Sunday, December 25, 2011

Crying with a woman's diaper bag

Manya goes through quick phases as her development continues. Most nights she goes down relatively easily and sleeps through the night only waking up when the sun rises to feed and then shes back asleep until the work day begins. All two often after this morning feeding I find myself pushed to the corner of the bed as the baby apparently needs 60% of the bed to make herself properly comfortable. If you get within six inches of her sleeping torso expect a swift and jarring karate chop or a delicate yet baleful embrace of both nostrils with a tiny hand, cutting off all flow of oxygen to a sleeping father.

Other times Manni is cranky, fighting off sleep in a furious struggle to stay up with hopelessly overtired zombie parents. She thinks she's going to miss something but is sadly mistaken. DVRed episodes of Teen Mom 2 and Chopped are no reason for us to be asleep never mind and growing four month old (did I mention she's 25 inches aka she grew 2 inches last month?!?! WTF)

Her least ladylike phase we've had to endure this past month has been a slight spell of separation anxiety. Its too early, she's not supposed to care who's holding her where and when. Just be cute, smile, giggle and let people ooh and ahh. Be cute! You're a baby! This business of the curling of lower lips with tears, panic and red furrowed brows is just not polite in any culture. And it makes us feel horrible. I'm pretty sure the unfortunate parties holding her during one of these unfortunate episodes aren't insulted by the act but as the parents of the spoil sport it does make us feel terrible. Is it okay if sometimes she just stops 'being such a baby' and just cooperates... on cue?

Often I take Manya on trips with me around the county. Could be the mall or some other store. We'd take walks in the park but with the winter rolling in I can't take the wind chill much with the stroller I'm not sure how long I'd last. The point isn't what you do but the preparation going into it. Before we had the baby I was warned, it takes a hour to prep before going anywhere. Now I have no idea about preparation. It takes me fifteen minutes max to get ready for a out of state, overnight wedding including showering and putting on a suit and tie. The concept of requiring a sixty minute time block to properly organize blew my mind in epic proportions. Hell, waiting on anyone male or female to get ready for more than half an hour is a concept that I just can not comprehend.

There are a ton of things needed to pack Manya's diaper bag. Wipes, pads, blanket, burp cloths, toys, melkys, change of clothes, cloth diapers, ect. It looks intimidating. The baby has been alive less than 125 days and already owns as many possessions as I do. A trip to the grocery store requires me to pack as much stuff as I brought to sleep away camp for four weeks. The trick is pre-organization. Setting up your diaper bag itinerary before you need it so when you need to go, it only takes 10 minutes of prep rather than 55. At any given time I'm already set to go. Need milk and sugar? On my way. Train station pick up? Just give me two seconds. Zombie Apocalypse, just need to grab the bottle from the fridge, is there still a five day waiting period for firearms?

Now the diaper bag itself? Yes my taste in accessories, necessary as they may be is quite often more disjointed that my fashion sense. See we have several diaper bags but two that are used in regular rotation. I received a Diaper Dude which is a 'hip' and 'cool' diaper bag for a 'dude'. Basically its a man purse but instead of the cool Jack Bauer cell phone that can take over the world, its got diapers and poopy wipes. Our other diaper bag is Kate Spade Diaper Bag. Its black, and stylish, and perfectly designed for the modern mommy.

As I previously stated, the art of packing/preparing a diaper bag has been close to mastered. Quick is not the word. It's chaotic and imperfect but it is expeditious. It also often results in random and significant errors on my behalf. Never and I repeat never do I forget the bottle, a change of clothes or diapers. But put them in the right bag? Oh shit, I screw that up 90% of the time. Tell you the truth, I've probably used that diaper dude mens diaper bag less than ten times. I accidentally sport the no doubt about it black leather Kate Spade woman's diaper bag over and over and over again. And shake my head when I discover the mistake each and every time too. So if you see a baby and a man walking around Jersey clad in east coast garb with a little flavor in their step, some nice tunes in their car/truck and a giant woman's purse, come and say 'hi' cause most likely that asshole is me.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

One on One time

Welcome to the world of daycare. Sarah has returned to work. By daycare I mean me, a baby, and, well, that's it. Obviously we have events over the course of a day. We have numerous distractions such as toys, a plethora of bouncy seats, rocking seats and vibrating seats, and a stinky curious dog, but in the end, its really just me and her. Sarah has gone back to work.

I freelance write from home so my schedule is open-ended which allows me to be the designated daycare. Or you could be rude and call me a stay at home dad. (BTW, if you happen to know anyone who needs additional freelance writing feel free to pass my name along as I'm always looking for new gigs) I thought I'd get some work done during nap time. Writing is a process and you need to put yourself in a certain mind frame to write properly but I assumed nap time would be the ideal time to work. This doesn't work, ever. Every time I think I have an opening to do some work. Waaaa! Set up the computer, get myself in the proper mindset, sit down, and.... eyeballs. Great. Eyeballs means cuteness, it also means no writing whatsoever. Oh well, another late night of writing once mommy gets home.

We all dreaded Sarah's first day return to work. Sarah dreaded being away from the little one. I dreaded the inevitable building of stress, minor anguish and slight depression created by the clock ticking for her return to a 9 to 5 workday. What I didn't realize is that Manya would act out more than any of us.

T minus 3 hours to Sarah's first day back. Somehow Sarah is fast asleep having braved the countdown like a champ. Manya woke us up for a changing and a feeding thirty minutes earlier and is passed out on my chest face up. I am also in a deep slumber relishing the silence and darkness of 5 O'clock in the morning.

Gurgle, gurgle, peew. I awake to what seems like a waterfall. Face, neck, pillow, chest, drenched in something warm, wet, and slightly thick. A quick scramble for my cell phone to illuminate the crime scene without waking up the wife. Is it drool? A flash of the light momentarily blinds me. Manya is fast asleep, breathing fine. Silence in the room. Why is her face wet? Oh lord. Apparently Manya decided to spit up in her sleep all over her head, my head, my bed, and I guess, her bed too? Lets pretend I did a good job cleaning myself but at 5 in the morning I could care less about the state of my cleanliness.

For the record the previous event reoccurred three days later with staggering similar results. Apparently being vomited on in the middle of the night may be disconcerting but altogether not as traumatizing as one would think. Milk spit up is surprisingly sweet smelling and hopefully good for the skin.

Manya has the innate ability to scratch her face the second her nails get too long. Fortunately Manni has her mother's immaculate fingers, unfortunately she also possesses her mother's ludicrously quick fingernail growth. This means Manni's fingernails grow out every three days minimum. This also means I have the unfortunate task of wrangling a flailing baby arm and clenched fist for nail trimming two to three times a week.

Cutting an infant's nails can be a rather traumatizing experience. I have heard numerous horror stories and most parents react in horror to the mention of finger nail cutting. I happen to be the greatest baby finger nail trimmer in the Tri-State Area. Most parents wait for their baby to fall asleep and delicately trim each nail with the care of a heart surgeon. Manya sleeps very well when she's down but like a Navy Seal flashes her eyes open the at the thought of a nail trim. Lucky for me that I am stupid enough to approach nail cutting only with a fully alert baby.

Babies don't like having their hands held still. They flail their arms like a drowning swimmer, squeal with delight at being on their back, kick their legs like Bruce Lee and scoot their butts with such fervor that a child may move 2 to 3 inches with each butt pop. Did I mention that a baby has a vice like grip that defies logic? It is in this chaos that I choose to bring sharp sheers to my infant's immaculate, soft and delicate tiny flanges.

Its like a game of moving Operation. And I've won every game. No injury. No nicks. No cuts. Just short, smooth, perfectly manicured fingers and toes. And now I'm totally going to screw up my next attempt. (hows that for an attempt at a double jinx?)

Can we talk about babies and cars? How can my child hate the bouncy seat, despise the rocking seat, and loathe the shaky seat. Yes, we have a parking lot worth of baby seats that she won't sit in for more than thirteen seconds without breaking into a conniption fit. Put her into a car seat. Nothing changes. Hate. Pure unadulterated hate. Screaming the likes of which you'd think there were little needles pinching her. But once the car reaches 40 mph. Silence. Blissful serenity.

And then here comes a red light. It has been mentioned by many an infant's parents that pulling up to a red light is akin to a Hitchcock film. The world slows to a crawl as each parent holds their respective breath. An eerie muteness thick with fear and apprehension fills the vehicle reaching a point of near suffocation. The tires roll to a halt and silent prayers are said.


In the end it is all for naught as each red light was created by the devil and programmed by assholes keen on ruining every parent's drive and raising our collective blood pressure.

There is nothing more hopeless than transversing any NYC borough with an infant in the backseat. Its pure masochism.

This is how we get work done in the house.

Too cute!

Peek A Boo!

Look who's smiley!

I found a bear.