In homage to the mid-early days of Dooce.
Congratulations (mostly TO ME), my tiny daughter; on February 28, you turned one entire month old AND I SURVIVED. You were born on the same day as your beloved maternal great-grandfather Stanton, who would have been 100 if he were still alive. Then after what felt like five seconds of blurry exhaustion and diapey changes, the entire month of February elapsed and now you have morphed from squishy little terrifying (and terrified) tadpole to giant fat one-month-old who is starting to bear an ever so slight resemblance to a human being, albeit a tiny one who seems to have a starter case of bulimia.
Your hobby palette has grown a tad bit more sophisticated in your month of life — when we first brought you home, your main interests were cluster-feeding for the entirety of your waking hours (you do NOT want to know what my poor shredded boobs looked like during that time) and screaming your goddamned head off every time we attempted to do anything to keep you from drowning in your own filth or freezing to death. Nowadays, you reserve screaming bloody murder during diapey changes for the few instances I’ve been inconsiderate enough not to tank you up beforehand, and your interests include:
Staring at “your shapes,” the homemade black and white decals I made for the wall above your changing table; stripes, stars, clouds, squiggles, diamonds, polka dots, a swirling vortex, arrows, a sunburst and checkers. You have a marked preference for the checkers, and your dad especially enjoys holding you up in front of them while you stare rapt. He says that you prefer the checkers because they bring order to your little life of chaos.
Holding your big fat noggin up all by yourself like some sort of 3-month-old grown-up, until you remember that you are indeed still a newborn and, even while I am doing my level best to support it, unleashing a juggernaut of a faceplant directly at whatever part of my clavicle is the boniest. One day last week you planted so hard that you bonked your little schnozz and it is the first time I’ve heard you cry in pain since your Vitamin K shot in the hospital, and it pierced my heart and made me die about a thousand times. Luckily you’re a newborn baby so I stuck a tit in your face and you forgot all about it immediately.
Attempting to suffocate yourself at every possible opportunity. Right this second I am afforded the ability to type with both hands because and only because you are sacked out on my chest, basically living every frat guy’s weird MILF dream by motorboating your food containers. You often fall asleep during one of your marathon nursing sessions, and your favorite way to do it is to detach from my boob (usually with “help” — another of your favorite activities is to sleep-nurse, which is basically to pass out on the titty but keep feebly sucking JUST ENOUGH so that you let me know you’re still eating. You’re the baby equivalent of that annoying friend everyone has who hasn’t touched their restaurant food in twenty minutes but every time the server comes to clear it, insists “I’m still working on it THANKS”). Anyway, your favorite way to sack out after getting milk-drunk is to just burrow into my abdomen and let my giant boob fall down on to your head. It’s the baby equivalent of passing out in someone’s hedges and insisting you’re FINE THERE THANKS. To this day I have no idea how your tiny little nose finds the air during these moments, but I’ve stopped trying to fight it because you’re still alive.
Raising your hilarious little arms in the world’s tiniest victory salute every time you get the use of them returned to you — TEMPORARILY — after a night of swaddling.
Getting all turnt up during your “witching hour(s),” which start at about 6 p.m. and continue until you fall asleep for the night, which you will still only do on top of my chest. In order to keep you alive whilst openly defying pediatrician’s orders not to bed-share (I really wish they’d be a little less hardline about that by the way — EVERYONE bed-shares a little bit but most people are too chickenshit to admit it; if only we all just admitted it and told our pediatricians THEY are welcome to try to put our tiny, cold, helpless little newborn babies in a crib alone after 9 months of being held in the world’s greatest cushiony house 24/7, thank you very much), I have devised a complex system wherein I set you on your back and nestle your big fat head under my chin, and put on seventy layers of clothing so that I keep the big duvet away from you. Anyway, I have recently discovered that the secret to solving your “witching hour” problem is just to put you to bed at 7:30. This means I also get to go to bed at 7:30, which I wanted to do the entire time I was pregnant, so, victory. This also means that your dad gets some well-earned peace and quiet at night where he gets to prepare for class (some of us still have to work, you know) and be a goddamned adult for two seconds. He repays this to me during the day, when he takes you so that *I* can be a goddamned adult for two seconds. Usually this involves going to the toilet and changing my underwear and scarfing down whatever happens to be nearest and then sleeping without a squirmy, giant-noggined infant on my belly for an hour and a half. But every once in awhile I also manage to work a bit on my book — but usually you notice that I am doing something that does not involve giving you my 100 percent undivided attention and start to freak out. The other day I gave you to your dad for TWENTY MINUTES so that I could go outside for the first time in 72 hours and the second — the second — I walked out the door, according to your dad, you went Full Thunderdome. I came home to find him in all-out crisis mode, with his noise-blocking headphones on and a nitrile glove, so that you could suck his little finger with both ferocity and sterility.
Projectile crapping at 4 a.m., with particularly impressive propulsion, spraying everything (and everyone) within a three-foot radius.
In general, with minor 5-minute exceptions for when I have to go to the bathroom and there’s nobody else home, you get held and loved on 24 hours a day, and your every tiny need met immediately, whether that be serenading you with my new favorite YouTube channel, “8 Hours of Vacuum Cleaner Noises,” or nursing you for 6 hours straight. Don’t worry, though — it’ll be payback time when we tell the projectile-shitting story in great detail to your prom date.
Your Mom (Me)