Tag Archives: Work

Stress Ball

Psst. Cece, I’ll let you in on a little secret. As you know, your mother and I had to go back to work recently. You’ll have to trust me that we didn’t do it voluntarily. I could make up songs, read books and take naps with you all day long. Especially the naps. Unfortunately, the bills and the mortgage payment don’t  go on FMLA leave too. Sad, but true.

Part of our daily commute involves a rather unpredictable and rather unreliable piece of public transportation. Delays and cryptic excuses are more the norm than the exception. You know that face you see on one or both of us when Gremlins take over your body around eight each night and cause you to ratchet up the screaming to jet engine levels? Your mother gets that face at least four times a week because of the train. Her eyes blaze with a hatred that could melt the tracks. (There’s an excuse they haven’t used!) It’s not healthy. But I’ve found a temporary solution until our home based widget business makes us millions while we take those naps.

I never truly understood the power of diversion until I flashed a photo of you at your Mother during one of those moments when steam was leaking out of her ears like Yosemite Sam. Now I know why people tuck pictures of their kids into the cellophane of cigarette packs. Pow! One look at that photo moved the needle out of the red. I’m not saying it will get you out of any groundings in ten years, but it may knock a few days off. Cuteness apparently does have some medicinal value. Here, feel free to use one of these:

Three Months

Dear Cecilia-

It’s your Dad here. Your Mom’s upstairs trying to get you to sleep, so I’m handling the three month recap.

By the time you’re able to read this, you’ll probably have noticed that I am a person that likes routine. I like order. I like to-do lists. I like to plan my meals for the week. I like hanging my shirts up by color. I find the Dewey decimal system a calming influence. You might call all of it slightly obsessive compulsive. I call it a productive Friday night. Can you see where having a baby might affect this placid pool of bliss?

Your plump and munchable little cheeks and sly, giggling smile plopped into our life and created waves. Big ones. We were captives in a tiny dinghy holding on for dear life as ice water crashed over the side like an episode of the Deadliest Catch. It was little solace, but looking into the shell shocked eyes of other parents at the pediatrician’s office, we were far from unusual.


Looking back now, those first two months resembled a routine about as much as a Jackson Pollack painting represented reality. However this last month, there have been some vast improvements. (Mainly due to your Mother, but that won’t stop me from taking credit.) I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’re in a routine, but on good days we manage to find the wagon ruts and stay on course. On the not so good days, we at least know the wagon ruts are out there somewhere, we just have to work on getting those stubborn oxen back on track.

By the end of month three a typical day might look something like the following. Early morning hunger cry. Mom stumbles into the nursery and checks on you. Lola wakes up and follows Mom into your room. Lola quickly confirms that you haven’t in fact left for college yet. She pads downstairs and walks the picket line until someone caves in and feeds her. Once the dog and the baby eat, everyone goes back to bed for a bit. It is only four o’clock. Sometime later, Mom and Dad get up, peel their eyelids open, shovel in some cereal and check email while you (and Lola) sleep it off.

Between nine or ten, you usually start to stir and let me tell you those morning hours when you’re waking up are why people have children. You are a Gerber commercial in action, a Hallmark card in 3D and an espresso shot of cuteness rolled into one. You unleash smiles and coos and giggles like they’ve been bottled up all night and you just can’t wait to get them out so the little elves in your tummy can start cranking out more.

20090622-DSC_0011Once the smiles start to ebb, your legs and arms get in on the action. Fearing for our bodily welfare, we’ll put you down on one of the play mats and you will do credible rendition of Gonzo on the drums. Your heels and fists will rain down a fury of blows till you’re exhausted and start to yawn and nod off. If you go to sleep, the day usually gets pretty predictable. We can comfortably stay in the wagon ruts.

If you stay down for the morning nap for two to three hours, we are usually in the clear, safely in those wagon ruts. If the evil sprites wake you up and we miss that napping window we veer out of the ruts and onto the part of the map marked ‘Here Be Dragons.’ There’s no going back. The rest of the afternoon is a trek down an increasingly cranky slope that ends in the bitter taste of frustration for everyone involved.

But enough of the worst case scenario. The good days have us reading books in the afternoon. (You love stories). Doing some tummy time. (Not so fond of this). Maybe taking a walk that hopefullys shepards you into your afternoon nap. The conclusion of a perfect day is some combination of the three B’s: bath, bottle, bed. The order varies depending on your mood. (The end of the bad days is similar it just has another B, bourbon, for your parents.)

So after three months, I’m happy to say we’re close to a routine. I’m also sad to say that our daily routine is over. We’re heading back to work and we’re going to have to start a new routine. We’ve already noticed you’re quite an independent soul and a tough cookie, so I’m sure you’ll handle the change in stride. It might take your Mom and Dad a bit longer to adjust.


Mom & Dad

The Return to Work

How could three months possibly go so quickly? Since Cecilia was born, the days seem to fly by with diaper changes, soothing sessions, feedings, crying, bathing, and bedtime.  Then we wake up and do it all over again.   During it all, my return to work date always seemed to loom over my head.  I have always wanted to be a working mother but there are definite advantages and disadvantages to being one.  Finally at three months, Cecilia has become much more interactive and wants to see everything that is going on around her.  She squeals with delight at our songs and stories, she watches us whenever we come into or leave a room and she yawns with us when its time to go to bed.  So just when she is now becoming the little person, its time for Mike and I to go back to work.  It seems unfair.

Then there is the daycare situation.  Personally, I don’t like the idea of passing my child off to someone else to “educate” them.  Something feels very wrong about it.  This week we had a daycare issue where our original choice fell through and we had to scramble to find a new place.  The new school is down the street and the people there seem very nice.  However, I still don’t feel that any place is good enough for Cecilia.  So now it is time to go back to work.  I am hoping that once I start work again that I will be able to find the balance that so many Moms are forced to seek.  One day at a time is going to be my motto for the next few weeks, but it doesn’t mean that I still won’t cry when I have to drop her off at school on Wednesday.