Happy New Year!

Everyone is saying 2021 was a shit year, as bad if not worse than 2020, and I get it, but Edith joined us this year, so I can’t really feel any other way than that it was the best year of all time, not just for me personally but also for all mankind even though they don’t necessarily know it.

One of the main things that I’ve really taken note of throughout the pandemic is how many people were truly genuinely happy before it. I don’t mean to sound cynical — I’m not exactly surprised that people were happy and enjoyed their lives.

But no, actually, I am surprised! How were you all that happy, and I didn’t know it? You didn’t seem like it at the time. I mean, you all seemed okay, I guess, but I didn’t realize that everyone else was having so much fun. I guess I thought we were all just “whatever, it’s fine” about things, but y’all were really into it!

I wasn’t happy at all; I was a miserable sack of shit for…I don’t even know how long, really. I had no right to be, it was no one’s fault but my own, and I realize it’s ungrateful to be miserable when you have a lot of privilege, but studies all indicate that we have innate set happiness levels, so my unhappiness was less about my circumstances and more that I’m simply a melancholic person. I didn’t realize how miserable I was until I had Edith because I had forgotten what being invested in life even felt like, but now I’m excited about the coming year because a lot will be happening and I am looking forward to all of it, new things are happening every day. Edith’s going to walk this year and she’s going to talk. She’s going to turn one. She’s going to get more teeth and get bigger and do a bunch of other stuff. Meanwhile, I get to hang out with the coolest person I have ever met all day every day (and all night, sometimes, though I don’t love that as much), and I’d rather live through general societal collapse and environmental devastation with Edith than in stable, normal times without her.

For example, today I was sitting in the playroom with Edith and she became absorbed in standing at her bookshelf and pulling all her books into a pile on the floor. Since she didn’t need me for the moment, I took a second to look at Twitter, and when I looked up, half of Edith’s diaper had come undone somehow and there was (suddenly, unexpectedly) a load in it and a poopy footprint on at least one of the books. I have no idea how it even happened; I had only looked down for a fraction of a second. Dealing with that killed at least an hour, during which time I wasn’t able to think about anything going on with the broader world — for that period of time, my concerns were very clear, immediate, and actionable. See? Every day with her, there is something brand new and unexpected. She brings so much to my life, she’s blown my whole heart open.

Meanwhile, I hope you all have an unexpectedly wonderful 2022, or if not, at least a tolerably comfortable one.

First Word

At some point in the past week or so, Edith started saying “milk.” Actually, she says “muh” but it means milk. She always says it in the same way — she gets upset and kind of panicky and starts whimpering “Muh! Muh muh muh!” It took me awhile to put this together, but once I noticed it, I could see that it was significant and intentional.

Everything with a baby is astonishing — watching these tiny oozy little blobs morph into actual people who have control over their bodies and language and everything else. Whenever they’re working on some new thing, it seems absolutely impossible that they will ever master it, you can’t even envision it happening because they’re so grublike and senseless, and then they just do it, and you’re reminded that they’re not some particularly adorable species of pet but a burgeoning human being.

Edith is currently working on walking, and I can’t really picture her body in a walking posture, it seems so very unlikely, but she is determined to do it. She’s been standing for a long time, and now she’s letting go with one hand and waving around testing out letting go. I know at some point, she’ll just do it.

I’m used to her physical milestones by now, but this “muh” was the first intellectual one, and it was pretty startling! One might perhaps wish that her first word would be, say, “mama” but I guess “MILK MILK MILK!!!!” in desperate tones is fine, too.

Merry Christmas

Despite being unaware of Santa, Edith joined children everywhere in waking up periodically all night; in addition, the cold I had a few days ago hit my throat so I spent all night unable to sleep and fighting to suppress deep coughs so I didn’t further wake the baby. But since my dad is here, I got to take a nap in the morning to make up for it. Then, we opened presents and Edith’s favorite (other than the packaging) was predictably the simplest — a big metal loop with three metal “keys” on it. She crawled proudly around the house all day with it dangling from her mouth like a sentient doorknocker.

In the afternoon, my aunt and uncle came over for Christmas dinner and Edith was baffled to find herself slightly to the side of the center of attention for once. She crawled up on their feet and attempted to exert her will like she does with the rest of her staff, and was perplexed when it did not work. She was a pleasant dinner guest, though, keeping most of what was on her tray out of her hair, and blowing raspberries at everyone companionably.

I am astonishingly exhausted for someone who really just bummed around the house all day. Following around after a baby and trying to keep her out from under other people’s feet and away from the oven is tiring work, as is lifting her up and putting her down repeatedly at her command.

But Edith had a blast on her first Christmas, and that’s all that matters. Hope all of you and yours did, as well.


I’m not writing much lately because it’s frankly exhausting not being at work.

On a typical workday, my routine is as follows:

  • 4:30/5:30 am: up with Edith, change diaper, give her a bottle
  • 4:30/5:30 – 8:00 am: play with Edith, somewhere in there make coffee, possibly put on different clothes than the ones I slept in, depending how the day is feeling
  • 8 – 4:00 pm: work
  • 4 – 5:00 pm: play with Edith
  • 5 – 5:30 pm: feed Edith dinner and eat dinner myself
  • 5:30 – 6:45 pm: bath for Edith, wind down play, night bottle, bedtime stories, bed
  • 6:45 – 7:15 pm: clean up kitchen and bath, shower and get ready for bed
  • 7:15 – 9:00 pm: either watch TV or read
  • 9 – 9:30 pm: look at Twitter while telling self I should be sleeping already
  • 9:30 – ~2:00 am: sleep
  • 2 – ~2:15 am: grit teeth through shout session as Edith tries to negotiate her way into the big bed
  • 2:15 – 4:30/5:30 am: sleep

For days off, however, here’s how the middle part goes:

  • 4:30/5:30 am: up with Edith, change diaper, give her a bottle
  • 4:30/5:30 – 5:00 pm: play with Edith (with two hour co-sleeping nap break)

I’m not saying I don’t love spending time with my baby; she’s my favorite person in the whole world and all. But it’s just a LOT of time and she can’t talk to me yet, and we have a pretty limited repertoire of games and things we can play. It saps me intellectually — by the end of the day, articulating thoughts is extremely difficult.

If I could afford to, would I stay home with my baby instead of work? Well, I would stay home with her, yes, but I would also still have a full-time nanny so I could fuck around whenever I wanted to, and I don’t care what kind of mother that makes me.


Both of my parents are here, and Edith is just wallowing in triple the attention. Meanwhile, I seem to have come down with something, probably omicron from play gym, plus Edith is continuing to get up at midnight.

The tree is up, there are presents under it, there’s a fire, there are people, Edith is having a whale of a time, and I feel like I’ve been run over and left out in the rain, so I guess it’s truly my first holiday season as a mom!


Edith woke up squalling at 12:30am last night and did not stop. I checked her ears (to see if she was cold) and her diaper (to see if she’d pooped) and then let her go, and it must have been intermittent because I kept falling back asleep, but when I finally looked at the clock again, to see if it had been 15 minutes, it was 2:00am. So I caved and gave her some milk and put her in bed with me.

It was dance dance revolution happy play Edith fun time all night long, until I finally gave up and got up at 7. I guess we both napped periodically in amongst all that. I took some turns pinning her to the mattress with my arms (after which I had dreams that a stranger was holding my hand and jerking it all around as I slept on a bus) and just letting her frolic (after which I had dreams that I had adopted a guinea pig who tap-danced on my head all night). Then when she did sleep deeply and hold still for a bit, I jerked awake in a panic, fearing I had smothered her.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s because it’s colder, and she’s feeling her oats? I was completely zonked today, and this was terrible timing because it was my last work day before taking off for two weeks and I had a lot to get done. She was somehow not tired at all despite reenacting “The Red Shoes” all night long.

Babies need to sleep eventually, right? I had just been feeling like I was back to being a human being, sleep-wise, and now this. It’s like a minor COVID in my bedroom — one step forward, three steps back.


Edith woke up at 4:20 am today and she was very demanding all the long morning and when the afternoon rolled around and it was time for swimming, I just couldn’t drag myself through getting us both into bathing suits and down to San Marcos, so we didn’t go.

I felt awful about it — one of my biggest parenting fears is that I will succumb to depression and be unable to take Edith places, and so part of why we have baby gym every Saturday and swimming every Sunday is as a safety guard so that I will be required to leave the house. I really think I was just tired, but being unable to summon the energy to go somewhere is a red flag for me, so it made me feel guilty and worried and worthless.

We went to the playground instead. It was very cold out and Edith only wanted to swing for a little bit, and then she started to fuss, so we walked around the play equipment and then Edith involved herself in her usual business of trying to eat wood chips. A woman walked by and when she saw Edith she gasped and said, “Oh my, what a beautiful child!!!”

This is the proper response to Edith. Usually people just say, “aww, he’s cute!” or whatever, and that’s FINE, but Edith is not “cute;” she is stunning and miraculous, so I was pleased to meet a woman of taste who actually knew an especially fine baby when she saw one.

After awhile, I heard a rustling and I noticed that the large rectangular bush next to where Edith and I were sitting was packed full of little perfectly spherical grey birds. They were all peering out from the branches at us; they were fluffed up yet slick with bright eyes, and tiny, precise beaks. I guess people must feed them, because they weren’t frightened at all, and they kind of followed us back and forth as we went, flocking from one end of the bush to the other, and arranging themselves among the boughs with their little faces peering out in silence.

I watched them for a long time, and then we went home.

Edith’s Body

Edith sometimes sucks on her arm so hard and for so long that she gives herself a painful-looking hickey and it bothers me so much. I hate to see her hurting that little arm. I kind of understand now why some people get so upset when their children get tattoos or piercings — every inch of Edith’s tiny body is sacred to me, and the idea that she will one day treat it with indifference or even hostility is hard to wrap my mind around. But she will! It’s her body, it’s not my body, and while I hope she loves herself and loves her body, there’s no possible way that she will ever love herself as much as I love her. And she will probably go through periods of self-loathing (unless she turns out to be the most well-adjusted person I have ever met, which, here’s hoping).

Although I haven’t experienced it yet, it must be such a painful sort of helpless sadness, to see something that isn’t yours but yet is the most precious, perfect thing in the world to you mistreated by its owner.

I won’t get in her business about it, though.


so Edith spent the night in my bed again.

We had a long battle about it, and I persevered for quite some time, but in the end, she wore me down.

When she finally joined me, she blew a series of loud raspberries directly into my face, coating me with a fine mist of saliva, and then began to dance.

She feels much better today; I’m a zombie.


Well, the thing I had been dreading in addition to me being sick with a baby was Edith being sick, and lucky me, we got to experience both firsts in the same week!

Edith woke up from her afternoon nap on Sunday blazing. I took her temperature several times and it was normal, but I did not believe it. After she shivered through dinner and cried when I “flew” her to her bath (usually her favorite part of the evening), the thermometer finally showed an elevated temperature. I called the 24/7 nurse line and a very nice RN walked me through taking it rectally — it was 100.2 so not terrible, but definitely a fever. He told me what to look for and what to do, and then I sped through my evening routine with Edith perched on my hip like a sack of lead instead of asleep like she normally is, so that she could go to bed with me.

It’s been a long time since Edith fell asleep in bed with me, so I was not updated on what’s now involved in her putting herself to sleep. It turns out to be a lot of line dancing, summersaulting, and giggling to herself like Muttley, among other things, and after she finally falls asleep (flat on her face, butt up high in the air), she sleeps very actively. This shouldn’t be a surprise as Edith does everything actively, but this active sleep was very much at me. She had a long expanse of bed to herself, but she preferred to buttress herself against me and then contort and wiggle and thrash and kick and slap. At one point, I was sound asleep when a hand abruptly shoved itself through my teeth and into my mouth like the back of my throat owed it money.

All this to say that I did not sleep well, if at all. I was very worried also, so that didn’t help.

She seems better today but she’s still warm and has some swollen lymph nodes so I might take her to the doctor tomorrow if she isn’t fully over it in the morning. Meanwhile, I don’t think I can do another night of bedsharing, so the big issue this evening will be seeing how Edith takes being disinvited from the Big Bed (again) after mysteriously getting to spend a full night there. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict: not well!