Over 40 mama — Adventures in poop, patience, and first-time parenthood

Three parts: Past, present, future
July 30, 2008, 11:25 am
Filed under: parenthood, video

First off, I wanted to follow up on the Parental Differences #1 in a series post, and mention that more discussions ensued and we reached an agreement. We (or I) discovered that there are significant problems when we don’t have an explicit agreement on a baseline position, like “She should be on a sleep schedule.” When we don’t have that, we both just fly by the seat of our pants. And flying by the seat of one’s pants is a fun and delightful way to live when you’re not a parent, but is a bit lacking when you’re the steward of someone else’s growth.

Secondly, the bean can now sit up while holding her head! Woot! Check it:

And finally, I have had the Peggy Lee song, “Is That All There Is?” stuck in my head for the past few days. Am I bored? I love being a mama, and our little family. I love LOVE LOVE that little bug more than anything. But I find myself – between diaper changes and episodes of one-handed mopping – wondering what else there is? The mere act of asking the question has opened up a rusty sector of my brain – the creative sector – and I am suddenly coming up with ideas for green products, and movie plots, and furniture designs. Course there’s no time to do anything about these. But whatever. Maybe someone will invent a computer/matter converter that can take an idea and make it, so I can build my prototype and still change diapers, clean up spittle, and mop.


Note to self
July 22, 2008, 2:47 pm
Filed under: notes to self, parenthood

It is really important for me to take time to be quiet and alone with the bean these days. I relax, and she relaxes and this helps C relax. There are particular challenges, given that our new house is a big, wide, acoustically live open space, and C is around all day and he’s got phone calls and hustles through his to do list. I need the atmosphere to be quieter, at least until she and I are relaxed and I’m tuned in to her. Then we can go out and play.

Parental Differences: #1 in a series
July 21, 2008, 9:34 pm
Filed under: parenthood, sleep, Uncategorized

How do other parents out there deal with it when you and your partner have big differences of opinion on issues of child rearing?

It seems C and I are back in Square One with the issue of sleep and overstimulation. Neither of us have good filter for what’s going on with R because we’re so busy being polarized in our beliefs…

Today’s huge milestone
July 16, 2008, 7:43 am
Filed under: sleep

The bean can now hold her head up, for real, without anyone else helping. It’s SOO COOL! She loves to sit up in a lap, looking out, to see what’s going on. She does not like to be left out of conversations!

We’ve started really co-sleeping, like nightly, to see if it makes a difference in her sleep. The two things I’ve learned are 1) that co-sleeping totally works (for now*) and 2) that sleeping is one of the major confusing issues and nobody REALLY has any right answers. There are so many conflicting books, theories, ideas, research etc, the best thing to do is keep trying new things til something works. Because no matter what theory you ascribe to, the kid really does need sleep.

* Another insight: always add “for now” to any statement about infant sleep, because it is guaranteed to change anyway.

July 11, 2008, 7:30 am
Filed under: milestones

R is doing great. She just came through a particularly fussy week with a mellow and entirely sweeter demeanor than she had before. According to this awesome book, “The Wonder Weeks,” she (at week 11-12) was experiencing an accelerated growth period wherein her brain was developing the capacity to experience transitions. For instance, when a baby is young, s/he can experience light and d dark, or hot and cold – but can’t tell the difference, and can’t tell that one is sight and the other is a bodily feeling. During this growth phase, the pathways in the brain develop, such that the baby can experience the difference between light and dark, and the transitions (or the shades of gray) between light and dark.

R had a tough time with this phase, but it seems to have passed. Now, she is now even more amazing and differentiated. She can hold her head up for extended periods of time. She can grab my finger and put it in her mouth. She cracks up when I kiss her tummy and feet.

I took an infant massage class from an awesome woman at Alta Bates. She taught this as much spiritual practice, as a reminder of the sacred role of parenthood. IT’s wonderful to engage the bean in this way. I am trying to get her on a schedule for massage (and bathing for that matter) but it seems as though both of those activities wake her up and make her MORE energized than not. So for now, I bathe and massage her in the day. I hope to transition this to evening, though, because I love the idea of a daily bed time ritual. Or maybe we’ll do something else.

Okay, I’m burying the lede, as my good friend Neal used to say: We moved yesterday. LAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! After 3 and a half years, we are living in the house we’ve built. Holy crap it’s been a long time coming. LAALAALAA! It’s beautiful here. I set up the bean’s little crib area in our room, and it’s so cozy. She fell asleep in her bassinette right away – a great omen, considering how hard it’s been to get her to sleep recently.

Okay – back to putting away clothes. 🙂