I’ve been re-reading this book, and you know how when you go to your first OB appointment and they load you up with a bunch of pamphlets and a couple tomes about pregnancy that discuss mucus plugs in great detail and invariably include weird 70’s-style pencil illustrations of monstrous hairy vaginas midway through the process of disgorging a wailing human, well, I think there should be a nationwide movement to make sure all hospitals and OB offices distribute at least one copy of Operating Instructions to every new-mom-to-be along with the clinical stuff because it’s probably the best description of caring for a baby that’s ever been written EVER.

I’m finding it particularly comforting at the moment because Dylan’s been kind of a pill lately and has developed this unbelievable habit of gagging on his own fingers which frustrates me to no end. He barfed up an entire feeding this morning after lustfully prodding his own tonsils and I found myself slipping into some kind of reprehensible Mommy Dearest mode: picking him up and sighing in disgust, jostling him out of his outfit and into a new one, putting socks on his hands then angrily telling him to “fucking STOP it already!” when he immediately starting gnawing on the fabric — while all the while some rational center of myself watched in dismay, appalled by my lack of patience and total disregard for the fact that he’s THREE MONTHS OLD.

Anyway, Anne Lamott’s descriptions of some of the dizzying ups and downs of early parenthood are so dead-on and wonderfully written, reading the book is like taking a hot bath: such a relief. One of my favorite sections:

He falls asleep and I feel I could die of love when I watch him, and I think to myself that he is what angels look like. Then I doze off, too, and it’s like heaven, but sometimes only twenty minutes later he wakes up and begins to make his gritchy rodent noises, scanning the room wildly. I look over at him in the bassinet, and think, with great hostility, Oh, God, he’s raising his loathsome reptilian head again.

When I go over to the bassinet to pick him up, though, he looks up at me like I’m Coco the clown—he beams, and makes raspberries, and does frantic bicycle kicks like he’s doing his baby aerobics. Then I feel I can go on.

Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes: exactly.


In other news, Riley has endured yet another head-clippering and is currently sporting a pitiful/suspicious sort of bald-sheep look:


Never fear, though, he’ll fuzz right up in a couple weeks. Speaking of fuzz, apparently I’m not the only one who can’t resist that New Baby Smell:



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