Today, my girl had her 6-month checkup, and now that she’s 6 months, of course the favorite question for everyone to ask is, “Is she sleeping through the night yet?”
The yet part is, by far, the most annoying part of that inquiry. And when I say no, it’s always followed by unsolicited advice that frequently leads to a discussion of her “schedule.” As in, “what’s her nap schedule?”
This question used to make me feel like an inexperienced and unqualified parent. It initially made me rack my brain, but the only entry I ever found under “schedule, baby” was a blank page. Now that I’m much more at ease and confident with my own parenting skills and talents, it just makes me react with “schedule? WTF schedule are you talking about?!” When I can’t even nail down a routine for myself, how about we just roll with life, as it presents itself? Maybe that’s just the meditation practice talking, and I’m getting better at staying in the moment (ha!) or, more likely, maybe it’s just that I firmly believe that babies are not just tiny adults.
If I know anything about myself, it’s that I think it’s time I stop spending so much energy alternating between ruminating about what has happened and worrying about what’s yet to come and start focusing more and more on the moment. Every day is new, every moment is different. And that’s how I’ve spent the past 6 months. As a result, her “schedule” is as follows: she eats when she’s hungry. She sleeps when she’s tired. I know baby experts say again and again how important a routine is for baby. But, following my own parenting logic of “do whatever works,” our “routine” of addressing needs as they arise, is working just fine. She’s doing very well, growing and developing. Right on schedule.
So I have made it my 2012 resolution to blog as much as possible, getting back in to the habit. My only update for today, though, is that I have the cutest baby on the planet. Not exactly breaking news, I know. After all the hubbub of family in town for the holidays, it was time to just enjoy the day with my girl. Which was incredibly easy, since it is 80 degrees and sunny. Btw, I do feel slightly guilty announcing that, when I know how it is on January 1 almost anywhere else, but it was just contagiously nice. A little alarming given that 2012 is off to such a warm start, but not alarming enough to keep me from enjoying it. So we drank it in, taking 3 walks in between naps.
So I was thinking about getting a baby book to preserve baby’s stuff, and then I realized. No need anymore. All the photos? Digital files. My mom had a baby book for me that had all kinds of photos of me, little memories and dates (like my first smile, first time I crawled). That’s all recorded in digital pics & videos. Things have changed a lot in 35 29 years.
But there still is stuff to preserve, it’s just that it’s three-dimensional stuff. Her baby bracelets from the hospital, her first outfit. So I got an acid-free archival box to safeguard those things against the elements. That’s just how nerdy of a museum-geek historian I am.
Today was my first day back to work after having a baby. It sucked. It was so unbelievably difficult to leave my little infant at daycare, and reaffirmed to me that I need to figure out a way to work for myself. Since we moved here in 2006, I worked in museums (well, and one private art gallery) for four years, making the best of the local museum scene (which ain’t much, by the way) before fully abandoning museum work slash getting laid off last fall. Once I was laid off, I had to scramble to find a paycheck, so I took the first full-time benefits-eligible job I could find because I needed to pay our mortgage and eat and stuff. Y’know, the extravagant things in life. But having never had a baby before, I had no idea what to expect about just how hard it would be to put her in daycare and head back into the office. I’m not saying I would want to be a full-time stay-at-home mom, but I certainly wasn’t ready to return to work so quickly, and leaving a helpless little 8 week old at daycare was the most heart-wrenching thing I’ve ever had to do.
It just reaffirms the stuff I learned a couple years ago with career counseling. I need to figure out a way to work for myself, set my own schedule, define my own projects, and work from home. More than ever.
Loyal readers, you may be wondering what happened. For those of you who haven’t been here before, I disappeared from this blog and never re-appeared. So what happened?
Well, the short answer is I had a baby. A healthy, beautiful, lovely, charming, sweet baby girl.
I didn’t disappear because something went wrong or anything like that, captain doomsday. I disappeared because I gave birth much sooner than we ever could have expected, and just haven’t had time to get online now that I have my daughter. Btw, I love saying those words: My Daughter.
I won’t be sharing any of the details of the birth because it is so deeply personal and our own private little event. Suffice to say we have been made the luckiest & happiest people on earth. If you wish to continue to read about my journey (with life, motherhood, work and/or anything else, my goal is to get my old blog up and running, but I don’t think that will happen until next year). I got a baby to take care of, people!
Baby loves her baby swing. It soothes her, it lulls her to sleep. But when it comes to getting her out of the swing, I have to stop the swing, then lift her awkwardly out of the swing so as to avoid banging her head on the mobile. Why doesn’t someone make an adult-sized baby swing, so that I can get in it with her, it’ll still lull her to sleep and then I just get up out of the seat with her still snuggled on my shoulder, a seamless transition to bed.
If vegetable oil comes from vegetables, and olive oil from olives, where does baby oil come from?
We’ve just discovered that our daughter is allergic to dairy, and since I’m breastfeeding, that means I have to cut out dairy. So I’m going through the 7 stages of grief in letting it go. But I just can’t get to Acceptance. Phoenix is officially intolerable in the summer without ice cream. Yeah, yeah, I know. There’s sorbet. Hrmph to you.
Interwebz, meet baby. Baby, meet interwebz