Tuesday, 10 February 2015

A (cold) day in the life of....

(Note: This post was offline for more than a year because at the time I wrote it, I never finished it. I ended up publishing this post instead. I read this post again in February of 2016 - how much changes in a year! - and decided it deserves to be out there, finished or no.)

So, Sensitive Ginger among other bloggers inspired me to do A Day in the Life post.

The day was Monday, February 10th.

Here goes.

3:31 to 4:00ish AM: AJ and I wake up to feed. She has slept about 4 1/2 hours. AJ sleeps in the Halo Bassinest by the side of our bed. I love it, and am not looking forward to when she outgrows it, which she's going to do soon. By some mutual agreement we wake up together (can't remember exactly how it happened). She feeds from left boob, has a diaper change, and then right boob. Back to sleep we go. AJ has full belly, boobs are empty, all happy.

~7:00am: Mr. Turtle says goodbye to me before leaving for work. Fall back asleep. Sometime later AJ partly wakes me up by squirming and farting. I figure she probably isn't too hungry yet so opt to just go back to sleep. After a while she does too.

9:20: Both of us definitely awake and rested now. My first thoughts on waking up: Mr. Turtle's colleagues gave us a Target gift certificate and we still haven't used it, and now Target Canada is selling out. Crap. It doesn't appeal to me at all to shop the going out of business sales, but I guess we'll have to because I don't want to waste it.

I also remember what I was thinking about when I went to sleep: the best month to get pregnant again (October or November, FYI.) Being an urban legend I live in two realities: in one, I may not be able to get pregnant again ever. In the other, maybe I can and the perfect scenario is possible.  It's weird.

I get up, look at AJ, feel the usual amazement and awe (I won't say relief) that she is real, alive, here with us. She eats from right boob. Put her in her crib in the nursery where she chills out and sucks her thumb. Check the weather online to see how I should dress her. The weather is cold, -11C, but with a high of -1C so it might warm up. I opt for the knitted overalls one of my friends made her, so she'll be warm if we go outside.  I check a couple of blogs, because the whole internet is right there.

Sponge bath time! AJ enjoys her wash, smiles and talks, and does her best to eat the blanket/washcloth/soap/her fingers.

After dressing, back into the crib for back and forth raspberries, smiles, tickles.

I have a shower with the door open. When done hurry out (still in the nude) to check on AJ in the crib. She is drowsy. I throw in a load of laundry. By 10:48, AJ is asleep.

I make breakfast, scrambling the last 3 eggs and having them with toast and instant coffee. The hot instant coffee is one of my daily luxuries; I look forward to it. I am between new books, so I get Alice Munro's collected stories Too Much Happiness from downstairs. Canadian writer and Nobel prize winner Munro was one inspiration for AJ's name. But I end up reading the Baby Day by Day book instead.

When I do open Too Much Happiness some days later, I realize that the first story is about a woman whose husband murders her children. Before parenthood I could read stuff like this with no more than mild, even titillating shock. I could accept without much inner rebellion that sometimes the plot of the story, fictional or real, involves the death of a child. Now I don't want to accept that, and feel almost physically sick thinking of how fragile AJ's precious  body is, that people exist who would snuff the life out of it. But I'm still grateful for all the years of reading Alice Munro.  Her stories are a kind of emotional inoculation, a reminder that things are not most often not what they seem and that sentimentality can be very dangerous.

When breakfast is done I go back to the nursery and check the internets again while AJ sleeps. 11:30, AJ wakes up happy. She watches me quietly while I work some more on the computer. By 11:45 however, she is grumbling and tell me she is bored. So I take her into the living room and prop her up with the baby buddy pillow. She stares at the dishes in the credenza, so I take them out and show them to her. She smiles.

AJ talks to me while chewing on her fingers. At 11:55 she has a big poop. One of many diaper changes. Using disposable today because the cloth diapers are downstairs drying.

Back to the mat on the floor. I set the bottle and breast pump parts to boil, and put some music on the CD player. I read AJ an alphabet book. She pays attention politely like a good student.

I give her some toys next. She uses 2 hands to hold her soft rattle and bring it up to her mouth. She doesn't hold on to it for more than a few seconds at this point.

12:30, I do some more stuff on the computer. Check the weather again. It is still cold so no walk today for us. I resolve to get as many things done today as I can, instead. The fact that I am doing this day in the life report is motivating. AJ is mellow and hangs out on the pillow amusing herself.

At 1:00 AJ fusses with hunger so we go to nursery and she eats from left boob. The CD has finished and the house is quiet, which makes me feel a bit pensive. I think about returning to work in the fall. I feel a stab of sadness and disbelief when I think about it.  It seems so soon, so much to give up. And yet it occurs to me that I have never seriously considered not going back to work. I should probably ask myself why. It is not as simple as we need the money and my benefits package. Of course those things are nice to have, but they might not be enough reason on their own. The truth is that I am very afraid of becoming isolated. I'm afraid that I'll become unemployable and disconnected from the larger life of the world if I stay away from work. I have felt that way at times in my life and it was horribly depressing. I have had some challenging years in my life. But if I had to choose an unpleasant year to live over again, I would choose any of the hardest times of my life over the times I was unemployed.

1:25, I detach AJ and offer her the other boob, but she is too sleepy to take it. Into the crib. Wakes up. Out again, takes right boob this time, but only for about 3 minutes.

I put her back in the crib, where she is quite happy.  She watches me while I pump right and left boob. We do back and forth smiles and raspberries, and she does her baby crunches.

****Post was left unfinished***

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