Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hot Hot Heat

Today was a relatively uneventful one in Stately BBD Manor. On the weekends I typically try to sleep in if at all possible, at least a little. Stella was being good. At this stage of the game being good means sleeping a lot, and/or not crying when she’s awake. So I got to sleep until about 10:00 a.m., which felt extremely indulgent.

From there I awoke, and had some coffee that BBM had considerately already made. It tasted bitter; I guess I’m just not a coffee achiever. I’ve been trying to cut back on the caffeine anyway, as I find it leads to diminishing returns after a while. The ultimate diminishing return is that it depresses me, but that takes a while.

Seizing the initiative I made a massive pile of hash browns, using one and a half potatoes, half a green pepper, about half an onion and two minced garlic bulbs. It took forever for it to finally cook, but, damn, that was some good eatin’.

But it was one of Those Kind Of Days, a day where Stella just couldn’t pry herself away from the booby. The Tit Vampire returns. Seriously, we basically thought by now that she’d eat deeply but not as constantly as she does now. She still, of course, blows off sleep at every conceivable opportunity, which is also supposed to eventually change, but we’ll see.

By about 1:00 p.m. the BBM was pretty much getting tired of the same old routine. It was muggy and hot today, true, but we still wanted to get outside if at all possible.

“I can’t just keep going like this,” she said, “she literally eats all the time.”

Making matters worse Stella cries if Randi speaks to someone on the phone while she’s trying to eat, which is what I’ve heard J-Lo does to her underlings. But J-Lo, at least, can fire her entourage, Stella can’t get rid of us. Anyway, this only increases the at times isolating nature of raising a parent in The City. (Editor's Note: "Raising a parent?" Whoa, Freudian slip there!)

Randi, you see, has lived in New York for 10 years, but she’s still away from what had been her home. She’s from Kentucky originally, and that is where most of her kith and kin still live. Around here her only real family is my family, and as fond of them as she is it’s just not the same thing.

And anyway, my family isn’t even that nearby. My mother lives about an hour away, in New Jersey, my sister lives in Connecticut with kids of her own, and my brother and father are also in New Jersey. We have some cousins in the general area, but Randi’s support network is kind of on the thin side.

Plus the apartment is kind of muggy and nasty on a 95 degree day like today. All this just adds to the claustrophobic feeling she gets.

She got some slight reprieves today, though. She was able to take a shower—hey, that’s not a given—because I watched Stella when she was in her little jungle gym. I can also hold Stella while she gets dressed, and gussies herself up.

I would like for her to get more time to herself, and even baby-sit for a night while she goes out on the town with some friends, but that would require bottle feeding Stella, and so far we’ve had only mixed results with this. Randi’s found it difficult to pump while feeding Stella, so we haven’t gotten enough milk to make it happen. All this adds up to BBM on call, 24-7 for the BBB (That’s Brooklyn Baby Baby, I guess.)

Finally we got ourselves together, and I put on the Baby Bjorn with the little one in it. I am always tempted to call it the Baby Bjorn Borg, but few people would get the reference, and fewer would find it amusing if they did. It must’ve not been set right on my body, because Stella’s head was resting at an uncomfortable angle the whole time.

The Fear truly never ends. We both felt this had to mean our baby was suffocating. It didn’t of course, as her strong grip on my thumb attested. But eventually, with BBM’s blessing, we switched holders and Stella was carried by her mom. I’m just a dad trying to be a part of this whole deal, but so far I’m only halfway there. We cut the walk short anyway, because it was so damn hot. Later that night BBM once again got to sit in a darkened room for several hours while Stella almost, but not quite, went to sleep.

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