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Friday, April 18, 2008

when the escape might not be worth it

My darling Zoe is getting progressively fussier. It’s the must-be-bounced-and-carried-or-nursed-to-fall-and-stay-asleep kind of fussy. Yesterday I desperately needed a nap, but she wouldn’t stay asleep, so finally I gave up and strapped her in the bouncy chair so at least I could shower. Then, I wanted so badly to check e-mail and maybe even write a sentence or two—A SENTENCE, people. I wasn’t even shooting for a whole paragraph—so I drove her around the neighborhood until she fell asleep, then I snapped the car seat into the stroller and took her to a cafe. She slept for all of twelve minutes before she began screaming. I tried to nurse her, but she pulled back, apparently in pain. I was awkward with the nursing because I was sitting on a tall stool and trying not to flash the whole restaurant, so I didn’t notice until I had gotten her back in her car seat (still screaming because nothing I did would calm her) and frantically packed up my laptop that the front of my shirt was soaked with milk. Lovely.

I was finally able to calm her down when we got home, and she fell asleep for twenty minutes before we had to go pick up Stella at pre-school. More screaming, more of me singing the Twinkle variations.

But there was escape at the end of the day. I had a hefty gift certificate for a salon down the street, and I had decided that I would get my hair highlighted. This is a big deal for me—I’ve never colored my hair. So I pumped, nursed Zoe until she fell asleep, and passed her off to D, wishing him luck as I dashed (as fast as I could) out the door.

I left with enough time before the appointment to get a glass of wine at the fancy restaurant near our house, and I was giddy as the waitress seated me at a quiet table. I ordered a glass of Pinot Gris and a cabbage, beet, and bleu cheese salad. Then I opened Charles Baxter’s new novel, The Soul Thief. What could be more divine than a crisp, minerally glass of wine, a salad with bleu cheese, and a perfectly crafted sentence? I was only there for a half hour, but it was heavenly.

Midway through the hair appointment, D called and said that Zoe had been crying for two hours. She did drink a little of the milk, but he couldn’t do anything to calm her. I said I was sorry, but there was nothing I could do—squares of foil protruded from my head like many metallic wings.

D was exhausted when I got home. He was reading to Stella as Zoe wailed. I nursed the poor dear for a long time and she finally fell into deep sleep. She looks so peaceful when she sleeps. All I can do is press my lips to her head and breathe her in.

This morning, when I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror, I was startled by my hair. Instead of a washed up ‘80s rock star, I now look like the washed up girlfriend of an ‘80s rock star. I’m not sure this is an improvement.


Melissa said...

Sometimes it takes a few days for a haircut's full fabulosity to become apparent. Hang in there. :)

On a practical note, if Zoe seems pained when nursing: could she have thrush? That would be something fixable, at least! Again: Hang in there!

Emmie (Better Make It A Double) said...

Oh, those stolen moments that don't quite work out are hell, aren't they? I should come and spell you sometime-I'm good at tolerating crying babies. Not that you asked for advice (and feel free to ignore) but the baby Whisperer has some great stuff for this age. I rented his DVD from the library, and it helped a lot.
See you soon!

K said...

The Baxter is wonderful especially that early chapter, at the party. And I followed the restaurant link and kept repeating in my best Homer Simpson voice, "Grilled Fisher Farms pork chop with chourcoute bread pudding and espresso baked beans."

--Your Shallow Friend

Ines said...

Oh! there is no consolation when one needs a nap and cannot get. I only wish I could be there to be there so you could sleep for at least half hour? Hang in there...

Emmie (Better Make It A Double) said...

I'm an idiot -I meant Happiest Baby on the Block (Harvey Karp), not the Baby Whisperer.

kate said...

Melissa, I was worrying about thrush. It doesn't look like that, but I'll get her checked out. Maybe it is?

Emmie, thanks for the book tip.

Toby's Mom said...

Kate, I'm so sorry to hear you're having a rough time. I hope something works for Zoe soon. Take care.