(Photo by Matthew Fells)
When she was two, making a craft at daycare
The teacher gave her five baby ducks and a mommy duck to put together
She asked, where’s the daddy duck?
When she was four, I tried to explain the concept of comfort
I said, remember when you got scared at the dentist and I held your hand, it made you feel safe. That’s comfort
She said, like when I’m walking on the sidewalk and a big dog is there, daddy picks me up and I feel safe?
Because of you, duck families need daddies
And safety is two strong arms lifting her above harm
Dearest little kumquat,
You’re an adorable miniature orange with an unfortunate name.
A ‘peach’ is cheerful and inviting.
A ‘plum’, lush and juicy.
‘Apples’ are confident and promising.
While ‘clementines’ are southern beauties.
But you my dear kumquat, what’s in your name?
You sound both salacious and mundane:
‘Kumquat’ – could that be a wilted member, a foul release, an awkward squat with an embarrassing end?
Oh come now kumquat, cheer up. You’re neither those things.
You’re a delicious novelty, a delightful treat.
You’re a baby orange, a citrus berry…
With an unfortunate name.
My camera use to keep me company on walks to the woods, beach and city streets. During these walks I’d gather images of things that delighted me. I’d stop to admire street art, drift wood or fallen leaves and take photos of these peculiar items from all angles until my feet called me to move on. I still go for walks, but without the company of my camera. I walk pushing a stroller with baby in tow. My baby is 5 months old and demands constant movement during her early morning strolls.
My baby doesn’t have the patience to stop every few minutes for me to delight in a flower or admire the shadow play of rustling leaves. So I keep moving, taking quick photos with my eyes and try my best to savour these fleeting images in my memory. But I think mother nature overheard my little whimpers and decided to deliver small delights to my door step. Below are her little gifts: a baby bird bathing in the sun, a fallen pinecone, and a snail inching by. I hope these little delights are as nourishing for you as they were for me.
Time’s moving a little slower
I’m moving slower too
But you’re racing ahead so fast
I can barely keep up
Though in my distant memory
A little hope and dream
A little wandering wondering
You are possibilities fireworks
And I am a remembering
This post is for all the new moms out there. You will, and probably are experiencing many new indescribable things; emotions, physical sensations and baby behaviour that are too bazaar for words. I hope this post will help you better articulate all the craziness a newborn comes with. Share this with your mommy and non-mommy friends so you can speak to these experiences and maybe feel less isolated. Because my darling mommy, you are not alone. We’re all in it together!
Baby terms for the weary new mom:
Zambie – Baby+Zombie=Zambie: In this zambie state your baby has one eye wide open and twitching and the other glazed over with sleep. Baby’s head is wobbling sporadically. Rather than crying or screaming, baby is breathing hard and weekly grunting. This zambie is overtired and desperately needs to sleep. It is slowly gnawing away at your grey matter. You are worried, tired and most likely going insane.
Vamby – Baby+Vampire=Vamby: This baby only sleeps during the day and is wide awake all night. Baby is awake during uncivilized hours wanting to play, cuddle and feed. These restless nights are slowly sucking the life force out of your already emaciated body.
Pootastrophy – A poo so great it will forever be etched on the walls of your family tomb. A poo that overflows from the diaper onto baby’s back and soaks into baby’s clothes forever leaving a mustardy stain on everything in sight. It requires an excessive amount of wipes and a full bath for baby… and you.
Cannon Poop – An explosive poo of such great force every second, from it’s inception to the subsequent splatter, is accompanied by the sound track to Saving Private Ryan.
The Reckoning – The desperate period of crying, screaming, clawing, and head-budding that occurs right before an overtired baby collapses to sleep due to pure exhaustion.
The Witching Hours – That strange time at dusk when your sweet little angel turns into a Werebaby. The Werebaby has super baby powers and can draw out The Reckoning for hours on end. Both parents are left ravaged; pacing, shaking, shushing and swaying the night away.
Phantom Belly – Baby is out in the real world and practically crawling, but mommy is still wearing maternity clothes, periodically rubbing her belling and avoiding tight spaces. Hey momma, you’re not pregnant anymore; try on a tank top, hula hoop, sleep on your stomach. Live a little!
Having a newborn is not all a horror show, it’s just mostly a horror show. Seriously though, being a new mom is super hard. That’s the truth. So if you’re a new mom, take it easy on yourself. Give yourself as much slack as you need, and rest whenever you can. It does get easier over time and… as crazy as this may sound now, it does get super fun.
My baby is having a super fussy week, and she’s driving me crazy. But gosh darn it! She’s so damn cute I love her to bits. So I suffer through the witching hours in hopes of a 5 second smile the next day. When that little dimpled smile comes my way, I savor every ounce of endorphins it brings. In that sweet moment, I know in my heart there is no greater love than the love I have for my little zambie 😉
Since my pregnancy I’ve had a few questions from men and women curious to know what pregnancy feels like. I’ve also patiently listened to a few uninformed misinterpretations of what other people thought pregnancy was like. So here’s my attempt to share a very subjective experience.
First off, no two pregnancies are alike. There are patterns of symptoms that pregnant women get, but the overall experience for each woman is very different. Why? Because our bodies are different, the reasons we got pregnant are different, our lives are different, our families are different, and so on.