Monday, December 27, 2010

Regarding dinners, cuddling, and
a Dangerously Fluffy bassinet

During the week, when Ben is at work all day, I really don't even try to do anything EXCEPT take care of the baby, unless the compulsive checking of Facebook and a few showers a week count as doing something.

I sometimes get dinner made, usually with the aid of our crock pot -- but the quality of these dinners is such that I cannot refer to them as accomplishments. Not by a long shot. Gone, for the foreseeable future, are the halcyon days of even slightly elaborate foods. Cutting out ravioli with a wine goblet? Are you freaking kidding me? Nowadays we're lucky to get a couple of bowls of ugly but passably flavorful lentils with rice, prepared in the crockpot. And it takes me the better part of the day to get a meal prepared, chopping vegetables or tofu for a few minutes at a time while the baby watches me solemnly from a bassinet wheeled into the kitchen. If I start before noon, I can usually get dinner made by working a few minutes at a time. But if approximately 2 PM comes and goes and I've been too busy to prepare anything, then I know I'm fighting a lost battle. The result is generally Chinese take-out or hastily heated leftovers (although leftovers are hard to come by these days: they're GOLD! Leftovers mean I can eat something other than pretzels and blueberry soy yogurt all day!).

Our sweet girl is an extremely cuddly baby. And I would be a little sad if she weren't -- my friend Tiffany's daughter was an independent and un-cuddly baby, and Tiffany always felt sad about that. But our girl fully expects to be held in someone's arms at all times, day and night, and when she occasionally sleeps on her own, it's a precarious sleep achieved only after I have Tricked the Baby by slowly and painstakingly transferring her from my arms to a specially arranged, ultra-fluffy sleeping surface. (Not recommended for babies, but we're in survival mode here. We never leave her unattended in her Dangerously Fluffy bassinet, I swear.)

My hard-won hands-free time never last very long. Ten, maybe fifteen minutes, most of the time (occasionally, she'll nap for a magical 30 minutes!), and usually only once or twice a day. (And never at night.) Oh, and always within my line of vision, because she'll only sleep on that ultra-fluffy, not-really-safe-for-infants sleeping surface I mentioned.

Constantly aiming to achieve more hands-free time, I try to convince our girl that she would really, really enjoy hanging out in any of these things we purchased and that she totally hates:

the baby swing

the sling

the BabyBjörn

the crib

the infant carrier

the bassinet

Truly, she has nothing but disdain for all of these situations (other than, for brief stretches, the bassinet -- the mattress of which must be elevated 45 degrees, plus, as I mentioned, tricked out with pillows and blankets). As she gets bigger, I return to each of these things, hoping she'll take to one of them so that I can occasionally do laundry or pee without holding an eleven-pound baby in one arm.

It's the middle of the night and I'm tired. So I'll just leave you with what I think is a cute photo.


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