birthdays with babies

today is jared’s birthday. for three months every year we are the same age. (i’m older.)

of course, he had to work. fridays are his busiest day because he teaches three classes back to back. we put the fourth crib railing up on monday afternoon & stopped co-sleeping, & even though all three of us have been sleeping better since then, ramona’s personality is different. she’s a million times more cuddly during the day, but also much quicker to have a complete meltdown over something inconsequential. (well, to me. i’m sure to her, it’s is VERY consequential when mom does not immediately drop everything & read her “goodnight gorilla” twelve times in a row.) i’m not saying there’s necessarily a connection between her sleeping alone & her being so much more demanding on both physical affection & constant attention, but…draw your own conclusions.

in any case, i really hope it’s a phase. maybe she needs an adjustment period. it could also be related to teething, as she is starting to grow her molars, & her top canine teeth are also popping up a few months ahead of schedule. it’s not easy to count her teeth, but i know for certain that she has at least eleven at this point, so we’re more than halfway done with the baby teeth.

i definitely don’t mind reading to ramona. i’ve already read her the entire “harry potter” series & the entire “series of unfortunate events” series, to say nothing of her bookcase full of board books, each of which i have read dozens of times. i actually make time everyday to sit & read to her. however, i do have a problem reading to her ALL DAY LONG. from the second she gets up in the morning until the second she goes to bed, all she wants to do is have books read to her. i’m not kidding. i used to be able to read a few books & she was satisfied to play on her own for a while. now she wants “mr. brown can moo” & then “trains go” & then “tails are not for pulling” & then “baby signs” & then “smile!” & then “trains go” again & then “baby naps” & & then “how big is a pig” & then “moby dick” (the baby lit version) & god have mercy on your soul if you attempt to take a break & sip some water or go to the bathroom. she wants me to read her books while i’m trying to make her lunch, or change her diaper, or put the laundry away. it’s nearly impossible to get anything else done. & once she’s has chosen the parent that will be reading her selection, the other parent better not attempt to step in unless they want to see a baby go into meltdown mode. i’m talking screaming, tears, banging her head on the floor…i can handle it as long as she gives me a decent nap so i can have a break. but today she only gave me an hour & a half. not long enough!

she is also still not walking or standing unsupported. gestationally, she’d be fourteen & a half months old now. early intervention suggested we get her eyes checked. maybe she lacks confidence because she doesn’t see well? so she’s going to the eye doctor on monday. we are all really at a complete loss as to how to encourage her to move forward with these milestones. i don’t particularly care that she’s not walking yet, but i really feel she should be standing by now. i know plenty of kids her age don’t, & eventually they learned & it was no big deal. like how i didn’t learn to ride a bike until i was 12, & didn’t get my driver’s license until i was 31. but i am starting to feel a bit concerned.

anyway: jared’s birthday. i asked him if he wanted to make him a cake, & he was all, “eh.” that’s a quote. ramona was so exhausting & demanding today that i did not make a cake. had he said, “yes, i want a cake,” i would have made it a priority–maybe put it together during her nap or something. but he seemed indifferent so i didn’t do it. then she woke up much earlier than i expected & was running me down, so i put her in the stroller & took her downtown. she’s always easier to handle outside the house. we went to the fabric shop & picked up some notions for some future sewing projects (a dress & a slip). we went to the bakery & i got jared this cookie he likes. we went to the florist & i put together what i considered to be a rather masculine bouquet, with orange roses & some berries & other things. then i realized i had no idea how to get my (kind of big) bouquet home with a stroller, so the florist offered to walk it home for me. that was nice! the perks of living like a block from downtown.

when jared got home, i was like, “i didn’t make a cake. sorry.” & he was like, “oh, you didn’t? …oh. …i guess that’s okay.” & i was like, “i would have if you said you wanted one, but it seemed like you didn’t care & ramona was exhausting today.” & he was like, “i wanted a cake.” *sigh*

jared wanted to check out this local restaurant we’ve never been to, as a birthday treat. so we walked down there & it was PACKED. they have like ten tables. seriously. there were maybe four parties waiting ahead of us. you do the math. the hostess said it was a 20- to 30-minute wait, so we took a gamble on waiting. & we were still waiting an hour later. we were finally seated at 7:30pm, which is ramona’s bedtime. she was starting to meltdown, but what were our options? she had to eat something before she went to bed. we ordered bruschetta as an appetizer, but ramona was completely losing it & basically tearing her face off in exhaustion. so we switched our entree orders to take-out & fed ramona as much bruschetta as we could get her to eat & got her home a full half hour after she’s usually in bed. she drank her entire bedtime sippy in one swallow & immediately passed out, & we ate our take-out (which was quite good, but would have been even better actually still warm) on the couch in front of an old episode of “parks & recreation”. the glamour of parenting.

jared kind of wanted to be mad at the hostess for underestimating the wait time, but i’m sure she didn’t expect the women at the table we finally got to linger over coffee for literally a full hour, making faces at ramona, before they finally left. if it was anyone’s fault, it was theirs. sure, they’re entitled to take their time with their meals & everything, but maybe if you see a baby waiting to be seated, & you have like a quarter of a cup of coffee left, don’t nurse that shit for 45 minutes while making googly eyes at said baby like you give any kind of a fuck about its health or well-being.

this weekend i am hoping to get started on my new dress. i guess i am going to hand-baste the lining to the dress fabric. maybe this is insane? we will find out.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “birthdays with babies

  1. For one of his milestone birthdays, my grandfather told everyone he didn’t want a party. And then got all upset when there was no surprise party. Maybe it’s a dude thing? :p

    1. jared is always weird about his birthday. he always bends over backwards to make my birthday really special, & then he doesn’t want to do anything for his own birthday (or at least nothing more than maybe a special meal or something). i do feel especially bad that i was too sucked into a sewing project to make him a cake…whoops.

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