Changeling

•May 1, 2011 • 2 Comments

I’m not sure when the swap occurred, only that it did. We should have remembered to leave an open pair of scissors near the dough box where she slept those first nights. I guess we just got sloppy, or maybe we figured the almost constant vigilance would keep us safe from the fey folk.

She’s missing the tell-tale greenish cast to her skin, but her poop is almost exclusively emerald – perhaps an adaptation of the fair ones to modern times? Otherwise, the signs are all there. Voracious appetite? Check. Malicious temper? Check. Difficulty in movement? Check. Inexplicable virtuosity on the pan pipes? Check. And those are just the wikipedia criteria.

“Hatred of sleep” didn’t make the list, but that’s what put me on the right track. Demony people don’t need sleep. Charlotte doesn’t need sleep. Therefore, Charlotte is a demony baby. She may not be failing to thrive, but her parents certainly are. I have not slept three hours in a row for five and a half weeks. She has only ONCE since the first few weeks of life napped for more than forty-five minutes by herself. Usually it’s about thirty minutes (if her father puts her down), sometimes no more than five (if I put her down).

We’ll prove it now. The water is coming to a boil. Carefully now, fill the eggshells and steep the malt.

Hark! A croaking voice comes from the Baby Einstein Underwater Adventure Play Gym. “Lo, I have lived many hundreds of years, and never have I seen beer stewed in an egg!”

Got you, beastie. Begone!

To die: to sleep; No more

•April 15, 2011 • 9 Comments

Charlotte has been going through her fourth month sleep regression for the past three weeks. She has not slept more than three hours in a row since then; usually her longest sleep time is two and a half hours. To give you an idea of what this looks like, take last night as a sample:

6:30  –  E returns home.
7:15  –  Bathtime.
7:30  –  New diaper and PJs.
7:35  –  One last go at the boob.
7:50  –  E takes over to put her to bed.
8:45  –  She goes to sleep and stays asleep.
11:30-12:00  –  First night waking.
1:30-3:00  –  Second night waking. I try to put her down 3 times unsuccessfully. E takes over when my sobs wake him up.
4:20-4:40  –  Third night waking.
5:40  –  Fourth night waking. I take her directly into bed with me and try to fall asleep with her at the boob.
5:40-7:30  –  Fifth through ??? night wakings. She wakes up, eats, and falls back asleep 3-4 times.
7:30  –  She wakes up for the day, a supremely cheerful and darling baby!

Before this regression, she slept in her crib in our room. About two weeks into it, E attached the crib to the side of our bed to make a co-sleeper so I could just roll over and feed and comfort her back to sleep. I hate having her literally in the bed with us because we’re both relatively big people, not terribly still sleepers, and we have multiple blankets and pillows. It seems hazardous, and I am rarely able to sleep with her there.

We hope this phase will end soon. For the first time, I find myself becoming angry with her: a horrible feeling. The sleeplessness is attributed by various doctors to the mental strain of developmental advances. She has been making great leaps forward in hand-eye coordination, rolling, sitting, and general playfulness. She is a lot of fun to play with! I don’t cry most nights, but it seems like things are getting worse rather than better. It can be frustrating to read about other people’s babies that sleep well when our own does not. We’ve tried all the standard and intuitive practices for getting babies to sleep so I think at this point we just have to wait it out.

To sleep, perchance to dream? For now, we can but dream of sleep.

Welcome to Parenthood! Right this way to your padded cell.

•March 14, 2011 • 6 Comments

I thought I knew more or less what we were getting into with this whole baby thing. Younger siblings, plenty of babysitting, and ample reading were surely adequate preparation. Naturally, bringing a new individual into the world would be more complicated and wonderful than could be imagined, but I figured I had the gist of it.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I’m talking strictly about new parenthood here, not its early symptoms of pain, lack of sleep, depression, and the extensive physical and emotional recovery from labor and delivery. That’s a whole other kettle of fish. Just the being-a-parent bit, if it’s possible to separate the two. It’s a struggle to explain what that shift, from married without children to married with children, was. It wasn’t as if our lives changed, exactly. It wasn’t just an added feature – “Now with more baby!” Nothing so simple.

It was as if we had taken that winding lane, passed through the dark forest, and plunged into the doorway to a new world, a world we had never conceived of – and hence stranger than finding ourselves in Narnia or some alternate dimension. And the queerest thing was that the inhabitants of this world weren’t talking animals or bug-eyed aliens, they were the guy we saw in the grocery store with his two little girls, the friends we’ve known since high school and college, the president of the United States. And while we spluttered and stammered and said, “Why didn’t you tell us, why couldn’t you tell us?”, they just smiled and said, “Oh, hey, good to see you; yeah, pretty weird, isn’t it?”

Pretty weird.

Project Bean

•May 12, 2010 • 15 Comments

We’re having a baby!

We heard the heartbeat for the first time on Friday. What a strange, exhilarating experience. I don’t think I properly believed in it before then, all signs to the contrary. We’d been calling our new addition “bean” until then, but it doesn’t seem appropriate now we’ve been introduced more concretely.

It hardly seems necessary to say, but we’re overjoyed. We’ve wanted kids for so long that the idea of our own baby was almost mythical in nature. Not anymore (as much)!

I’m going to have plenty to say about pregnancy, babies, experimental techniques on raising children, and much more, but for now, here are some possible names we’ve been kicking around. (By the way, we do plan on finding out what sex the baby is, that’ll be in about 8 weeks, and I’ll let you know.)

If it’s a boy:

Thor Danger
Stewart Turkeylink
Gaspar Loam
Dwayne Carbuncle
Blip Tang
Seamus Stink
Robinson Stickleback
Turdburglar
Geoffrey Stalkinghorse
pLug
Lefty “Bookend”
Stevan Stephen Stephan Steven

If it’s a girl:

Prudence “Garry”
April Carnage
Tiffany Dustbuster
Disco Betty
Flannery Pajamas
Butterfly Hopkins
Killer
Burps Toast
Jane Tomorrow
Hypatia Iphigenia
Charity Maleficent
Ursula Pickle

Boy or girl: we don’t much care which it is. We’re so thankful for this blessing!

My sister is here!

•March 27, 2010 • 5 Comments

Sanity not required.

A snappy title

•March 24, 2010 • 8 Comments

Two Midols + two iced coffees = holy shitmuffins, why is the world plunging through space? Which technically it was doing even before the caffeine overload, but now it’s happening BEFORE MINE EYES. Oh, sweet Moses, I’m about to fall off my chair. Also, for some reason, wordpress isn’t showing me a cursor as I type, and it is difficult to revise any sentences with the mouse scuttling all over the desk like that. Hold still, you.

Okay, so the reason for the coffees was that they were free, and I cannot resist free things, my people, even if they’re bad for me. They were free because I got my hair cut today, and the hair salon provides all sorts of caffeinated goodies for their patrons. When I pay $40 for a haircut, by gum, I get my money’s worth! I’m devolving into girly-ness just this once because I’m absolutely thrilled with my stylist, and even though $40 is more than I’d ever want to pay for a pair of jeans, a plane ticket or a new car, she’s totally worth it.

P.S. If you think my hair looks bad, don’t tell me because I will a) punch you in the kneecap, and b) cry.

As you may know, I spend a lot of time with my cats. I like to think that I’ve been welcomed into their cat herd, much like Julie of the Wolves. I’m sensitive to their needs, and they are sensitive to mine. For example, Harriet knows that I don’t want her on my lap every single time I sit down, and it only takes being shoved violently to the ground six or seven times before she submits to curling up next to me instead.

Max, though. Max is a kindred spirit. If I were really to give you what you want on this blog, it would be all Max, all the time. Who can resist him? He’s tender, edgy, erudite, and he looks great in a swimsuit. He’s always up for a discussion of literature, religion, ethics, history. Some sample items he’s brought to my attention recently:

Steinback writes that all stories are fundamentally about good and evil: discuss. Do you find it difficult to read G.K. Chesterton because of his racism and pomposity, even though you know he’s an excellent writer/thinker? Which of the following annoy you the most: Democrats, Republicans, libertarians or independents?

That last one’s a trick question. Max hasn’t followed politics since 2006 when he discovered that catnip was legal. He didn’t even vote in the last presidential election. Politics nauseate him:

He’ll be happy to ponder all other questions you may wish to pose. A deeper, more thoughtful cat you’ll never find.

In passing…

•March 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The wind and the National Weather Service are both calling for rain, and while I wouldn’t singly trust my interpretation of the one nor the judgment of the other, together I think we can count on getting wet. It’s making the cats a bit wild (Max just jumped on Harriet’s head) and me, too, although I’m containing myself better. I suppose that’s the benefit of a college education.