Sick day.

Anybody who knows me can tell you that I am not very good at being still.

Before having a baby, I would head from one meeting, activity, or gathering with friends to the next, raising my hand to volunteer far more often than I should have. If I got sick, I would drag myself into work, sneezing and dripping as I went. My coworkers would cover their mouths and glare, rightfully annoyed at the person bringing in the germs.

It should come as no surprise then, that I have created a post-baby schedule almost as busy as the one that existed before. I have signed up for song groups and reading circles, playgroups and educational sessions. I make muffins to bring to gatherings in the houses of my new parent friends, and travel across the city to see my non-parent friends with Bingo strapped to a carrier on my chest.

Last night, we woke up at 2am to the sounds of Bingo sniffing and coughing pitifully in the cosleeper by our bed. By 6am, she was tossing fitfully and too congested to sleep. As Sea showered, I sat with the poor baby in the steamy bathroom and held her as she finally dozed off. As the sun rose, I lay with her in bed and watched her sleep, still coughing and sniffling. I thought about our plans for the day: a friend to meet, a playgroup to go to, a meeting to attend. I thought about how I could still go. How hard could it be to wipe the baby’s face, get us both dressed, and power through? That is, after all, how I operate. But then I asked myself who I would be doing that for. Not for the baby , certainly. Not even for the people I had planned to see. I would be doing it only for me.

So I stayed in bed. We’ve spent today reading, playing, and singing songs, but mainly just staying cozied into the warmest corners of our house. I’m not going to lie: I’m feeling a little twitchy. Next week, when the sniffles have hopefully subsided, we’ll resume normal activity. But for today, I’m choosing to be grateful for the slowed pace and quiet moments of our first sick day.

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Advice from my mother.

Since the visit to my family began, I’ve been inundated with a steady stream of advice.  Most of this has come from my mother, with the occasional contribution from my father (who has much less to say, despite having raised more than twice the number of children).  This advice has included:

-When on a plane, a pillow should be held in front of your belly at all times.  It’s like an airbag.

-Don’t lift things.  Anything.  That pillow is too heavy.

-Don’t eat chips.  They’ll cause birth defects.

-Home births are unsafe.  You need to go to the hospital the second your water breaks, or else you will become infected.

-Are you sure I can’t be present at the birth?  Are you sure?  Lots of people have their parents present.

-Your child is always a child.

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Articles that my mother has clipped from papers and saved for me to read.

Perhaps most persistently, however, she has been questioning me about whether we plan to breastfeed or formula feed Bingo.  I’ve refused to answer. Continue reading