Friday, April 10, 2015

Living and Learning

The last two months have taught me so much. Since Libby was born, I’ve learned lessons daily about love, happiness, patience, kindness and grace.

I’ve also learned that Boppy pillows are magic, not all cries are the same and daytime TV is a wasteland worse than any hell I can imagine.

During the Pittsburgh Guest Blogger Event, Sandy from Orange Chair Blog offered up some stellar advice for parents of little ones. It got me thinking about what I’ve learned thus far in my new role as Mom.

Here's what I know so far:

Time is Weird.

I'm fairly convinced that the day I had Libby, there was some kind of cosmic shift that caused the earth's rotation to speed up. There is no other explanation for how fast each day goes and how little I'm able to accomplish. Every day, I wake up, feed the baby, get her cleaned up and dressed, then think, “I should really be doing X, Y and Z!” and I’ll start to do X, but then she’ll smile or cry or spit up or move and before I know it, two hours have passed and X has become a distant memory. Because, honestly, if two hours have passed, then it’s time for her to eat again. So I’ll feed her, then think, “What was I doing before? Oh, right!” and attempt to revisit X, but then she’ll make a cute face or spit out her binky and before I know it, it’s time to eat again. Then, it’s dark outside and I think, “No problem! Surely I will do X, Y and Z tomorrow!” And then I never do.  

Boppy is The Most Important Thing I Own

Ninety-five percent of the 8 zillion photos I've taken of Lib are of her in her Boppy, as that is where she spends the vast majority of her existence. There is something about it she finds calming. I don't know if it makes her feel like she's being held or what. Actually, it probably has more to do with the fact that when she's in it she has a better view of the sconces. Because, as I've come to learn...

The Sconces on My Living Room Wall are MAGIC.  


That's Lib engaging in her all-time favorite activity - staring at sconces. From the moment she arrived home, she has been enthralled...nay, obsessed...with the sconces on my living room wall. She would gladly gaze at them all day long if we let her. When I sit on that couch and hold her, she thrashes her head around wildly until they're in her line of sight. If she's crying and catches glimpse of the sconce, she immediately quiets. I don't fully understand the power they possess over her. I just know that she loves them deeply, probably more than she loves me, and without them, her life makes so sense at all. 

Daytime TV SUCKS.

During my maternity leave, I kept the TV on for company round the clock. Real talk - who the hell is writing this stuff and getting away with it? Talk shows have to be the lowest form of entertainment ever devised by man. I can't watch one more minute of a bunch of C-list celebrities scream-talking over top of one another about what some other celebrity did, what trendy trend is the trendiest, or what hot new diet is sure to emaciate you quickest. It's maddening. Then they top it all off with a cooking demo that happens faster than you can even register what they're making ("Chicken?! I think that was chicken?") and it's over. Then it's time for a six-hour block of Judge Sassy Middle-Aged Lady/Baby Daddy Test Results/Juvenile Delinquent Boot Camp awfulness, followed by three hours of local TV news. Just...God. No. 

There is an Art to Crying

Before Lib, I knew babies cried, but I just thought they all did it exactly the same and it all meant the same thing: "I'm annoyed. Fix it." But I now understand babies have a whole repertoire of cries with varying degrees of urgency. When Libby really needs something, there is a certain shriek to her cry that can pierce my soul and wrench me out of the deepest sleep. However, when she's just crabby with no real cause, her cry is HILARIOUS. She cries like a bored actress reading off a script. It goes like this:

Libby, in her nursery 15 feet away from our bedroom: "Ahhh."

Me and Justin: giggle

Libby: "Ahhh."

Me and Justin: giggle giggle

Libby: "AH."


It's wildly ineffective and so so cute. And it brings me to my last, most important lesson:

New Parents Laugh A Lot

And it's not just always because of sleep deprivation. Babies make you happy. Yes, they are a lot of work, and yes, your life changes in ways you never anticipated. But I've learned there is more room in my heart for joy and love than I ever thought imaginable, and I thank God every day for sending Libby to teach me that.

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