Before you, your dad and I imagined a dreamy reality of a child being a manifestation of our love. “A piece of you and a piece of me.” After you came, we realized it wasn’t entirely that simple. Yes, there are plenty of those sweet times when we look up from holding you and marvel all over again, but in between those sleepy, cherub moments, we are really busy trying to keep you alive and happy.
Here are some notes from the days I’ll laugh at later. Sometimes I already do.
1: That day I got nothing done besides getting dressed, eating, and sleeping inbetween exhausting myself with trying to keep your fussies at bay, I was so glad when your dad got home to watch you so I could get outside, work out my tight muscles, wash dishes, gather the eggs, water my plants, take a shower, and even just pee in solitude… Anything to clear my head.
Your dad spent 30 minutes putting you to sleep, and this is the summary after he laid you down: “I put a bandaid on my finger, killed a roach, and folded four towels before she woke up crying to be held again.”
I felt so understood in that moment. 😀 We had a good laugh about our crazy life; it helps keep perspective.
2: You’ve been so cranky today, only sleeping for 10 minutes or so at a time after I lay you down, giving me only a sliver of time to rush around, adrenaline pumping, waiting for your sound alarm wail signaling that my ninja work break (from holding you) is over. I actually managed to fold the laundry from yesterday and wash dishes in those short (separate) intervals, but some days I barely manage to feed myself.
By late afternoon, my arms were tired, my neck was sore, and I was almost out of tricks to keep your fussies at bay. You needed a bath and I did too, so I decided to bring you in the bathtub with me, since your belly button stump had finally fallen off. You looked nervous as I lowered you into the water. You didn’t like it at first, but I splashed warm water on you until you got used to it.
Your first time submerged went well until it didn’t. You let me know when you were done. I hadn’t taken my bath- only gotten a little wet, but you were crying and getting cold, so I quickly vacated the tub and wrapped you in a towel.
I’m glad no one came to the door or they would have wondered at the dripping, naked post-partum body carrying a squawking little bundle to the nursery. Of course, you chose that moment to add to the drippings, by expelling a stream of warm pee all over the towel and me. I guess this is the first time someone else’s pee ran down my leg. At this point, I was just hoping breast milk leakage wouldn’t join the liquids accumulating in this situation.
I wiped you up, diapered you and dressed you in a fuzzy sleeper. Once I wrapped you in a warm blanket, you calmed down and stopped crying. I comforted you and rocked you to sleep. I was afraid you would wake up like you did so often that day. I needed a moment to sit in peace, (even if my arm was sleeping) so I just held you until your dad came home.
It’s not every day that you come home from work to find your wife wearing only your child. I guess that was left out of the parenting job description. I don’t think your dad minded at all. 🙂
I did get my own bath then; your dad often takes care of you so I can take care of myself after a long day. He is so good with you. Sometimes all it takes is feeling his big arms holding you close to put you to sleep much faster than if I would rock you. I love it.
3: Then there was the evening we thought it would do us (mostly me) some good to get out of the house. Evenings are your tummy trouble times, but we decided to risk going to a softball game. You would not have it. Fifteen minutes before we needed to leave, you had a meltdown followed by projectile vomiting over yourself and the counter while Daddy was holding you in the kitchen. Twice. I had already bathed you and dressed you for bed to cut corners for our evening, but Daddy had to put you right back in the bathtub.
Daddy was originally going to play softball, but we were already late and he didn’t want to leave me alone to take care of you after an already long day. Instead, we decided to take a drive and see if you would be ok to at least watch the game. We only got twenty minutes away from home until we had to stop due to inconsolable sobbing. It’s really hard to comfort you in the car, so Daddy walked around with you in the deserted insurance company parking lot until you calmed down.
We turned around and drove home, and you cried nearly the whole way. You weren’t hungry; your tummy was just upset, and you were too. Crying made you sleepy though, and it was only a matter of minutes until you fell asleep (in Daddy’s arms, of course) once we got home.
That episode and others like it made me question if I will ever be brave enough to risk going in public until you are at least five years old. Just when I think it will never get better, we have a really mild day together and I realize the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train after all. 😉
I hope that even on those days when I feel deliriously tired, I love you well. Because you aren’t naughty; you are human. You have needs, and right now it is mom’s job to anticipate and meet them.
I love you even on the hard days, monkey.