Actually, the 2-month mark was more than a week ago, but you’re so freaking tired we figured you wouldn’t notice. Your baby sleeps in 2- to 3-hour bursts, while other babies his age are sleeping for stretches of five hours or more. You have given birth to a sadist.
It occurs to you that perhaps we as a culture spend too much time preparing for labor and birth and not enough time training for actual parenthood. For instance, why is there no class that teaches you how to snap a million tiny snaps on a person who never stops wiggling?
You have finally recovered from the birth, which, shockingly, did not go as planned. It was supposed to be a scheduled c-section, before which you were going to get a good night’s sleep, take a shower, and maybe even apply makeup. Instead, at the end of your 38th week you landed in the hospital with a mystery illness whose main symptom was a headache so painful you wondered if you were about to give birth, Zeus-style, through your skull. After a CAT-scan, an MRI, one sleepless night in the ER, and two VERY uncomfortable pelvic exams, you magically willed your water to break and your baby was born three days early. Birth plan, shmirth plan.
You are too fat for regular clothes and not fat enough for maternity clothes.
You miss your husband. Even when you are home together, you are usually in different parts of the house, trying to get someone to stop crying. Your toddler hates it when you talk to each other and is attempting to curb this disagreeable behavior by screaming whenever you try to have a conversation. You now communicate in action-movie dialogue: “I’ll take the tantrum; you get the diaper blow-out! Go, go, go!”
You once gave your toddler an entire bowl full of marshmallows to make him stop screaming.
You wonder if your dog is depressed. You can see her letting go of the hope that you will ever again kick the soccer ball for her in the backyard, or pay attention to her for more than thirty seconds at a time. The other day she ate deer poop and vomited it up on the rug in your toddler’s bedroom. Was she sending a message?
You notice that holding a wailing baby in your arms gives a melodramatic flair to arguments with your husband. One minute you’re having a regular old disagreement, the next you’re in a Tennessee Williams play.
You are having a clandestine love affair with the baby. During the day, when your husband is at work and your toddler is at school, you and the baby while away the hours dozing on the couch, gazing into each other’s eyes, and exchanging kisses and coos. When you pick up the toddler, you surreptitiously wipe a bit of spit-up from your collar and count the hours until you can be alone with the baby again.
You have spent hours mapping the creaks in the floor and watching sunlight slant through the windows as you walk from the living room to the dining room to the kitchen, again and again, until the baby’s eyelids droop and his body goes limp in your arms.