Thursday, October 20, 2005

People say the darnedest things

I am constantly amused at the things people feel the need to say to/about babies and to new moms. Old ladies in grocery stores, who would normally run over my foot with their carts to get to the sale on bread, now stop to talk to my child. Today, in the store, Arrena was sitting comfortably in her sling, looking around as I shopped. One lady stopped, cooed (of course, because my child is a cutie!) and asked her age. At hearing 2.5 months, she was AMAZED at how alert Arrena was. She went on and on about how Arrena was able to follow her with her gaze. Now, maybe I'm just sarcastic (maybe?!), but I was thinking that, of course she's alert - she's awake. If she were asleep, she wouldn't be noticing much of anything. But awake...... she's able to use her eyes just fine. And as for following the woman with her gaze, I'm pretty sure Arrena was trying to commit the details of the woman to memory, in case she had to pick her out of a lineup. She seemed vaguely crazy.

Another favorite is when, days or weeks after giving birth, I'm asked if I want to have another one. Another one?! I can't figure out this one yet. I think anyone who asks this question should get the beating they're clearly asking for. At least wait 6 months to a year. 2 weeks after giving birth, I don't know if/when I want a second child. I'm just hoping this one allows me to nap enough to avoid a psychotic episode. It's like asking a first-time driving student if they think they'd like to drive in the Indy 500 next. "Uh........maybe I should learn how to turn the blinker on and off before I make that decision". And you know whatever you say, be it yes or no, will be held against you in the court of public opinion.

The ugly truth is, that I'm acutely aware that another child could really finish me off. Arrena is easily an opinionated baby. They say that the second child will be the opposite character of the first. But since no one knows who "they" are, they can't be held accountable for when that proves false. And frankly, I'm barely holding my own with Arrena. Another one just like her and I'm a goner. :-) They'd outnumber me (even with Daddy on my side - they outnumber us in some cosmicly charged universe of parenthood) and let's face it, I will fold.

Of course, isn't that the joy of parenthood - learning to surrender to your life in a "I asked for this punishment" kind of way. There should be a mantra to parenthood - much like a 12 step program. Something that would give us hope and guidance in the dark times (teenage years). Right now, I have my own mantra that encapsulates my ideology of new mommyhood. It goes like this:

If my child is alive and breathing at the end of the day, then I've done my job well. Anything beyond that, is just gravy.

I wonder if the next baby will be as great an experience. DOH!

Friday, October 14, 2005

What's New?

Well, nothing, really. Or, everything. Depends on how you look at it (it's like a half empty/half full debate). The main thing is, we're surviving very well, thank you. Arrena is now sleeping through the night. Mind you, in baby terms, "sleeping through the night" means sleeping 5 hours, so don't be TOO impressed. Still, when your life has you sleeping in 45 mins increments, 5 straight hours is as close to heaven as you could ask for. So again, she's sleeping through the night - she goes down at 7:30-9:30, eats, then goes down again around 10:30-4am, eats, then again from 4:30-7:30. And for this cycle, I am so grateful.

The best and worst of times is that 7/7:30 time, when she wakes up cheerful and proceeds to "talk" for an hour! It's an amazing thing to hear her. She doesn't cry, she rarely fusses, but seems to engage in long discussion with our overhead light fixture. In fact, I think they might be having a fling - judging by the way I catch her smiling at it. It's downright flirtatious. I really wonder if, just maybe, it's not the light fixture itself that she's smiling at, but at her guardian angel. Maybe my grandmother is hanging out around the art deco light, smiling down at my little girl. I don't know, but I like that more than her infatuation for inanimate objects. Of course, knowing her father and I and our love of SLEEPING IN, we can't exactly figure out what distant relative we have to thank for letting us inherit a "morning person" for a child. NOT FUNNY!

Last, we are as in love with Arrena's smiles as ever. She's smiling more and more, and loves to talk to me. We have amazing discussions about all sorts of things from my hair to the meaning of life. And she's finally able to wear some of the cute outfits in her closet (instead of all the cute onesies she hangs out in at home). Here is one that Grandma C bought. It's largely known that it is a grandmother's right to go insane while buying things for their grandchild. My mom might as well have been a stockholder in Janie and Jack, considering how much "support" she gave them. And not to be outdone, Grandma S had to be threatened with bodily harm if she actually bought that huge child's chair in the shape of a teddy bear. We finally convinced her that, if she bought it, it would take up so much room that she'd have to sleep on it whenever she visited. Strangely, she didn't seem that put off by the idea. It was pretty cute and fuzzy, but I think her feet would definitely have dangled off the end. Yet another crazy, Grammy, bought her an adorable outfit for rainy days. It'll be some time before she's big enough to wear it (next year?), but it's so cute that it'll be worth the wait.

I do wish that we lived closer to everyone. The girl needs to know "her people" and to take a while considering how stretched out the visits are. Luckily, she has an Auntie that comes by to see her. Instead of a working lunch, she's having a sleeping lunch. Auntie makes for a good crib, doesn't she? :-) If only she would come by around 10:30pm.