Monday, November 30, 2009

All You Need is Love?

Had The Beatles written this song after they'd become parents its title would have been a much less concise but far more accurate "All you need is love...and sleep...and food...and good communication...and a sense of humor." In the absence of attainable goals such as these, I have decided to channel some of my frustration into a monthly book review for new parents like us and for those who have yet to fall; those who still live with the illusion that their parenting experience will be different, restful, and sane. Carrie and I used to be in that boat, convinced that we would have infinite patience, energy, and intuition, but like the Titanic our optimism sank when it careened into an iceberg known as reality. Now, three and a half weeks in, we're just another set of cliche parents - tired, grumpy, and quickly learning that our hopes and dreams have very little bearing on our child's temperament.

The past few nights have been challenging - again. I would like to take a moment to normalize my feelings of exasperation; feelings that have given rise to thoughts like, "What the fuck were we thinking?" or "I can't remember why we decided to do this," or "Isn't infanticide legal in some countries?" If there are other new parents who are feeling insane from time to time, please accept that you probably are, that you're not alone, and that it will no doubt get worse before it gets better. I hope this helps. My saving grace, besides Amari's undeniable cuteness, is that Carrie shares my dark sense of humor, that we can say these things out loud knowing that they're just momentary expressions of frustration. If you suffer from occasional feelings of buyer's remorse or intense inadequacy, I urge you to share them, dilute them in the comfort of someone you love and trust. I don't really hate my Amari - ever - and I certainly don't want to kill her, but sometimes I do hate how crappy and incapable I feel in the face of her shrieks and tears, and in those moments my own death feels like a welcome option.

I began this entry yesterday after three sleepless nights in a row. Thanksgiving's gratitude felt like a distant memory. I started to believe that I might have to start using the "C" word, though I never imagined it possible that I would have a colicky baby. It sounds like something along the lines of the plague or consumption or some canine disease. Nonetheless, Amari's digestive pain and incessant crying persisted, so it merited consideration. In addition, she had also developed a mild case of the sniffles, so even when she did sleep she sounded like the long lost offspring of Darth Vadar. "Isaac...wheeze, sniffle. I'm your...wheeze, sniffle...daughter." It really creeped me out. As bedtime approached last night, we decided to try something new. When Carrie went upstairs, I took a full two ounces of pumped milk and fed it to Amari all at once. About half way through she started to drift off, but I managed to keep her awake until she finished the job. Sated and smiling, she crashed out - for four hours! After that, she woke up only twice more for additional feedings. By morning, Amari's sniffles and all of our moods were much better.

Tomorrow, I will submit my first review of a book by Dr. Harvey Karp called "The Happiest Baby on the Block." Amari may not be in the running at this point, but we're doing our best, and the book has helped me through many challenging moments.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Love, love, love,
    love, love, love,
    love, love, love.
    There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
    Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
    Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
    It's easy.
    There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
    No one you can save that can't be saved.
    Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you
    in time - It's easy.

    There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
    Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
    Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.
    It's easy.