The Wonder [Why I Ever Had Children] Weeks

2 Months Old, Clark :) Most “experts” would define the Wonder Weeks as a time of great growth during which your child checks off important developmental milestones. I would call those people “liars”.

The Wonder Weeks (also known as the Wonder Why I Ever Had Children, If I’ll Ever Sleep Again, and When The Last Time I Showered Was Weeks) are not for the weak. If you’re thinking that, after 6 weeks of abstinence, you and your significant other will resume a normal sex life, you are on crack. While some of The Wonder Weeks are supposed to occur at week 5 and week 8, if your child is an ostentatious over-achiever, he/she will experience two-to-three weeks of wonder in a row.

For Clark, “wonder” has included a desire to be awake as much as possible, the discovery of “shouting”, and a demand to be entertained. It’s great, really, because the reason I had a baby was so that I could talk to myself without looking like a total asshole. This morning, I was trying to eat breakfast. By morning, I mean 1:30 in the afternoon, and by “breakfast” I mean half of an avocado. My creep baby was all smiles until I sat down without him (I know. How dare I sit down by myself). Clark and I were able to compromise through the first two bites: “This is an avocado. Avocados are green. Mommy used to eat avocados to cure a hangover. Then she had you! Ooooo now mommy does nothing! Mommy has no fun!”

In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the best idea to tell my 7 week old about my love for binge drinking, or, as rich people call it, “alcoholism”. Also, it wasn’t very nice of me to tell Clark that I don’t have fun anymore. I can kind of see how that might have been offensive. However, I don’t think it was deserving of the epic meltdown that followed. You’ll have “fun” one day, too, Clark. For real, though.

Since today is Friday, I am all alone with my giant, bobble-headed baby from 6AM-9PM. That’s right, I get a whole 15 hours of “quality” time with my munchkin. Every Thursday-night-into-Friday-morning I lie to myself and say that this Friday is the day I will conquer the suburbs alone and possibly walk into town with my little angel. I fantasize about visiting a coffee shop, grabbing a pastry, and sitting out in the sunshine while my adorable baby lounges peacefully in his stroller.

Ok, I’m totally lying, because I do not fantasize about coffee and pastries. I fantasize about having a pint of beer. And I don’t even like beer. Then I remember that I would be the “drunk mom”. Then I think about how I’m a “mom”, and that I’m seriously deranged for thinking about taking my baby to a beer garden. Then I remember I don’t live in England anymore, and there is no such thing as a beer garden in north Jersey. Then I cry about my life, and get over it. The end.

Who’s The Boss?

Clark's a Boss

Clearly, Clark’s the boss today.

And that’s my update for now. Perhaps Clark will allow me to elaborate later. Or tomorrow. Or next week. Or whenever-he-effing-feels-like-it-thank-you-very-much.

Carpe Diem, or Carpe-the-Moments-Until-the-Next-Diaper-Change

CoffeeThere are some days when time stands still. A 5AM diaper change transforms from a dirty, gag-worthy chore into moments you’ll remember for the rest of your life. At two months old, I know Clark won’t stay this size forever. These moments, no matter how precious or filthy, are only temporary. And these moments are distinctly different from all other moments in your life, because only you will remember these times. These smiles. These laughs. These cuddles.

Clark won’t. And it will probably be 35 years before he realizes or appreciates what Brian and I have done for him. Or, it’s a possibility that he never will be grateful for the life we gave him. But it’s Clark’s life. One day, in the not-so-distant future, we’ll hand over the reigns. He will make his own decisions and choices. We only have ours. We can’t control who he becomes. We can just do the best we can to make his dreams come true.

He’ll grow up. He’ll go to school. He’ll fall in love. He’ll get his heart broken. He’ll get his first job. He’ll learn to drive a car. He’ll move out. He’ll visit home (we hope). He’ll make his own existence in this world – separate from the nest. But today he’s 2 months old. His life is dependent on our decisions. Our choices. Our hands.

If, instead of spending time complaining or stressing, we all took time to appreciate the little moments that we’re living – whether you’re a parent or not – the world would seem much easier. We can’t solve everything. Not “we can’t solve everything today”. No. We can’t solve everything. People like to say “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. They forget to mention that the phrase clearly says “Rome”, not the “Roman Empire”, thus, the colloquialism is simply meant to refer to the building of one city. But, even if we extend this to encompass the Roman Empire, still, Rome did not rule the world (I know, shocking).

So, chill. You may be thinking that it’s easier said than done. False. You’re not trying hard enough. Let it go. Let everything go. Hyper-vigilance is for the endangered. If you’re reading this – if you have the fucking internet – you are likely not in a position of immediate risk.

Step away from the dishes. Put down the vacuum. And just breathe. Because there are days you’ll wish never happened. There are days you’ll wish you never had to live through. And then there are days like today. Days you can never get back. Days that you’ll desperately want to relive. Days that will bring a smile to your face forever. Enjoy these days. And, by enjoying these moments, the world will be a happier place.

As I’m finishing this up, Clark is having a diaper explosion. I think I might exercise my powers of selective-amnesia on this moment. Or perhaps this day. But the good days? I plan on cherishing those.

Backhanded Mom Tip #1: “Find Time For Yourself”

Happy Baby = Happy Mommy

Happy Baby = Happy Mommy

Every time I express exhaustion or frustration, I get told that I should find time or make time for myself. Sometimes, I don’t even express my state of mind. My tired, bloodshot eyes do the talking, and some “helpful” individual suggests this time-for-yourself theory. And, really, it’s a great idea. It’s a nice suggestion. Except that when you suggest this to me, I want to smack you in the face.

You might be thinking, “Excuse me? Who do you think you are?” To which my response would be, “I-don’t-even-know-what-month-it-is-what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about-“time”-for-myself?!” And, if you’re thinking that’s a mouthful, that’s because it is. It’s probably also the most interaction I’ve had with a person all week (albeit fictitious).

The problem with telling a mom to “find time” for herself is that it’s really inconsiderate. You’re assuming that: 1) This lady doesn’t want to take care of herself. 2) She hasn’t lusted after a half hour shower. and 3) Since she had a child, she forgot what being a normal human being was like. Also, in the time it’s taken me to type these three tiny paragraphs, I’ve been interrupted 7 times by my tiny human as follows:

1. Dropped pacifier.
2. Wanted a bottle.
3. Pooped his pants.
4. Pooped his pants again.
5. Wanted to be held.
6. Wanted a pacifier.
7. Does not want a pacifier. Anymore. Or ever again.

Every time someone tells me to “find time” for myself, I feel like smacking that person in the face, because if they really cared about me finding time for myself, they would offer to babysit. Or change his diaper. Or feed him a bottle. Or change his diaper. Or hold him for two minutes so that I can use the toilet sometime this century. Or change his diaper.

Is it sinking in yet? Ingenuous suggestions like “find time” suggest that time is not a magical miracle gifted from some mighty clock wizard. No, suggestions like “find time” imply that I’m mismanaging the very finite amount of time we’re all given. These suggestions are offensive because you’re suggesting that what I decided to do with the time I have (which is equal in time to your time) is less significant. I feed, clothe, change, clean, protect, and care for a life. You did your make-up. Guess what? I win. Looks like you should “find time” to do something a little more meaningful that micromanage my life, because, really, what have you done lately? Game over.

Avoiding “The Face”

Boo. Daddy wants kisses, too!

Boo. Daddy wants kisses, too!

It happens when you least expect it. After the giggles, the coos, and the I-love-yous. Tip-toing at the heels of a fuss-free night, and yelling “surprise” at the sound of a iPhone camera click. Captured in time. Caught in the act. It’s “the face”. And every parent shudders at its appearance.

Child-free individuals see “the face” and think, “What a cute baby!”

And those people are sickos. Because there’s nothing cute about a grumpy baby.

Especially not when that grumpy baby is my baby. And the time he decides to be grumpy is approximately any-and-every time I feel absolutely exhausted. It’s like Clark has a radar on my emotions. One dip into the negative and guess what? He’s going to take the plunge with me. Thanks, kid. I’m happy you’re my partner in crime. But really, you can sit this one out. Preferably, you could sleep this one out. Really.

There are a few things you can do to avoid getting “the face”, and they’re quite simple, really. So, I don’t know why anyone is even putting up with these tragic moments anymore. Clearly, I’m a superior parent. But, I’ll share my secrets with you.

1. Do not make eye contact with your baby. Ever. You think he’s bored? Perhaps he’s hungry? Maybe, even, he’s letting out a few happy coos? Do not give in. Do not surrender. Do not deviate from the plan. Avoiding eye contact will not only prevent “the face” from being made, but you will also never come in contact with it, if you so desire. Tip #1 allows you to get on with your day, free from “the face”. But if that fails…

2. Immediately plug the noise-hole with a pacifier. You must be quick to use this trick. At the first indication of sound, quickly thrust the plastic piece into the baby’s mouth. Unfortunately, this does not work for avoiding noise that comes from the other end. However, this article is about “the face”. More on the butt later.

3. Turn off all the lights. Purchase blackout shades. Unscrew all the lightbulbs. Learn to exist solely on the light from your iPhone, and a few moments of see-ing bliss during bathroom trips (um, actually, you might want to go all twilight mode in there, too. Especially if you have some weight left to lose). Living life in complete darkness will allow your baby to be calm, while also shielding you from any chance of catching “the face” in action.

I mean, really, these are some rock-solid baby tips here. Also, they’re incredibly realistic. Please make sure you continue to power-pump every 15 minutes, cloth diaper, and go vegan. And, what were you complaining about again? Oh, yeah, being tired? Stop that.

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