Tuesday, April 19, 2005


It's been a minute, mostly because I've been out of town and busy with other things. This is the main reason why I wanted to avoid daddy-blogging - there's this pressure to provide content more regularly but sometimes you don't have time and other times, you just don't have the inspiration. Much as I'd like to say that my head is boiling over with topics on an hourly basis, the truth is that my experience with parenthood has been more like a continuous loop. There are some new things to report along the way - first smile, first crawl, first tantrum, etc. - but most days things just resemble the day before...or what I might predict for tomorrow.

Right now, I'm at the nadir of this current loop. Far from becoming more tempered to L's fussiness and crying, I feel like my fuse is even shorter than ever. That's not her fault - I self-reflect that frustration inwards at my inability to comprehend just what is going wrong and how to address it. It's gotten bad enough that I've taken to posting to Craigslist's Parenting forum for advice. However, that only further proves the adage that "every baby is different" since you'll get myriad suggestions, few of which are in actual agreement with one another.

So far, the only things I've found to absolutely work is taking her out for a walk...and that'd be fine if I had the stamina to walk 10 hours straight to wait for Sam to go to work and come back. Note: L is almost never as fussy when her mom is around which leads me to speculate that either she doesn't feed as well with me, and therefore, she's fussy because she's hungry or else Sam just has some secret maternal calming hormone. Bottle that and you'd make billions...

Part of my frustration/despondancy comes from the feeling that I'm just not cut out for SAHD status and being the stubborn refuse-to-admit-defeat kind of guy I am, this creates much internal conflict. After all, as I frequently tell myself, billions of women and men do this daily and it's hardly as if L is a real problem child by any objective standard. Hiring a nanny, or putting L in day care, just seem like admissions that I'm a lousy caretaker. If I was working full time, sure it'd make sense, but right now, I have the time. What's lacking is the stamina/patience.

Ironically (or maybe not), this all seems very distant when she's in a good mood. It's like a light switch: her happiness suddenly dissipates the emotional darkness and it's hard to remember what the bad stuff feels like. But the moment the crying starts, you instantly recall just how bad it can be. There's something very bipolar about this which I'm sure isn't particularly healthy. On that note, my therapist more or less hits it on the nose when she points out that I've always been ambivalent around taking care of women (formerly, my mom, then girlfriends) insofar as I both feel duty-bound to look after their happiness but I carry with that a kernal of resentment. Just my luck that I have a daughter, *laugh* though truthfully, both Sam and I really wanted a girl and I doubt my situation with L would be any improved if she were a boy instead.

All I really want to know right now are ways to keep her calm and uncrying without having to resort to either taking her out for long walks every hour or else carrying her about the house in the koala hold 9-5. We went to see the doctor today and he opined that her 5 O' Clock Fussies (as they've come to be known) are possibly a reaction to over-stimulation but trying to put her to bed in a quiet, darkened room does very little. I can't quite figure it out but there's something about laying down on her back that she really hates when she gets like this (being on her tummy isn't so hot either so scratch that easy solution).

In any case, I hope there are happier times ahead to report on - I'm sure there will be but it's as an acquaintance told me this past weekend: the months go by fast but the days last forever. Very true.

Posted by P.L. at 5:12 PM


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