…Except for when baby is teething, tired, and you have a boatload of things to do.
I mentioned in a previous post that, despite my firm “car seats are for cars” position, there have been moments where I wished I had one of those fancy baby buckets of my very own. While nothing could make that awkward, heavy carrier less awkward and heavy, I can appreciate the ability it gives you to transition a peacefully sleeping baby from the car to the house. While Coraline may make it from her car seat to my arms asleep, she won’t stay that way for very long, and there is no way I’m putting her down again once we’re inside. But, we’ve made due… until today.
Coraline is teething. Between that and her ever-increasing social inclinations, the baby never sleeps. A few minutes here while she’s nursing? Sure. A few minutes there while we’re in the car? Finally. But a nice, restorative nap? No way José. So today, she fell asleep during the ten-minute car ride home, and as I opened her door I thought of all the things around the house I had to do, and how much better she’d feel after a good long sleep, and so I did a most ridiculous thing. I un-tethered her giant convertible car seat, carried it inside and put it on the couch. I’m a hypocrite, okay. But she’s been out for almost two hours, in which time I’ve vacuumed the whole house, had a snack, done two loads of laundry, and am now typing away. All in all I’d say it was a win-win situation.
This isn’t the first time I’ve found my mommy-self doing things my non- or expectant mommy self never thought I’d do. But motherhood does that to you: You become a multi-tasking, practicality machine, able to spot an opportunity for maximum productivity (or a few restful moments) in a second. Here are a few of my “well, it works” moments so far. I think whoever said “never say never” was a new mom.
Use disposable diapers. I was adamant that my conviction would win out over convenience no matter how tired, overwhelmed, or desperate I was and a single disposable would never darken my door. Yeah right. They’ve come in handy on countless occasions. Like at 4 a.m. When there’s poop everywhere. And all your cloth diapers are in the washing machine because, in your exhaustion-inspired amnesia, you forgot to put them in the dryer. BTDT.
Eat so many carbs. It feels like I’m on the carb-only diet: bread, crackers, noodles, more bread. Between having zero time to cook and an appetite that won’t quit (because of all the calories expended nursing) I’ve gone from gluten-free to a Bread Alone regular. And don’t even get me started on the sweets.
Read the entire Twilight series. In one week. I don’t read fiction — especially fantasy fiction — as a general rule. But Coraline was ready for an epic feeding and it was the only thing in the halé. Two hours and 150 pages later I was hooked, and by the time I returned from our trip to Hawaii, I’d devoured all four books.
Use a battery operated musical mobile. Coraline’s Tiny Love mobile came from her paternal grandmother to whom it was gifted by an enthusiastic music therapist who insisted: “Babies need classical music!” It plays Debussy, Mozart, and Bach, and Coraline loves it. She talks to it. And on a good day, it can buy me a few minutes to brush my teeth or get dressed, so I love it, too.
Watch TV while baby is awake. Sorry Baby Einstein, but screen time for children under two doesn’t make babies smarter. In fact the opposite may happen, which is why I was adamant that Coraline not be exposed to television for as long as possible. Well, that hasn’t quite happened — while I’m not plopping her in front of the screen, I do watch it with her in the room sometimes. Usually in the evening and usually while she’s nursing, and miracle of miracles, she seems to be just fine.
And then there’s all the places and curious times I’ve managed to nurse: While hiking out of the woods, barefoot. While walking over the Hudson River. While playing Rock Band.
So, Valley mamas: Tell me one of your “I can’t believe I’m doing this” moments…