March 4, 2007

Three Anecdotes

Hi ya'll! Three anecdotes from this week.

Number One
Naomi and Elena are back home full time with me at our apartment! Our mini nuclear family unit is now together again. It's been an eventful week, as all three of us have had to get used to our new living conditions. Naomi has been such a trooper: the Ultimate New Mom. The days and, yes, the long nights, of her doing everything in her power to make things comfortable and pleasant for our daughter have been a revelation of her inner strength. The lithium also helps us cope (again-a joke). This brings me to some slightly rambling late night musings I knocked out the other night at about 0500 when I couldn't go back to sleep after rocking a sleep-averse Elena for a few hours in the still of the night.

Number Two: Sleep Deprivation Blues, Part I
Wailing, squirming tiny acrobat
my little ice cream maker.
Her neck weak and rotating; prompts my wife’s whimper.

Black hole to our energy,
from which we feel joy to give willingly. Our true happiness-
your tiny grins appear, and nothing else matters
from little grimaces bubble up huge bellows of "feed me, now, man!"
Ignored at your own peril.

Sleep-dep ain't gettin' us down, no sir,
but is wearing on the enamel
of sanity.

Baby books say it's temporary,
my dulled senses say it's...zzzzzz....months and months to go.
Mind knows its both.

Sleep-dep blues/molasses in your spirit.
Like waiting for school term to end, knowing summer vacation is coming.
Honest, visceral, delightful first months of infant mayhem.

Number Three: The Snuggly Bellybutton Fart Story
As a new dad, I have honed a few quasi-Vaudevillian techniques to try to distract my little one while she is wailing at 100 decibels for her bottle or for me to change her diaper. One is to furtively stick my nose into her belly button and snort to tickle her belly, with the bonus in wintertime of having the chilly end of my nose shocking her slightly and knocking her concentration off whatever it was that had been annoying her. It's the cunning 'snuggly bellybutton' tactic and it usually works. But our cute little sprog got wise to the ruse and took her revenge.

I was flying solo for a few hours with Elena (or, as I occasionally call her, H.R.H. Lady 'E') the other day, when Naomi was out running errands. Well, as a two-month old infant, she has some bowel control issues, and after some small heart-tugging sobs I thought that maybe she had soiled her diaper. So I attempted the 'snuggly-bellybutton' maneuver to calm her down. Before I could get her nappy off, she blew a stomach deflating, eyebrow-singeing fart of such noxious odor that I
1) recoiled in abject terror and
2) knew immediately that she possessed the family pedigree of cranking out pant-splitters at inopportune times.
And wasn't she looking at me with a little infant smirk of triumph? And relief. Also utter and overwhelming satisfaction.
The score is now Elena 1, Dad 0.
Of course, I now exercise more caution when employing the 'snuggly bellybutton' move.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

First off: Don't read the Baby Books unless you want to be driven even further over the edge because all they do is contradict each other. Trust your instincts and honestly, let the kid cry some times.

Second: On the topic of crying, Bob used to translate this for me. For example the 2:00am "Wah Wah Wah" sometimes just meant "Yo B**ch, get your butt in here!!" or "I don't care if you want to sleep I want you here NOW!!!"

Keep in mind that it can also mean "Help me I'm scared and need my mom and dad" So I go back to my previous comment about trusting your instincts.

Finally: Don't kid yourself that the score is "Elena 1 Dad 0". She's probably racked up way more points off Daddy Dearest that you even know. Smart little buggers already at this age.