I’m not going to lie; it’s not always easy to write the praises of parenthood and the cutest Koala in the entire world when said Koala is trying to push one of the hardest substances of the body through his gums.
Last week and the present one are probably the most challenging I’ve faced so far.
We started dropping Koala off at his metapelet (day care) last week as I started working in the office part-time. About this experience: Labor sucked, pushing was hard, the brit was disturbing, sleep deprivation is rough on the soul, but nothing thus far has actually depressed me.
Until last week. You’re dropping off your baby at another woman’s home. No matter how smiley, lovely and recommended she comes, it is absolutely heartbreaking to show up at 3:30pm to a happy, well-fed baby who barely looks you in the eye. As if he doesn’t recognize you. And stays that way for the rest of the week.
I’m not sure how to put all that into words that can clearly describe how heartbroken that made me. I guess you just have to do it. Or rip your beating heart out from your chest.
Aside from that harrowing experience, things are (literally) moving along for Koala. Before we left for our New York vacation, he was doing his slow thing, chilling. Wasn’t a huge fan of tummy time.
And then he met Grandma.
Now he hates to be on his back. And he needs to be playing all the time. And he can get from the blanket I put him down on to the rocking chair and pick a fight with it in about five minutes.
And, hey, don’t put your bet down on the rocking chair. He’s more than doubled his modest birth weight; the shared genetics are starting to peek through.
He’s eating solids, too, which do their share. Like his mama, there’s no gradient of development. One day it’s Boob 7/11 and the next we’re trying the apple/banana/pear slushie.
Did I mention the teething? Oh, the teething. Just as hard on the sleep as the jet lag. Since we left to New York, there is no more sleep pattern, it’s a haphazard mess. First jet lag in New York. Then jet lag back here. Then congestion and coughing. Then it’s like childbirth in his infant gums (seriously, someone told us they’ve studied it and the pain is comparable to childbirth).
But thank goodness for Crocs, right? He got a pair of baby Crocs and – that’s my boy – uses them to teeth.
My very favorite thing of all, though: the laughter. So much of it. I know where he’s ticklish (the spot at the top of his back is my favorite). But that’s just cheap laughter; the best is when your song and dance pay off.
And even in the most depressing times, when all you want is to be friends again after separating for the first time in six months… And you’re sobbing next to him, tears clouding your vision… And then you hear – chuckling. Then it’s laughing. Borderline cracking up while your face is buried in your hands. Because to a baby, mama’s big, heaving, despairing cry is another funny face.
And you know what? You’ll take it.
So here we are. Six months. A lot has changed. A lot is changing. And we’re friends again.