gorilla mama: the first month with baby pickles

Having a baby is liking being given a gift.  Not in that “oh she’s my little precious angel sent from heaven” sort of way (though, shit does having a kid make you cheesy), but in a totally new, “you are now in possession of the most accurate and effective bullshit detector ever invented” sort of way.  Life is, at least at the beginning, reduced to the basics—eating, feeding, trying to (and too often failing at) drink enough water to keep up with both hydration and milk production, sleeping, sleeping, and sleeping.  And what that means is that suddenly it is really easy to spot even the most subtle of bullshit.  Priorities become stunningly easy to identify, and crushing those that set off the bullshit detector under your mean little toe becomes even easier.

On a slightly related note, I have also happily realized that having a kid means I will never be required to be social again.  (A point also very hilariously expounded upon on here.)  When did I become such an embittered hermit?  I used to, like, enjoy being social and going out, didn’t even particularly like sitting at home alone.  Now I just want to be left alone with my book and/or computer, and I don’t often bother to hang out with anyone I don’t already live with.  Though given that I live with seventeen people, maybe I’m not a hermit after all, just incredibly lazy.  Hmm.

My days are a lot different than they were pre-pregnancy, though they aren’t so very different from when I was waddling around with a watermelon stomach and spending most of my time in bed.  Except now I rarely have two hands free to type when I’m hanging out in bed, my waddle is improving daily, and the baby is busy giving me hickeys.  And I get up a hell of a lot earlier.

Mornings start around six or seven, when Pickles decides that being awake is more interesting than being asleep, and I attempt to keep her astoundingly loud gurgles and sighs and grunts quiet(ish) so as not to wake the Beard, who needs to be well rested so that he can bring me breakfast in bed while Pickles is breakfasting in bed; light the wood stove and chop wood, and make kindling; and do yet another load of laundry—all while I do what to the untrained eye looks a lot like laying around on my (miraculously shrinking) ass, but is really more like being a one-handed waitress/juke box/milk factory/mattress in a who-can-stay-still-the-longest contest.  Sometimes Pickles drinks enough of the knock-out juice to sleep for another few hours, and sometimes we hide out in a blanket tent cooing at each other until the Beard finally does wake up and the daytime diapering/playing/sleeping/nursing marathon can begin.

The good news is that we’re still getting a (relatively) lot of sleep.  Also: that she’s starting to look friendlier (less Stewie, more laughing and smiling), she doesn’t scream during every diaper change, my wrap carrier is fucking amazing, I’ve gotten really good at putting her in prefold diapers, I’m still not annoyed by the amount of laundry maintenance that using cloth diapers requires, and I no longer walk like a duck.  The bad news is that she screams through every minute of every car ride and bath.  I don’t understand how a person who spent nine months in warm water and was sired by someone who would spend all day every day lounging in saunas and heated pools if she could afford it could not like a hot bath.  But then again, she was also sired by folks who don’t bath that often themselves.  Go figure.

further reading

In case you, like me, are trapped in a position for most of the day that allows you to do little more than read, I thought I would tell you about two of my favorite recent internet finds.  The kind of internet reading that has you going back and reading entire blog archives it’s so good.

Mother Load…This is a blog on Jezebel written by Tracy Moore, an absolutely hilarious and talented writer who had me at “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Pooping During Childbirth.”  I spent an afternoon reading everything she’d written in the Mother Load series, and I laughed (out loud!) (multiple times!) during every single post.  I have no idea if I would have found it funny pre-Pickles, but now, wow.  Excuse me while I go stalk everything else this woman has ever written.

Feminist Breeder and blue milk…There is a whole world of feminist mama blogs out there that have been making my mornings with their dearth of product reviews and giveaways and their wealth of intellectually stimulating discussion of feminist issues related to motherhood.  These two blogs are my favorites so far.  And Feminist Breeder is written by Gina Crosley-Corcoran who used to be in Veruca Salt, which earns her extra punk mama points.

 

 

 

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Thursday March 22nd 2012, 2:52 pm 10 Comments
Filed under: conspiracies,daily life,gorilla parent (year one)

10 Comments so far. Please leave a comment.

Aww, glad things are going well so far!

What sort of laundry facilities do you have access to? This is one of my main worries about potentially living off-grid with a kid or several, because I would love to try cloth diapering. We are lucky that we have a laundrette very close by but this might not always be the case.

Amy

Live-aboard boater,
Narrowboat Lucky Duck
http://www.nbluckyduck.blogspot.com

Comment by Amy 03.22.12 @ 4:03 pm

Eventually the screaming through every bath stops. But I’ll be honest, I quickly gave up on the bathing every day thing. I cleaned the important bits and bathed less often. Sounds like you’re enjoying it all, and your photo is lovely! My two firmly believe that when they were newborn all they did was say “Goo goo, ga ga!” an awful lot. Ah, if only….

Comment by fiona 03.22.12 @ 6:19 pm

Hi! Thanks for the update post and super cute picture:) hope things continue to go well for the 3 of you:)

Comment by Sarah Allison 03.22.12 @ 8:09 pm

p.s…..i’m reading your blog archives:) on page37, you are very inspiring to this terribly materialistic american-trying to be real:)

Comment by Sarah Allison 03.22.12 @ 8:12 pm

I love your blog so much and I am reading through the archives bit by bit. I’m wondering if you would be willing to share more about kind of a weird subject for me to be curious about: what it’s like to have a routine where you shower once every few weeks, rather than that of the standard, metaphorical kool-aid chugging american like me who showers daily. i am 100% sure that it is unnecessary to shower that often, but, having drank the kool-aid, i don’t even know what happens when you shower less often. can you enlighten me? maybe the answer is “nothing ‘happens’, you just continue existing”, but i love your writing and life and want to hear that answer from you. it will sound wittier and cooler that way.

Comment by Emily 03.29.12 @ 4:41 pm

I think this is Nikky from Upper Black Eddy and if so holy sh*t you have a baby . . . .wow. I’ve been looking for you for what . . . ten years.

Let me know, please.

The Dakker

Comment by Glenn Hauze 05.02.12 @ 7:54 am

Glenn: Yes, this is the Nikki you think it is.

Comment by clickclackgorilla 05.02.12 @ 11:00 am

Love your style! Caught you in the Tiny Homes book and had to take a look! :-) Hope there’s a solution to the upcoming relocation?
Roberto

Comment by Roberto 06.07.12 @ 11:08 pm

[...] Click Clack Gorilla shares her post: Gorilla Mama and Baby Pickles Our first month together. [...]

Pingback by Preparing for Birth: New Baby Care » A Little Bit of All of It 06.11.12 @ 2:01 pm

NIKKI

I’M NOT SO GOOD AT THIS INTERNET STUFF AND DIDN’T REALIZE THAT YOU ANSWERED THE NEXT DAY. I CALLED AND SPOKE WITH “GRANDMA” FIRST TIME IN 10 YEARS AND SHE PROUDLY FILLED ME IN ON YOU THE BABY AND HUBBY.

HOW WONDERFUL!!!!!!

ERIN HAS TWO DAUGHTERS, ABBEY 9 AND DHELIA 5. THEY AND CHAD STILL LIVE IN OUR OLD HOUSE WHICH NEITHER I NOR WOULD YOU RECOGNIZE . . . . ALL THE TRAPPINGS, TOYS, ETC. WE ALMOST GAVE UP ON CHAD . . . BACHELOR FOREVER. . . . UNTIL JUST RECENTLY HE FELL IN LOVE, HARD . . . .MADE ME VERY HAPPY.

AS FOR ME BEEN VERY SICK. ALL THOSE YEARS OF BUILDING THINGS CAUGHT UP WITH ME WITH FOUR DEGENERATIVE DISCS IN MY NECK. NOW HAVE NOR TITANIUM PLATES AND SCREWS THEN THE FRIGGIN SPACE SHUTTLE. IT LEFT SOME NERVE DAMAGE . . . LEFT ARM AND LEGS BUT THANKFULLY WITH ALOT OF DRUGS, MORPHINE, VICODEN, BACLOPHEN, VALIUM, CYMBALTA, FLOMAX AND MOBIC ALL DAILY I CAN USE THE ARM AND CAN WALK. I AM TRULY GRATEFUL FOR THAT. DON’T KNOW HOW MY LIVER LIKES IT, BUT ? NOW ON SS DISABILITY, FOOD STAMPS, ETC. WHAT A LIFESTYLE SHOCK ITS BEEN BUT THINGS COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE. GO FIGURE OLD COP NOW A JUNKIE.

I STAY UP LATE NIGHTS AND LATELY FIND MYSELF ENJOY QUIET HOURS READING YOUR BLOG. I CAN HEAR AND SEE YOU THROUGH YOUR WRITING AND MAKES ME HAPPY AND SOMEWHAT PROUD.

JUST ONE MORE THING THEN I’LL SHUT UP AND LEAVE YOU ALONE . . . .ABOUT THE BREASTFEEDING.

WHEN CHAD HAD HIS BRAIN TUMOR REMOVED THE DRS AT CORNELL MEDICAL CENTER IN MANHATTAN TOLD US THAT THE TUMOR WAS IN A BALL ALL ENCAPSULATED WHICH INDICATED IT WAS BENIGN.

THREE DAYS LATER THEY LOWERED THE BOOM ON US TELLING THE TUMOR WAS MALIGNANT AND THAT 1 IN 1000 WOULD SURVIVE TWO YEARS. THEY ALSO SAID THEY WERE BAFFLED HOW HIS IMMUNE SYSTEM HAD IDENTIFIED THE TUMOR AND HEAVILY ENCAPSULATED IT. THEY THEN ASKED IF A TEAM FROM SLOAN KETTERING HOSPITAL ACROSS 77TH STREET COULD COME OVER AND TAKE SOME OF HIS BONE MARROW (IMMUNE SYSTEM) FOR RESEARCH AND THEY DID. WHEN I TRIED TO ASK QUESTIONS ALL THEY SAID AND WANTED TO KNOW IS IF HE HAD BEEN BREAST FED AS A BABY . . . . OUR ANSWER WAS YES !!!!

SO GO GIRL AS LONG AS YOU CAN.

OKAY, ENOUGH. VERY HAPPY FOR YOU NIKKI AND WILL KEEP READING.

WISHING YOU

ALL THE BEST,

GLENN

Comment by Glenn Hauze 10.24.12 @ 10:44 am




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