Sometimes I forget how life is after I bring a new baby home from the hospital. You'd thnk I remember by now, what with 5 of these experiences in my pocket, but NO.
Since momnesia is real, I decided to make myself a graph as a visual reminder of what to expect when I'm no longer expecting, and just expected. Like, to do stuff.
On a usual day, I would wake up in the morning (1), make a cup of coffee (2), make lunches for the school kids (3), wash some dishes (4), start a load of laundry (5), and make a list of three very necessary things to get done that day (6).
Nothing too earth shattering. Just the morning routine.
But now, somewhere in the middle of getting a sinkful of soapy water, this new baby needs to eat and he's not at that cool baby stage (several months down the road, Kathryn) where he can hold a bottle, so I drop everything and sit on the couch for 20 minutes.
While this could be a restful respite from the rat race of being a normal human, there's only so much social media one wants to consume, I discovered. And only so many words in ANY book one can read. And only so many shows that will capture one's attention on Netflix. Even the glow of meditating wears off after the hundredth "break" in two weeks.
(For those who need help with my math: let's say babies eat 8 times a day minimum every day, that's 56 times per week, which is at least 18 hours a week, which is longer than the average season of a sitcom, more time than it would take to read the entire Hunger Games series, and about twice as long as even the most die-hard Tweeter is on social media each week.)
Don't get me wrong: I dig spending some time bonding with my child. I make eye contact and talk to him and all that goobery mom/baby stuff.
But I also want to eat.
I want to eat a sandwich with two hands. Not a possibility, you say, bebe? One handed sandwich eating is required? Well, now you are my napkin, baby.
Less Than Inactivity
Did you notice the blue line actually goes BELOW zero?
How can one get less than nothing done? you might ask yourself.
When a normal person goes to sleep, they get through all those groovy sleep cycles and their body and brain repairs itself in that miraculous way that sleep does.
When a newborn parent goes to sleep, your sleep cycle is at the mercy of a tiny totalitarian who might like to sleep in your armpit, or sleep when vertical and being walked AND ONLY WALKED, or who might want to tell you all their baby secrets at 2:11am, or who might want to tell the neighbors all your secrets at 2:11am. These small dictators might wake up once or 12 times at night and it cannot be predicted. CANNOT!
Those times in your youth when you complained about that [rejuvenating] 5 hour night of sleep you got? You'd settle for four uninterrupted hours. And the lucky synapses that would fire faster because of it.
During those amazing minutes when I feel a bit energetic and the baby is sleeping somewhere peacefully (rascal!), I make a quick but thorough plan of attack:
- run upstairs (OMG QUIETLY) and grab my laundry and that book I was reading and the stamps to mail thank you cards
- run downstairs (STILL QUIETLY, YOU ELEPHANT!) and throw the laundry in
- back to the main floor to wash that tepid sinkful of dishes (QUICKLY, I HEAR STIRRING IN THE BASSINET)
- throw together a smoothie bowl (IT'S TOO LATE, HE'S AWAKE; I'M GONNA RUN THE BLENDER)
- balance your bowl on the iPad on your book with a spoon in your mouth and a water bottle (DRINK ALL THE FLUIDS) and run to grab baby before he loses his shiz.
It is less than the average adult might accomplish, and yet, I WANT AN AWARD. Or some cake.
I'd definitely settle for cake.