the ooze

One development over here in life with a newborn is the desire to actually do things during the day without said newborn strapped to my body. Things like exercise, shower, and change washer loads. Or carry heavy winter coats up to the attic. This does not mean I am getting more sleep at night and therefore have more energy, but rather that I am adjusting to the lack of sleep and getting bored with all the things I can do on my phone with an infant on top of me or without bending over and annoying the baby in the carrier. 

But my darling Bumby will only sleep on me. Or, on a good day, right next to me, pressing his full length into my body. Occasionally he will fall asleep in the car seat or stroller when we are out and about, and actually stay asleep there for another half hour or hour, but that method is mostly reserved for the afternoons (and moments of desperation), and requires me to be already dressed. Although I CAN change my shirt while holding him, it takes a long time. And I have yet to figure out how to shower without setting him down. To the “put the baby down sleepy but awake” crowd — HA. This will get you a full on scream in under three seconds.

All of this means I am working on perfecting a method I have heard referred to as the ooze. Baby falls asleep on top of me. Usually while nursing, so step one is to remove the nipple from his mouth without waking him. This is harder than it sounds. Then I have to wait about 15 minutes, sometimes more, until the sleep is very deep. The trickiest part of the ooze is moving him from on top of me to the warm part of the bed — the part directly underneath me. This I have managed successfully only a handful of times, and if botched requires starting completely over. Also, a grave error is starting this too close to the edge. I am dreading the day he learns to roll over. I guess I will get bedrails then?

Once he is on a non-human surface, I gently, slowly, ooze myself away from him. First my legs, then finger by finger, inch by inch, the rest of me. I end with a hand hovering a millimeter above him. He can sense this, I am convinced. Maybe it radiates a certain amount of warmth. An ill timed dog bark or door slam sets me back to the beginning. 

In fact, I am oozing right now. I have already botched it once and had to start over. I have transferred him to the bed, although he is still nursing. Once he is deep enough down, I will adjust the shirt so there’s no skin to skin, then slowly, ever so carefully, ooze away. 

My goal here is 30 minutes of sleep without mom-as-mattress. It will probably take me close to 45 minutes — maybe even an hour — of ooze for those 30 minutes.  But this is enough for me to change my clothes and work out. A bonus ten minutes of sleep gets me a shower, although frankly, Bumby does not care if I am sweaty for a while and, if well rested, will hang out in his swing for 10 minutes examining his hand. 

Don’t even get me started on the tricks employed to get him sleeping at night. 

New York, and a teen mom


Last week, the big kids were on spring break, so we booked ourselves a little staycation in the city (the city being New York, of course). We got a hotel so we could experience a living-in feeling without an hour long schlep home to the burbs each night. Plus, the grownups wanted to be away from the house a little bit. There are times when one’s home looks more like a to-do list than a refuge, and this was one of those times. 

I was nervous about taking Bumby away from home for an overnight, let alone 3 overnights, but he did beautifully. Yes, the first night my wife, sister and I had to take turns walking him around the block instead of all enjoying dinner at the same time, and he melted down a little after too many hours of city noise and stimulation. But, you know. He’s a baby. So that’s ok. 

One of the best aspects was that he established a nap routine while we were out and about. Every day we all woke up at 8:30, ate breakfast and got ready for the day. By 10:30 we were out and about and Bumby was gratefully napping in the stroller. 1:00 lunch and Bumby was up to eat and make goo goo eyes at the passers-by. By 2ish he was back asleep in his stroller or in the carrier as we bopped around the city some more. The late afternoon nap, which is crucial for our colicky boy, is always the toughest to come by. We are still working on that one. 

Now that we are home, he has pretty much stuck to the schedule, except that he seems to like both his naps a little earlier than when we were in the city — 9:30 for the first and 1:30 for the second. I save the grocery store for the afternoon, because nothing lulls this guy to sleep like fluorescent lighting and a bumpy ride in a shopping cart. 

The only downside to the trip was the lack of mommy-Bumby snuggles. By the last day I was really feeling like he had too much time in the stroller and not enough time in the carrier. So I popped him into the carrier for the whole day. The result was that various family members pushed an empty stroller around all day. While we were checking out of the hotel, the stroller was parked next to the Big One, who is a slender 14 year old. A woman sat across from her. 

Woman: Is the baby in the stroller? I saw you at breakfast with him. He’s so cute. 

Big One: Oh, no. He’s over there. 

Woman: Babies are such a blessing. You must feel so lucky. 

Big One: Oh yes. I do. 

Woman: How old is he?

Big One: Two months. 

Woman: Two months?! You look amazing! Wow. I never would guess you could look so great after just two months. 

The Big One never did correct her. I wonder who she thought I was? Just some random lady wearing someone else’s baby, I guess. A nanny maybe.