Thursday, March 29, 2012

Life with Baby

First, we wake up.  Wait, that's a lie.  She wakes up.  I pick her up and lay her next to me in bed and give her a pacifier or feed her or slip her twenty dollar bills to induce her to go back to sleep.  It rarely works.  So, I look over at her and she smiles and I smile back.

Then breakfast, then maybe a shower (both for me), then maybe I make the bed or maybe she takes a nap. I do homework while she she naps.  Sometimes I catch myself clearing off the table, or folding laundry, or other things I can do when Tiny is awake.  I have to stop myself, and remind myself that what I really want to do is sit down and read, uninterrupted, for a while.  What I want to do is eat some toast while watching America's Next Top Model on Hulu, uninterrupted.  So, I do those things.

Then she wakes up, and hopefully by then I'm dressed, and we go out.  Usually I wear her strapped to my chest, facing out so she can take in the world and charm passerbys, but sometimes I put her in the stroller I just picked up from craigslist.  We walk to the grocery store, or the drugstore, or wander up to see Shiloh, or to the park.  Sometimes she comes with me to get shrimp and chicken dumplings from the poorly named Dumplings and Things or a bagel from Bagel World, but mostly we just walk.  If I'm wearing her she'll smile at everyone and gasp when the wind picks up, as though she finds it surprising.  If she's in the stroller,  she's more subdued, and looks on the people of Brooklyn with what appears to be suspicion.

When we get home she either takes a nap or she doesn't--and I spend the rest of the afternoon trying to coax her back to sleep.  In the latter case, we spend our time in periods of happiness (hers) when I continually look her in the face and focus every ounce of my attention on her, and unhappiness (both of ours) when I put her down to, say, fold laundry, get a glass of water, eat lunch.

When we both have ants in our pants, and it is clear she's not going back to sleep, we go back out.  Post office, if we went to the the drugstore earlier then to the grocery store, if we went to the grocery store, to the drugstore.  You get the picture.

When we come back home we lay on the bed and read through Edie's canon of literature, which includes classic texts such as Olivia, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and Where is Baby's Bellybutton? (I, personally, find this last one to be a little contrived, and the narrative's fundamental question resolves itself too soon, but, to each his own).  Sometimes I take a leaf from James's book and read books aloud that are not generally considered "children's literature".  Today it was Julius Caesar.

It didn't go over well.

Then Edie and I watch Friends, and I vaguely wonder how much television infants are supposed to watch (don't answer, I'm not actually asking), and play with toys (she only has about four, so we really delve into their possibilities), and eat snacks.  Today I made sweet potatoes and mashed them up.  She seemed to like them fine, but I suspect she felt, as I did, that they were slightly under-seasoned (how much salt should an infant eat?  I'm actually asking).

Then, she falls asleep, and I lay on the couch a while, and the day gradually draws to an end. 


  1. I didn't ever salt baby food - not something you want them to develop a taste for, quite yet.

    You're doing a good job, Valerie.

  2. I rarely salted the baby food I made for Finn, but that doesn't make it right, or wrong to.

    I love this post. You sound like the perfect mom, but not because you are TRYING to sound like the perfect mom.

    Which is perfect.

  3. My kids like everything to be as salty as chicken nuggets. Although I didn't actually salt their baby food. They are horrible eaters and I can give no baby food advice. (Just as Grandma she will tell you what horrible eaters I have.)

  4. Dear Valerie,

    You forgot to mention the part of your day when you order pizza and I come in with my rippling muscles and deliver the pizza and also make up for the fact that James is never home because he is working too much, which i (and my rippling muscles) find very convenient.

    Yours forever,

    Dexter McChest

    (yes James, your fictional creation has come to life and is wooing your loved ones)

  5. Thanks, Ana.

    You too, Linds.

    Rachel, according to Grandma, the Appels are still VERY picky eaters.

    Dexter, tell Aaron to eat my shorts.