Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Little Disasters (and Triumphs, Too!)

Today was filled with little disasters. It wasn't a bad day, exactly. It was the day Charlotte stood up in her playpen for the first time and got really, really excited. It was the day she and I went to Starbucks, just the two of us, shared a chair and giggled while we snacked. So, no, I would definitely not call it a bad day. Which is not to say I don't have those. Yes, I love my daughter. Yes, I am beyond grateful to have her in my life. But, no, that does not mean I am not allowed to have truly awful days where absolutely everything appears to be wrong.

Today was just one of those days where a million things went wrong, but enough went right to enable me to have a sense of humor about it all. It started early this morning. I've had trouble with insomnia since I was eleven, so it is not uncommon for me to find myself staring at the ceiling at 5 A.M. until I finally get up to eat a banana or piece of toast, go on the internet, and eventually panic about how long I've been up and how little sleep I will actually get before it's time to get up for the day. And so it happened that I totally lost my cool when Charlotte decided to get up and start her day just moments after I had fallen asleep after three hours or so of being, well, awake. I muttered some epithet under my breath, or maybe not so under my breath, as it turns out, because Chris asked me what was wrong. After enduring my diatribe, Chris, who had possibly clocked in about three hours of slumber at this point and was finding it hard to dredge up any sympathy for his whiny wife, said "Oh", and rolled away from me. Ah, how he would soon come to regret that "Oh"! We argued later in the day about sleep, compassion, and the scientific matter of how much energy it takes to utter "Oh", as opposed to "I'm sorry, honey". It was a very scholarly argument, complete with charts and graphs, but ultimately we agreed we were both tired and stressed by the ridiculous hours he's been working, and we put the matter to rest.

Our next little disaster came in the form of two babies positively screaming for my attention while I sort of stood around looking dumbfounded. See, I watched my friend's nearly fourteen-month-old baby, Leilani, this morning. I do it all the time, and she's always really great for me, heeding my "Don't touch!" commands and maintaining a pleasant countenance. Well, today, she was a little out of sorts. She was extremely tired, but responded to each of my attempts to put her down for a nap with a tearful "No!" and outstretched arms that you'd have to be blind or positively heartless to resist. The agony of it all, being forced to nap in addition to my daughter tugging on her clothes, finally took its toll and she lost it. She cried and cried. I picked her up and rocked her, trying to console her and possibly lull her to sleep. At this point Charlotte is upset that I am holding another baby instead of her and begins to cry and tug on my pants. So, here I am. Alone, trying to let Chris get the sleep he so desperately needs, while two babies scream in stereo. I tried to appease Charlotte with a snack and tend to Leilani, but Chris had woken up, and mercifully helped me with Charlotte while I got L down for an HOUR AND A HALF nap. And then Charlotte went down for an HOUR nap. Triumph!

The high of this triumph didn't last long, however. Earlier this evening, Charlotte and I were rolling around on the floor, laughing and exchanging kisses on our cheeks. Well, and my nose. All of a sudden, I notice something on my sleeve. It sort of smells like prunes, so I figure maybe she's spit up a little of her lunch. Then I notice an even bigger spot on my other sleeve. I take note of the fact that it's a little too thick to be spit-up. Yeah, it's poop. It's poop that filled her diaper, came cascading over the top, spilling onto the floor, her clothes, MY clothes, and all over her back. It was so ridiculous (and disgusting) that I had to laugh. This made my deliriously tired daughter laugh. And so we both laughed a little too hard about the fact that I was wiping an obscene amount of crap, which seemed to be multiplying in volume, off her every limb and off every surface in a ten-mile radius.

And finally there was bath time. I was very excited because it was Charlotte's first bath in the big tub. After a few daredevil attempts at standing up in the infant tub which rests in our kitchen sink and after the subsequent nightmarish visions of her plummeting to the floor, I procured a non-slip Tinkerbell mat, a rubber ducky spout cover, and some stacking/pouring cups for the bathtub. She was excited, and this would have gone well had it not been for the fact that our bathroom is not only really small and old, but also completely ill-suited for bathing children. The tub and the vanity are so close together, I'd have to be cartoonishly rolled flat by a steamroller to fit there. So, as I vowed to rip out the shower doors and replace them with a curtain, I pulled off my pants and got in the tub with her to finish her bath. The awkward angle was not ideal for thwarting her standing and grabbing maneuvers, but we made do. The plus side to this scenario was looking at the aftermath of this disastrous bath time adventure. Seeing the all the toys and baby bath paraphernalia taking over my tub made me sublimely happy.

So, there it is. A day in my life. The highs and lows. Baby giggles, baby kisses, and rolling around in baby poop. And now I need to get my achey back in bed so I can get up and do it all over again.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Excuses, Excuses

It's Friday night, and I just put the baby to bed. It's early, and I'll be up for at least a couple hours. What could be a better time to write? Well, unfortunately, it isn't as ideal as you would think, and I'm not really writing a new post so much as I am offering a string of excuses as to why I can't write a new post.

First of all, even though at the moment, Charlotte is currently slumbering peacefully in her crib, she will most certainly be up soon. See, she has a cold, and her runny, stuffy nose wakes her up every so often. Besides, she usually wakes up a few times before I go to bed, not fully relaxed until I relent and pull her into bed with me. It's a problem, and it may become a bigger problem when she's a toddler and won't get out of our bed, but right now we're just rolling with it. I was so worried about getting her on a schedule and needing to know whether or not she was going to continue nursing, etc. that I realized I was missing out on making the most of this first year, the only year she gets to be a baby. So, I am cherishing our snuggle time in bed and taking my cues from her as far as nursing, which she suddenly wants to do all the time. And maybe that will change, and if it does, oh well. But, I'm not going to worry about it.

The other reason I don't have time to write a proper post is that I have homework. I'm in the last few weeks of my grad class, and I have a presentation to prepare, and a quiz to study for. I should be doing that right now.

Between all the madness of the last month involving my grandpa, Chris's insane work schedule, and visiting my grandma in Santa Monica while she recovered from surgery, finding time to write has been very difficult. Chris bought me a laptop for my birthday so I could get out of the house to write, and not once since I got it have we been able to make that happen. And now the holidays are approaching, and I need to get the house ready for Thanksgiving.

I suppose in the time it took me to ramble on about why I'm too busy too write, I could have at least attempted to broach one of the topics I've been meaning to write about in a meaningful way. So, this is just to say that I am here, and I am working on some new stuff, but it will be slow-going for a few more weeks until the quarter ends at school and Chris's workload slows down.

Thanks to those of you who give a damn whether or not I write anything. It's a great feeling knowing you're out there!