Ok, so StarGirl’s almost three months old and this column is about three weeks late, but one of the lesson’s learned this month is how ever little free time you think you’ll have, divide it by at least half and you’ll have a number that’s still wrong, but closer to the post-baby-reality.
You Say It’s My Party?: We had two weddings this month — one at the beginning of May in Boston, in which my sister got married and one Memorial Day weekend, when Sue’s brother tied the knot. StarGirl did great at both of them — we joked that it was so nice for Kristen to throw StarGirl such a lavish birthday party. I think we held her for all of three hours during those two weekends, as she was continuously passed from relative to friend and back again. Amazingly, she took it all in stride, hardly ever crying or getting cranky (which is more than I can say for some of the adults?)
The Scary Stuff Can Start at Any Time: Deep down, I knew this was true, but I really don’t expect to find myself back in the hospital so soon after the baby was born, as StarGirl’s racing heart landed her in the Pediatric ICU at Lehigh Valley Hospital. And abject terror about your child’s survival just isn’t something you prepare yourself for, aside from knowing that its something you may have to face, and that you have to be prepared to not only live through, but stay calm, focused and rational for.
Attack of the Uber Rash: StarGirl’s adventures with medicine continued into June with fiendish cases of diaper rash, cradle cap, and some weird unknown rash appearing in small crusty blotches around her body. We took her to the doctor a two weeks after the rash appeared (partly for her regular check-up, partly to figure out the rash thing. The pediatrician thought it was a yeast infection and gave us cream to fight it. Four days later, the rash is still and the doctor’s concern — apparently the simple solution wasn’t the right one. A little more research later and he’s determined that her assorted rashes are all manifestations of the same rash, and finds an example of it in one of his tomes (sorry — can’t remember the name of it right now). So he gives us a different ointment to try and now the rash is in full retreat. Lesson learned? Some times diaper rash ain’t diaper rash, but there’s know way to really know that until it progresses.
Ergonomic Keyboard’s Suck for One-Handed Typing: As a writer, I find ergonomic keyboards to be essential to maintaining comfort and preventing injury — I can feel a very real different between writing on a conventional keyboard and an ergonomic one, and I’ve had the later at home for years (like, the Microsoft Natural Multimedia Keyboard). Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that while these keyboards are prefect for writing with two hands, they make one-handed typing even more difficult. The key “spread”, so useful for typing two-handed, combines with the natural slope of the keyboard to make one-handed pick-and-peck typing a heck of a lot harder. Still, I’m not about to ditch my old keyboard ? it’s just too useful when I’m not holding the baby?
Wireless + Laptop + Bathroom Break = Time to Read E-mail: When you have a young baby, you never know when you’ll have time to do things like eat and sleep, so more superfluous things like, oh, reading e-mail, having to be squeezed in whenever you have a few spare minutes. Such as say, when you’re taking a constitutional in the bathroom. Scary? Yes. Weird? Hell yes. Only way I can read my e-mail on a daily basis? Absolutely.