Posts tagged: Baby

To change the subject

Well, enough of the depressing posts for the time being. Time to change the subject.

As some of you may know and many others don’t, I was laid off from my previous job back in June of 2010. I was out of work for the longest span I have ever experienced and it was tough. Our savings took a royal beating and it is going to take a while to recover. We skipped birthdays and Christmas for the most part.

Yeah I know I said no more depressing posts for now and I meant it. Oddly enough I wouldn’t trade that time off for the world. I have gotten to know my daughter so much better than I ever had time for before. We’ve bonded over that time at home and it has been wonderful. Sure things were rough and even a little scary now and then but that was minor compared to getting to see my baby girl learning and growing and transforming like my wife has had the privilege to experience since her birth.

Being a stay at home parent is hard. I knew that before and this time has only confirmed it. But it has its own rewards. Its own compensation. But still… I’m glad I’m now back to work.

I started a new job a few weeks ago before the end of the year. That was supposed to be the start of a happy 2011 but you know how that has turned out so far. But this new job is good. I like what I’m doing and the compensation is good. Plus its for a non-profit who is making a difference every day for people who need it. What else could I ask for? Well how about working from home? Yeah, I got that too. It’s freaking sweet.

On my own this Saturday

Michelle has a wedding to shoot on Saturday so Kira’s health and well-being are in my hands for pretty much the whole day I expect.  Poor kid.

Da-da has been getting schooled in the new feeding which is completely different than the old feeding.  Now that Kira eats mostly the same food we do (with the exception of formula) her meals have become somewhat easier since she feeds herself most of the time but harder for Michelle because she has to pre-prepare foods in advance a lot of times.  Of course the threat of allergies to soy and milk are making that interesting but Michelle is doing an excellent job at figuring it all out.

I’m always a little apprehensive when I get to take care of Kira on my own with no help because I spend so little time with her comparatively.  But I don’t dread it at all because I get her all to myself during those times and I really do enjoy it.  There’s no way I could have figured out all the things that need to be done and am thankful that Michelle is there to show me what needs to be done ahead of time.

Kira is closing in on eleven months of age and she’s doing great.  She chatters like crazy and is close to mastering the ability to walk on her own.  She’s up to about seven or eight unassisted steps at this point without holding on to anything.  She also generally carrying a stuffed monkey half her size and stopping to squat down and pick up a pacifier along the way.

Usually when she sees one of the cats she starts saying “kih kih kih” over and over while she watches or reaches for them.  Last night she saw the orange cat come around the corner and said out loud “kih tuh” which amazed me.  We call all the cats ‘kitteh’ because we are like that and we can’t help it.  So her saying “kih tuh” was not just close – it was spot-on.  She’s a smart one.

Subtle but still strange

I know not everyone believes in the supernatural or ghosts or things of that nature.  I do.  I’ve grown up with it all my life in one way or another.  If you are a potential employer reading this it should have no bearing on me.  Believing that there are unexplainable forces in the world is no different than another person saying that they believe in Jesus or another saying that they believe in Darwin (just go with me here).

Obviously whatever is in this new house of ours is fascinated with electronics.  We’ve lost and had returned a flash drive, a portable USB backup drive and a Nikon flash.  Bit of a trend going on there.

So today either continues that trend or Kira is a flippin’ savant at less than six months of age.

I haven’t touched my computer since we got back from a wet session of garage sales in the rain.  The only one who has was Kira banging on my keyboard while I held her in my lap.  I just came back to my computer about an hour later and this is what I find on my screen:

communication from who?

At first I thought “Oh I know Calc was the active program while Kira was playing with the keyboard.  She must have hit a bunch of numbers.”  Then I started thinking, she can’t really reach the top of the keyboard to hit numbers.  Then I took a closer look and thought – “Is that what I think it is?”

Sure enough, I did a Google search and that my friends is the numerical value of Pi to what looks like 32 decimal places.  Uh… OK.  So of course I went to the other room and asked Muse if she’d been on my computer at all and of course the answer was ‘No’.

So I thought, well…  maybe somehow Kira just accidentally typed in a fraction that some how calculated to Pi.  It doesn’t seem like that is possible though.  According to that Wikipedia article, the trick with Pi is that it can’t be expressed as a fraction.  I didn’t know that.

So did Kira type it out?  No I don’t think so.  She was on my lap and couldn’t reach the number row.  Besides she was busy barfing on my mouse.  Did the cats tap dance it on the keyboard?  They’ve been given credit for some pretty unbelieveable computer feats, but no, I don’t think this is possible.

So if I didn’t do it and Muse didn’t do it… then who did?  And why Pi?  I guess because whoever or whatever did it knew I would figure it out.  I dunno.

Sure there will be people out there reading this who will just scoff and not believe a word of what I’ve typed and frankly I don’t blame them.  I’d find it pretty hard to believe if it hadn’t happened to me.  So take it for what you will.

Neglect

Is there anyone still visiting?  I wouldn’t be if I were you.  I’ve neglected everything that I didn’t absolutely have to do for a while now.  I guess a new baby will do that to you.

Obviously, I haven’t been updating here.  I haven’t been updating anywhere.  I post a little tidbit on Plurk or Twitter or Facebook now and then but really it’s no more than fluff.  Worse yet, I haven’t been updating A Little Scary at all.  It’s been over a month without a new comic.  It makes me sad.  Especially when I was doing so good for so long with staying on schedule.  My car just went 7,500 before it finally got its first oil change.

I haven’t read any of my friends blogs in months.  I’m out of touch in many ways.  I need to call people although to be fair most of my friends haven’t called me either.  I haven’t kept up on the web comics I used to read on a regular basis.  I haven’t finished any of the little projects at home.  There’s been no video game playing or drawing.

So what have I been doing?  Well, I get up a little after 6am each day and shower and get ready for work.  I eat a bowl of cereal while I feed the dogs and then I leave around 7:30am.  I’m in my office around 8:15 to 8:30am depending on traffic.  I work all day trying to figure out how to upgrade our entire e-mail system globally.  I leave between 5:25 to 5:55pm and head home.  I usually get home around 6:20pm where I hear what happened during the day.  Then I go unload my pockets and remove my overshirt and shoes.  Wash my hands – maybe poop first – and then go grab the baby for my shift with her.  I get her last feeding of the day and attempt to put her to sleep.  She’s usually in her crib around 11pm.  Then I may check my e-mail or some downloads that I’ll never realistically get to work with and then I go to bed.

Now for the past few days that schedule at night has been in a bit of flux.  Muse is trying some new things with her feedings and sleep times to try and get her to bed earlier.  But for the most part it’s been what I wrote.  Sure every once in a while we may bundle the baby up and go out to eat but that’s pretty infrequent.

I need a vacation.  I know my wife does too.  We both desperately need one.  This isn’t what I thought parenthood would be like.  Many of the problems I wrote about previously have started to subside so it is much more tolerable.  We are getting more sleep now.  But I’m still drained.  I’m still tired all the time.  We are both showing signs of depression.

I want to be creative and draw or work on my comics.  I want to play games for hours on end.  I want to see friends and go out and do things.  But I can’t.  Not really.  I could make an exception now or then but everything has a consequence.

I’m not sure what I expected parenthood to be like but it wasn’t like this.  I’m not regretting the decisions so don’t get me wrong.  And I am grateful for getting the chance to be the Daddy of a very special little girl.  But I miss being me.  Doing the things I want to do on my own schedule.  I knew our lives would change but I guess I was still being naive (screw you oomlats).

The sacrifice is worth it I suppose.  Nothing makes me happier than to see that baby girl smile at me.  That is its own reward.  I just need to figure out how to modify my life to include myself in it every now and then.

It should be known

Some of you saw my last post when I originally posted it.  Before I went back in on my iPhone in the middle of a meeting and marked it as Private instead.  Some of you knew then what was going on in our lives or at least my life.  Then I chickened out.  I decided that the post was too personal and that the words proved that I was a bad parent.  The words and emotions I couldn’t express to my wife in words but can in writing were too much to be held responsible for.

Now the post is back up for everyone to read.

After talking to quite a few people it seems that the feelings I’ve had are quite common.  Pretty much everyone in a similar age range to me (and many not) have experienced the same or worse.  Others have gone through this (obviously) and lived to tell the tale.  Except they don’t tell the tale.  They never tell people how they really feel about parenting a newborn with problems.  They don’t tell a soul because they, like me, felt it would prove they were a bad parent.

But in talking to others it gives them a sort of freedom to tell us that yes, parenting for the first few months (or more depending on the persons) sucks ass.  It’s a miserable, thankless job that people without ever having raised a baby will ever understand.  And it’s apparently something that people feel the need to hide from the next wave or generation of potential parents.  Whether to hide what they feel are weaknesses or from fear of people who don’t understand.

I say to hell with that.  It should be known what it is like to care for a baby.  The reality.

That is why I reposted my previous post.  I’m not going back and editing it.  I’m not even going to re-read it.  What I wrote was a release for me and to change it would be counter-productive.  There is therapy in writing.  There is a catharsis in venting the emotions that I can never seem to properly verbalize.  I felt better after writing that post and marking it private took away from that therapy in some small way.

When Muse and I went through the birthing classes, the nurses who taught the class stressed over and over that you should never shake your child.  They said over and over again that if you get angry that you should put the baby down in a safe place and walk away and call for help.  They preached over and again about the damage that can be done to an infant when shaken violently.  And the wife and I would look at each other and roll our eyes.  We wondered what kind of horrible people could even think of doing something so monstrous?  What kind of pathetic lowlifes would do that to a baby?

Now we understand.  We have not shaken the baby (don’t go calling DFS) but we now have a better understanding of WHY some people are driven to do something like that.  The rage I have felt at something so small and defenseless is a heartbreaking thing that makes me feel like the biggest sack of shit in the universe.  But at least now I know we’re not alone.

I’ve been dealing with the baby much better since those days.  She’s going on seven weeks now and neither of us has done anything more physical than burp her more vigorously than we probably should.  We are still learning to cope but I have to be honest: It’s hard.  It’s really fucking hard.

One thing we’ve both learned is that the less sleep we get, the less stress we can take.  We’ve both experienced it on multiple occasions.  And the crappy thing about it is that sleep is the hardest thing to achieve with a baby in the house.  Sure with two parents it’s possible to take shifts but when I have to go to work and make money to pay for all the bills and formula and diapers that leaves my wife alone to deal with the baby for yet another shift.  I try and take over for her at night but if I don’t get sleep then I’m absolutely useless at work after a while.  If I lose my job then we can’t afford to live much less have a baby.

So how do single parents do it?  I can’t even begin to imagine that.

My point here is not to whine and complain and fish for sympathy comments.  I turned off comments on the previous post because I didn’t want input or sympathy.  That wasn’t the point.  It was therapy.  My point is to let other new parents or people expecting to be new parents soon know that parenting is harder than you think.  It’s much harder than your friends and family have let on.  They think they are doing you or maybe themselves a favor by not telling you the gory details but they aren’t.

I would have been much better off hearing the horror stories from people before I had to experience them first-hand.  I would have known going into those angry moments that I wasn’t alone and that it was perfectly normal.  I would have much rather known ahead of time what to expect.  So that is why I’m writing this post.  Not just for therapy for myself but as a caution to new parents.

Parenting is hard.  Taking care of a baby is unbelievably hard.  You will lose sleep.  You will miss meals.  You will become a recluse in your own home and despise the walls around you.  You will fight with your spouse over the stupidest shit.  And most importantly, you will get angry at your baby – and you will feel like the world’s biggest loser for doing so.  You will get through it.  But never – ever – expect it to be easy.

It should be known that you are not the only one who has felt that way.
That’s the point of my writing.

WordPress Themes