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.
Back to nature
"The peace of the hills is about me and upon me; the leisure of the summer clouds, whose shadows I see slowly drifting across the face of the landscape, is mine. The dissonance and the turbulence and the stench of cities -- how far off they seem! The noise and dust, and the acrimony of politics -- how completely the hum of the honey-bee, and the twitter of the swallows blot them out!"Continued ...
- If you go
Raise a glass
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Racing Under Saddle
Those looking for the thrill of watching live horse racing will not have to travel outside the region this summer.Continued ...
- Back to nature
- Around The Arts
Glimmerglass director offers employment tips for arts grads
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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 ...
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Opportunities abound for career in the arts
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- Glimmerglass director offers employment tips for arts grads
- Music Beat
Oneonta student looks to take music industry training in different direction
At a recent concert reception in New York City, I was surprised to meet people who had imminent plans to move to the Otsego-Delaware county area. They explained that our area is so rich in musical and graphic arts that they knew they would enjoy living here.Continued ...
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Complete education involves classroom, real-world learning
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Copyright royalties can make you smile
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- Oneonta student looks to take music industry training in different direction
- Parenting Imperfect
Oh, just to be able to savor an English muffin
All I wanted to do was eat my English muffin. The family had other plans.Continued ...
A reminder of the small-child years
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Well, at least she's listening to what I say
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I want to visit the world of 'The Pioneer Woman'
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It is in February when the breaking point is reached
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- Senior scene
As Time Goes By: I'm trying to be the rockin' up-to-date 'cool dude' grandpa
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As Time Goes By: I'm hearing voices -- and not only mine own
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- 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
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Windows 8 seems to be made for the good of Microsoft, not the user
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The Granite State got it right on software purchases
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Visit a construction site and you'll probably find an iPad
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- Teen Talk
Teenhood Today: I long for furniture, hills, rice
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