Figure 1.1: koala bear sleeping
I had a dream last night that I was in my last year of high school, and instead of the usual school stress dreams (unprepared for final exam; forgot to attend class all semester) I had received a mark of 46 on an English assignment that was worth most of my grade for the class, and because my subconscious refused to believe that I would actually fail something like that, I spent quite a while adding up all of the various areas in which we were graded in the hopes that the assignment was actually out of, say, 50, and not 100 percentage points. Eventually the teacher, played in the dream by an unpleasant former boss of mine, came over and confirmed that I had, in fact, received a failing grade, but I could just explain to the admissions people at the universities I was applying to that I had just had a baby the week before, so the mark was not indicative of my usual performance.
A few weeks ago I would have been quite irritated to waste perfectly good sleep on doing math, meeting with a former boss, and failing something I’m actually pretty good at in real life, but the truth is sleeping is going pretty well around here. Zach is a very good baby. We are quite pleased with him. So pleased, in fact, that I said to Mike this morning, “We CANNOT have any more children!” Although I am starting to understand how gamblers who hit a streak of good luck want to keep going. More babies! (Note: there will be no more babies.)
Ellie likes to sit in my lap and use my phone to view pictures, usually of herself although occasionally of something else. Her most recent fascination is the koala. I do a quick Google image search for them, and she flips through the photos one by one, providing helpful commentary: “Koala bear! Koala bear! Koala bear with leafs in his mouth! Baby koala bear and mommy koala bear! Koala bear! That koala bear sleeping! That koala bear awake!” And so forth. So please let me know if you have any koalas laying around the house and you need help determining their state of consciousness. I will send her right over.
Literal cat nap
I don’t know if it’s because we live in a small town, or for some other reason, but our power seems to go out an awful lot, often for no apparent reason. Yesterday, for example, it went out in spite of the fact that it was clear and sunny outside. The annoying thing about the loss of power is not so much the darkness or quietness or lack-of-TV-ness, but the fact that the smoke alarm beeps once, loudly, when it goes out, and then beeps extensively (also loudly) when it goes back on. Sometimes the power flickers on and off a few times, so we get to enjoy this symphony a lot over the course of an hour. Zach was napping yesterday while this was going on, and at one point I thought, rather irritably, “I don’t UNDERSTAND why the smoke alarm is outside the BEDROOMS and why it has to be SO LOUD. It is just going to WAKE EVERYONE UP.” Which is … the whole purpose of the smoke alarm in the first place. It is possible I am more sleep deprived than I realize.
This might be partially a result of my own poor judgment. First thing in the morning, and when I am up with the baby in the middle of the night, I enjoy vivid fantasies about the nap I plan to take later on. Making this fantasy a reality requires a specific confluence of events that rarely occurs (namely that both kids are asleep at the same time) but even when it DOES happen I can hardly ever seem to bring myself to actually take the greatly anticipated nap. It is far too tempting to stay awake for that precious hour where no one is touching me or repeating the same questions 100 times.
It is mostly a moot point anyway, because I do not often have the opportunity, although I remain optimistic that this will change in the future, if not for the sake of a good nap, then at least so I can go back to work part-time after Christmas without losing my mind. At this point, however, Zach is not yet on any kind of a schedule, with the exception of one very specific thing. When he was still residing in utero, he would get the hiccups every single night between 9:00-10:00. This has continued like clockwork every night since he was born, even adjusting with the time change. I find this very odd.
Kitty cat performs quality control on Halloween candy
I had big plans to recreate the blog post I lost, the one about Zach’s arrival and the first few weeks afterward, but I have kind of lost my mojo in that department. I have started to actually feel some of the feelings one feels about such an event, and I don’t feel good about it, and I don’t want to dwell on it, because the past six weeks have been incredibly awesome with an overlay of extreme suckiness. In fact, much of the past year has been like that, taken up as it was by an unpleasant pregnancy. But! As much as I have zero interest in ever doing it again, it was undeniably worth it. A+++++ baby. Would gestate and deliver him again. He sleeps well and he never cries for no reason and he is very snuggly and also he kind of looks like my Grandpa, thanks to some impressive jowls and the male pattern baldness thing he’s got going on. Last week he barfed a gallon of undigested milk on me, waited a minute, then flashed me a big toothless grin. Such is life with a newborn.
Ellie is spending this week with her grandparents, so the pace of life has slowed a bit, which is refreshing although of course I miss her terribly. Last week was Halloween, and we had big plans for Mike to take her trick-or-treating for the first time, but since this is Ontario in October, there was wind and rain that combined in such a way that the rain seemed to be coming in sideways, so we opted to keep her home and have her help hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters, who were surprisingly legion in spite of the inclement weather. Turns out that handing out candy was the highlight of her young life thus far. She sat perched on the chair in the window of my office, which looks out onto our front porch, and spent 90 minutes chirping excitedly about the whole process. “More kids! Wait for more kids! I share candy with kids! Mommy see more kids? Kids are here! Bye kids! See you again soon!”
This also meant she had unrestricted access to the candy bowl, which we eventually restricted after we had determined she had had enough, not that that dampened her enthusiasm for sugar, which she continued to request over and over, each time shot down by her dad or I telling her she’d had enough. Eventually she had an idea so sudden and brilliant that were she a cartoon character it would have been illustrated by the appearance of a lightbulb over her head, and proceeded to dig through the candy bowl until she found three fun-sized chocolate bars, one of which she proceeded to hand to me, one to Mike, and one she requested be opened for her. I guess she figured if WE were having candy, we couldn’t in good conscience deny HER the same privilege. She was not wrong.