Friends of mine just had their first baby.
And, yes, a very small part of me envies them, just a tiny, tiny bit. I miss those days when I had a sub-10 pound human to snuggle with, one who would look at me with nothing but pools of love in her eyes.
I'm going to pretend it was love. In all likelihood, it was probably gas.
But I don't miss any of the rest of it.
You can keep the explosive diapers, the endless feedings. I'm not sure I could go back to sleeping four hours each night, none of them consecutive. Every ounce of me wants to lay a gentle hand on each of these new parent's shoulders and say, simply, "you poor people."
It's hard to have an infant in your house.
The work never does end and sleep is always in short supply. Yes, it all pays off eventually _ but it's really hard to keep that in mind when you haven't even gone to the bathroom by yourself for weeks.
Which brings me to Facebook.
Back in the dark ages, when I had my first baby, there was no Facebook. We still had dial-up access and we were lucky to have that. And, yes, we also walked uphill to school. Both ways. In four-feet of snow. Even in May.
Thanks to Facebook, however, I've been reliving the process of adjusting to parenthood through the new parents' status updates. And lately the new baby in question is going through a common new baby stage where she wants to be held and walked around every blessed minute of every blessed day.
I offered what advice I could, which involves buying one of those inflatable exercise balls so that you can bounce the baby and sit down at the same time. But after that, I had nothing to offer other than completely unhelpful reminders that some parts of life simply need to be endured.
What struck a chord, however, were some of the other comments encouraging the new parents that they will miss this part of the process when it ends so they should enjoy it while it lasts.
There is truth in that, maybe, but it is the sort of well-meaning statement that used to make me want to chew off the fingers of the person making it. My immediate impulse was to grab the advice-offerer by the shirt and shout the word "when" into their well-rested faces.
Yes, sleep deprivation makes me a smidge grouchy.
The only piece of information I wanted during those days when the baby was cranky or restless or bored or simply trying to cope with being 2 months old was when exactly this part of the process would end. I wanted a deadline, in other words.
At what exact time will I get to stop bouncing on this exercise ball? On what date will I get to enjoy my own bed? Precisely how long will this part last?
I felt the same during labor, too. I could have swung the whole thing without drugs, I think, if someone could have guaranteed that the worst of the pain would be done in two hours and 16 minutes exactly. I can work with defined parameters.
In hindsight, yes, these first few months are short and, at times, precious. But in the moment of them, they feel like an eternity.
Personally, I never did find statements like "enjoy this while you can" or "this passes so quickly" anything but irritating when my kids were babies, as if my failure to enjoy mopping up regurgitated milk for the 10th time that day was a sign of not loving my child enough.
Frankly, those sorts of phrases made me want to hand the baby off and walk away until the phase passed.
Now, of course, there are moments when I long for the simplicity of life with a newborn.
My kids are old enough now that our days aren't a test of physical endurance.
It's now about emotional and mental fortitude, which is a change, at least, and one easier to tackle after a good night's sleep.
Adrienne Martini is a freelance writer, instructor at the State University College at Oneonta, mom to Maddy and Cory, wife to Scott, and author of "Sweater Quest." Her columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/ parentingimperfect.
Friends of mine just had their first baby.
Have a healthy Easter: Better options exist for holiday meals, activities
When many people think of Easter, they think of special meals, treats and activities.Continued ...
Celebrating Passover away from home: Local groups offer students opportunities
"You shall keep this as a rule for you and your children for all time. When you shall enter the land which the LORD will give you as he promised, you shall observe this rite. Then, when your children ask you, 'What is the meaning of this rite?' you shall say, 'It is the LORD's Passover, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.' " --Exodus 12:24-27.Continued ...
The history of Passover
According to the book of Exodus, the Jews had lived in oppression in Egypt for 430 years.Continued ...
DIY car care: Mechanic offers tips on vehicle maintenance
Americans, especially those in rural or suburban areas, depend upon their automobiles.Continued ...
Horses that heal
Along with working, competition and transportation, as well as being coveted companion animals for pleasure riding, horses add the magic of healing to their many talents.Continued ...
- Have a healthy Easter: Better options exist for holiday meals, activities
- Around The Arts
Volunteers are the SWAT of the arts world
When you work at an arts organization, particularly a nonprofit, employees often wear many hats -- accomplishing the duties that appear in the traditional job description, and then some. It happens everywhere. It's a running joke among people who work at nonprofits. There is too much to do, and not enough people to do it. That's when you call in the back up -- SWAT if you will.Continued ...
Let creativity flow with unstructured art projects
As I sit here writing this, the holiday glow is still going strong (my column deadline is two weeks before the publication date), and I've been spending a great deal of time not only with my daughter, but her stuff. We're incredibly lucky to have a loving network of family and friends that spoil her, so I've been merging her new goodies with her old.Continued ...
Opportunities abound for career in the arts
I was recently asked to speak at a local high school about my career path and how I came to work in the arts. It was interesting speaking with these seniors, and discussing their hopes for life after high school.Continued ...
The art of the appraisal explained by one who knows
So often in this column my co-writer, Brittany, and I talk about how art is everywhere and can be appreciated by all. Perhaps because of my passion for everyday art, there is one part of the art world I just cannot grasp -- art appraisal. How can you put a value on something so seemingly subjective? So, I set out to learn more about this industry.Continued ...
Flash mobs more theatrical production than dance
Most people are familiar with the term "flash mob." It's associated with groups of people congregating briefly to the surprise of the surrounding public, and often incorporates a choreographed dance. You've probably been witness to one, or you've probably seen one online, as they are extensively documented -- there are more than 10,000 results on YouTube if you search for flash mobs.Continued ...
- Volunteers are the SWAT of the arts world
- Music Beat
Complete education involves classroom, real-world learning
There is new, long overdue attention being paid in our institutions of higher education to the use of directed practical experience as an essential partner to the classroom lecture.Continued ...
- Music Industry tips
Copyright royalties can make you smile
A few years ago, I wrote an article on the skill and dedication necessary to become a songwriter.Continued ...
- Music Industry Tips
Build a team to build a career
People love music because music is that magical means of communication that never fails. The music industry is going through some rough times, but it is not going to die because music is a basic, central need in everyone's life.Continued ...
- Complete education involves classroom, real-world learning
- Parenting Imperfect
I want to visit the world of 'The Pioneer Woman'
It is a double-edged sword, this whole having kids old enough to leave home alone for short periods of time thing.Continued ...
It is in February when the breaking point is reached
If I could edit the calendar, the two months I'd do away with are August and February.Continued ...
Ibuprofen saved the vacation
Right after New Year's Day, we four hearty souls flew to Orlando to visit my mother, stepfather and aunt.Continued ...
The write stuff is often hard to find in my household
Now that the kids are older and I sleep well most nights, my biggest parenting challenge is boundaries. The challenge is that I feel like I should have them and the small people refuse to acknowledge such a thing could exist.Continued ...
Of kids, phone calls and toilet paper
We have reached that golden age when both kids are responsible enough to be trusted alone for short periods of time.Continued ...
- I want to visit the world of 'The Pioneer Woman'
- Senior scene
Looking Back: Animals are amazing creatures and far from dumb
Wherever did the expression "dumb animals" come from?Continued ...
Social Security: If you give a man a computer mouse, see what happens
Happy National Poetry Month. Now, if you'll have a look-see, read our poem inspired by Laura Numeroff's "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie":Continued ...
As Time Goes By: There's lint in my belly button, and other observations
Itâ€™s a great day in the South â€" the sun is shining and the temperature is 75 degrees and I find myself in a reflective mood.Continued ...
From the Office: Time is now to plan for the aging tsunami
It's coming. Maybe not this year, but starting in 2016, the number of older adults across the our country will begin to grow. At first it will only be a small increase, but as the baby boomers move up in age, the wave of individuals coming into the "senior" age group will become the largest in the census categories.Continued ...
Looking Back: Snowy winter wonderland could be fun or a pain
Snow, snow, go away … come again another day?? Please, perhaps next year? But there is always the positive side to things -- or so it seems.Continued ...
- Looking Back: Animals are amazing creatures and far from dumb
- Tech, GP
Thankful hard-disk shortage is about over, and counting my blessings
Well, I'm almost ready to let out a cheer.Continued ...
Businesses need backups for their computer people, systems
In the interest of full disclosure, I want to let you know that I have taken a new position, professionally. I recently joined Eastman Associates, a local general contractor, to do its IT work, as well as taking care of some other functions of the business.Continued ...
Windows 8 seems to be made for the good of Microsoft, not the user
By Bruce Endries The software company everybody loves to hate, Microsoft, recently released what it calls a "consumer preview" of their next operating system, Windows 8.Continued ...
The Granite State got it right on software purchases
Believe it or not, I have found a bright spot in the political landscape, amid all the vitriolic partisan fighting.Continued ...
Visit a construction site and you'll probably find an iPad
It was just about two years ago now, that the iPad came out, and I wrote a column about it. At that time, I went out on a limb and said that thought it was a product which would fill certain niches very well, but that it wasn't very likely to fill in for what is normally considered a computer.Continued ...
- Thankful hard-disk shortage is about over, and counting my blessings
- Teen Talk
On the Go: Age is only a number, not a way to define us
Our obsession with age dulls as we get older, but it never goes away completely.Continued ...
Weekend Reviews: 'The Virgin Suicides' shows angst, longing we all have
When I was younger, I remember idolizing teenage girls in every way possible.Continued ...
Teenhood Today: Confidence in yourself must come from within
I'm not sure most of you know this, but I'm supposed to be writing about teen issues.Continued ...
A Word of Advice: A case for optimism
Take a moment, young teenager, and scroll down your Facebook page, and keep a tally of how many positive posts you see compared to the number of negative ones.Continued ...
On the Go: Science classes weren't wasted
Most science classes begin the same way. The teacher explains why his class is fabulous. He mentions labs and the Regents and any notion of joy or discovery vanishes.Continued ...
- On the Go: Age is only a number, not a way to define us