Wednesday, September 24

When Even Sleep Is a Luxury...

It's not that I don't have anything to blog these days, it's just that I'm unable to blog. I mean physically. Because at all times, there's a baby attached to me. I thought once I gave birth, I was done carrying the baby 24/7. Turns out I was wrong. The Doodlebug is a crier. Loves to cry. The only thing that stops him from crying is being held. Which means I end up holding him at all times. In fact, right now, I'm sitting on the couch, with the Doodlebug lying across my lap, the computer on a pillow on my knees, and my left hand barely reaching the keyboard from beneath his head. It's not the easiest going. So I guess I just have to accept that blogging may be a once-a-week activity for me. So a quick rundown on all the things I've been thinking about that I haven't gotten to write about:
  • Did everyone see that article in the New York Times Magazine about the four-year-old skateboarder about to go pro? Maybe it's my new maternal instincts (hey, turns out I do have some!), but I found it horrifying. If the Doodlebug showed a proclivity for an activity at a young age, I'd certainly want to encourage it. But it seems to me detrimental to allow a child to focus so completely on any one thing and to accept corporate sponsorships. I had lots to say about this when I read the article, but dirty diapers have chased those thoughts away. I just want to say, I think it's a bad, bad thing (see what happens when you only blog once a week? Your verbal skills deteriorate).
  • I'm not sure if he'll like me mentioning it, but Adam earned first-year honors last year at HBS. Yeah, Adam!
  • My Doodlebug is the cutest Doodlebug ever.
  • I've signed up for Nanowrimo again. I don't have any ideas for what this year's novel is about, but I have a strong hunch it will be baby related. I'm looking forward to jumpstarting my creative writing.
  • Speaking of novels, I think I have an idea of how to end the novel I'd been working on. Once the Doodlebug gets on more of a schedule, my goal is to write a page a day. Just a page. That's doable, right?
  • The Tweedle Twirp stayed with us for a month after the Doodlebug was born. She was an amazing help, and it's been rough with her gone. She was fantastic with the DB, and she sang him his favorite song, a TT original, "It's Hard to Be a Baby." Adam and I agreed that the best way to get through this was to just pretend that she's at the grocery store, and she'll be home just a few minutes after Adam gets home from school. So far, it's working.
  • The Doodlebug is officially short and fat. He had his one-month check-up, and he's in the 5th percentile for length (he's gone from 19 inches to 20 1/4 inches), but he's in the 50th percentile for his weight (from 6 lbs, 10 ozs to 9 lbs, 6.9 ozs). He's definitely his mother's son!
  • I knew babies cried. But I never knew they snorted, barked, growled, and squeaked.
  • We've started venturing out again. In fact, we went to the HBS Fall Community party. Funny thing is, I'm the one who pushed to go, that's how desperate I was to get out of the house. Who would have thought I'd ever want to go to an HBS event?
  • The new Bachelor starts tonight. And yes, I'm watching. How can you not root for Bob?
  • I've been reading DB Barnyard Dance!. Adam's been reading him Dante's Inferno. Which is fine with me. It just guarantees I'll be the Doodlebug's favorite parent.

Okay, this position is cutting off all circulation to my left arm. I'm going to have to figure out a new way to juggle the DB and the computer.

Wednesday, September 17

Cleanliness Is Overrated

The Doodlebug hates baths. I mean hate. Therefore, I hate giving him baths. He lets out these blood-curdling screams that break my heart. So, I think he should go dirty. I mean, he's only three and a half weeks old; who does he need to impress? But for some reason, Adam thinks he needs to be clean. So he insists on the bath. And of course if my baby is in trouble, I have to be there for him. But I make sure, all the while he's getting moderately clean (with all that screaming even Adam is willing to cut the bath a bit short), that Doodlebug understands that if it were up to his Mommy he could live happily in his filth all the time but it's his mean Daddy who's subjecting him to the watery torture. No wonder Doodlebug likes his mother the best.

There Is Such a Thing as a Dumb Question

Someone recently asked me, "So other than the baby, what have you been up to?" Surprisingly, I was able to keep from punching him.

Wednesday, September 10

All in Due Time

So today was Doodlebug's official due date. And yet, here he is, almost three weeks old. I can't imagine what it would have been like had he made it till today. Things worked out so much better with his early arrival, with Adam being off for a week and a half. But it feels like a milestone, making it to September 10. I'm going to celebrate with some frozen yogurt (I'm currently off of chocolate, as it seems it makes Doodlebug gassy). Doodlebug celebrated with his first real poo bomb (which inspired a round of the Tom Jones's song "Poo Bomb," but beyond, "Poo bomb, poo bomb. You're my poo bomb!" we couldn't remember any of the other words). A celebratory day all around.

Hitting Rock Bottom

On Monday, I was so sleep deprived, I couldn't fall asleep. It happens you know, when you hit that point that you're just too tired to sleep. So I broke down and did the unthinkable: I turned on daytime TV. Oh my, if you ever want to feel better about your own life, just watch a bit of daytime television. First a side note: I find all the commercials on daytime television to suddenly be alarmingly relevant to my life. Ouch. Okay, back to my point: Out of a morbid curiosity, I watched the premiere of the Ellen, Ellen Degeneres's new daytime talk show. Right up front, I have to say, I think Ellen is funny. She's one of the few stand-up comedians who can routinely make me laugh. Well, until now, at least. The show was so embarrassing, I was cringing for her. Jennifer Aniston was her guest and the conversation was excruciating. They discussed which way toilet paper should be hung. Seriously. And to make matters worse, they got it wrong! (They are both devout over-the-roll people, when any sane person knows that toilet paper needs to be hung under the roll.) I didn't make it through the entire episode, because I can't stand watching people make compete jerks of themselves. And it cured me of daytime TV!

I Can Name That Tune in 573 Notes... Maybe

All the baby books insist it doesn't matter if you can sing on key, babies love to hear singing. Which is fine because 1) I love to sing and 2) as the cliche goes, I can't carry a tune in a basket. I know some people say they can't sing and then they open their mouths and something resembling a song comes out. Not me. Imagine cats in heat in the middle of the summer in the dead of night. I almost sound that good.

Anyway, I'm determined to sing to Doodlebug. But it turns out, I know the complete lyrics to exactly eleven songs, only six of which I can remember at any given time, and only three of those which are appropriate for a G rated audience. It turns out, I know between 35 and 73% of a whole lot of songs, but it's discouraging when you get to that part where you just sort of trail off, because you don't know what comes next. So, the songs I know that are okay to sing to Doodlebug are a mangled version of "Hush Little Baby" (my mother never knew what the lyrics were so she made up her own version, which I'm passing along), "The 59th Street Bridge Song," and "Cruising Down the River" (a song from the '40s that my father sang to me when I was little, because he didn't know the words to any songs either). Then there are the okay songs, songs like "Satan Is My Motor" and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." And then there are the definitely-inappropriate-but-I'm-singing-them-anyway-because-I-don't-know-what-else-to-do songs such as "F*ck and Run." The Tweedle Twirp and I have spent the morning singing various lines, asking, "Do you remember what comes next?" I'm guessing it's not going to be in Doodlebug's future to be especially musical.

Friday, September 5

The Difference Between Me and Adam

Doodlebug, like most babies, does this thing where he, out of nowhere, begins to wave his arms around wildly. Then, just as suddenly, he'll stop. It's some sort of baby reflex. When Adam saw him doing this, he said, "Awww, Doodlebug is conducting the baby orchestra!" Which I thought was funny, because when I saw Doodlebug doing it, the first thing that came to my mind was the opening of Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:
We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like "I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive...." And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: "Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?" Then it was quiet again. [...]"What the hell are you yelling about?" [my attorney] muttered, staring up at the sun with his eyes closed and covered with wraparound Spanish sunglasses. "Never mind," I said. "It's your turn to drive." [...] No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.
Doodlebug's seeing bats. I'm sure of it.

Thursday, September 4

I'm Almost Back

a circumcised DoodlebugHave you missed me? Somehow things like blogging--and eating and sleeping--don't seem to rank as a high priority right now. However, Adam has set up a laptop with wireless for me, so maybe I can quickly blog between feedings. Although considering that I started this blog entry a full day ago and it has yet to be posted, maybe I'm being a tad optimistic. Things have been a daze, although I survived the bris, which I had my doubts about. Doodlebug came through it with flying colors, as was to be expected. We had twenty people over, and I think some of them were traumatized for life. Before the bris, Adam said to me, "I've seen you awfully anxious before, but never anything like this." Of course! They wanted to hurt my baby! I kept whispering to Doodlebug, "All you have to do is say the word and I'll whisk you off to Paris and we won't tell anyone we're Jewish!" but he said nothing. After the bris, I told Adam that I realized why babies are circumcised when they're just a few days old; had Doodlebug been old enough to talk, I would have been promising him anything he asked for: "You want to go to space camp? You got it! A new Playstation? Absolutely! You need your own pony? What shall we name him?" The onesie in the picture came from the Tweedle Twirp's boyfriend (if you can't read it, it says, "I had a ritual circumcision and all they gave me was this lousy onesie"). He gave us a whole bunch of adorable onesies, although my favorite is the one that reads, "I (heart) my emotionally detached common-law uncle." (He and the Tweedle Twirp are indeed common law--together twelve years and living together for seven; she lives a party-girl life, but in a very stable kind of way).

Other random notes from the past week and a half:
  • bath timeThe hospital was a complete blur and even though I wasn't heavily medicated (I gave up the Percocet early--it just wasn't doing it for me), I was certainly not with it. Case in point: Adam would go home during the day to take care of things and take a shower there. But on the last day, he showered in our hospital room. After his shower, he said, "Did you realize that you actually didn't bring any shampoo with you? You have two bottles of conditioners in there." Um, no, I hadn't noticed, and I'd taken four showers. But I had noticed that my hair was remarkably shiny and full.
  • After the first day in the hospital, Adam and I kept falling into the trap of saying "But he never..." "He always..." (as in "He's never fussed like this before!") until the other would point out that twenty-four hours hardly constituted an "always" or a "never."
  • The hospital has an online nursery that is just filled with pictures of ugly babies. And no wonder! The photographer comes to your room, puts your baby on a hard curved table, expects the baby to stay upright, shines a light on his nose (for placement), and then shoots! What baby could possibly take a good picture like that? And the compound that with the fact that 75 percent of those kids were born vaginally, which means their heads are most likely still misshapen. It's a cruel thing to do to a child.
  • hanging with momDoodlebug has a darling trick that we call P.O.D., pee on daddy. Today there was a minor modification that was less amusing, P.O.M., but he's so innocent looking as he lets loose all over me, the changing table, the nursery that we can't help but laugh. Of course, it also necessitated his second sponge bath.
  • Surprisingly, I haven't yet had a drink. I was told that having a glass of wine or a beer while breastfeeding is fine, but oddly enough, I've had no desire to imbibe. So that just goes to show all those who thought I'd be wheeled out of surgery and asking for my martini!
  • I thought I'd have a really hard time not calling Doodlebug, Brown Brown. And for the first couple of days, it was a struggle. However, he's acquired so many other nicknames (Doodlebug, Squeaker, the monkey), that Brown Brown has really fallen to the wayside. Although, I keep telling him, his name may be Medros, but really, he'll always be a Brown.
  • I'm dreaming of nonmaternity clothes. I have no idea when I'll be able to move back into my regular clothes, but I can tell you now, it will be nowhere in the near future.

Oh, look at that. It's time for the twelfth feeding of the day. My time goes quickly when you're a human milk machine. One of these days I'll post again. I hope....