Readers, I am happy to report that we welcomed our third child to the world on December 21st. That gives Baby a 12/21/12 birthday that will, if nothing else, be easy for his aging mother to remember. I've had all three children while in academia, but this is the first one I can say was well-timed from the perspective of staying at home--I will be spending this semester with the baby, trying to fit in some research and hopefully getting back into blogging. Here's my first dispatch from my mommy semester.
Those readers who have had newborns probably understand my use of quotation marks in the title of this post. In speech I find de rigueur admittedly annoying air quotes when I mention my semester "off." Why? Because after 2 1/2 weeks the rhythm of my days has settled into more or less:
1:30ish am: Feed Baby. Hope he settles back down quickly so I can sleep for 2 hours straight.
8ish: Help get girls out the door for school. Eat breakfast. Feed Baby. Clean up from breakfast. Attend to life's miscellany
12ish: Feed Baby. Eat lunch, take walk.
2:30ish: Feed Baby. Shower, nap.
5ish: Feed Baby. Help get girls fed, bathed, and in bed.
7:30ish: Feed Baby, eat dinner, clean up.
10:00ish: Feed Baby, go to sleep.
A leisurely life it is not, especially since "feeding Baby" takes about 45 minutes. Mind you, I'm not complaining. A 2-child veteran, I knew what I was getting into with a newborn and (the key point) I know that this schedule doesn't last.
Moreover, I've happily happened on an old series on early parenting by Michael Lewis. Known to many of you for his writing on the businesses of finance and sports, Lewis also wrote some columns for Slate after the birth of his second and third children, which he later used as the basis of his book Home Game. I haven't read the book, but can report that the columns are not only are well-written and funny, but pieces like this also make me feel like this I have some company. Plus, you can read them at 2am on a backlit smartphone!
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