Archive for August, 2008

Back at work

Well, maternity leave is over. I’m easing back into work — three days this week, four days next week (thank you, Labor Day), and a regular five-day week after that.

I got misty-eyed when I dropped Ryan off the first day, but I think it was worse on me than him. His teachers said he smiles at them when they play with him, so that makes me feel better.

It was the craziest summer ever, and I will admit that there were times I wished things would go back to the way they were, when I could eat and sleep whenever I wanted. People always told me to let joy in the little things, like baby smiles and laughs, carry me through the hard times. But that wasn’t enough for me.

What I learned was that I had to also find joy in the miserable times. Like during marathon nursing sessions, I started to look forward to the end, when he popped off with milk all over his face, eyes half-closed, with an “ahhhh” expression on his face. Or midday, when I walked him around in the sling forever as he cried, just to help him sleep, I thought about how really soon he’d be walking (running) and not want me to hold him anymore. And how can a mama get mad at her baby for him wanting her to hold him?

The nice thing about going back to work is that you get some semblance of what you used to think of as normal. Work is still the same, and I think of it as my anchor to the way things were. But now when I come home, I have a fat baby waiting for me, and that’s a difference I don’t mind at all.

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True confessions

1. Once Ryan was crying and I told him to shut up. He didn’t listen. You moms know what I’m talking about.

2. I go back to work Wednesday and I’m kind of looking forward to it.

3. Friday I looked down on the yoga pants I was wearing and noticed there was poo on them. And I kept wearing them anyway.

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It’s hard to get a smile on camera, as my camera flashes twice when taking a picture, and Ryan usually stops smiling at the first flash. I’m sure it’s annoying to an infant. But I did manage to catch one smile on camera (so far), so here you go.

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Green Eggs and Ham

Well, we have our first favorite book. Ryan positively squeals with joy when we read it to him. I know it’s hard to tell from the picture, but believe me. So cute. I know it’s his favorite because we’ve read him plenty of others and none have elicited this reaction. Good times.

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I haven’t written in a while because, frankly, life’s been kind of hard around here lately. Here’s the good news: for the last week, Ryan has slept at least 6 hours during the night, usually from 11-4 or 5. This is quite impressive for a 2-month old. The bad news is that we apparently exchanged nighttime sleep for daytime naps. That’s right — he rarely naps now, and when he does, it’s for maybe an hour at most, unless we’re driving around or something. Oh, and when he sleeps, it’s not in his bouncy chair or bassinette; it’s usually on one of us, in his sling or just laying on us. And to top it off, the person holding him usually has to be moving or he wakes up and cries. There is no break-from-baby time during the day.

So, he is, to quote our pediatrician, “high-maintenance.” Yesterday he got his first round of vaccinations and was understandably a bit more fussy when we got home. I had him in his sling and was walking around, but he still wouldn’t settle down. So I went upstairs and turned on the vacuum cleaner (no joke), sat on an exercise ball that was up there and bounced up and down on it. Sure enough, he went right to sleep. But the second I turned off the vacuum — you guessed it — the little bugger woke up and cried. We tried this routine three times, until I realized that if I gradually moved farther and farther away from the vacuum and then had Mason turn it off, he’d stay asleep.

I realize this will be high-larious in hindsight. And you can bet that when Ryan is a teenager and tells me I never do anything for him, I will most certainly mention the time I bounced on a exercise ball next to the vacuum cleaner just so he could get to sleep. But right now it just means that we have to accept that our house will be messy for a while and that we won’t get to eat a meal together for a while. I keep telling myself that this is temporary and sooner than I think, he’ll be napping and sleeping like normal. That makes it bearable.

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