Tuesday, January 3, 2012

doin' alright for the shape I'm in

I knew I'd be sleep-deprived, but the beauty of the hell that is the perpetual worry of your first child is that you get to nap. If you can tear yourself from ensuring their chest rises and falls during their nap. Seriously... I watched Harper while she slept. Just in case.

Generally, though, when they crash, so can you. It's a beautiful thing. On maternity leave, if you want, you can nap every.single.time they do. With any luck, by the time your significant other arrives home for the evening, you can manage a coherent sentence or two.

When you have two children (or more.. bless your hearts), you aren't as nervous. You have tricks up your sleeve. You can burp a baby with the best of them. You can change a terrible awful diaper and they don't even cry. You know when they're hungry, when they're tired and how to get them to sleep. With any luck, your significant other also knows these things so that every once in a while, you get a 5 minute break.

Here's where the other shoe drops. The trade off: You can't nap. So in those first few weeks when your newborn sleeps all day and eats/fusses all night, all you can do is look longingly at the occupied Rock 'n Play and wish you were 21 inches long while you hoist a 30 lb toddler onto a slide - specifically labeled for outdoor use but unabashedly assembled in your basement because you'll do anything to keep your toddler occupied in the cold winter months - or climb into their playhouse (also far too big for the basement, but in there anyway..or this could just be me).

I'm managing to shower every day. ...because when you only sleep a few hours each night, sooner or later, you're gonna look in the mirror and scare yourself. Showering helps. Most days, I wear clothes that you won't confuse for pajamas. Some days, I even wear make up. I'm making this look easy.  

It's not.

I have finger paint on my clothes, something sticky and hard stuck in my hair and my socks don't match. Whatever you do, don't try to carry on a conversation with me or listen to what I say. Generally, if you look closely, you'll hear and see things like this:

1. Newborn care: Vaselining the wrong end of diaper. Thrice. Vaselining outside of diaper. Twice.

2. Housekeeping: Hoisting the regular, gross diaper-laden trash into the bright blue, amply marked, enormous Recycling can.

3. Disciplining my child (with nonsensical gibberish): "You can either stand here and scream about nothing or you can go to timeout." ((confused look from toddler))

4. Safeguarding my toddler from the wiles of a suddenly insurmountable mouthful of chocolate covered almonds: "Spit that in my mouth, right now!"  ((toddler: confused, again))

5. And because Brandon, my darling genius husband, is never exempt from scrutiny, and because he's been on vacation and keeping a few more of my newborn hours, it's gotten to him, too: A few days ago, he almost lost his marbles on the scale because he had gained 10 lbs in two days. ...but he was actually just holding Henry and forgot. Boom. Doctored.

More to come from the trenches..


  1. Ah! But so cute! This will be me in about 20 weeks...

  2. LOLing over here. Ah, the messed up brain on sleep deprivation.

    Not that I know anything about it.

    (Mad impressed on the showering everyday. You so fancy!)

  3. Way to scare a mommy who's thinking about baby #2. :) Who am I kidding, I already knew (from experience) that newborns are tough, so no surprises here. More laughing because I know I will be exactly like this!

  4. LOL! Take it from someone with a 2 year old and a 3 month old... it gets better =). A routine sets in and things get better! Enjoy it as much as you can...

  5. Ahhhh. It's just like you said! I had the PLEASURE of being there for two months!
    You are a wonderful mom!

  6. Hi Courtney, This post reminds me of my sleepless nights and not-with-myself days. The pressure and tight spot of having a toddler is really something. Sometimes I seem to be out my mind. Disciplining my child with nonsensical gibberish? Happens to me all the time. But each day is just wonderful seeing an innocent baby smile. Excellent post. Thanks, Grace