I haven’t really felt much like writing lately, up until, well, just now. Last night, as I sat there half-sleeping and feeding Merrick, artistic inspiration struck out of nowhere and today I have a million and one ideas for some paintings. Paintings, prints, signs, cards, t-shirts and a website on which to sell all this stuff. How hard is it to have a coloring book printed?
Okay, I’m a little wound up. It’s gotta have something to do with being Baby Holder Numero Uno and being stuck inside the house for weeks on end while my husband gets to tool around in the garden whenever the fuck he wants and work on his ridiculous tan. Seriously, if I’m not actually holding Merrick, then I’m listening to him scream while I take my first shower in 3 days. I honestly hate to complain–no really, I feel awful doing it–but I’m…going…to…anyway. Oh, yeah this is happening.
Those people who tell you to "get some rest while your baby is sleeping" have obviously never really had a baby, or maybe they did, and they just let their live-in nanny take control of everything. I’ve had three kids and I’ve learned enough to know that babies don’t sleep. They wait. They wait until you’ve changed them, fed them, burped them, and rocked them. They wait until you’ve held them in your arms for 5 minutes, or 20 minutes, or 2 hours; it matters not. They wait until you quietly and carefully walk them back to their crib, then ever-so-gently lay them down. If you’re lucky, the baby will get right to the point and go ahead and pop his eyes wide open as if to say, "Nice try, Mom." Most of the time Merrick plays the game a little longer and lets me creep out of the room like a ninja before he starts screaming his little baby head off.
A wiser piece of advice would be this: Months before your baby is born, tie one hand behind your back and go about your day. You’d be impressed with the things I can do single-handedly. I’ve done things with my feet that would absolutely amaze you. Those shitty Bjorn slings? The ones with all the straps and buckles, that look like they belong hanging from the ceiling in some sex chamber somewhere? They’re awful. They’re uncomfortable, and as far as I’m concerned, they don’t really work–at least not when your baby can’t yet hold his own head up. And then, once he is finally able to hold his head up, chances are he’s not going to be happy about being confined in a stupid sling, and unless you have nerves of steel and you don’t mind listening to baby screams for hours on end–and that’s no exaggeration–then a sling is worthless around the house.
Caleb’s sweet. He does help. I broke down and bought a manual breast pump from Target, and I can make a bottle here and there, which gives me a little more freedom. But I have to admit: I get so damn jealous of my husband. I get jealous when he goes into town to meet a dealer. I get jealous when he runs to the store for a loaf of bread. I get jealous when he mows the lawn, when he checks his e-mail, cooks chicken on the grill, drinks a beer, talks on the phone, takes a shower…hell, it ticks me off when he goes to the bathroom by himself! I pee with the baby on my lap. I can’t drink a beer. I talk on the phone while I’m giving Mia a bath. I flip crap in a frying pan for dinner with one hand while holding the baby in the other. I want the luxury of 2 hands when I fold the clothes. I want to go grocery shopping without having to bring an 80 pound diaper bag, 2 carseats, a rowdy preschooler and a fussy baby with me. I want Caleb to get puked on. I want him to have to change his clothes 5 times a day, minimum. I want his boobs to leak. I want him to talk on the phone while holding the baby and emptying the dishwasher, privacy be damned. I want him to stay inside with Merrick when it starts to get too hot. I want him to try and keep Merrick calm while chasing Mia through the aisles of Walmart.
And so on and so forth.
Like I said, I hate to complain. But after my little tirade I actually feel a little better, and I do have some quiet time on my hands right now, so life isn’t that tough. I love little Merrick and holding him definitely isn’t a bad way to pass the time. Today we’ve got that appointment with the neurosurgeon. We’re bringing a long list of questions, and a pad of paper on which to write the answers…and a bottle and a coloring book and some crayons and an 80 pound diaper bag, 2 carseats, a rowdy preschooler and a fussy baby. Wish us luck!