Last night, Baby and I ventured to Gowanus, where my friend Kirsten was scheduled to perform her poetry. Maybe it’s too soon to bring Baby out into society? First of all, my metrocard which presumably had $20 had forty cents, so I was scrounging the bus fare in coins from all the passengers, got there an hour late, walked up rickety stairs to an art studio in the projects, scared all the Williamsburg-cool twentysomethings there, dealt with endless slurpee-machine-style poop diapers on the couch where all the said Williamsburg-cool twentysomethings probably make out on, and then had to leave before Kirsten actually left because Baby used up our diaper supply. DUDE, I was exhausted.
I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with Sasquatch’s pediatrician, trying to piece together the meaning of Baby’s grunts and arched back and splayed limbs. What’s it mean when he yowls like a cat? What does it mean when he unfurls his tongue or purses his teeny lips into the size and shape of a popcorn kernel? It’s really weird, trying to take care of someone who doesn’t speak. It makes me feel like we’re in a National Geographic special and we’ve adopted a pet penguin. What amazes me is that our pediatrician has chosen this as her full-time job. There are people who are gifted at this art of interpretation. For example, one post partum nurse was able to tell us the Baby’s needs based on the sound of his cries. I tried to get her to teach them to me via imitation, kind of like bird calls. I even went macaw macaw as an example of what I was looking for, but the nurse got very shy and fled.
Husband: I didn’t know I’d laugh this much with my wife.
Me: I know. I had no idea what I was getting myself into it. I just wung it.
Me:…Yeah, wung. Like it in Bring It On, they say Oh Bring It On, and then, Oh It’s Already Been Brung.
Shut up. I went to Yale.
I’m pretty frugal. Blame my immigrant stock. The hospital I went to gave all the babies Similac formula, the most pricey formula on the market (like $30 per bucket of powder, man). It’s pretty smart business–Similac then has a monopoly as the formula brand of choice for all families, but you get all kinds of samples at home, including the cheaper Enfamil. I was advised by one of the daycare centers I visited to not switch brands, because it can mess with your baby’s digestive system, but did I listen? OH no. I hate throwing anything out and part of me was like, really? Isn’t it all the same stuff?
After days of continual digestive issues and an afternoon of major vomiting, I apologized to Sasquatch and am going back to the pricey stuff.
Halle Berry has said that she loves her daughter to the point where she would “take a bullet for her.” Now, I would much prefer to take a bullet than my son to have to take one, but it’s just not an everyday sentiment for me, or I don’t think about life with baby in those terms…but my life is obviously much less dramatic and she is an actress. Gisele Bundchen, who looks exactly the same post-baby but with bigger boobs, has said “people think they can eat whatever they want after they give birth.” Um, yes, that’s true, because otherwise, I would gauge my eyes out. We always have beer and ice cream in the house these days, to help cope with the fact that we’re so tired we could punch ourselves.
Thank you. Yay celebs!
What are the seven stages of motherhood? Have no idea, because while I’m enjoying this book, I can’t remember anything from ten minutes ago, never mind information from a 200-page book. Why isn’t one stage of motherhood eating yourself into oblivion? Probably because there is no time.
Both Husband and Mom have observed that I consume my meals at a feral, frightening fast pace. There are days where I feel like I have a choice of a) showering b) eating or c) sleeping. I am more often than not choosing showering, because it’s the most intellectually fulfilling of the three, which is a sad measure of fulfillment, but that’s what it is for now. Mom is excited for a potential thinner me to emerge from the whole postpartum phenomenon, but then is surprised when I haven’t eaten salad, until I explain to her salad requires chopping and preparing vegetables and two hands to eat. If salad came in the form of a bar, I could totally do salad.
Not that it’s all bad, so I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining too much. I have days where I’m totally blissed out, deliriously happy–me and the baby hang out at home and listen to Depeche Mode for hours. But there are also days, I’m much like the woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a short story we had to read in junior high school (about a woman who stays at home too long and starts seeing people in the wallpaper, who eventually like eat her brain or something).
I have always wanted a baby, but had no idea, really no clue, that it would be like this.
Yesterday, Mom saw the Baby and was like “You’re feeding him too much! He looks like a sumo wrestler!” which I was mildly insulted by and told her what-for, e.g. “Leave him alone, he’s a baby.” But oh my god, when I got home last night, I somehow figured out that I’ve been giving the baby DOUBLE the formula the directions advise. Blame sleep deprivation, blame my lack of connection with numbers, but I don’t know how long I’ve been serving the Baby DOUBLE the recommended calories. Now I’ve made my Baby crusty and chubby. Fab!
Don’t worry, there’s always Baby Cardio and Baby Ups he can do to lose those extra pounds. (Neither pic attached is a pic of my baby, by the way.)
I borrowed one of those white noise machines from Pottery Barn Kids from my friend Sonya. It’s awesome–has features like rain, surf, whale noises, which we use ALL THE TIME to try and convince Sasquatch to sleep. Sonya warned the machine was a bit wonky, but I only started noticing it recently. The calming sound of surf is now disrupted by these high-pitched, otherworldly bleeps. That can’t be good for the baby, right? Is it like a transmission from Zod? Ay caramba. I guess I’ll have to abandon my frugal ways and get a new one.
Each day bleeds into the other. Husband recited a research summary on jogging strollers that he said I told him.
“Really? You don’t remember having this conversation?”
“No. I mean, that sounds like me, geeking out on research, but I’m drawing a blank.”
I’m not even sure if I’m quoting that conversation accurately. One of Mom’s co-workers advised to savor these days, because the baby days zip by quickly, but I think all of life goes by quickly.
Fortunately, Mom took off two weeks and came every day to help cook, do laundry, take care of the baby (feeding, diapers, etc. There was an awesome stretch of like five poop diapers that I somehow missed because Mom or Husband took the lead. Awesome.) I can’t tell you what an enormous relief it was to have her help. It really makes me feel like I got a leg up on this new mom thing, which is wonderful even if it’s a feeling that’s fleeting.
And not to be dark, but to be dark, it makes me think of how I’m going to appreciate the gift of this time when she’s gone. So for me (the dark girl with the overactive imagination fueled by anxiety and a perennial sense of loss, boo-yeah) every day is a baby day.