oh right

People keep saying, "oh, you've got this. You've already done this once. You've got tons of experience. You're PROS."

Let me ask you something real quick.

At what skill or activity does one become a "pro" after having done it once before, two years ago, while under the morphine-like haze of severe sleep deprivation?

I mean, we're not rookies anymore. We know how to take a rectal temperature and what noise a newborn makes when he's trying to poop versus trying to burp. We know what diaper cream we like and how much to slather on and where. Huh. Now that I think about it I guess a lot of our expertise is butt-related.

But there's this whole universe of newborn care that you haven't done in years. YEARS! And the first time you were practically comatose! And when you weren't comatose you were manic after reading BabyCenter user comments warning about the dangers of ever having any electronics near your child EVER including a dishwasher! (Hint: BRAIN DAMAGE. They all get brain damage.)

My whole day is a record, scratching on repeat, of the following two words:

"Oh. Right."

Oh. Right. Every diaper is a shit.

Oh. Right. Swaddling.

Oh. Right. Pumping. So THIS is a part of my life again...

Oh. Right. Showers now take 15-45 seconds, gulag style. I'm talking we don't WAIT for the hot water to come on, 2-in-1 shampoo AND condition AT THE SAME TIME lightning speed. We don't even bother with the delousing powder anymore.

Oh. Right. The umbilical cord stump smells like a homeless guy on the A train.

Oh. Right. He's cross-eyed. That's a phase. I think.

Oh. Right. He scratched his face with his long, narrow, purple vampire fingernails.

Oh. Right. He needs to be ON ME.

Oh. Right. Vitamin D drops. Son of a!

Oh. Right. Burp cloths need to be stashed next to every possible nursing location, at key points around the house.

There's something to be said for the fact that so much of my day is deja-vu, a revisiting, the days of my future past, so to speak. And there's something to be said for the fact that as Chicken got older, I realized how easy the LAST phase had been. I thought having a newborn was hard until he started crawling. I thought crawling was hard until he started pulling up. Everything is harder than the last thing - and better, and WAY more fun.

So we have perspective. We have more patience. We have a living breathing Chicken reminder that shit gets both harder and infinitely better.

But pros?

That's a dangerous mindset to adopt.. because oh. Right. Anytime you start to think, "I've got this," buckle up, buttercup. That kid is about to throw up some wacky sci-fi Exorcist corn-mush insanity IN YOUR HAIR, and all of a sudden you'll realize: oh shit, this is the next thing. You might have been a pro yesterday, but guess what?

You've never done THIS before. Neither have I, for that matter. Not with this kid. Not in a house with a toddler.

What's a mama to do?

Take a guess.
Trust your gut.
Call your doctor.
Call your mom.
For the love of Christ, do not read user comments on BabyCenter.

So at least we know that.


Post a Comment