Friday, March 23, 2007

Whose Idea Was This, Anyway?

It is midnight. Approximately 2 hours ago, Amy and I were in a restaurant with some friends and I said, "We have to go home; I'm falling asleep." I am still awake. So, as you might have guessed, is my daughter. An hour ago, Amy fell asleep. Since then, The Baby has been alternating between sleeping, crying and emitting various noxious substances -- gaseous, liquid, and solid -- from various parts of her body. She has gone through at least 5 diapers, 3 or 4 burp clothes, and a change of clothes; and I've changed my shirt 3 times.

If I pay you money, will you come do something with this baby so that I can sleep?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ask The Baby

Today's guest blogger is The Baby. The Baby has taught me a lot, these last few weeks, about babycare, so rather than repeat what she's taught me, I thought I'd let her do a little Q&A herself.

Q: Why are you crying?
A: I'm not sure. Check my diaper. Put me on my tummy so I can burp. Put me on your shoulder so I can burp. Feed me. Hold me in your arms and rock me. Repeat.

Q: Cloth or disposal?
A: Cloth, definitely. It feels softer against my skin, and it's much easier for my moms to figure out when I'm wet. And I hear it's cheaper, although I don't really understand what that means. Also, disposals are bad for the Earth, which so far seems like a nice place, and besides which they seem to make me cranky.

Q: Do you really use 80 diapers a week?
A: Not anymore! My parents just called the diaper service and increased our order to 100 diapers a week! Am I special or what?

Q: When is the best time to pee?
A: Just after they take off the nasty, clammy, wet diaper.

Q: Doesn't that make your clothes, the changing pad, the diaper cover, and anything else in the vicinity wet?
A: Not if you remember to put down the new diaper before you take away the old one, stupid.

Q: When is the best time to poop?
A: Right when you have a new, clean diaper, and a new, clean diaper cover, and new, clean clothes.

Q: What are your parents' names?
A: "Boobs" and "Cleans My Butt"

Q: Does anyone else live in your house?
A: There are these two creatures, about my size, who are soft and furry and always trying to nap in my bouncy seat. I'm not sure what their purpose is.

Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: The same sort of pre-1990 rock that my parents like, obviously. After all, I came into the world accompanied by Bruce Springsteen. Although I'm starting to like jazz and classical as well. And I really like it when Cleans My Butt plays the piano for me.

Q: When is the best time to be awake?
A: My preferred time for being wide-awake and making a lot of noise is from midnight to 2 a.m. Why do you ask?

Q: Can't you stay awake more during the day and sleep at night?
A: No.

Q: Are you the cutest little baby in the world?
A: But of course!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I wasn't prepared

I wasn't prepared for motherhood. She arrived a week early. The suitcase was half-packed. I didn't even buy a chicken for the chicken soup I was going to make* to spoon into Amy's mouth when labor got hard**. The first signs of labor came in the middle of the night, after I'd had only 2 hours of sleep.

But more than that, I wasn't prepared for how beautiful she would be, or how much I would love her. The sheer delight at watching her little arms flail, her little mouth suck, her little eyes look around, and turn towards me when I speak to her. She recognized my voice immediately! When she cries, I can lie her on my chest and hold her tight and she falls asleep. When she fusses, I play the piano for her, and she looks around, bright-eyed and calm. She is the most beautiful baby in the world.
Now I get it, this motherhood thing.
*My friend Joyce pointed out that making soup was probably not the best idea, anyway, since if I had made it I would have had to nag Amy to hurry up and go into labor before the soup spoiled.
**Plus, she wouldn't have eaten it. She didn't want anything to eat. Giving birth, as it turns out, is a lot of work, and you don't just lie in bed and get fed chicken soup. Mostly, you groan.
Photo: Little Mookie, about 2 minutes old. Those are my hands, on the left, cutting the umbilical cord.