Thursday, July 28, 2005

EVERYBODY POOPS

This is what I've been reduced to: the highlights of my last week with L revolve around poo.

It began with this weekend where L decided to go on a shit-strike by withholding for 3-4 days straight. She's skipped a day before but by the 4th day, Sam and I were both a little worried, especially since it seemed that L was having trouble napping out of discomfort. We couldn't figure out what was going on either - sure, L had started some solid food but it was mostly mashed peas and basic oatmeal. It wasn't like she was putting away a plate of steak and potatoes.

We were ready to call the doctor's office the next day but that evening, L finally dropped a load - though a rather modest one, all things considered for four days. She had another normal poo the next morning and everything seemed fine.

Until today where little L-Boogs practically destroyed not one, but two entire outfits. It wasn't a T.A.E. but the sheer volume of shit was mind-boggling, especially the second one. They completely blitzkrieged the diapers she had on, the first a cloth, the second a disposable, and alas, ran right up her backside. I had to throw out a onesie (one of my favorite too!) because it was stained so bad, even the evening wash couldn't salvage it. (Not to get all gross with ya'll - though we're way past that now - but I wonder if the high fat content of breastfed baby poo has to do with its remarkable staining power?)

Just to make things worse, L has now gotten into the habit of touching herself "down there" when she's naked and while I have no qualms with her discovering her body, her fingers will go straight to her bum and then to her mouth so I had to be very careful to make sure she wasn't touching herself before I had a chance to properly wipe everything down. Throughout the whole process, I was laughing up a storm even though no one, besides Ella, was around to ask what my chortling was about.

And who says being a SAHD is boring?

Posted by P.L. at 12:57 PM 6 comments

Monday, July 18, 2005

SAHD LIFE


illiterate but cute

As promised, an update on my SAHD experiences:

It's been three months now since Sam went back to work and it fell to me to look after L's daycare.

I'll fully admit: it's been challenging, especially the first few weeks where I had a very hard time adjusting from my previous independent lifestyle to being beholden to L's whims, compounded by my inability to read her little mind to figure out what she wanted/needed. (I've felt like I've gotten better at that actually).

The sacrifice in time, for me, has been the hardest thing to do, both in terms of adjusting my personal expectations but it's also impacted my time to work on other projects (I work out of my home and on a flexible schedule but parenthood most definitely has limited my options of when and where I can get my projects done).

I admit...Sam and I broke down (really, I broke down) and we hired a PT nanny to come in. I wish I had some great stories to share about the nanny-find process but nothing was very dramatic. We posted to Craigslist, got a bunch of responses, picked the ones we liked and ended up with "Iris," a young, 20-something nanny who takes classes in the morning and then comes by to our apartment 2-3 times a week, for four hour shifts. My mother-in-law comes through once a week as well.

Now - if you do the math, you'll note that I get help at least three days a week and Sam was able to work from home once a week up until recently, when her company revoked the privilege from everyone on staff (bastards!) So really, Fridays, and sometimes Thursdays, were the only days where I had L the entire day, on my own and that's not really too tough, right?

Yet, I find myself counting down the clock everyday until Iris or my MIL can come through to free me up to get back to my work. And I admit, this is really important to me, to have some sense of control over my time. Like many parents though, I have guilt issues over putting my needs over that of taking care of my daughter.

On the flipside, as everyone also said - it's just as important that I be a happy parent as a present parent and if getting time to myself makes me happier to spend time with L, then that's all the better. In theory.

What will be challenging is that as L gets older and is more aware, she'll want to interact even more and won't be happy if I slide her onto an activity pad or put some toys in front of her and hope that occupies her. On one level, I'm very much excited to see L come into her own intellectually and physically. On the other hand, it also means I need to really be able to focus on her and not be all ADD in trying to integrate her into the rest of my life while mulit-tasking 20 other things. Brave new world? Or just a scary one? Ask me again in a year or so.

Meanwhile, our current problem has been that L's sleep patterns have taken a turn for the worse. She had been sleeping around 6-7 hours a night (straight) but these days, we're lucky if we can get 5 from her and many nights, she'll go down for 4 hours but then every 2-3 hours after that, she'll wake up.

The being up isn't so bad but the incessant moaning is. I guess it's not really a moan per se, but it's a very loud expression that sounds rather like, "unnnnhhhhh!" like L were some Frankestein baby. We're not sure, at all, what this is about, though we surmise it might be teething. Either way, Sam and I were on the road to sleep recovery but now, it's like the first few weeks again and it's taking its toll on minds and bodies. I'm starting to nod off as we spea...zzzzzzzzz.

Posted by P.L. at 5:58 PM 5 comments

DADDY'S BACK

Yes, it's been awhile I know. It's not for lack of interest, just lack of time. However, my good friend T and his wife just welcomed a brand new baby boy (we'll just call him Parker) into the world yesterday morning after a DEBACLE of an experience (but I'll try to get him to share it with us later) and that's reinvigorated me to chatter away again.

I have a longer update on my own SAHD experiences in the work, but in the meantime, here's what I told my friend T:
    "At some point in the next few days, you might feel like you're woefully unprepared for all this shit and that, without a doubt, you're within a hair's breadth of accidentally killing your baby or at the very least, damage him so that his future therapy bills will be more than private school. You'll also be offered more advice than you'd ever want to get, all from well meaning people who will likely drive you batty.

    Just know this:

    1) You can do this. There's absolutely no reason you can't. Don't let self doubt destroy your happiness and joy at how amazing all this is.

    2) When in doubt, rely on common sense. FUCK what "the books say." Rely on what makes sense, not someone else's guide.


    3) Right now, Parker is the most complicated and the most simple person you'll meet. Complicated because he's brand spanking new to the world and to the two fo you. But simple because babies aren't weighed down with all the social, mind-fuck garbage we are. If he cries, it means he's probably a) hungry, b) soiled his diaper, c) tired/overstimulated or d) gassy. All things considered, only having to consider four potential solutions isn't so bad.

    4) Lastly, just try to enjoy this time. It's cliche to say "they grow up so fast" but jesus christ, they do. I really can't overstate how great skin-to-skin time is or even just laying Parker on your chest to sleep. We can't do that with L anymore - she thinks we're trying to play and won't relax in that position. I'm hella sad about that."

Posted by P.L. at 6:57 AM 1 comments