Monday, October 02, 2006

Mama Wants Her Groove Back

On Friday, my second day alone with the babies, I was for some reason in a major groove. I actually scrubbed all three toilets, did two loads of laundry (washed, dried, AND folded, a rarity indeed), took the girls to open playtime at the library, entertained some dear friends passing through town on last-minute notice, and cooked an actual dinner (OK, an easy dinner, but still). And this was a day when my two-year-old refused to nap! I have no idea how I did it; it was obviously a fluke because today the most I have done is nuke two veggie hot-dogs. I'm dressed, but only if your standards are very low. Oh well. I'm a bit tired from the weekend.

So yeah, how did yesterday turn out, you're wondering? Well, we did have friends down for breakfast, in a rather slapdash, barely-groomed manner (speaking of low standards!). We had been up all the previous night with one sick baby and one squalling one, so some things fell by the wayside in the morning fray. Anyway, as for the party in Minneapolis, only half the family made it. Christopher sent me up with Genevieve, and he stayed home with germy Julia. We really all wanted to go, but we knew that if we brought Julia to a social gathering where other babies and kids would be congregating, what with her runny nose, sneezing, and glassy-eyed sick-face, we'd be THOSE parents. The ones we bad-mouth after the fact when we're witness to similar rash decisions. So, since I was the only one who could feed Genevieve, I got to go, and he got to stay home and tend Julia's cold.

I had a great time, especially since Genna snoozed the whole way up to Minneapolis and 3/4 of the way home. (The last stretch was a mini-marathon of infant screams, but what can you do?) There were a million babies and children at this party, with Genevieve the youngest by four or five months. She was calm and mellow throughout, and garnered many compliments on her mile-wide cheeks.

What was fun for me were the compliments I garnered from some of the other moms of older wee ones, about being out and about only six weeks after Genevieve's birth. This was a total treat for me to hear, because while part of me still thinks, too, that it is a major deal to schlep a brand-new newborn an hour away for a party by one's self--heck, I think it's a major deal to take a newborn on errands around town at only six weeks post-childbirth!--at the same time, in my new community it seems to be what everyone I know just does. It seems that the moms I know down here just expect that you'll be back at library storytime, at playgroup and toddler class and the grocery store, with your tiny newborn casually in tow, just weeks after coming home from the hospital. They're all doing it, so, you know, no one is very impressed when you do it too. Therefore it was a nice surprise, a sweet little pat on the back and a good reality check, to have one fellow mom, upon hearing Genevieve's age, exclaim to me, "Way to go! Look at you, out and about so soon and doing so great! How wonderful that you're feeling physically up to it!" Reminded me how little Genevieve still really is. It was only a month and a half ago that we were camped out on the maternity ward, nursing in the dark with the IV in place. You know?

So. On another topic, believe it or not, I am actually conducting an experiment this week--a very masochistic experiment--and giving up dairy, chocolate, and caffeine for seven days to see if Genevieve's evening scream attacks go away. Although she doesn't have them every night, and overall she seems happy and non-fussy, it seems worth a try to figure out if something identifiable is giving her gas pains. The plan is to give up these substances for a week, then re-introduce them slowly, one at a time. It's day one, and I have a big ol' caffeine headache. (Good thing I'm not giving up Advil!) This is going to be a MAJOR CHALLENGE for me--much more for the chocolate and dairy than the caffeine. I feel like a monk!

Are you laying down bets on me now? Do you think I'll be able to do it? Tune in all this week to find out.


Donna said...

YES, you'll be able to do it because you are THAT kind of Mom who will do anything for her kids. Remember, a week of caffeine headaches is nothing compared to hours and hours of colicky baby! I completely sympathize... Good luck and I'll be tuning in to see how you're doing!

Shan said...

Thanks, Donna! I'll keep you posted, for sure...