Seriously – it is out of control.
Now that I got that out of my system...consider yourself warned: I’m going to talk about my baby. I realize that talking about my baby is kind of like talking about my dog (wait, dog? we still have a dog? someone check the basement, I haven’t seen him in weeks) – it connects to some people while it alienates others. So, this is your fair warning to tune out if you don’t want to hear about my baby.
Which makes me wonder: have you seen my baby?
Max I are settling into the routine we call week days. In the past few weeks he has discovered the world and developed so many new skills. He is becoming a little person. This little person smiles, coos, voices his opinion, kicks, wiggles, grasps, poops and spends at least an hour every day entertaining himself on the activity mat (I still have not figured this thing out – it’s like baby Narnia).
This thing cracks my baby shit up!
The saving grace to every parent is a secret weapon: routine. Or, schedule. Max is still too young for a concrete schedule but I like to fake it. Trick him into thinking our day has non-negotiable structure. What really helps with that structure is to get the kid signed up for things. Yes, I’ve become one of “those” moms, guilty of signing my child up for things they don’t necessarily need to do but I want (them) to do. Of course some of these activities cost money but it's a small price to pay for mommy sanity.
When I signed up to be a parent (there’s a list that gets passed around while you're out late on a weeknight drinking responsibly, be very very careful and do NOT carry a pen with you), I knew one thing: I did not want to become one of those unkempt psychocrazy moms who imprisoned herself in her own home passing the hours by talking to herself or watching Oprah. How to avoid that - force yourself to get out of the house.
Now I say forcing myself because it’s so so so easy to sit around the house all day in pajamas taking care of your kid. It’s hard to leave the house. There’s a lot of shit you need – the stroller, the car seat, the diaper bag, the extra outfit, the blanket – it goes on. And you’re always bound to forget something. But unless you want to be the mother I described above, get over it and get out of the house. You won’t regret it.
(plus activity is like baby Ambien - usually results in a very long nap, or hallucinations...maybe that explains what happens under the activity mat)
Every day I try to have one activity that Max and I do. On Monday, we went to the gym. Our gym has an entire kid’s gym, kiddie pool, classes and babysitting service. For a small fee each month, we have access to all of that and 2 hours of babysitting a day. Did you hear that – 2 hours a day when I can go to the gym. Not that I need to go to the gym everyday but I’m thinking if they sold coffee and had WiFi I’d have myself a new office (they don’t but I’m also not opposed to just sitting in the bathroom there for 2 hours of quiet alone time).
When I got to the kids desk, they asked for Max’s membership card.
Really? Look at him – he’s 8 weeks old. Membership card? No kidding. I had to go to the membership office to get Max’s picture taken so he could get his membership card. I can barely remember mine half the time, now I have to get him to remember his?
Max and I went swimming. Now, there’s a lot of information out there about not swimming before the child is 6 months or something like that. Irritates their skin. Same reason you should wash their clothes before they wear them and wash everything in Dreft. Psst…let me tell you a little secret – I didn’t wash a damn thing before he wore it (you’re going to wash it enough as it is), I wash his clothes in Arm n’ Hammer detergent (I’m a heathen!) and after swimming in the pool his skin did not fall off. I’m sure some kids react to all of that but mine – does not.
Thank god. Because if he did, I’d make him do his own laundry.
Max loved swimming in the kiddie pool. Here’s what we did: take a kick board and place baby’s back on it. Walk around with them in the water. It gives your arms some rest from carrying them and is a nice way to introduce them to the water. Then, do tummy time on the kick board. You can also have them surf by standing them on the board and walking around. Then we practiced our 50 sprints, freestyle kick and diving off the blocks.
HEAD DOWN! HEAD DOWN!
You can never start too early.
(after swimming) Moist towel, anyone?
On Tuesday we do music class for 45 minutes. Never mind that it takes about 15 minutes to get ready, 20 minutes to drive there both ways, 10 minutes to walk to the class – he loved every minute of it. It’s a program called Music Together and I highly recommend it (I taught children’s classes for over a decade so I’m a tough customer but this program was the real deal). All of the children were under age 5 and maybe I’m biased but I’m telling you – Max was the most well-behaved. There was one kid who walked around the whole time saying bye-bye while darting toward the door.
Kind of makes me grateful that my kid can’t talk right now.
On Wednesday we had what was sure to be Max’s favorite activity yet. A trip to the doctor for his 2 month immunizations. Imagine you are seated in your mommy’s lap only to be tag teamed by two very large nurses holding needles. You’re damn straight I closed my eyes! When I opened my eyes, Max was screaming like crazy and bleeding on both legs. It lasted about 30 seconds. Then he got over it.
(while waiting we may or may not have had a conversation about putting on big boy pants and taking the needle like a man to which Max replied: BRING IT)
Shots? Who wants another round of shots? The monkey’s buying.
Aside from the doctor calling him “she” the entire time (kind of an awkward moment when he opened up Max’s diaper and discovered she was a he) – the appointment went well. My little man weighs in at 12 pounds, 6 ounces. That might explain while walking with him up the stairs is becoming a workout that I might start logging into Training Peaks. The doctor told me he’s in the 50th percentile which makes him “average.”
If the doctor ever says the word average around me again I will demand he tests Max’s V02max to set him straight.
Thursday is another fun activity day. Baby and Me Yoga. Mostly it consists of Max laying on a blanket and me stretching his arms and legs. Sure, I can do this on my own at home but…it’s kind of like why we have coaches. It’s different when someone tells you to do it. We stretch and do yoga poses. He’s already mastered baddha konasana, a bridge and half lotus. We also do boat pose with baby on our quads – very challenging!
On Friday – well, we’re going to do what we do every Friday. Go to the Arboretum, throw a blanket on the ground and look at the sky. Sometimes we bring books (current favorite: I Love Puppies) or toys (get yourself a rattle that you put around their wrist – highly entertaining toy that they “do” themselves) but we always bring coffee.
One of Max’s favorite activities, seriously now, is alone time on the activity mat. He lays on it while swatting, looking at and talking to his toys. When I see Max doing this, I know he is my kid. I actually don’t see much of Chris him (other than the ability to drool, right?). Chris loves the hubbub of social activity but Max likes his alone time. He’s got his own agenda and when he’s ready – he’ll play with you on his terms. But not a moment before he gets some time to himself.
That’s my boy.
In between all of that structured and unstructured baby activity, I do my work and my workouts. The nice thing about planning activities for Max is that I never feel guilty when I do my own activities. I spend quality time with him, focusing on him. Then it’s my time. And when I move into my time, it’s like a flip a switch. I don’t even think about Max (who? I have a kid? Really? Is he with the dog?).
And, while it’s exciting to see him hit milestones each week he develops, I’m also hitting some of my own. I’ve been able to hit times, wattages and paces in my workouts that are honestly not far off from where I left off last year. In each workout I get stronger and faster. This is VERY exciting after spending nearly a year getting slower and slower. I have to remind myself that now I have the ability to make progress!
Another exciting milestone of new motherhood: the other day I walked downstairs into the kitchen and announced to Chris that I finally fit into my moose pajama shorts.
(my moose pajama shorts are by far my favorite pajama shorts, I tried them on a few weeks ago and could not get them past my saddlebags and AMEN THEY FINALLY FIT AGAIN!)
Last week I even got into a pair of my old pants (though I still have not really lost weight – I’m losing inches but not weight, if someone can explain that mathematical mystery I’d appreciate it).
Tomorrow Max is 9 weeks old. He still wakes up at 1 am and 4 am so I’m not sleeping through the night but life is definitely running much smoother. And I keep running faster. I can change a diaper so fast that he doesn’t even have time to cry. I can pump and type at the same time. I can tell the difference between feed me/change me/hold me/swaddle me cries. The results are in and so far I’m winning this parenting thing.
Come on, a little overconfidence never hurt anyone!
And, yes, I know that I’m screwed once he starts crawling and talking.