Her Bad Mother

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Honey, if you're reading this, I'm fine... no, really, I am

The Husband reads my blog during the day when he's at work. Says that it's a bit weird sometimes to be getting the lowdown on his daughter's development and his wife's well-being from the Internet, but whatever. It's not that I don't give him the full update when he gets home, but by then I've usually already vented onto the blog, and he's read it, so all that's left to do usually is to fill in some colour, or, more usually, reassure him that I am NOT LOSING MY MIND.

'Cause apparently, it seems that from the Husband's perspective, some of my postings sound as though I'm this close to falling off of the the very narrow ledge of sanity that I'm currently occupying on the sheer cliff face that is new motherhood.

To wit: the swaddle rants. The Husband tells me that when he read, oh, the umpteenth paragraph in the 4th or 5th of the postings that were entirely about swaddling, he thought to himself: "The Wife is really not getting enough sleep."

To which I reply: DUH.

But sleep-deprivation is not what fuels swaddling rants. SWADDLING is what fuels swaddling rants. (This posting is not, you'll be happy to hear, going to be a swaddling rant. I've resigned myself to swaddling for the time being, and am saving up my swaddling issues for one bigass rant in the future.)

OK, I'll admit that maybe sleep-deprivation is exascerbating my natural tendency to obsess about things. But the extent to which I may end up obsessing about baby-related issues (and then ranting about them here) is, I think, nearly - if not entirely (again, I grant that I tend to be obsessive about things and that I am currently sleep deprived, and that this may be something of an explosive combination) - proportionate to the magnitude of the task God/Nature/The Universe has given me: raising my amazing baby to be the INCREDIBLE human being that she is no doubt meant to become.

(I've noticed that I've begun to use excessively long stream-of-consciousness sentences, which have the effect of making it seem that I, alone at my keyboard, am on the verge of hyperventilation. This may be one reason why the Husband thinks, when he reads, that I am teetering on the edge. So I'll slow it down. Breathe.)

ANYWAY. This is all to say that there is much to obsess about, but that my obsessing about it does not mean that I have, um, a problem with obsessing.

So, just to get it all (or most of it) out in the open, what follows is a partial list of things (I couldn't possibly list all of them) that I am currently obsessing about, the obsession about which should not be taken as evidence of a fragile emotional or physical state:

  • swaddling (surprise!)
  • spit-up (Baby spits up excessively. Really. Milky spew everywhere, all the time. Doctor assures me that it's fine, she's fine, it's normal for some babies, but come on. She and I are both covered in it all day long. People visit and she gurps up a little and they go, 'oh look that's quite a spit-up,' and I go, 'PUH-leeze.' If it's not down my ugly nursing bra or my day-in-day-out yoga pants, it's not really a spit-up.)
  • sleep, daytime (Baby doesn't like to nap. Averages about 45 minutes, a few times a day, unless she's in a stroller - which the fascistic Dr. Weissbluth says one MUST NOT DO, have baby sleep in stroller, that is - in which case she'll sleep longer)
  • sleep, nighttime (She does pretty well here, actually. But I'm greedy and I want her to sleep longer. The real issue here is when to cut the figurative cord and put her in her own room.)
  • sleep at any time (for me. Nighttime's not so good for me - I don't fully sleep when she sleeps because I'm waiting for her to wake up so that I can respond quickly so that there's less disruption in the night. I KNOW. It doesn't make sense entirely to me either. But I'm slowly getting much better at chilling out about this, which would let me get more sleep. Except that there's the grunting/farting/squirming/talking issue. Her, not me. Ignoring her can be a challenge. Where's Husband in all of this, you ask? Sleeping soundly. I know. It's NOT fair.)
  • schedules (this is so loaded for me right now that I can't even go there. Let's just say this - getting babies on schedules is hard when you can't stand to let them cry for even a minute. Not even a minute. Ten seconds. Maybe not even that...)
  • Weissbluth vs. BabyWhisperer vs. Babywise vs. Sears vs. anyone or anything else I hear about or skim at the bookstore that might provide some assistance with any of the above. (Also loaded. I come from a world - the academic world - where books help. Where, granted, people often babble nonsensically and contradict one another, but where there are usually some general terms of agreement. In any case, I have enough knowledge in my field to apply critical judgment to whatever disagreements I come across. In the world of baby care, I have no critical judgment. I'm the academic equivalent of a pre-schooler. And, with the exception of very very obvious principles like don't eat your kid, there seem to be very few terms of agreement between various parenting philosophies. I can't tell which of the books I'm reading is nonsensical. They all make sense and, at the same, they all make no sense at all. It hurts my head. )

OK. Deep breath.

There are, in addition to the above listed and unlisted baby-related obsession-inducers, a whole host of things that would be distracting were it not for the fact that, in my new Baby-filled universe, nothing else matters except for Baby, Hubbie and our happy, happy life - what my darling nephew Zachary called, when he was four years old and toasting our engagement with a glass of milk, FLAMILY.

So, yeah, I'm tired. REALLY tired, tired like I've never been nor ever will be again. And maybe a bit loopy at times. But I'm fine.

Awesome, actually.

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