Sunday, June 04, 2006

Lists and Piles

The beloved infant will be six weeks old on Thursday. I’m told that six weeks is the peak of fussiness—it is meant to decline then over the next six weeks so that, by twelve weeks I will have a “settled” baby.

Madly, I take these observations far too seriously (as seriously as I took the due date for both girls) so, with each crying jag (of hers) I remind myself that, come Thursday we’ll be on the way to less crying as if she herself knows that Thursday is her high water mark.

To be fair, she is not at all a fussy child, simply one who still wishes to be inside. As long as I’m wearing her in the BabyBjorn or holding her in my lap (she lies across my stomach on a pillow as I type), she is lovely, sleepy, hungry, and dear. But set in her in the bassinet and, boy! you’ll hear about it.

So, my life is comprised of lists and piles--lists of things to do when and if she lets me set her down (or, say, falls asleep in the car seat and stays so for an hour or two after) and piles of things I need to have at arm's reach for those many hours a day when I’m trapped in the chair. The pile doesn’t change much—it just moves from room to room—cell phone, a novel, a section of the Sunday Times… The lists, however, are like concentric circles: what must get done (worth risking waking the infant), what needs to get done (worth letting her cry a few minutes more), what should get done (worth trying to do with her in the Bjorn or the minute she’s settled somewhere), what I’d like to get done (thus far, a complete and utter fiction). So, I think about blog entries or reading an essay or book I’m meant to review, I look at the cover of Mockingbird, the new biography of Harper Lee, or, for that matter, the cover of Newsweek, and imagine with great pleasure, an hour in their company, reading, writing, but the fact is, often all that I can manage is a quick run to the bathroom with a dash past the fridge for some yogurt and seltzer water before, once again, I’m at the beloved’s beck and call.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere, Anne! I won't make any prognostications about when the beloved infant will "settle," but it's sure nice to see you around here again.