This morning as I was changing the amazing human fountain, I discovered the following tucked under his changing pad.
Day 10: I remain in the clutches of my evil jailers, who – in a sinister touch worthy of a James Bondian villain – insist on calling themselves Mommy and Daddy. Since last week’s forcible abduction, they have had custody of me, apparently in an attempt to break me. I have resisted so well, though, that they called in a torture specialist named Nana overnight, and she and “Mommy” forced me to consume many ounces of the sweet, fatty substance they call (again in a nightmarish parody) “milk” that I’m coming to suspect is addictive.
I believe they plan to turn me into a milk addict, and then use that hold over me; but I have resolved to remain firm in my rejection of this substance and thus thwart their nefarious plan. In my old home I never needed milk, and although it makes me feel good (lethargic or alert by turns), I continue to successfully rejected “Mommy’s” repeated, insistent offers of her breast (the source of the liquid). “Daddy’s” finger-feeding has proven impossible to resist thus far, but each session I resist anew, even as I find myself craving more of this “milk.”
After a session of torture, they wrap me tightly in blankets that remind me strongly of the home I was so forcibly abducted from on August 15… And I actually feel content. It seems a betrayal, weakness, as my captors slowly wear me down. I persevere in my resistance, but day by day I feel my resolve weakening.
Here comes “Mommy.” I hide this in the hope that even should I succumb, a record of my (if I may make so bold a claim) valiant struggle will remain a tribute to my effort, and a warning to others.
These moments make up for a lot of hours of missed sleep.
Benji loves his hands. I knew that even before he was born, given the amount of time I felt his hand punching while he was in utero. Now his hands are his best friends; particularly when he’s upset, he tries to get his hands as close to his mouth as possible. Lesser swaddling cannot long withstand his Houdini hands.
At this age he also grabs kind of randomly whatever is within reach. Needless to say, this proclivity makes feeding a challenge at times. Sometimes I need a whole nother person to just wrangle his hands while I try to feed him. I sometimes have a hard time believing he only has two hands, given how he gets them everywhere (prioritizing the most inconvenient places first, of course).
He often gets his left hand out first, so we’re wondering if he may be left-handed. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, we continue to plumb the depths of exhaustion and how functional a person can be on how little sleep.
“No, mommy, I DON’T want to eat more.” I swear he can shut his mouth so tight it’s safer than a safe deposit box.
I have been meaning to mention the absolutely fabulous quilt Grandma Deborah made for Benji. Originally she asked about colors, and I remembered a blanket I had when I was a kid. It had blue and white stripes of varying thickness that I drove my Hotwheels and Micro Machines on, and when bunched up made hills and valleys and intersections. I told Deborah about that and suggested some kind of road for Benji to drive toys on. This is what Deborah created.
Really none of these pictures do justice to this amazing work of art. She designed the entire thing herself, and only a few of the elements had patterns. The rest she created from scratch, too.
You can’t see it in the pictures, but she used the quilting to add detail to each element. Clouds, grass, road lines, building details, driveways, the airport runway… It is wonderful. I could not be more delighted, and I know Benji will spend many happy hours playing on it. For now, until he’s older, we’re going to hang it in his bedroom as the art it is.
So: Although it sounds, and is, inadequate, THANK YOU, Deborah, for the quilt.
Here is Benji yesterday during his tummy time.
He was in that magical “quiet but alert” phase that doesn’t happen very often (normally it’s lightly sleeping, heavily sleeping, or fussing) and kept his eyes open long enough to look around a bit. Needless to say, we seized the opportunity.
Lest I give the faulty impression it’s all peaches and cream, however, here’s a view I get all too often, most frequently (of course) at night.
Yesterday we went for a walk around our neighborhood park. It was a cautionary moment for me: My body is fit and eager to go… Except for the extremely tender still-healing wound where Benji came out. Despite my increasing desire to MOVE, my body made it clear that is not on the docket yet. It will be hard as I heal to let myself fully recover and not overdo (or do at all, for the moment) the physical activity I so crave.
In unrelated but positive news, we signed our mortgage refinance paperwork today. This saves us about $400 a month. Yay!
Life is tough as a newborn. Everything previously handed to you – nutrition & hydration, temperature regulation, oxygenation – now you suddenly have to do for yourself. On top of that, everything in your environment is totally new and unfamiliar. Gah! Fortunately, Benji has lots of people (like daddy and Nana) willing to help him transition.
Yesterday we had a checkup with the lactation experts at Evergreen. Benji is doing well, although he struggles to nurse and tends to get very upset – too upset to eat – when it is hard. The nurse reassured us that we were doing everything right, and gave us helpful tips for getting through the next week or so. Hopefully by then Benji will have the hang of it and we’ll move on.