There is an excellent parenting podcast called Mom and Dad are Fighting, which starts each episode with the hosts retelling a triumph or failure from the past week (for a taste here is one of my favourites). It’s been 1 month since Astrid was born, and Emily asked me what our triumphs and failures have been. Here are our answers.
Dad’s Triumph: Astrid has been particularly fussy the past few evenings (growth spurt?). I’ve found that wearing her in the Baby Bjorn and slowly walking around the neighbourhood with a gentle bounce soothes her to sleep better than anything else. This alone is a success, but the real triumph is realizing that Pokemon Go is a perfect companion to our walks. Astrid is soothed to sleep and I get some video gaming time. Win-win! Our neighbourhood is a real Pokemon hotspot (and full of Drowzees), so even late at night there’s usually crowds of people around which is comforting.
Mom’s Triumph: When Chris went back to work I was struggling with how to fill my day and how to do errands. I was feeling better physically and wanted to go out and do things, even without a regular schedule. I knew that riding the bus was an essential way for us to expand our radius, but was quite intimidated. I had one particularly urgent errand that forced me to give it a try. Astrid slept the whole way there (yay!) but was wide awake on the way back. As soon as we got on the bus she began to holler. I managed to pick her up and settle her on the bus before putting her back in the stroller and rolling her off at our stop. The most satisfying triumph is one that involves overcoming a little turbulence. 🙂
Dad’s Fail: With each day, I’m feeling increasingly worn out. In Astrid’s first week, I would heroically jump out of bed whenever she was fussy and bounce her for as long as it took to get her to sleep. I didn’t care if it took hours. But my heroic moments feel more forced now and after 10 minutes of holding her in my arms my back gets sore; after 20 minutes it starts to go numb; and after 30 minutes I’m spent. I wish I had done more exercises to strengthen my back before she was born. I’ve also managed to lose 5 lbs and I’m not sure where it went.
Mom’s Fail: We were out and about with Astrid in her stroller and decided to drive home in an Evo car sharing vehicle. Since our infant car seat is the seat part of the stroller, we just popped it off the base and buckled it into the car – super convenient. Chris and I got in the front seats and drove off. About half way home I realized that we never buckled Astrid into the car seat. We don’t strap her in when we’re walking because it scrunches her in so tightly. I drove the rest of the way very carefully, but we probably should have stopped and strapped her in.
Bonus Averted Fail: We almost had a spectacular fail a few nights ago. Astrid was agitated all evening and wouldn’t fall asleep. We took turns trying to soothe her to sleep for hours without any luck. It was 11:30 pm, I was lying on the bed exhausted when Emily announced Astrid was asleep swaddled in the swing in the living room. Victory! But I immediately realized the problem. We couldn’t leave her there while we slept in the bedroom. My tired brain started running through solutions and decided that moving the swing to the bedroom was the best course of action. I started to pick up the swing (it was still plugged in and rocking) and was trying to figure out how I was going to fit it down the the hallway and through the doorway before Emily stopped me. Even if I could move the swing to bedroom, there’s no way I could do it without waking the baby. Instead, she suggested picking up Astrid and carrying her to the bassinet. If she woke up, then we could move the swing to the bedroom without the baby in it. Why didn’t I think of that? Anyway, it worked. No swing moving required. Horrible fail averted.