Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Non-adventures in Babyland

Ben and I headed to the mall yesterday. Perhaps that seems mundane but it's a Big Deal to go places when you have a newborn, as I seem to have forgotten from the last time I had one. I thought I'd be out and about in no time; in reality, I have gone for just a handful of walks since Ben came home. Ben is a very leisurely nurser, plus he tends to fall asleep as he dines, so I end up sitting around a lot with him and pretending I am burning a kajillion calories by breastfeeding.

It's been an amazing thing going with the flow, because I'm not someone who easily relaxes. I am also relishing the new-mom, drama-free experience I missed out on with Max.

As soon as Ben finished brunch and nodded off, I showered and dashed out the door in that game of beat-the-sleeping-baby-clock. We cruised around the mall, and I had a spectacular time doing lots of nothing. I checked out baby clothing and when-I-lose-the-baby-weight-still-left-over-from-having-Max clothing. I roamed around the Apple store. I had Asian Chicken Salad at the Cheesecake Factory (as it turns out, you can actually get in there on a weekday). When Ben woke up wailing, I headed over to Nordstrom's family lounge.

I sat there for about 45 minutes, letting Ben nurse. In recent years, I have found it virtually impossible to just do one thing. I'll write or answer email as I watch TV. If I'm reading a book, I'll jump up frequently to take care of something. I'm driven by the endless to-do list in my head, and the delusion that I'll be able to get everything done if I tackle one more task. But I've gotten into the Zen of breastfeeding. It helps that I'm not coordinated enough to nurse and use an iPhone for any length of time plus I have slightly neurotic thoughts about zapping cell phone radiation at Ben. Being tired also contains those multi-tasking impulses.

I was never good at nursing in public places with Max or Sabrina. It felt kind of awkward and inevitably, I ended up flashing people. I was also Boppy codependent and found it hard to do without. But not this time. I'm better at breastfeeding, and it was easy to sit in an armchair and feed Ben. Gloriously ordinary. A couple of moms came in to diaper their babies on the changing table, and we compared notes on birth weight, sleeping habits and smiles. Ordinary.

As I go about doing typical things moms of newborns do, I am so appreciative (well, excluding the sleep deprivation). I felt the same with Sabrina. Nothing much happened yesterday. Nothing much will happen today, I'm betting, or tomorrow or this week or the rest of the month. And it's all good.


  1. Ben sounds like he might be phlegmatic. Phlegmatic people are good at defusing tension and going with the flow.

  2. I think Max is right -- he does look like him! And this is a good thing.

  3. I love this, Ellen. It IS all good. It's easier to appreciate the ordinary when you've been through a not so ordinary infancy. I think it's also just easier with the third - at least it was for me. You've done it a couple of times and it's nostalgic somehow. Nursing was also easier for me the third time around (and I have the same cell phone radiation fear thing). The forced-you-must-slow-downness that comes with a newborn is a beautiful thing. Can't believe my #3 is going to be one next month!

  4. That's what is wonderful about being with kids (even older ones). They force you to be in the moment. Stay there for as long as possible.


Thanks for sharing!

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