Babybonic Plague

What is the half-life of the daycare cold? That’s what I’d like to know. Somewhere a scientist is carbon-dating a pterodactyl’s knuckles, but does anyone really care? I mean, it’s not like there are any pterodactyls left, right? (Or is this one of the animals you only see at the zoo?)

We were, of course, told that children are germ monsters and that sending your child to daycare meant she’d bring home every virus and bacterial infection that had ever graced your part of the country—including but not limited to Small Pox, Bird Flu, and the Bubonic Plague—but nobody said it would happen on day one.

Baby Plague moved through our apartment like WiFi, filling every nook and cranny and leaving in its wake piles of used Kleenex and collapsed, napping parents. Then, just when we thought it had passed, a second wave rocked our tiny home. Susan thinks it will leave when our last (as-yet-unborn) child finishes daycare—a hypothetical time-period measured not in years but in decades. I’m not so optimistic. I’m beginning to feel this is incurable. “How did you go?” St. Peter will ask me. To which I’ll reply, with a proud father’s gleam in my eye, “Oh just Baby Plague. Did I already mention I have a daughter?”


Baby Plague moved through our apartment like WiFi, filling every nook and cranny and leaving in its wake piles of used Kleenex and collapsed, napping parents.


There are things you don’t realize when becoming a parent. Namely, that to love your daughter means becoming a mouth-breather, but also that her precious, barely-audible cough will transform into a hacking, wheezing pestilence once your immune system starts taking a crack at it. You also don’t realize that you’ll only get to tell your daughter “I love you” for the first three months, because once daycare starts you’re going to “lub” her.

But who doesn’t love blowing their nose all day, sneezing in the middle of meetings, and napping through their evenings? On second thought, I love naps! Or rather, I lub them. Further still, what winter in Kansas has my immune system not been utterly compromised, issuing in weeks of sniffling, eye watering, and chicken soup? And sometimes all in the same bowl. Cold season is, well, just that. At least this year we get an adorable baby to blame it on.

What makes it all worthwhile is Bonnie’s gratitude. I can tell that she’s grateful because right after I change her diaper, swaddle her, read her a bedtime story—usually a longish one by Dr. Seuss—and put her in the bassinet, I lean down and my daughter thanks me. She thanks me in her inscrutable but transfixing baby language…by sneezing in my mouth.

Halloween

This was my first major holiday as a Mama. Holidays kind of stress me out in general because there are expectations and expectations make me a little crazy. I’m much more content to wing it and have a surprisingly good time. For example, I hate getting dressed up because then you’re supposed to look nice. But when you’re having a regular ol day, and you happen to look in the mirror at the end of a Tuesday and notice with surprise – hey, look! A good hair day! That’s the sweet spot. So I was kind of dreading Bonnie’s first Halloween. Which I totally shouldn’t have because she’s not even 4 months old and super doesn’t care. So alas, all the expectations and stress were totally my own creation and my own fault.

Pumpkin party!
Pumpkin party!
I let Bonnie hang out somewhat outside the fray.
I let Bonnie hang out somewhat outside the fray.

Even with all that, we managed to have a pretty good day. We went down to Garden City to celebrate with family and had a great time carving pumpkins on Dad’s porch. It’s become kind of a tradition and we were excited to make it in the big group picture this year. Bonnie happily had tummy time on the porch next to Steven while he carved Van Gogh’s Starry Night in our pumpkin. Such an overachiever, that one. Bonnie didn’t mind all the screaming and getting stepped on and loved on and was generally content to be on the edge of the action. I was thrilled to sit outside and not have to touch pumpkin guts. I think I was in elementary school the last time I carved a pumpkin and still have no desire to do it again.

Teddy was in the middle of everything. Hard to believe this will be Bonnie next year.
Teddy was in the middle of everything. Hard to believe this will be Bonnie next year.
Steven's Van Gogh pumpkin.
Steven’s Van Gogh pumpkin.

Bonnie had so much (too much) fun during the day with her cousins and Poppa Ted that she skipped her morning and afternoon nap. So by early evening when it was time to pick a costume and take the requisite facebook pictures, she was pretty much over it. We had three hand-me-down costumes, two stressed out parents, one overtired 3 month old and a house full of toddlers ready for candy. Twas a toxic mix. We ended up taking a few pictures in the Eeyore costume, trick or treating in the bear costume and abandoning the cow costume altogether. Initially we thought about cheating and trying to take pictures in her costumes on Sunday, but she was still pretty wary of us on Sunday.

I think my favorite part of this costume is the label on the front. Also the removable tail.
I think my favorite part of this costume is the label on the front. Also the removable tail.
Blurry cuteness.
Blurry cuteness.
Before looking back at the pictures for this blog, I really thought all the pictures would look like this.
Before looking back at the pictures for this blog, I really thought all the pictures would look like this.

Lessons learned:

1. Trick or treating with a sleeping infant feels weird and a little wrong – she’s clearly not going to eat the candy and she hates the costume. Who are we doing this for again?
2. Halloween pictures should either be taken first thing in the morning or in the days before or after the holiday. No sense in trying to do everything on the day.
3. Surprise fun is still better than planned fun.
4. Never skip nap time.

Is this how every first-time Mama looks on Halloween? I hope so.
Is this how every first-time Mama looks on Halloween? I hope so.

Sorry, Bonnie. We’ll do better next year? Or next holiday? Surely there will be less pressure on Thanksgiving. Though Betsy did already give me her “Baby’s First Thanksgiving” bib. Gulp.