Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I Have No Idea

When I became a new mother, I was baffled by the amount of questions I received.  I'd just met this new little guy and suddenly everyone asked me questions as if we were lifelong buds and I knew all his likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams, resume and shoe size.  As much as he was brand new, so was I.  I didn't know how to answer these questions.  I didn't know him yet!  New motherhood is an extremely quick learning curve, like being thrown into a PhD program with nary a high school diploma.  These are some of the questions I experienced and the answer is always the same:  I have no idea.

Does he always do that? I have no idea.  Isn't two weeks too soon to say always?  Because that's his age.

Does he usually sleep this long?  I have no idea.  I haven't slept more than three hours at a time in five weeks.  Sometimes he sleeps great; sometimes he naps for thirty minutes and makes me want to cry.  (Or actually cry.)  It's the unpredictability that gets to me.

Does he like sweet potatoes?  I have no idea.  I put food in his mouth and he eats it.  Mostly.  Whether he likes it or not, you'll have to ask him.  He eats most everything.

Does he pull at his ear?  Why do you suspect an infection?  I have no idea. He's screaming and he had a cold.  But it could be his teeth.  Or he could just have gas.  He's seven months.  He can't tell me.

Has he rolled over/crawled/walked/graduated yet?  I have no idea.  Wait.  Is he supposed to?  What does Google say?

Do you change him before he eats?  I have no idea.  Sometimes I do change him and he poops midway through the bottle and then I change him and he poops again when he's done.  Sometimes I don't change him and he doesn't poop at all.  Sometimes I don't change him and then he blows out his already semi-full diaper.  It's a crap shoot.  (See what I did there?)

How much does he eat in a day?  I have no idea.  This question was asked every time I went to the doctor for a well visit.  I learned how to answer, but the first few times I would frantically try to do math in my head and then usually just say something like, "He eats 3-4 ounces (or 5-6 ounces) 5-6 times a day."  Sometimes he ate a ton and sometimes not so much.  Also, if you're breastfeeding, there's no gauge, no ounce markings on each breast to show how much has been consumed.  I imagine you pretty much just guess.

These questions didn't really annoy me, but did serve to show me how little I actually knew about keeping a tiny human alive.  We're doing good so far, but number one is only 21 months.  It's too soon to tell.  I still feel like a new mother.  Is there ever a time when you feel competent, like, "I've got this.  I know what I'm doing.  They might make it to adulthood."?  I'll let you know.