The first time I felt not just new-at-this, but possibly unfit, was at Alice’s two-week well-baby visit.
She was in the middle of a bottle when Dr. Burke came in to see us and started hollering when we took it away. The doctor said, “You’re kind of a one-trick pony, aren’t you? All you care about is that bottle.”
And David said, “Uh, no. She also poos.” And we all had a chuckle until Dr. Burke spotted the spot on Alice’s belly. It looked sort of like chicken pox, and it seemed to freak the doctor out. She showed it to another pediatrician for a second opinion. She ordered blood tests and a culture and said, “I’m on the fence about whether to send her in for IV antibiotics.”
At the end of the visit, she said, “Don’t worry, your baby’s going to be fine.”
And of course, she was. But the thing is, I saw the same spot the morning before and thought, “Huh. Pimple? Ingrown?” Did not think “Ew, staph infection.” Total amateur hour over here.
More recent sources of angst have been: “Where is Alice Sleeping,” and the related “Alice, Why Aren’t You Asleep?”
Parenting books and Web sites I look at suggest putting the baby in her crib or bassinet when she’s sleepy, but not yet asleep so that she learns to put herself down.
For reals? There are children who function that way? Alice requires rocking and shushing and, when she was only a few weeks old, white noise. (Oh God, Alice, the white noise.) And crib or bassinet? No.
She will nap happily in a carrier.
In a rocker.
Like a barnacle.
And most upsetting to me, her carseat. (Flat spots! Spinal damage! Worse?)
But put her in her crib or bassinet, and her little eyes snap back open. Alice is sort of a fussy kid to begin with. Alice unrested? She falls apart. So there are few things so dispiriting as her little wide-awake eyes when they should be closed.