Newborns for the most part poop, eat, and sleep. In between, they snuggle and cry. The snuggling part is Mother Nature’s evil trick of making you think procreation isn’t such a bad idea, and obviously the crying part is because Mother Nature is a bitch. Don’t believe me? Watch one of those nature shows where a gazelle gets ripped to shreds by a lion. Total bitchface.
My life these days:
IS IT POOP? (checks diaper)
HUNGRY? (shoves boob/bottle in mouth)
<<BAH>> (sound of Baby spitting food out)
Rock? Rock Baby. Bounce? Bounce Baby.
Distract? Blow in Baby’s face.
<<Baby takes a breath>> (Yes. Yes. Yes. It worked…) WWWWAAAAHHHHHHHH
Read Baby a book?
(Baby pushes book away with freakish Baby strength) WWWALAAAHAHHWWHWH
For those who don’t know, new humans need food every two to three hours. A feeding can last upwards of a half hour. Then the Baby needs clean diapers. Sometimes twice because if you keep the diaper off too long Baby will pee/poop all over and you have to start again. Diaper changing can take around fifteen minutes. And then…
Resume bouncing and sweet-talking and rocking, until finally Baby drifts off for an hour. Yes, that’s right, new parents probably will have to get up every hour (or half hour if Baby is fussy or never if Baby decides to scream through that hour) to attend to Baby’s needs. Somewhere in there, parents will want to eat or sleep. My therapist once told me people torture prisoners of war with sleep deprivation. I now know why.
WHAT DO YOU NEED?! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THE BOOKS IN THE WORLD BABY HUMAN TELL ME WHAT YOU NEED!!!
Before Baby was born, I had a long conversation about the cost of baby items. Gliders, hundred dollars. Swings, two hundred dollars. Strollers, three hundred dollars. Bouncers, seventy up to one-fifty. Colic reducing bottles, about ten each, less if bought in a bundle. Case of diapers, thirty-five. (Baby goes through about 3,000 diapers in a year, which is why I’m going to attempt cloth diapers. I’ll let you know how that goes.) Sound soothers, fifty…
Essentially, baby stuff is over priced unless you have more than one kiddo. Even then yikes! And still…
You would pay anything to make your baby stop crying.
Seven hundred dollars for a little plush tiger baby likes to chew? What’s another month late on the rent? Twenty-nine thousand dollars to download a song that puts baby to sleep? Defaulting on my student loans over here.
An infant crying is the most disturbing sound known to wo(man). For this reason alone baby humans need to come with a manual. Not that I could imagine pushing one out after Baby and the placenta.
Thankfully, The Baby Owner’s Manual Operating Instructions, Trouble-shooting tips, and Advice on First-year Maintenance exists. Louis Borgenich, M.D. and Joe Borgenicht, D.A.D. wrote it.
Apparently, Baby does more than poop, eat, sleep, snuggle, and cry. Baby gets constipated. Baby gets hair in their eyes. Baby needs burping. Baby farts and sharts. Baby gets insect bites. Baby gets cradle cap – WTH is cradle cap?! Baby can get a flat head and then Baby needs a Baby helmet. Baby can choke. Baby spits up.
Baby wants the cradle hold.
Baby changes little Baby mind. Baby now wants football hold.
One-second later, Baby wants shoulder hold.
Three seconds later, Baby wants Boba hold. (Parent quickly attempts to wrap eighty-foot swatch of cloth around their body without choking out and trying not to laugh at stage of wrap where parent looks like a Jedi in training whilst balancing Baby on lap.)
Baby wants swaddling.
Baby doesn’t want swaddling.
Baby wants pacifier. Is Baby too hot? (remove clothes) Is Baby too cold? (add clothes) Does Baby want a toy? If breastfeeding: did I eat something bad? Does Baby have Baby heartburn or Baby gas? If formula feeding: does Baby not like this stuff? (switches brands nine times) Baby likes the first formula best.
Baby gets ear infections. Baby gets eye infections.
Baby gets a stuffy nose. (What do I do? Humidifier? Pull buggers out with squeeze bulb? With tissue? With my giant finger? With the odd Nosefrida contraption?)
Baby can claw their face off with their little sharp Baby talons if not properly trimmed.
Baby needs washing.
Baby vomits. Baby gets hiccups. Baby gets bumps and bruises and acne and rashes.
Getting Baby into Baby’s car seat is the seventh circle of hell, and Baby’s wails would make Beelzebub cringe.
I used to wear makeup. Now I wear spit-up, compression socks to avoid varicose veins, and what I like to call ‘the exo-skeleton’ a three-part brace of sorts meant to tuck your body back to it’s normal place. Whoever said ‘they’re not stretch marks. I’m a tiger who earned her stripes’ was more mental than me. It looks like Freddy Kruger tried to claw his way out of my abdomen. And thighs. And breasts. And calves. Yes, calves. So yeah, my body is completely ruined, but Baby’s birth was a breeze. I slept through half of it. Yeah-ya. Epidural all the way. Plus last week I huffed and I puffed and I pulled myself into my pre-pregnancy jeans. So that’s a win.
I wrote this one-handed, eating oatmeal like a cave woman with my free hand while Baby slept on my chest . But hey, Baby wasn’t crying. At least not for now.
Baby slept through the night for the first time yesterday. At six weeks. Total win. My trick? The owner’s manual.
PSS – Each year for Baby’s birthday we will switch the photos until Baby gets old enough to pick her own inspirational friends.
PSSS -If you want to do the project in your Baby’s room, I got the frames at Goodwill for about $1 or $2 each and painted them with little sample cans for about $3 dollars. The engraving was about $10 and I had the mirror. The most expensive part of the project was the 8 x 10 photos. Luckily, Walgreens had a photo sale for nearly a third the normal price. You could also use 5 x 7’s or 4 x 6’s, get a paint package with multiple colors, and paint your own message instead of engraving one.
PSSSS – Blogging will resume to a trickle. Between Baby and novel-writing and short story writing I had to prioritize homey.