December 10, redux!
I have just discovered I've been doing my dates wrong. Apparently I thought yesterday was December 10, the day before was December 9, etc. This goes toward demonstrating the timelessness of newborn care, the great slack hours that, nevertheless, manage to stuff themselves full of things you can't even remember doing.
What the heck have I accomplished these past 5 weeks? Not much, besides keeping the progeny alive. This is tough for a to-do-list-aholic like myself. There's nothing I love more than a good to-do list! I enjoy making them; I enjoy using them to precisely schedule my days; I enjoy (oh boy howdy) the delicious moment when you draw a pen slash through that sucker and wipe your hands.
It's a disease, I know. And in baby-rearing, it's singularly unhelpful. There's a great part in Operating Instructions, the fabulous Anne Lamott baby memoir I am currently rereading, in which one of Anne's friends tells her that caring for her son gives her an opportunity to "dance with her feelings of anger and inadequacy." Anne's instinct is to tell that friend to stuff it.
But you are forced up against your own temperament, with a baby. You assess your personality characteristics in a new light: not as a collection of harmless quirks but as a regiment of soliders who will, ready or no, accompany you into battle. You walk up and down the line, inspecting your troops. Humor: a loyal and tireless ally. Laziness: can be prodded into action. Impatience: the one who will accidentally shoot you in the butt.