, cleaning up huge puddles of spit-up might be even less fun than poop. But someone has to do it and if E’s not volunteering the responsibility always falls on me. There is no one else. No maid, no helpers, no nanny, no Mom. I AM Mom. And to be honest, even playing with the baby becomes tedious when I’m the only one doing it. How many games of “Where’s the baby’s toes?” can you play – especially when the answer is “Woman, I have no idea. Feed me again or I’ll scream.”
Of course, not loving every second of baby care makes me feel incredibly guilty. I’ve discovered that’s what children are, little guilt machines. It doesn’t matter how much love and effort and care you put in, all you get back is guilt that you’re not doing ENOUGH. What if every second I let my baby sit in his bouncy chair and stare at the ceiling fan is another point off his future SAT scores? GUILT. What if not buying any special baby-brain stimulating black and white toys impairs his eye development? GUILT. What if letting him cry while I brush my teeth is destroying his trust in other people and he has dysfunctional relationships for the rest of his life? GUILT GUILT GUILT. And my own guilty heart is so full it’s started spilling out onto E. Why doesn’t HE want to play with the baby more? Why doesn’t HE get up at 3 am every night? Doesn’t he worry the baby might feel neglected? Doesn’t the guilt bother him? Does he hate his baby? One thing’s for sure, if we can’t find a balance between him WANTING to want to change diapers and me relaxing a little bit, he’s going to end up hating me.
One of E’s favorite tricks to calm the baby down is to blow in his face. (We, uh, learned this trick with the dog. Don’t judge me, judge my husband.) When the air hits his eyes, Little Evan gets really distracted and blinky and stops squalling long enough to try and guess where this COMPLETELY INSANE feeling is coming from. Mostly of the time he figures it out by bobbling his head around and smiling at daddy.
Unfortunately, Daddy’s been known to enjoy an adult beverage or two after dinner. So now my child is going to associate the smell of beer with happiness. I’m sure that’s TOTALLY HEALTHY.
This morning my baby woke up with a personality. It’s like he suddenly realized he didn’t have to stay a sticky, damp blob forever and began working on his people skills. And boy are those people skills ADORABLE. I took him to Target this afternoon in the Maya sling and I swear I made every woman in a 10 mile radius ovulate. He was cooing and smiling and flirting with everyone we saw, including one little girl in her mom’s shopping cart who was about 2. I guess he’s going to like older women.
His new awareness of the world means I don’t live in constant fear he’ll wake up while we’re out of the house. I actually had fun at BJ’s today, telling him about what we were buying and who we were looking at. He seems to enjoy the shampoo aisle but not the frozen foods section. He also thought it was hilarious when I made faces at the idiots who blocked the aisles or stood in front of the diapers I wanted for ten minutes. So in case you were wondering, 7 weeks is when “OHMIGOD WHAT HAVE I DONE TO MY LIFE???” turned into “Oh yeah, now I know why people do this!”
In a terribly tragic turn of events, it seems Baby Evan hates french fries. Obviously he’s not the one eating them but his distaste is so clear I won’t be eating them anymore either. Between house guests who made dinner (thanks Erin!) and my own (very very weak) attempts to make healthier meals and save money, we hadn’t had fast food in more than a week…coincidentally, the exact amount of time Baby Evan’s spit-up problem had been steadily improving. I thought he was just outgrowing the puke with stronger stomach muscles. But eight hours after I scarfed down a Wendy’s value meal he spit up so much and so hard he made Linda Blair look like a girl with a mild cold. He went from eating happily and quietly to covering E’s shirt, pants, shoes, two chairs, the entire dining room floor, MY feet, legs and himself with puke. We were about 2 ounces of milk away from needing life jackets.
MAYBE it was just a coincidence. MAYBE the fact that he’s been fine for the last 24 hours has nothing to do with avoiding the drive thru. MAYBE this is Baby’s way of saying “Geez, lay off the fried stuff fatty” MAYBE I’ll test my theory – but only if E is home to call the Coast Guard if things go as badly as I expect they will.
Sigh. Why couldn’t Baby Evan hate something less delicious? He can be as allergic as he wants to brussel sprouts, I promise I won’t complain one little bit.
On the cover of the June 1st People magazine, Bristol Palin is holding her baby above the words “If girls realized the consequences of sex, nobody would be having sex. Trust me. Nobody.” Well, that’s half way true – but it requires everyone to go ahead and have one baby. You think you’re scared of getting pregnant but you have NO IDEA. The thought of having to care for TWO babies is scarier than any you’ll-have-to-drop-out-of-school-and-work-at-McDonald’s-and-it-will-make-your-mother-and-Baby-Jesus-cry abstinence talk EVER. There is a strict 100% pants-on rule in effect at my house. Using three different forms of birth control seems not quite safe enough. I doubt I’d even sit in a hot tub with E right now because I heard that’s how my best friend’s cousin’s uncle’s girlfriend got pregnant. WITH TRIPLETS.
I think E has adjusted to life with baby pretty well – although to tell you the truth, it hasn’t really affected his favorite activities. He’s just added Baby Evan.
Watching tv…with baby
Playing Rockband…with baby
And of course, fighting internet dragons (aka World of Warcraft)…with baby
In honor of Baby Evan’s birthday, here’s sixty-three seconds of adorable.
And in honor of Memorial Day (because…Memorial Day honors our military and E’s in the Navy and the Navy has boats too…what?! It’s totally a connection!) here’s the baby on the boat:
Sorry that’s not more exciting, so far the baby has only been AWAKE on the boat for about thirty seconds and I’m too scared of accidentally dropping him overboard to take him out of the car seat.
Hey, did you know babies are kind of time consuming? Throw in laundry, cooking, and attempting to keep the dog-hair-tumbleweeds from getting larger than the dog and there isn’t that much time for blogging. If I tried to update daily it would be like this:
Monday – The baby was extra hungry today and needed to eat every hour. I’m really tired.
Tuesday – The baby threw up a lot today. I’m really really tired.
Wednesday – The baby was really awake today and wanted to be entertained. I’m really really really tired.
Thursday – Hey, have I mentioned that I’M TIRED?
Friday – Oh thank God E can take the baby today. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
As tired as I am, I realized yesterday if I was like the millions of women in America who can only take 6 weeks of maternity leave, I would already be back at work. I don’t know how those women can do it. (Duh, because the have to. Please Google “maternity leave laws” and be horrified) The baby doesn’t sleep at night. He isn’t any closer to being on a schedule today than the day he came home. He still needs to eat every 2-3 hours. He doesn’t understand the concept of “I’m leaving at 7 am so I need to be showered and puke free at 6:55”. Breastfeeding would go from the easiest, fastest way to calm and feed the baby to a huge ordeal with pumps and bags and tiny coolers to carry around. And my baby still hates the bottle, so the thought of leaving him to fight and thrash and scream at someone four times a day actually makes my breasts ache. Don’t even start with how hard finding a safe, licensed, nearby, affordable daycare that has a opening for an infant. I would probably end up leaving the baby with my 80 year old chain-smoking neighbor in exchange for refilling her vodka supply and consider myself super lucky.
As much as I’d hate to spend 8+ hours a day away from the baby (He laughed today! I’d be really sad to hear about that from a daycare worker) I think the worst part would be trying to do a job – ANY job – while so exhausted I can’t even remember if I brushed my teeth today. Or yesterday. Or at all since I got home from the hospital. I’m so pissy the thought of having to be polite or customer servicey is just laughable.
“Good Morning, thank you for calling Real Estate Office, how can I help you?” “Hi, I’d like to know the price of that house? On the road? By the tree? You know, the big one?” “ARE YOU A MORON? What kind of idiot question is that?! I don’t have time for this crap!!!”
“Hey Suzanne, can you help me with the printer? It’s not working.” “DO I LOOK LIKE THE PRINTER REPAIR MAN?? Why do you think I can help? I didn’t go to printer college, I’m just NOT RETARDED.”
“Excuse me, is this your file on the copy machine?” ****hysterical sobbing****
I know I am incredibly lucky to be able to choose to stay home. I’m even luckier that choosing to stay home doesn’t come with a compromise like no health insurance or giving up the car. It is starting to push our financial situation a little bit but for now using my clothesline on sunny days is “quaint” rather than “if we use the dryer one more time today we’ll have to unplug the refrigerator.” Right now I’m going to go save some electricity by turning all the lights off and going to sleep. I love Fridays.
Now that I have a baby, I have a teeny tiny bit more sympathy for Bad Parents. People who scream at their children in the candy isle at Stop & Shop, the woman who smacks her kid after he shoves a rack of clothes over at Macy’s, even the guy who leaves a baby in the hot car while he runs into the gas station for “just a minute”. No, those things aren’t OK. And clearly child abuse has NO excuse, ever. But now while I’m saying “Shame on you Bad Parent!” I’m also thinking “Oh, man, I’m totally four hours sleep and a candy bar away from being where you are.”
Actually, I may be closer than I think – Can someone PLEASE tell me how I to handle a shopping cart AND a baby? If I leave the baby in the cart while I’m loading groceries, I’m worried it could roll away or some crazy driver might hit it or a baby-snatcher might snatch my adorable baby. But if I put the car seat in the back seat first, I have to leave the baby in the car while I return I cart. I guess I could be the person who just leaves the cart in the parking space but I HATE those people. For now, I’ve decided the car is the safest place for the baby and I just lock the doors for the fifteen seconds it takes to out the cart back, but I’m probably just one shopping trip away from being scolded by the 70 year old women who already think I’m a Bad Parent because a)I’m out of the house, b) my baby doesn’t have a hat and c) I’m buying Diet Coke. Yes, people have commented on ALL THOSE THINGS.