bear in mind that through all of this, i was wrangling ramona solo because jared was at a conference in toronto. i seriously don’t know how single parents do it. i’d be selling ramona for parts if i had to handle her all by myself all day every day & into the night. nighttime was the worst. at home, it’s jared’s job to put ramona to bed & get up with her in the night. we used to take turns, so obviously i have done it, but i was pretty rusty & i found it so horrible & stressful. i’m much better at handling her during the day, playing, keeping on top of her naps, reading stories, going for walks, etc. plus i was stressed about her crying waking up jessika rae (even though she said she didn’t mind, & that she’d get up to help if i needed her, & that she actually expected a lot more screaming than what she got) or her neighbors (because it’s an apartment building–at home, we have our own little house with only one neighbor).
& to top it all off, ramona was so much more difficult to handle than usual! she would cry around her bottle, she would scream if i held her in the usual shoulder hold, she completely lost her shit when i ended tummy time before she was ready (but she kept spitting up! i thought she needed a break)…she was only happy when she was being held cradled in my arms so she could look all around & walked up & down the hall like that. i thought my arms were just going to fall out of their sockets. i was also permitted to sit on the floor & hold her in a sitting position on my lap so that she could drool all over my hands. it was exhausting.
the dreaded sitting position.
our last night in town, some of jessika rae’s neighbors decided to have a party. i guess they’re in some weird marching band & they had a big bonfire in the backyard & were running up & down the stairs, drunk & yelling all night. ramona went to sleep anyway because she’s a NICU baby & she’s not that sensitive to noise yet. but you just never known when she’s going to suddenly be affected by it, so i got jessika rae to go ask them to keep it down in the stairwell. they were like, “what? you have a baby sleeping up there? oh yeah, we’ll totally try to be quiet! we didn’t know! can you hang out & drink beers with us until she wakes up?” i had to explain that i wouldn’t know when my baby, up in the second story, was waking up if i was in the backyard drinking beers around a bonfire with a bunch of punks. they were like, “…oh yeah.” that eventually decided to move their party to some other house. so, you know what’s an even bigger party foul than putting on bruce springsteen’s “nebraska” record? having a baby hanging around.
thankfully we are back home now & things are getting back to normal. she again lost her shit completely while we were driving home from the airport, perhaps because she chose to remain awake during the flight so she could look out the window. she was really good again, no screaming or crying, but she probably should have slept.
ramona violating FAA safety regulations by sitting in an airplane seat before she can really sit up yet.
thankfully she was kind of jetlagged so she went to bed an hour earlier than usual & then she just stayed asleep. for eleven hours. it gave jared & i time to unpack, do laundry (trying to get that smoky smell out of everything), devour an entire large pizza, & even dick around on facebook a little. because, oh yeah, jessika rae didn’t have internet. it was so weird to be disconnected from the world like that. i try to read at least a few stories in the “new york times” everyday so i can be conversant in current events & not just hot topics like how many sleepers ramona drooled through this morning. but honestly, she was such a wild animal, i wouldn’t have had time to go online anyway.
it was really nice to have some quality time with jessika rae though. we hadn’t seen each other in five years. & 2013 marks ten years of friendship, so that was pretty special for us. i only hope that i didn’t bore her into an irreversible coma talking so incessantly about ramona & the birth & everything. i hadn’t really talked to her since ramona was born, so i had a LOT of baby news to catch her up on.
but oh my god, i am so relieved to be home. this week: jared’s parents come to visit! ramona meets her grandpa & nana for the first time! also, four-month check-up & vaccinations on wednesday! & i get my charlotte memorial tattoo finished on friday! oh, & jared & i have our sixth anniversary this week too! we’re hoping that his parents might be willing to do some free babysitting so we can go out to dinner or something. i joked, “maybe we’ll get to make ramona a sibling,” (gross, i know, sorry, guys) but after my week in detroit, i am wondering if ramona might be destined for the lonely life of the only child. not that i’m insane enough to intentionally get pregnant when my baby is only four months old anyway.
oh, also? we kept her in cloth diapers the whole time. i’m just gonna go ahead & give myself a little pat on the back for that one, because lord knows no one else is going to give me a trophy for doing three loads of laundry while i’m on vacation.