Sunday, January 5, 2014

Our Pet Human (in her 23rd week ...)


I write these with my right thumb while breastfeeding.

My friend Greener said I need to divulge this. I write quick bursts, then add and subtract from it over time. I should probably be staring lovingly into the baby's ear while she feeds instead of referring to her as a Pet Human and leaving her to Self Serve at the Teat Buffet while I Record Her Life.

Sometimes the anecdotes spoil. They sit too long as Blogger drafts and all of a sudden it's no longer relevant. The raspberry-making phase only lasted two days; The humming-herself-to-sleep was just for about a week. There is no reason to mention it now that she's begun making elaborate chomping motions with her mouth and saying Mm. Mm. Mm.

Right now we're in the practice stages of solid foods. The image of her chin covered with an orange vegetable goatee, like she'd gone cannibal on an Oompa Loompa, is burned into my brain. The way we scoop food off her face and feed it back to her must certainly be leaving emotional scars.

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Me: Where's the baby?
Chuck: In her crib. The madam has requested some alone time with her feet.

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Me: I keep thinking a reprieve is near.
Chuck: It's not. Know what's near? Solid food poop and crawling.

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We took the PBG to a few holiday parties and in every case I'd be immediately relieved of the baby at the door, like she was a coat or purse, and I'd look up 20 minutes later to see her in the arms of someone I at least kind of know. Usually. One time I caught a flash of hot pink terry cloth across the room, hugged against a person whose first name I could not recall.

Her husband nodded in their direction and said: "Yeah. She's really good with babies."

During that same party I stood in a circle of women and dished on sleep patterns, always sleep patterns, and another mom approached me and said: "You know, you can stop swaying when you aren't holding her."

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We did the Santa thing. We dressed her in something cute and cooed North Pole pronouns that mean nothing when you're zero. We walked into the Fitger's Complex and Chuck said something so foreign I almost had to Babblefish:

"I guess we just follow all the kids."

This was a scene of chaos, and we hadn't even gotten to the reindeer kept in a kennel outside the complex. There were kids everywhere. It reminded me of when we went to get a cat from the shelter and were led to a room filled with moving fur, aerodynamic fur, rainbows of fur that bounced from one end of the room to the other. Sweat gushed down my spine.

I ran into old acquaintances, two children deeper than the last time I saw them. The newest: A two week old tucked snug into a car seat. The other two ran figure eights through their legs and the mom told me in a calm, collected voice about the C-section she'd just had and how maybe this time was the worst.

Plus: "I'm still doing the every-two-hour feedings," she said.

There she stood, still post-preg puffy and exhausted-looking, her voice a little hoarse. I thought, "My gah, woman. Shouldn't you be at home rubbing ointment into the stitches place?"

Instead I said, jovially, "Well, aren't you a trooper?"

"Psh. I took a Perocet before we left," she said.

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