here is a quick diary, beginning at noon on sunday, when the in-laws took their leave of us (they almost got away with the baby. we hadn't noticed that they had discreetly packed her in the igloo cooler until she whimpered just before they closed the trunk. very crafty, omi nice guy!). here is how our first unassisted day went:
noon, Sunday: feeling confident. empowered. refreshed. ready to take on this parenting business.
12:07 pm, Sunday: why won't this baby remove her fingers from her eyes?
12:16 pm, Sunday: and what is the deal with that screeching?
12:38 pm, Sunday: WHEN ARE THIS CHILD'S PARENTS COMING TO PICK HER UP?
12:39 pm, Sunday: oh she was just hungry. no problem; got it all sorted out.
1:08 pm, Sunday: should milk be coming out of her nose in high-pressure blasts like that?
2:13 pm, Sunday: baby sneezes during application of diaper rash cream (or as we call it 'round these parts: crack spackle), instantly loosening her sphincter. baby craps all over father's hand. father still in frame of mind where he think this is about the coolest/funniest thing ever.
2:22 pm, Sunday: a changed, fed and swaddled baby comes very close to dozing off when she has several audible bowel movements. should dad risk disturbing placid baby by changing her, or should he let her marinade in her own feces? where is the new york times ethicist when you need him?
2:46 pm, Sunday: baby making horrible screeching sound. am realizing i can tell difference between her cries: the condor, the bald eagle, the jackal, the moose in heat. i can tell them apart, but have no idea what they signify
3:12 pm, Sunday: baby asleep. we grab stroller and cruise the neighborhood.
5:41 pm, Sunday: baby has slept more than two blissful hours, screaming only when the stroller stops. or slows down. or turns suddenly.
5:51 - 7 pm, Sunday: feed baby, burp baby, beg baby to stop screaming, change baby. repeat as necessary in whatever order you want, it makes no difference. call me sisyphus. (or sissy-face. that works too.)
7pm - 8:30 pm, Sunday: baby grunts like a truffle-hunting pig onto something good. howls every time father's pinky is removed from her mouth; protests every time one attempts to place her into a bassinet.
9 pm - 11: 30 pm, Sunday: quick feeding followed by two more blissful hours of babysleep, during which time mom and dad have dinner and cringe in abject terror every time baby moves. things are looking good. no doubt she will sleep through the night!
midnight - 5 am, Monday: feed baby, burp baby, beg baby to stop screaming, change baby, feed baby, burp baby, beg baby to stop screaming, change baby, feed baby, burp baby, beg baby to stop screaming, change baby, feed baby, burp baby, beg baby to stop screaming, change baby, feed baby, burp baby, beg baby to stop screaming, change baby, feed baby, burp baby, beg baby to stop screaming, change baby.
5:03 am, Monday: check the going rate for healthy newborns on ebay.
5:44 am, Monday: baby falls asleep in father's arms, refuses to sleep anywhere else. mother has finally drifted off to sleep.
8:01 am, Monday: baby ready to be fed. father's left arm completely numb and frozen in a football hold, impossible to extend.
8:57 am, Monday: feeding and changing (treatise on color of baby poo to follow shortly) largely uneventful. now that it is daylight, baby's circadian rhythms decide to let her fall peacefully asleep. her father however is hallucinating; mom has just put the laundry in the oven and the cats in the dryer. after a few minutes of adorably kicking her legs in the air and squirming on her tummy, an exhausted baby drifts back off to sleep. where was this particular child at 2 am?
11:02 - 11:47 am, Monday: baby awakes refreshed and cuter than something really cute (sorry, powers of simile failing). she is ready to be fed and i can swear she recognizes her bedraggled old man. a rush of love floods the heart. the world is beautiful.
noon, Monday: feeling confident. empowered. refreshed. ready to take on this parenting business.