thirty-six hours ago, as the sun was coming up on yesterday and Oscar was burbling on my shoulder, i started a post. i have just now found time to return to the computer – me, who has for years considered herself congenitally unable to go more than three waking hours without checking email. apparently, in embarking on this journey together, both Oscar and i have umbilical cords to disentangle ourselves from. his – which is clinging by a thread at this point – seems to be less traumatic for him to shed. :)

i am, however, enjoying myself, in these early days of carting the wee bundle about the house and town. and i am noticing things. sleep deprivation enhances certain powers of observation.

observation one: the personage the child resembles most is neither me nor Dave, but the Buddha. right down to the oversized earlobes and the smugly peaceful smile. in Oscar, the latter is merely infant gas, i’m told. but it’s a look so few of us ever achieve in adulthood…i find it kinda meditative just to be in its presence.

observation two: nursing bras deserve the “world’s most unflattering piece of lingerie” award, hands down. even in competition with the rest of the ancient, nondescript cotton skivvies in my closet, these peekaboo wonders – already lanolin-stained and stretched out of shape – are nasty ugly. no wonder breastfeeding is a moderately reliable form of birth control during the first few months after delivery – i suspect the bras just scare folks off sex entirely.

observation three: Oscar’s stroller has big bike wheels and bouncy suspension, but it’s no match for Charlottetown’s sidewalks – the child is threatened with shaken baby syndrome just getting to the corner. i’m stunned that i never noticed the broken-down state of our civic walkways before. or how fast small-town traffic can seem when one has to push one’s offspring through it.

observation four: there appears to be an inverse relationship between the size of one’s baby and the number of hands required to do anything. Oscar is lighter than a bag of groceries. and yet, despite how easy he is to heft, his wee floppiness makes me, newbie mother, profoundly handicapped in accomplishing said hefting while trying to do absolutely anything else. his still-slow sucking means it takes three hands just to breastfeed. i can sit myself down with the nursing pillow and a nice glass of water and a book, and then spend the next hour pumping a breast with one hand while trying to hold the slippery baby on my lap and keep a nipple in his mouth with the other, ten yards of my displaced shirt bunched bizarrely under my chin, all the while staring longingly at the water and the cover of the book. i memorized the back cover of a magazine the other day during one nursing session, but still have no idea what might have lurked inside.

i hear all this gets easier. rumour has it that one day soon i’ll have him slung under one arm, feeding happily, while i type my great novel with one hand, drink (virgin) margaritas with the other, and entertain the kitten with a cat toy clenched between my teeth. sounds great. maybe i’ll even learn to nurse effectively without having to strip flat down to the nursing bra – the popularity of public breastfeeding leads me to believe this is possible. but the learning will have to be gradual.

and if my boy grows out of his Buddha-gas-smile in the process, i’m in no rush.