My commute to work
Taking a shower
The three block walk to return my library books
Leaning on my similarly exhausted husband and staring vacantly at something on a screen
**UPDATE** I just finished Tina Fey’s new book Bossypants and was put to shame by her fantastic list of “Me Time” activities. I totally forgot to mention “Say you’re going to look for the diaper crème, then go into your child’s room and just stand there until your spouse comes in and curtly says, ‘What are you doing?’”
Go buy her book.
I work in the video game industry, so I tend to think of life in these terms. For example, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I realized that pregnancy is essentially a really immersive resource-conservation RPG. I was always asking myself questions like: “Do I pick up this stuff on the floor, or do I save my Bending Over points for later?”
Recently several of my coworkers became parents, so in celebration of my fecund and nerdy cohort, here’s a description of my last week written entirely in video game terms:
- Warrior (Battle baroque parental leave laws)
- Wizard (Create nutritious meals for baby using own body)
- Rogue (Sneak around to accomplish things while the baby sleeps)
- Paladin (The power of the Coffee God will protect your party)
New player tutorial
Read Kid Wrangling by Kaz Cooke, SuperBaby by Jenn Berman, and The Cat in the Hat over and over and over and over.
Find outfits for upcoming family photo. Avoid decade-indicating fashion or hairstyles.
Parental achievement unlocked!
Raffi song stuck in head for more than four days.
How long can you deflect drool from your work clothes? GO!
Child can now turn pages of a book. Good work!
Improve your long-term memory by adding minutes of sleep during train commute
Enter “Up up down down left right start” in the deductions section of your tax form
In case anyone is interested in the relative effects of a New Baby, I ran a few numbers this morning.
||Cups of Coffee Consumed
||Cups of Coffee Consumed While Still Warm
||Alcohol Consumed Before Childbirth
||Alcohol Consumed After Childbirth
||Loads of Laundry/Week
||Loads of Laundry Involving Poo
||Smiles from Strangers
||Visits to Library
||Upper Body Strength (12 pound weight)
||Jokes About Sleep
||Jokes About Poo
||Need For Unsolicited Advice per Weekly Age of Infant
||Ominous Feeling That Adulthood Has Arrived
||Heart-stopping Baby Smiles
I’m sitting at a cafe with my infant daughter. I feel like a monster of productivity, having successfully left the house twice in one day, eaten actual meals, and avoided being covered in poo (for the time being).
Elizabeth is the daughter, three months old. She sleeps in the stroller I thought I would never use. As a non-parent, I had overlooked its function as a laptop/sweater/blanket/grocery/diaperbag-carrier, and had no understanding of the speed at which it knocks out a fussy baby.
The last three months have been a time of great change. I am clocking in at about one life lesson every three hours.
Recently I’ve learned:
- To type fast and not muck about with formatting while the baby’s napping. Editing is not for parents.
- If you can afford it, fresh fruit is always a worthwhile purchase.
- That you can’t go for a walk in my neighborhood without tripping over a stroller or a border collie.
- Sweden makes awesome baby equipment (Jané: the 4×4 truck of strollers)
- If you join a clan and are online regularly at 3am, you can make lots of friends in Finland, and Norway.
- Other Scandinavians mock Swedes out of some obscure national rivalry. The punchline of every joke is inevitably “Svensk”. If you understand this, please let me know.
Right, that’s it for now. Elizabear is waking up and we’ve got some major walking to do.
My daughter, Elizabeth West Firment, was born in early November. The last…ever since…has been a nonstop, nonsleep blur of boobs, love, fuss, and delirium. In the process, I have learned these five things:
- Ceiling fans are TV for babies.
- At week six, nursing goes from being a special woodchipper for your nipples to something fairly ok. Eventually, it will become rather pleasant, and you will be able to play World of Warcraft while feeding your child, like my friend Kelly’s wife does. I’m pretty sure she levels up faster by simultaneously breastfeeding and p0wning n00bz.
- The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold cold wet day.
- There is a 4am. It comes before 5am, which is that time you read about once that precedes 6am. You do not have the right to a full night’s sleep. You have given that right to your baby, who may use it as she sees fit.
- Your baby’s smile generates a burst of hormones that if necessary will enable you to lift a car or cut out your own spleen.
Photos are up on flickr. Thanks for all the casseroles!