5 things I learned the week my baby turned into a velociraptor
My baby book says that something happens around Week 5 of your baby’s life. They go from your “Little Prince” to “King Cranky Pants”.
They go from “Mr. sleep & poop all day” to “Mr. rage & scream for hours until you want to throw them or yourself off a cliff.”
We are squarely in that week.
(For the record, I am NOT going to throw myself or my baby off a cliff. I’m not going to punch him in the face, run him over with my car, or maim him in any way…even if I may threaten to do so in this post…so everybody calm down and hang up the phone with social services. I will do nothing to harm this evil alien psychopath I birthed from my…well…not vagina…lower abdomen…man, c-sections make it harder to talk about birth in a funny way…vaginas are funnier…I digress.)
5 Things I learned this week:
Sit on one. Bounce your evil baby. They will fall asleep.
It is glorious.
If I could make out with my birth ball, I would.
This also pertains to whoever graciously offered you help and support, and came over to hold this crazed baby you called them crying about, only to find a perfect angel child asleep in a swing.
For 4 hours.
The same angel who has never slept 4 hours in a row at nighttime.
When it’s dark and YOU SHOULD BE SLEEPING DAMMIT.
Your friend will leave the house thinking “My friend is a huge complainer/exaggerator/wimp”. Your baby will then awake with a gleeful screech of pride/rage…and your “nap” on the couch will last 4.6 seconds.
You will be more grateful than ever for the partner/parent/person in your life. Because if you are in the trenches, dammit, at least there’s someone down there with you. When you’re having a mental breakdown at 4am after hours of walking/ cuddling/ nursing/ burping/ changing/ rocking/ swinging/ shushing/ swaddling/ allthemotherfuckingS-wordsthatstupiddoctorswearsby—when your baby STILL won’t sleep—you can gently shake your partner awake with a tearful “Can you try?”. And then simultaneously collapse in grateful awe/a hatred so deep you actually burn holes in the floor from rage, as you watch partner rock the baby to sleep in under a minute.
How dare they.
Also, thank god and goodnight.
The following night, when you come back from your first night away at a relaxing yoga class to find your pterodactyl howler monkey baby inches from your husbands face as he tries desperately to calm him down, it’s your turn to grab the baby and bounce him to sleep on that damn beautiful birth ball, in under a minute, while making sympathetic faces and noises at your husband, and quietly suppressing the extreme elation that YOU got to calm him down!!!
You are MOM!!
Hear you roar!
In a nutshell, you get to throw the baby to the other person when your brain is mush, and vice versa. And that is priceless.
Recently-made mamas whose memory of this time is fresh and empathetic, experienced mamas who can give you tried and true advice, and new mamas who are fumbling through it at the exact same time frame and will be up at 3am for CAPS LOCK TEXTING BITCH FESTS.
They are all wonderful.
Reach out to them. 57 times a day if necessary.
You will think you are useless.
And just…can someone please take this baby and give it a better mom because I have no idea what I’m doing.
But then, you will miraculously sing your baby to sleep when you thought you had nothing left to give. They will grab your seemingly giant hand with both of their tiny ones and stare at you with the most incredibly soulful deep grey eyes and stare at you, while you sing the same song you sang over and over while you were carrying them for 9 months…and they will slowly close their eyes, and peacefully, with a hint of a smile, fall asleep.
And your heart, which has already traveled outside of your body to land on this perfect human, will burst into a zillion pieces.
And you will cry tears. Not of pain or frustration, but of so much gratitude and pride and stupid amounts of love.
They bring you to the brink…and then they smile for the first time.
And then you make the mistake of laughing with joy too loudly, or calling to your partner to come see, or trying to take a picture of that smile…
And they start screaming again.
…then you remember that you own earplugs…there’s always a silver lining.
What prehistoric animal is your baby like?