Learning

I’m back in the coffee shop doing work while the Gadlet hangs out in her bouncy seat (a.k.a. the Baby Vibrator) while her father works on MATLAB. In a miracle of miracles, he dressed her this morning in COMPLETELY MATCHING clothing. I don’t know if the Dadness had left the building or what, but her pants actually went with her shirt. Go figure. And Kudos to Spousal Unit for successfully forging his way through her outfit drawer. He’s learning.

She had her 2 month birthday yesterday. We celebrated by hanging out with this completely awesome group of Mamas and Papas that I met through prenatal yoga last night. We had a total blast and the Gadlet stayed awake, alert, and completely calm through the whole evening party. She just hung out and watched everyone and everything. She’s completely observant for an infant. She only got a little cranky when I wasn’t holding her – she had an attack of the Mama’s Girl last night — even Spousal Unit wouldn’t do. (I was secretly a little pleased. Is that sick and wrong?) As a bonus for the evening, everybody loved the hot Crab and Artichoke, the Roasted Red Pepper and White Bean, and the Smoked Sundried Tomato dips that I made.

Plus, in a major developmental milestone, the Gadlet found her fists last night (or was it this morning? It occurred somewhere in between the normal human awake periods when she and I are the only ones in the whole world awake.) I watched as her pacifier fell out (a.k.a. The Baby Crack – you should see the gorked-out face she makes when she gets that thing while screaming. Total drugged-out bliss) and she stuffed her fist into her mouth, lost it as she flailed about, and then deliberately stuck the same fist back into her mouth. Isn’t she a genius? Spousal Unit (who I just called… yes, I’m insane and lurking…) said he swore she just now tried to reach for her feet. So, the Gadlet has discovered that she has limbs. Next thing you know she’ll be rolling over, crawling, walking, driving, and sky-diving.

The other developmental milestone is that she learned to shit this week. I shit you not, it is something that they have to learn. I know this because as an overprotective insane parent I called the pediatrician when it had been 4 days since any poop emerged from this kid. When one goes from what feels like 20 poops a day to none, it can be quite distressing. (As I think it was for her – for two nights running before she shat again she screamed for a couple of hours between 5-7, which was quite uncharacteristic.) Anyway, I called the pediatrician and she said that somewhere around 6-8 weeks of age, the automatic eating-shitting reflex goes away and the baby has to learn how to poop. Apparently all humans are born with this reflex that tells our guts to expel whenever anything is put into them. The Gadlet outgrew her reflex this week and so had to poop of her own volition. Finally, on Friday when I was hanging out with some of my yoga mamas and babies, the Gadlet let one rip. It was very smelly and gross, so I went up to change her. While I was changing her, more poop emerged. And more. And more. I stood there for 20 minutes gagging and holding diapers under her ass as she crapped out 4 days worth of poop. It was quite an adventure. It also made me glad that we’re getting cloth diaper delivery starting tomorrow since I threw away 3 diapers just so she could complete that pooping adventure. (FYI the service diapers are washed in an “eco” process and the delivery truck is run on veggie diesel. Don’t I win the greener-than-thou award?)

Anyway, so this week, my child learned to shit and find her limbs. I know I didn’t learn anything nearly so important this week.

Enough about the Gadlet’s bodily functions — back to me at the coffee shop. I’ve set myself a goal of finishing the revisions on this chapter by Nov. 15, which seems completely doable. In fact, I only have 27 more pages to dig through. (This is the 2nd round of revising this one…) I’ve managed to work about every other day this week. Mostly thanks to Spousal Unit, who came home from work during the day on Thursday to babysit, and who is hanging out with her now.

When I finish this chapter, I will have to bite the bullet and approach The Advisor – who I haven’t seen since, um, March? Gulp. But, I’ll jump off that bridge when I get there.

I suppose in a weird way, finishing this dissertation will be a lot like learning to shit — not pleasant, pretty damned uncomfortable, better than the alternative and fundamentally necessary.

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2 responses to “Learning

  1. we’re in the middle of a search right now in our department and oh, please, I hope we accidentally hire someone was funny as you who will have little parties and make good dips. I sooo need a pal around here.

    See, others in the universe also want you to finish!

  2. … but there are fewer diapers involved in the diss. Unless you’re doing long-distance-driving dissertating, in which case? I’d rather not know.

    Huzzah to the Gadlet for getting things into (hands) and out of (shit) her body. Almost ready for grad school 🙂

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