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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

One month as a family of three


It's been over a month, and things are -- what are they?  They are blissful and tearful and sleepy and all those other things that come with having a newborn.  I'm horribly behind as far as the actual baby book is concerned, and I have thank-you cards that need sending (running low on stamps though, so that may have to wait until I can fit that errand into the mix -- I feel awful since I try to get those out lickety-split).

I just realized that the top picture combined with the post title makes it look like the family of three is me + Freddie + Neville.  That's obviously not quite right.  Pull it together, Hayley.


There we go.  The goober-iest family photo of all time (at least so far).  Life as a small family really has been great though.  It's been rough some days, to be sure.  Patrick finished his two summer grad classes, thank goodness.  He's starting some minimal band practices back up, but as far as time commitments go, summer school was WAY more of a thief, so I'm happy to sacrifice him to the weekly doom metal gods at least a little.  Of course, he's got more fall classes coming up, so we'll see how things go then (*shifty glance at the doom metal gods*).

It's one of those things where I suppose I could choose to be a bit grumpy about the way guys get it easy and it's easy for him to pop out for two hours of drumming while it's hard for me to eat a sandwich...but then I get texts from him saying he wants to make sure I get time to myself too, and to please take some time on Saturdays or some other times when he's around to get out of the house (and to do my freelance work).  So it's all evening out on paper, at least.  I'm not saying everything has to be cut right down the middle.  But the intention of giving me some time too is there, so that's fair enough for now.  Right now, I expect to be doing more of the heavy-lifting, but it's good to know he's not taking that for granted, and that when I need time to get a haircut (so desperately needed, I'm starting to get that Bieber look again, yikes) and write, it's already been noted.  And he's followed through.  I've gotten myself out of the house, and have gotten zero frantic texts (so far).  He discovered she could be soothed by walking around the back yard instead of alerting me to sad-baby-times, and that was that.

I'm always a bit squeamish about praising dudes for essentially pulling their end of the yoke in terms of partnership or parenthood responsibilities (soothing her on his own instead of like this guy who's afraid to pick up his own baby, WTF).  It's not that I take it for granted that Patrick will sit with Freddie for hours like he did last night when she was inconsolable and I'd been trying to soothe her for hours prior while he was at work.  I don't take it for granted.  I'm very thankful.  That said, I expect us to be roughly equal but I don't think expecting equality means praise and thanks for making that happen aren't merited.  I'm still going to thank the guy.  It's just polite!  I just don't think a parade is warranted.  A simple "thank you" on the other hand...yes!  All the time!

That's probably my biggest take-away at this point in parenthood: keep thanking your partner.  Thank them for doing stuff that you expect of them.  Thank them for doing things they do normally (cooking dinner etc).  Compliment them on doing a great job and being a great parent, even when changing a diaper at 2am isn't something that should warrant a Best Parent Ever Parade because it's just something that has to be done.  A little thanks still just feels good, dangit, and people should do it often.

And I should really, really get those thank-you letters mailed...


So that sums up the last month...except oh, right, this little cutie and I have started reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe a tiny bit every night before bed.  Reading is important (obviously, *tips librarian hat*) but by golly, I really prefer reading books I enjoy.  And yes, there are some WONDERFUL baby books out there.  Gobs and gobs of cute baby books...if you like patting bunnies and saying goodnight to moons.  Which I do, sometimes.  But I wanted our first big read to be special too, and since this is all rather the same to her at this point, I figured why not start with the best?  Plus, thus way I can make sure she's exposed to the series in the correct order (that's publication order, not the soul-crushing order Lewis preferred, which has The Magician's Nephew first, UGH).  I really can't wait until we get to the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, though.  That one's obviously the best.  Narnia holds such a dear place in my heart ("Courage, dear heart" is going to be incorporated somehow into another literary tattoo -- I've already got Tolkien & JM Barrie, so Lewis seems perfect to shore things up) and of all the things to introduce my daughter to early on, this is one I've been so waiting eagerly for.  I know it's mostly all for me right now but someday she'll understand them, and hopefully she'll love them too.  

What book(s) did you pick as your first-read(s) to your little one(s)?  Alternatively, what books are you looking forward to experiencing together?

16 comments:

  1. You guys are cutest little gingery family!

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  2. 1.) It gets more even as they get older. I often take way more happy hours than Kamel gets at this point, which is nice as we do the majority of the physical sacrifices part.
    2.) Speaking of physical sacrifices - I still use the "I am the one who gave birth to him" occasional for things I really hate doing like changing him in public places, etc. It is quite the time suck to devote a year + to growing and then feeding OUR baby. Sometimes Kamel says "you can't keep using that!!" except YES, I can. Until humans lay eggs and we take turns sitting on them, I get an occasional perk, goddamnit.

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    1. Pretty sure we can use that logic FOR LIFE. Sorry Kamel.

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  3. DYING from the cute over here! :D I prefer publication order with Narnia, too.

    When we were in the NICU with Lorelai, I read Peter Pan to her. Matt read her The Hobbit. <3

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  4. Oh this is so so perfect. And we finished reading a short, kids version of Alice in Wonderland that used to be mine and I brought back from home this June.To go with the Flamingo obsession, room decor illustrations, postcards, and Annotated Alice that I have waiting for her!

    I am also a big fan of c.S.Lewis, Andersen, J.M.Barrie... and most fairy tales, really,

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    1. Oooh, what with the flamingos and all, have you seen this book "Flora and the Flamingo"? It's adorable! http://www.amazon.com/Flora-Flamingo-Molly-Idle/dp/1452110069

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    2. (It was a 2014 Caldecott Honor Book)

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    3. Flora and the Flamingo is totally once of Frances' favorite books right now. She acts out Flora's movements. It's amazing.

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  5. Lovely little family! I love that you are reading her The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe first because, you're right, at this age it doesn't matter what it is. She will pick up on the fact that it is warm and wonderful if YOU enjoy it. That's the same cover I have from when I was kid, by the way...sadly, mine is falling apart from so much use, so I had to get different copies for my girls to read.

    Also, I'm with you on being grateful but still expecting husbands to take an equal role in parenting their children. I have noticed that a man gets lauded for being a "great dad" if he so much as hands his kid a banana or picks her up for a hug. So little is expected of them, and I just don't understand why. I am really glad my husband is involved and active with me in parenting our girls. He's good at it and it's wonderful to share that experience with him. But it doesn't elevate him to sainthood or anything like that. We're in it together, which just makes basic sense.

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    1. It's so frustrating. Even in the hospital one of the nurses suggested he take a turn holding her....by saying he could 'babysit'. Uhhhh I thought that's called parenting! So little indeed.

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  6. We read all sorts of things to Frances when she was tiny, but the first chapter book we read was Winnie-the-Pooh, which was lovely and funny. If I had read it as a kid, I had totally forgotten it, so it was a nice discovery.

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    1. They are such sweet books and surprisingly entertaining for adults to boot!

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  7. First, I have to say, I have loved all your motherhood posts so much. I am glad I found your blog again. Second, I love the tip about the Kindle. It was so hard to turn pages while I nursed last time. I was given a Kindle for my birthday this year and I am looking forward to using it with baby two (who is also a boy, so let me say I am slightly jealous of all the girly things you post). I will have to see if my library has overdrive. I sure hope so.
    Your daughter is adorable. And that is saying a lot comings from me, I think most newborns look like little lizards. :) I just love her hair.
    Lastly, since my son was named after CS Lewis, I thought the first book I read to him should reflect that and we also read the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe first. :) I disagree though with your comment about the Daen Treader being the best. That is my least favorite. Have you ever read Til We Have Faces? I read it for the first time this year and loved it. It is totally different than most Lewis.
    -faith

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    1. Faith! So glad to see your comment! :)

      Haha, yeah, some babies are such silly looking little things...I'm not at all biased when I say I think mine's pretty cute. ;)

      I just loved the adventure in Dawn Treader -- and I have a soft spot for insufferable Eustace (who almost deserves his name). I haven't read Faces -- I need to! I've been reading some of his serious work lately.

      So glad to "see" you here! :)

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