Liter Side of Mommyhood

Zen and the Art of Newborn Maintenance
Zen and the Art of Newborn Maintenance

Dante is now just over a week old, and we are learning a lot about each other.  I’m learning how to care for a completely helpless little mini-me/Anthony on the fly (with tremendous help from Google and texting my friend Vanessa).  He’s learning that he has a lot to teach completely helpless little adults about priorities and what really matters.  I’m learning that he has quite the little temper and propensity to turn into a vampire once the sun goes down.  He’s learning that mommy is rich on time, patience, and milk.

It’s been a good few days since my mom went home and I’ve been here with the baby during the day without the luxury of saying (in a whiny child voice) “Mommmmm can you make me a sandwich??” “Mommmm can you change the laundry over?”.   So I’ve had a lot to learn about doing things on my own.

Luckily I was blessed with an easy delivery, and virtually NO recovery time at all (read also: no stitches), so I’ve been up and at’em and ready to tackle the world (mwahahaha).  The only thing is, well, I don’t know HOW to tackle the world…not with a newborn attached to me in various states of feeding and sleeping.

Yesterday I had to fend for myself with a newborn who was particularly fussy throughout the entire day.  And by fussy, I mean hellish.  The only time he was happy was when we went on a car ride to the radio station on his first big adventure.  But every other time, while at home?  “Oh no mommy, you just plop your butt right on that couch and HOLLLD MEEE and FEEEED MEEEEEE… and don’t even THINK about getting up to do anything else.”  And the bouncer?  HA! Not even an option.

So there I sat practically all day on the sectional, with an array of half filled water bottles on the table, remote within arm’s reach, phone on charger, laptop in vicinity, pillows, and snacks (or wrappers from where there were once snacks).  Forced to endure the sight of dead flowers wilting over, petals falling all over the floor… here and there a cat-hair dust-bunny collecting in the corners of the room…  crumbs and crumbs and more crumbs to be swept up from under the coffee table – it was enough to send my OCD over the edge.  More, I couldn’t shower, I couldn’t find time to wash my face or brush my teeth (ew, I know), hell I couldn’t even get up and get myself more snacks without the Master of the Household thus protesting, or taking him with me to protest along the way.

But in being a prisoner to a demanding newborn, I learned a lot about what I could do…

–I became proficient in picking things up with my toes (pens, spiral notebook, phone, nursing pads, blankets, basically anything that fell on the floor I could pick up with monkey-like reflexes)

–I became an artist of one-handed feats of agility (coffee making, dish rinsing, make-up application, cat feeding).  The only thing lacking in this area is one-handed typing… thank goodness for talk-to-text on my cell phone.

–I became a master of the creative uses for the chin in balancing a baby …whilst picking up a pen with my toes, and using my free hand to yet do something else marginally important.

Behold, I am a walking talking Cirque du Bébé.

And when pushed to the edge of my own tears with an inconsolable crying (wailing) (screeching) (bloody-murder-screaming) infant… I learned that even though the bouncer isn’t necessarily an appealing option for him in times like these, sometimes just leaving the miracle-chair to work its magic while he screams it out, and I walk away to take 5 deep breaths in the bathroom, can make all the difference in BOTH of our attitudes in the long run.

Upon returning and looking into his beautiful (devilish) face, he calmly gave me the look of “Mom, I’m gonna want to nurse ALL night.  For hours.  Do you think you can handle this?”  And I looked him in the eye and said, “Alright, let’s do this.”

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