Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Beta From The Beginning

We celebrated Beta Boy's tenth birthday this past week. He spent the day reflecting on his "first decade" and contemplating life in the "double digits". (He then went down to the club to play bridge with Marty and Sol; they hit the early bird and called it a day.)

I've been looking back and thinking about how daunting his first few months were. I had no idea at the time how common my fears and insecurities were. I was not a graceful new mom. I wore motherhood like a wool sweater that had gone through the dryer. It didn't fit right, it was itchy and uncomfortable, and I felt as though I was always struggling with it.

The worst for me were the grocery store visits.

Grocery store visits with my newborn had to be timed with the precision and skill of a military manuever, as he was nursing every hour and a half or so. And if the bar wasn’t open when he was thirsty, well he was going to raise holy hell, and I would have to suffer the angry glares of other shoppers, who clearly had NEVER HAD CHILDREN. Oh no, that would not do.

So I would feed him.

One hour, thirty minutes to go.

Then change him.

Then get him in the forty-seven layers he had to wear because it was winter.

One hour, fifteen minutes.

Then he’d poop.

Undo layers, change diaper, redo layers.

One hour, five minutes.

Run to bathroom and pee (knowing that this might be my only chance for the remainder of the day). No poop for mommy. No time. Make a mental note - remember to poop when baby’s older.

One hour to go.

Untangle straps on baby carrier. Strap baby in.

Baby poops.

Take precious minute weighing the pros and cons of letting him stay in his poop.

Conscience wins, take baby out, undo layers, change diaper, redo layers, strap baby in.

Fifty minutes to go.

Grab diaper bag, make sure it has the following contents:
Diapers (the need for which I think we’ve already demonstrated)
Wipes (good god, are there ever enough?)
Binky – take extra five minutes looking for a binky. We DO NOT leave the house without a binky.
“What to Expect The First Year”– should my baby come down with cradle cap, whooping cough or thrush during our shopping expedition.
A change of clothes – in case we are invited to dine with the captain at his table and we need something more appropriate for evening. Or if his diaper leaks.
AT LEAST five different developmentally stimulating baby toys.

Forty minutes to go.

Put carrier in car and drive to store. (Let’s not even think about how I look in my Winnie the pooh sweatpants, glasses, sneakers and baseball cap.)

Arrive at store – take carrier and bag out of car, find a cart, spend a good couple of minutes trying to figure out how exactly the carries fits into cart.

Thirty minutes to go.

Try to remember what it was we needed. Wading through sleep deprivation, looking for clarity. I think I started a list. Where was the list? What was on the list? Food. Yes, there was food. What food? What to cook? How to cook? We need meat, yes meat. Look, there’s some pepperoni - that’s meat! More protein. A dairy product. Look how pretty the Wispride Cheese Spread is, all orange and yellow and pink. Perfect. Oh, how proud Beta Dad will be that I am shopping. I am AWESOME. What else? Vegetables – we need vegetables.

Baby gets restless – my heart starts to race – must go faster. Twenty minutes to go.

Where was I? Vegetables. Oh, look, there’s a whole end cap with canned olives. Olives – plants – vegetables, right. Good. What else?

And so forth and so on. Baby fusses. Lactation begins. Time runs out.

I race my cart full of pepperoni, cheese spread, canned olives, not to mention cool aid, taco seasoning, macadamia nuts, and applesauce through the check-out and race home.

Un-strap screaming baby. Leave groceries in car. Feed screaming baby. Change diaper. Remember that there were groceries in the car. Get groceries. Wonder what to make out of pepperoni, taco seasoning, olives, Wispride and apple sauce.

Order take-out.


Susan at One-Woman Show said...

Those were the good ol' days, huh? My oldest would also begin nursing every 90 minutes, but took nearly 40 minutes each time she did. Needless to say, after sleep deprivation, a baby who was already proving she moved at her own pace and there wasn't a darn thing I could do about it, spending my "me time" (of approx. 10 minutes each day) enjoying a nice sith bath, and then my catching a serious cold and being just all-around miserable and feeling like a complete failure, my first go at nursing only lasted 3 weeks!

But 8 years later, she and I are doing fine.

You did, good, Beta Mom. It takes a lot to get a kid to the store AND come home with pepperoni and cheese wiz. Hope you all had a fun birthday celebration and trip down memory lane this past week!

fritz said...

well anyone who can do all that gets major props from me! and then you had another?? i am still trying on that wool sweater with an 11 year old...not really all that broken in though! happy belated birthday to beta boy and so glad to see a new something posted...you made my day!

Anna said...

Oh Beta Mom, you make me realize I never want another newborn, thank you!

I remember hiding in the back of a MArshall's when Will was two months old, and he was SCREAMING at the top of his lungs and I was hoping it would pass (what?). I would look gamely at other shoppers, like, what baby crying?

And what the heck was I doing at Marshall's anyway?

Liz Ulvila said...

You make me laugh right out loud! I remember those days well. I hope our little man had a great birthday! After seeing your cookies I hope you bought a cake! Ha! Love you! Aunt Liz

foolery said...

Yay -- she's back! And she made my nose all snotty with this line -- "Make a mental note - remember to poop when baby’s older."

Crap, I KNEW I forgot something.

Oh, and I have a great recipe for pepperoni, taco seasoning, olives, Wispride and apple sauce, if you don't mind that it also has Van de Camp's pork and beans in it.

Nora Bee said...

Hello! This describes very clearly what my baby's newborn days were like. Thanks, and happy birthday to your young one.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

Happy birthday!!

And I SO relate to this. My heart would race on those days that I had to leave the house for food. I hated leaving the house, there was so much anxiety!!!

And why oh why do newborns always poop within minutes of getting dressed and when you are racing to get out the door?!

Anonymous said...

you had me at the winnie the pooh sweats! ;)

creative-type dad said...

"He spent the day reflecting on his "first decade"

LOL- I remember doing that back then. Actually I still do that now

Jerseygirl89 said...

Thank you for that. I've been reading too many blogs about people who are having another baby, or just had a baby and I was starting to want another. But your awesome story reminded me that the only worse than going through all that again would be to do it with a preschooler and a toddler. Bless you.

Sarah O. said...

I love your posts. If I could write this well, I'd have written the exact same post. Brilliantly, I had both of my kids in December. I've already warned my kids to time babies for warm weather.

JennAusten said...

i love laughing. its probably my favorite thing to do aside from living on facebook. thankfully, you updated your blog and i got to laugh really hard for at least 5 minutes. so thank you for the laughter. also, i called trevor and am getting my tubes tied tomorrow. hahah. just kidding..not really.

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