Thursday, December 02, 2010
For the last several days I have been playing the role of single father while L attends a conference. I have thought of her often, usually missing her civilizing touch and tender loving care, but I also thought of her as I watched two episodes of "The Walking Dead," the grisly yet compelling new show about zombies overrunning Atlanta, which happens to be the city where L's conference is taking place.
On a brighter note, I have enjoyed my time as a single dad. It's fairly easy. In order to ensure a happy, tranquil baby, I recommend stuffing her to the gills with food. At night before bed she enjoys a nice hearty meal of formula plus some pureed vegetables, then she goes down very easily. On the first night she woke up around midnight for another snack. Then she woke up at 4 am for reasons that were unclear to me. She didn't want to eat, or have her diaper changed, or be in her crib. So I gave her a few sips of water and just put her in bed with me, arranging a pillow fort so she wouldn't roll out. And then she seemed calm and willing to sleep, as long as she had a hand or foot pressed into my neck. But that's a small price to pay.
Last night, she gorged on formula and pureed bell peppers. While she had the bottle she would dramatically drape an arm on top of it, obscuring her face except for her big eyes staring at me, or she would reach up a hand to gingerly and carefully try to pick my nose. Afterwards the girl was knocked out for a solid twelve hours. I actually woke up in a panic around 5:30 because I hadn't heard from her in so long. But she was fine, and was up and babbling when I got out of the shower.
I must admit, the mornings have been more challenging. How is anyone expected to bathe, clothe, feed and change (as needed) two people? I haven't managed to eat breakfast at home any day this week, and Alice has not technically had a bath in a while, and the house is kind of a mess, and I am living off the largesse L left behind for us, and most of my meals have been pizza- or burrito-based, and the laundry is overflowing, and I don't think I boiled the plastic nipples of the bottle long enough before I used them for the first time.
Going into this week I had been afraid of perpetual screaming, sleepless nights, and an inconsolable child. The fact that none of that has really happened, and that we are all doing generally okay, has been immensely rewarding.