October 05, 2006

Birthday Address to Potential Parents

From an email to friends

Elliot is four weeks old! Huzzah!

Birthday message to you, if you have the childers in your future: steel yourself. Become hard like obsidian, and flexible like a reed. Empty your mind. Pay your bills. Clean your toilet. Lay up stores of frozen fruit, yogurt, and forms of protein (more so than when pregnant). Because you know what? At four weeks, our lives are still completely obliterated! I have to think carefully about how to schedule the viewing of a one-hour show on DVD! Someone emailed me to invite me to hear her perform music tonight, and I laughed out loud at my inbox! O yes.

I don't really like how people say, "O, you're expecting a baby? How exciting and/or fun. Don't expect any sleep, heh heh!" Whatever, jerk. Maybe my baby will sleep fine, OK? Maybe I can afford a Brazilian wet nurse. Shows what you know. It really reminds me of people who call out to you when you're walking your dog, "Hey, who's walking who?" ("Heh heh.") It's a sort of mild, standardized, ritualized schadenfreude that also has the advantage of giving semi-strangers something to say. And I'm OK with that in the abstract. It's always hard to know what to say.

But how I rage against the idea that the fix is in, and these comments (both of them) are actually dead on. And: how I love my sleep. (You know this.) How I protect its special curves and proportions against all encroachment. And how long, yes, how long it has been since I did not face the day with a baby hangover. Even on the nights when, thanks to grandparents, I do get 8 hours, I still wake up tired. Elliot drags my precious sleep to the altar like Isaac, but there is no angel to stop his hand. There is no angel!

And this doesn't begin, of course, to cover how Sarah must feel, but she'll have to speak to that herself. I wouldn't know how to begin.

Make no plans! No plans. You know how Daniel Burnham said, "Make no small plans"? Let me second that sentiment with my own candidate for Bartlett's: Making No Freaking Plans. None!

We finally got cable for the first time in our lives, which has been an amusing luxury. Meerkat Manor is awesome. Meerkats are a balm. Their little faces. Also, their use of scent-marking has given me new theories about how Ada behaves.

I also bought a used Tivo through craigslist, and that has been REALLY nice. The ability to pause the TV when the baby pukes on the dog is better than having the TV itself.

That's all I had to say.

1 comment:

Henrie family said...

It really does get worse as you go along, you just keep getting more and more exhausted.

Hell, we are still waiting for our almost 3 year old to sleep through th night consistantly.

It does get easier. He will eventually do better at night. From about the time they start sitting up, until they can crawl or walk the days are easier. Once they can move it is a different kind of tired.

Just a tip, if he appears to be gagging on nothing, or turning his head from side to side he probably has acid reflux, a common cause of collic. There is medicine for it, and it is worth it.

Has he smiled for you yet?