This is my home-game entry for Week 32 of therealljidol. I invite you to read the many fine submissions and the other home-game entries. This week we were supposed to write on two topics: "Windage" and "I'm Calling a Do Over." My entry for "Windage" was a poem. This is my entry on the second topic, "I'm Calling a Do Over."
A panda mom cuddles her baby.
A month ago, I confess to being irritated by the overwhelming number of people warning me that my life would change forever once I brought the baby home. It's not that I'm afraid of change; it's simply that I like to be in control. I knew my life would change, but I thought it would change in the prescribed ways I'd imagined. As far as I knew, it would be a simple matter of figuring out how to incorporate a new set of tasks: just like all the clubs, activities and schoolwork I'd balanced in college.
I didn't think my baby would change my life the way he has so far. I certainly had no idea how much better he'd make my life; how little I'd miss the things I've had to give up; how much I'd gain from the changes.
The first rude awakening (pun intended) was my shifted sleep patterns. Now, I sleep a newborn's fitful pattern, two to three hours at a time. We are awake together in the wee, quiet hours. We've seen the sun come up outside the nursery window. I awake in the morning to his cries, and we go downstairs to see his father, The Gryphon, off to work.
Then, perhaps a morning nap or two, and when it's done, I still have time to soak in a hot bath, take care of a few household tasks (while he's dozing), and even do a little writing. Before, I slept until 9 or 10 and then rushed around, running errands and walking the dog, before my usual afternoon transcription assignment. For now, as I continue to recover and as Kung Fu Panda's schedule develops, I am neither driving nor running errands. Instead, The Gryphon has been taking my car to work, stopping at the grocery or drug store on the way home.
I know that, as Kung Fu Panda grows older and he sleeps less in the daytime, I'll probably take over many of the daytime errands again. But for now, I do not miss them.
Whereas before, I kept the blinds down 24/7, due to all the neighbors who live close to us on our crowded street, for three weeks we've let the light stream in. The daylight is not only good for Kung Fu Panda but is less harsh than artificial light. Sitting here on the bed, using a laptop on a bed tray, I have been enjoying watching the pine fronds across the street sway in the breeze. Before, I barely noticed they had a tree.
Because of it's possible effect on KFP, I'm still not drinking caffeine, but I gave that up during pregnancy and don't miss it. Natural alert cycles are where it's at, man.
On the advice of another mother, I've had the radio playing during the day, which seems to soothe my fussy, sensitive panda cub. WXPN absolutely rocks. I don't think there's one show they do that KFP doesn't love. It's been a long time since I listened to the radio, and when you consider that during college, radio was my life (hosting a show on WPSU), that's saying something.
Nowadays, I've been recording on DVR any of the TV series I'd like to see, gradually catching up on them when I have time. My days feel more open, more free ranging.
Even better, I'm finding time to read. For many years, I thought I couldn't find the time except for a few minutes here and there. As someone who read voraciously throughout most of my life, this was highly unusual for me, an artifact of my crammed life. So who could have imagined that, by adding a time-consuming task, I'd find more time? Namely, I'm talking about breast feeding, during which I read aloud to Kung Fu Panda. At this early stage, it really doesn't matter what you read to your child; just that he hears language. So I've been reading aloud the baby care books I'm currently studying. I've also read him some poetry and literature, which he seems to enjoy.
Yes, there have been frustrations, hesitations, and even fearful moments (are we doing the right thing for our baby?). But ultimately, this new life is a good one so far. I'm glad the universe called a do over.
Stop and smell the ... diapers?