sweet baby james is one month old today, so i guess it's time for me to stop griping about how annoying life has been and focus in on what actually matters- this lil cutie pie.
having a newborn is weird because no amount of lurking babycenter.com really prepares you for what it's like to bop around with a little potato that isn't interactive enough to recognize or enjoy you, but is sentient enough to fart and fuss and flail around. you have access to all the information in the entire world- but when it comes to childrearing, it is all mad conflicting.
wake him up to eat every two hours. don't wake a sleeping baby. feed him on demand. space out his feedings. if he naps all day he'll be up all night. but make sure he's napping a lot because sleep begets sleep. put him to sleep in his crib. put him to sleep directly on top of you. put him to sleep in a carefully constructed cocoon duct taped to your solar plexus. let him sleep anywhere he sees fit. put him on his back. prop him up at a 43 degree angle. swaddle him with arms in. swaddle him with arms out. don't swaddle him. put the swaddle blanket on your head and pretend to be a spooky ghost. nurse him to sleep. don't let him associate nursing with sleep. breastfeed for as long as your sanity allows. breastfeed until he pledges a fraternity. breastfeed until the coroner confirms your cause of death (breastfeeding). pump to build up a freezer stash. don't pump excessively or your tits will be poppin' off with overflow while you're trying to use the self-checkout at kroger. talk to him constantly. read your copy of dhalgren to him and rejoice in his confusion. never stop holding him. wear him like a squirmy 10 lb accessory. superglue his face to your chest. you can't spoil a newborn. but don't create bad habits. do anything for him on demand. do everything for him on a schedule.
i have decided to stop using the internet for anything other than browsing dank memes and buying too much makeup. no more 3 am feedings while browsing r/babybumps for keyword sleep, no more googling how often should i be sanitizing everything i own is once a year okay. less knowledge is well, not power, but maybe sanity. i will raise this baby like i've handled my career- making it all up as i go along.
and so far, it's working! james is alive, thriving, and has gained 3 lbs in one month so he's definitely my fat-assed child. he feeds happily every 3 hours during the day, and sleeps for one long stretch- 5 or 6 hours- at night. he switches back and forth from mangling my nipples to inhaling a bottle with ease. he gets his life from car rides, and snoozes through nearly all of our excursions (i have been taking mad advantage of this setup and demanding brunches like, daily). he has stopped screaming in protest at the merest suggestion of being undressed for either a diaper or outfit change. he is calmest when his face is cradled against ian's neck. he is happiest when my mother sings him mongolian folk songs.
james reserved his very first social milestone for his grandmother- yesterday, he smiled for the first time in response to her cooing. not a sleepy grimace, not the rictus of an intense bowel movement- but a genuine, interactive, happy smile.
it is starting to feel worth it.