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How I get Through the Day

I have never hidden the fact that I think babies are boring. Adorable, lovely and boring. You can’t have a conversation with them. You repeat the same games and exercises every day. My little Beans naps while she is nursing so I’m stuck in the rocking chair for an hour most days. Which just means I’m super caught up on all my TV shows.

When I had visited a counselor in the early days of Beans’ life she asked me what I look forward to each day. I couldn’t answer her at the time. My days were so filled with nursing and sitting that it didn’t feel like there was anything different to look forward to.

Now that Beans is 6 months old I have things I look forward to and that remembering them helps me stay in the moment and engage fully with her. Granted, I’m still bored as shit singing Little Green Frog and Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes every day but I’m less bored than I was 4 months ago.

I look forward to…

1. Breakfast. Now that Beans is eating food, breakfast is crazy adorable. I love watching her try new foods and mashing them all over her face and chair. It seems to be the way her the dog are bonding. Beans stares at Alice, the dog, while she tries to eat some boiled egg. Alice just stands there waiting for the inevitable moment when food hits the floor.

2. Swim class. Once a week I take Beans to the pool for half an hour where she floats and gets mad me for dunking her underwater with 10 other baby/parent combos. Her little swim diaper is so cute and watching her figure out that putting her face in the water is amazing.

3. 4:30/5:00 pm. Adam gets home. No matter what Beans and I are doing as soon as she hears the door, she is looking for him. It melts my heart when she smiles at him when he is finally in plain view.

4. Walking the dog at lunch. Usually I am not necessarily a big fan of walking my dog. She pulls the leash, tries to chase squirrels and can be a dick to other dogs sometimes but when we are walking with Beans she doesn’t do that as much. She listens to me. She is protective of my baby and that makes me love her. Also I love that I have to leave the house every day. It doesn’t hurt that the hour we are outside Beans is happy in the carrier napping or looking around at the world.

5. Nap time. Like I said, babies are boring and nap time is when I get to do something other than play on the floor. It might just be washing the dishes or sweeping the floor or pumping but for twenty glorious minutes I’m not singing The Wheels on the Bus.

6. When the coffee is ready. Cannot function without it.

7. Bedtime. It’s such a special time when she nurses to sleep while I sing her lullabies. And then she is asleep and I can have a beer with my husband and maybe play a game or just cuddle on the couch or whatever. It’s so nice to just be an adult with him at the end of the day.

This list changes all the time. I’m sure it will be different in another 6 months and I think that’s what I’m looking forward to the most.

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Of Course.

Of fucking course.

All week little Beans has been having a rough time going to sleep at night. Sometimes I’m in there from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm being a human pacifier, burping, changing diapers, calming, watching The Guild on YouTube. I have been in and out of the nursery every night this week. All I have wanted was to have enough energy to play a game with my husband. Or even have a conversation where I can pay complete attention.

Aaaaan of course. It is currently 8:45 pm and Beans has been asleep in her own crib for an hour. An entire hour. Aaaaaaand of course Adam is out tonight. The one night he goes out in the last two months without me and I have been out of the nursery since 7:45 pm. That has been unheard of!

I wish I had any ability of foresight with this. I could have invited my friends over for some drinks. At least then I wouldn’t be drinking this beer alone.

Not that there is anything wrong with drinking a beer alone.

I wish I knew how I managed this. Maybe it’s the lack of naps today. Maybe it’s the fresh air from the evening walk. Maybe it was Goodnight Moon. I will never know and likely never be able to repeat it.

I’m wallowing in my own self pity and my baby’s ability to have the worst timing in the world.

There was a little bit of good tonight.

I am watching Girl, Interrupted. I did not watch it as a teenager and can only assume that it is because of all the language and dangerous escapades and serious lesbian overtones. Youth Pastor Daryl would never have approved.

I got to have a really nice, long conversation with one of my very best friends. Long distance relationships are hard. She lives on the opposite end of the country and I miss her a lot. All the time. I wish we could spend so much more time together. But I will survive with long, hilarious, heartfelt phone calls.

I gave myself a mini-pedicure.

The most important one – I relaxed. I didn’t spend my “alone evening” cleaning or tidying or doing laundry. I just sat down, turned on this great movie and ate my pizza and drank my beer. I relaxed.

Adam’s going to be so mad he missed this quiet evening….

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I am Indiana Jones and the Struggle to Make my Baby Sleep

All is calm as I watch her doze off. Her eating slows down, her eyelids droop, her crazy free hand stops grabbing fist fulls of my boob.

I think she is asleep.

I must wait patiently for the exact right moment to begin. Too early and she will go right back to eating. Too late and she will just wake up and skip this nap.

I think she is asleep.

Alright. She’s asleep. Slowly slide my lower arm under her body. Place my outer arm on top of her body.

Still asleep. Keep going.

WAIT. She started nursing again. Alright. I guess I’m here for another ten minutes at least.

Alright. Asleep again.

Place arms strategically. Very carefully try to stand up. USE YOUR STRONG QUADS, NAOMI! OK, you’re up. Now slowly move towards the crib avoiding the squeeky floor board. No sudden movements.

Oh, thank god. She’s still asleep. Slowly…. SLOWER, lower her into the crib. Oh man, she’s rousing a little. Keep your arms under her while she lays there and wiggles. Good, good. She stopped moving.

You can do this. You’re almost there. DON’T BLOW IT NOW!

Alright, now, slide your left arm out and place it firmly on her chest. Hold her steady while you slide your right arm out from under her. Gently lift your hand off her.

She looks calm, relaxed and asleep. Turn on the monitor, back away and creep out the room. Open the door, step lightly to not squeek the floor boards too loudly. Close the door gently.

YOU’RE OUT! YOU DID IT! Go get yourself that beer and finally sit down to eat some dinner with your husband.

Finally food and…… God fucking damnit. She’s crying again.

Let’s do this again. Probably two or three more times.