Friends of mine just had their first baby.
And, yes, a very small part of me envies them, just a tiny, tiny bit. I miss those days when I had a sub-10 pound human to snuggle with, one who would look at me with nothing but pools of love in her eyes.
I'm going to pretend it was love. In all likelihood, it was probably gas.
But I don't miss any of the rest of it.
You can keep the explosive diapers, the endless feedings. I'm not sure I could go back to sleeping four hours each night, none of them consecutive. Every ounce of me wants to lay a gentle hand on each of these new parent's shoulders and say, simply, "you poor people."
It's hard to have an infant in your house.
The work never does end and sleep is always in short supply. Yes, it all pays off eventually _ but it's really hard to keep that in mind when you haven't even gone to the bathroom by yourself for weeks.
Which brings me to Facebook.
Back in the dark ages, when I had my first baby, there was no Facebook. We still had dial-up access and we were lucky to have that. And, yes, we also walked uphill to school. Both ways. In four-feet of snow. Even in May.
Thanks to Facebook, however, I've been reliving the process of adjusting to parenthood through the new parents' status updates. And lately the new baby in question is going through a common new baby stage where she wants to be held and walked around every blessed minute of every blessed day.
I offered what advice I could, which involves buying one of those inflatable exercise balls so that you can bounce the baby and sit down at the same time. But after that, I had nothing to offer other than completely unhelpful reminders that some parts of life simply need to be endured.
What struck a chord, however, were some of the other comments encouraging the new parents that they will miss this part of the process when it ends so they should enjoy it while it lasts.
There is truth in that, maybe, but it is the sort of well-meaning statement that used to make me want to chew off the fingers of the person making it. My immediate impulse was to grab the advice-offerer by the shirt and shout the word "when" into their well-rested faces.
Yes, sleep deprivation makes me a smidge grouchy.
The only piece of information I wanted during those days when the baby was cranky or restless or bored or simply trying to cope with being 2 months old was when exactly this part of the process would end. I wanted a deadline, in other words.
At what exact time will I get to stop bouncing on this exercise ball? On what date will I get to enjoy my own bed? Precisely how long will this part last?
I felt the same during labor, too. I could have swung the whole thing without drugs, I think, if someone could have guaranteed that the worst of the pain would be done in two hours and 16 minutes exactly. I can work with defined parameters.
In hindsight, yes, these first few months are short and, at times, precious. But in the moment of them, they feel like an eternity.
Personally, I never did find statements like "enjoy this while you can" or "this passes so quickly" anything but irritating when my kids were babies, as if my failure to enjoy mopping up regurgitated milk for the 10th time that day was a sign of not loving my child enough.
Frankly, those sorts of phrases made me want to hand the baby off and walk away until the phase passed.
Now, of course, there are moments when I long for the simplicity of life with a newborn.
My kids are old enough now that our days aren't a test of physical endurance.
It's now about emotional and mental fortitude, which is a change, at least, and one easier to tackle after a good night's sleep.
Adrienne Martini is a freelance writer, instructor at the State University College at Oneonta, mom to Maddy and Cory, wife to Scott, and author of "Sweater Quest." Her columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/ parentingimperfect.
Friends of mine just had their first baby.
Why did you serve?
Numerous local residents have spent time in service to our country in the military. Some joined out of a duty to our county, others were pressed into service through the draft, still others wanted to take advantage of the G.I. Bill. In honor of their service and Armed Forces Day on Saturday, we asked our readers why they served and what they took away from their service.Continued ...
Fitness key during pregnancy
Women have been having babies since well before time has been recorded by humans.Continued ...
Beyond the stacks: Local libraries offer everything from history to technology
The local libraries within the Four County Library System still make information available to their patrons in the traditional way -- books. They are also storehouses of local history: old photos, newspapers, genealogy records, diaries and letters.Continued ...
Romantic times at Fenimore
When one thinks of the romantic, usually one ponders wistfully the early days of a courtship and marriage.Continued ...
Prom fashions bright, blingy, different
Prom night can be one of the biggest events of a high school student's life. It is the last bash before college for many, and the memories are often recorded. That is why prom fashion is so important to high school seniors.Continued ...
- Why did you serve?
- Around The Arts
Local programs help children's creativity grow
I am not a stage mom. But, the other day I ended up in the middle of a discussion with a stage dad who, for many years, has designated a great deal of his time and resources to support his teenage sonâ€™s performing career. The cry of the stage parent: chauffeuring from one rehearsal to the next, scouting costumes, building sets, selling tickets and program ads, and, of course, sitting in the audience for the entire production run. Then, without a breath, off to the next one!Continued ...
An artist label can be placed on many types of people
"You are such an artist."Continued ...
Dip your toe in the art world through Pinterest
I am a magazine ripper. I always have been. I have shoesboxes and file folders filled with decorating ideas, recipes and other miscellaneous projects. No matter how hard I've tried, I can never seem to organize or tame the scraps of inspiration floating around my house.Continued ...
Arts encompasses so much more than visual, performing, musical things
This column was due when I was in the throes of our season at The Glimmerglass Festival, when all we are thinking about is the arts -- how to make people more aware of the arts, to engage in the arts. And -- what exactly do "the arts" entail?Continued ...
School may be out, but there's lots to do to keep kids busy
By June Dzialo Now that school's out for the summer, my daughter is proclaiming that we are, "the most boring family on Earth."Continued ...
- Local programs help children's creativity grow
- Music Beat
Music Industry Tips About Professional Musicians
Musicians know that every performance they play is an audition for their next engagement.Continued ...
Practice really does make perfect for professionals
Shortly after I was hired at the age of 25 to work in the Music Department at State University College at Oneonta, I played a concert for members of this community. At the end of the concert, a young audience member said to me, â€œHow many years have you been playing the cello and do you still have to practice?â€�Continued ...
Stepping on the flag, and other memories
If we are to be defined all our lives by our high school mascots, then I suppose I am a Viking. But I'm also a Panther, having transferred schools after my freshman year.Continued ...
From SUNY Oneonta to CBS Sports
Some people say the music business is failing, but I don’t agree with that point of view. Neither does Joseph Miller.Continued ...
- 12 Music Industry Tips from Joseph Miller
- Music Industry Tips About Professional Musicians
- Parenting Imperfect
I'm relieved it's not just me
For the last few years, I've been convinced that I'm just harder on things than other people are.Continued ...
A tactical error in the handoff
My kids are lucky enough to have half of their grandparents within a three-hour drive.Continued ...
A potentially quiet afternoon interrupted by a dog and a balloon
The kids spent most of Martin Luther King Jr. Day bickering.Continued ...
The dog is a getting to be an expert at training
This sentence took 20 minutes to type.Continued ...
Bad things can happen when trends are no longer trendy
When I was a kid, it used to drive me bonkers that my mom didn't know anything about the most important things in my world. She had no idea what a friendship pin was or how you'd make one. She couldn't name any good band, i.e., the ones a pre-teen would listen to like Duran Duran or Wham. And she didn't find Robert Downey Jr. nearly as dreamy as I did.Continued ...
- I'm relieved it's not just me
- Senior scene
Looking Back: A sad ending for adorable, sweet Taffy-toes
Another unwanted drop-off? Yes and so I must write this.Continued ...
As Time Goes By: Dealing with side effect of pills can really be a pain
At age 76, I find myself incontinent. Actually the problem started well before that date but now it has gone beyond "a problem," to "holy smoke the dam broke."Continued ...
- From the Office: Try spring cleaning, organizing for stress release
Looking Back: Take your time, think ahead before making decisions
A lifetime may seem forever for some, especially when we were young and couldn't wait to grow up and get to do all things we saw the adults do. Come to think of it, perhaps that wasn't too good.Continued ...
As Time Goes By: Getting sick in the southern sun
I went and did it - I have heard about southern hospitality so much that I thought I would see if it extended to the hospitals as well.Continued ...
- Looking Back: A sad ending for adorable, sweet Taffy-toes
- Tech, GP
Thankful hard-disk shortage is about over, and counting my blessings
Well, I'm almost ready to let out a cheer.Continued ...
Businesses need backups for their computer people, systems
In the interest of full disclosure, I want to let you know that I have taken a new position, professionally. I recently joined Eastman Associates, a local general contractor, to do its IT work, as well as taking care of some other functions of the business.Continued ...
Windows 8 seems to be made for the good of Microsoft, not the user
By Bruce Endries The software company everybody loves to hate, Microsoft, recently released what it calls a "consumer preview" of their next operating system, Windows 8.Continued ...
The Granite State got it right on software purchases
Believe it or not, I have found a bright spot in the political landscape, amid all the vitriolic partisan fighting.Continued ...
Visit a construction site and you'll probably find an iPad
It was just about two years ago now, that the iPad came out, and I wrote a column about it. At that time, I went out on a limb and said that thought it was a product which would fill certain niches very well, but that it wasn't very likely to fill in for what is normally considered a computer.Continued ...
- Thankful hard-disk shortage is about over, and counting my blessings
- Teen Talk
On the Go: Patriotism doesn't mean keeping status quo
I've been labeled many things, but when anti-American and unpatriotic came into the picture recently I was surprised. I know I have some controversial opinions, but since when does that equate to not loving America? I'm a born and raised American kid, and I love America.Continued ...
Luhrmann brings Gatsby new life
Sure, you would think that being a college student and having finals rapidly approaching would equate to my growing anticipation for the summer and being done with my first year of college.Continued ...
Teenhood Today: Only you can determine your impact
The question I am most often asked is, "What do you want to do with your life?"Continued ...
A Word of Advice: Just do something
If you're not going upward, the only direction you can go is down. To stagnate is to surrender; to do nothing for yourself; to give up on a better day completely. If we sit around feeling good enough in all aspects of life, or just too lazy to fix them, well, as Albert Einstein put it, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."Continued ...
On the Go: Life is like the Cliff Walk
Over spring break, my family and I spent time in Newport, R.I. While we were there, we walked a path known as the Cliff Walk. This walk is nestled between some Newport mansions and some cliffs overlooking the ocean. While we were walking, my sister and I noticed how this path was a perfect metaphor for life and the journey it is.Continued ...
- On the Go: Patriotism doesn't mean keeping status quo