So after eons of waiting, my best friend finally brought home her baby last week. And after a crazy nightmare adoption story that happened just shy of Thanksgiving, this Christmas surprise came as a fast, but very welcome, surprise present.
Yes, my friends, with just about 3 days’ notice, my BFF and her husband had to get ready to bring home baby. My other BFF and I both got slightly joyous, but panicky calls from deep within a Babies R Us, where we assured her, yes, everyone freaks out in Babies R Us, and no you don’t need half the shit in there, but you do however want ALL THE THINGS.
Since we 3 are separated by a few hundred miles give or take, we all couldn’t quite jump in the car to come say hello to Baby C. Plus, it was 10 days until Christmas, and for the thousandth year in a row I’d run out of sick/vaca time, plus everyone in my house was sick in various forms, so needless to say, the trip has been postponed until January, when BAM! vaca time resets and the bugs will be eradicated from my home and family (hopefully).
I can assure you we are anxiously awaiting the time to jump in the car and come smell all the baby goodness. And to help. Yes, to help. Because let’s face it, no new parent wants you to hold their baby, they want you to cook, clean and organize, and maybe just maybe, let you take a slight snooze.
So, since I am this close to coming, but not quite there yet, I wanted to send a few words of wisdom along to my friend via the interwebs. This means she can roll her eyes in the privacy of her own home and I can get a few reminiscent chuckles out of the rest of you 10s of readers.
1st – Stare at your baby. Stare away. Watch him sleep, watch him look at you or the shiny lights, or the ghost over your shoulder (you know they can see them). They are fascinating. You know what’s not fascinating? What won’t grow up and leave you for another person who is waaay smarter/funnier/prettier than you? Your dishes. Those babies will be there until the day you decide to eat dinner strapped into your wheelchair. Your baby, however, will grow. Will grow so fast it will make your head spin. Watch him. Eat his toes. Smell his head. Nuzzle his neck. Because it goes fast.
2nd. This leads me to my next point. Sleep. Ha! Sleep. She said sleep. Whatever. This is the one thing that seems like it will never be normal again. This phase too will go by, but not quite as fast as the first part I described. In fact, 3 hours straight of uninterrupted sleep is a FREAKIN MIRACLE at this stage of the game. Not only are you waking to cries and feedings and poopings, but you have convinced yourself that if you don’t watch him every second, he will forget to breathe. This fear is pounded into you everywhere you turn as a new mom, and a valid one, but let’s face it, you’ve done all you can to keep him safe. Your unblinking worried stare won’t keep him alive. But maybe your mother’s or your husband’s stare can take over for a few hours so you can get a few moments of sanity back. Back to dreamland, where Vin Diesel rescues you and changes his own pants. Just for a bit.
3rd. Your baby won’t remember shit in this stage in the game. Yes, snuggling and kangaroo time are imperative, but let’s be honest. If you accidentally pinch him while putting him into his car seat, he won’t need therapy later. If you have no idea what you’re doing during bathtime, he won’t remember your bumbling attempt. He won’t know you didn’t have the most current Baby Einstein (do they still do that?) collection or that you watched the Daily Show while feeding him. He won’t remember a thing. Ease up on yourself a little.
4th. Take help when offered. Seriously. Be the bitch here. People come into your house, hand them a Swiffer. Don’t just stand there, vacuum! You come without a dish to freeze? Go make me dinner! Yes, be thrilled they are here to share in your joy, but for the love take full advantage of the slave labor. Because, all these people, mothers included, will go away very very soon. And if you don’t have 6 months of stockpiled frozen dishes, you’ll starve.
5th. You don’t have to have it figured out by the end of Month 1. Set your bar lower. Lower. No, lower. Keeping you and baby alive is a good goal. Occasionally look at your husband to make sure he’s breathing, but other than that, he’s on his own. I was a bit behind the curve. It took me a whole freakin year to feel semi-normal again. This was because my bar was set too high, and my baby boy was in a holy terror of colicky, you took me out too early, state of hysteria. I wish I’d stepped back and breathed a bit more back then. And just loved him. Well when he was good, and then invested in a good set of earplugs the other 23 hours of the day.
Ok, that’s a good start. Congrats my friend. After a very long time, I am so excited to welcome you to the club with open arms. This is the best unpaid job you’ll ever have. Laugh often. Cry when you need to. And call us anytime. I promise not to one up you with my own tails of woe. I will listen…and probably make inappropriate jokes, but hey that’s why you keep me around right?