We have officially entered the six-week mark since Dylan’s birth, and I feel as though some critical milestone has been reached. Things feel much better in a multitude of small ways, and I’m not sure if there have been actual changes and improvements or if I’m just adapting — or maybe there’s been a happy combination of all three.

The baby is definitely not barfing as much, which brings me great joy. It’s much easier to feel good about a caring for a creature who isn’t constantly and unpredictably about to firehose a gallon of curdled sour milk onto your lap, you know? We’ve cycled through a few different formulas and are back at square one with the regular non-specialty stuff, so I don’t know if that was ever the problem. Maybe it just took a while for his tiny system to get programmed into Digest Mode instead of EJECT, PREFERABLY INTO SOMEONE’S BRA.

I think I’m getting better at knowing what he needs, too. Babies are like little puzzles, you have to constantly figure out if they’re hungry or tired or bored or what, and even if you do decipher what the hell is up their ass, providing the appropriate response can be complicated. Like maybe he’s tired, but he won’t just obediently fall asleep, he needs to be wrapped like a burrito so his flailing limbs won’t rake out an eyeball and stuffed in the swing with the stupid 7-minute-only audio set to white noise, NOT music. Or maybe he’s bored, but plopping him down on a blanket and moseying off to file your nails isn’t going to do the trick, he needs someone’s face to be hovering inches from his own while hearing “WHO’S a tinytopus? Is it YOU? Is it YOUUUU?”

He has become WAY more fun in the last week, much more interactive. I mean, we’re still talking about a 6-week-old baby here, he’s not exactly a lively conversationalist, but he’s losing that blurry newborn I-Have-The-Mental-Capacity-of-a-Housefly vibe and starting to become more aware of his surroundings. He’s well on the way to smiling, not quite busting out the full social smile yet but doing that full-body baby thing where their wiggling and pooched cheeks tell you they’re happy.

I like to nuzzle his face with my own and pretend that his excited openmouthed lunging means he’s trying to give me a kiss, rather than attempting to latch onto my nose and furiously suck it inside out.

My overall mood has improved to the point where I have stopped thinking this was the worst move I ever made in my entire life, and maybe that’s not something that needs to get printed out and saved in the baby book but it is sort of momentous nonetheless. I have no doubt we will have many hard moments and days ahead, but by god I am glad to be past these first weeks. I feel like I’ve been in boot camp, without the rock-hard abs to show for it.

Speaking of boot camp, how many pushups can you do? Real ones, with arms bent to 90 degrees and not using your knees, I mean. I can do about ONE, which I discovered last night on a “I wonder how many pushups I can do?” whim. That seems sort of pathetic, like what if the zombie apocalypse descends and I need to be able to, I don’t know, perform a life-saving pushup? My goal is to be able to do ten by next week. Stay tuned for details of my inevitable failure and humorous groin injury.

FAMILIAL SUCROSE:

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mona
14 years ago

I can do about three “girl” push ups and only one real push up before I become red-faced and delirious.

Swistle
14 years ago

“How many” push-ups? I don’t understand the question. It sounds like you want a numerical answer, and yet…?

“I have stopped thinking this was the worst move I ever made in my entire life” needs to be printed on SOMETHING. Maybe not the baby book, but a t-shirt? Cross-stitch?

Swistle
14 years ago

NO! I know what it should be!! A PIN!! Like in 12-step programs! Week Six should have a “I have stopped thinking this was the worst move I ever made in my entire life” pin!

annie
annie
14 years ago

As always, thank you for your honesty! I wish I had known about your blog three months ago when I was feeling what you are writing. I felt alone with my feelings. I bet there are countless women out there who you are helping feel normal and amongst friends! Thank you for that!

Jill
14 years ago

Oh my god that dimple! It’s been said before, but you make adorable children.

The push-up thing…I can do several of the 90-degree kind before collapsing, but have you tried the kind where your elbows go back along your sides instead of out to the side? I completely fail at those. Upper body strength is not my, er, strong point. I guess it’s time to dust off my dumbbells.

Mary O
Mary O
14 years ago

I don’t think I could do any pushups. Not one. I should work on that.

My grandma (who had a lot of babies) told me once that there is something special about the 6-week mark in a baby’s life. Fussy babies usually figure it out around that time and get nicer. I’m glad Dylan’s figuring it out.

Keri
14 years ago

That dimple is absolutely delicious! I look forward to seeing a pic of him smiling soon! =) As for push-ups, no can do since I’m preggers…yay! ;)

McWriter
14 years ago

I think I can do about 20.

But I haven’t had a baby. Or two. It’s just me and my triceps here. :o)

Congrats on being “out of the woods”.

Rock on with your SuperMom self!

Naomi the Strange
14 years ago

I can’t do any pushups. But I can bench press 70lbs. hahahaha. Lame, right. Anyway.

AndreAnna
14 years ago

My husband’s main reason for getting a trainer at the gym was so he could really fight and protect us from zombies.

He has a whole plan of where we will run, etc.

Buying him that Zombie Survival book was a baaaaaad idea.

Siena
14 years ago

I recently read that a 40 year old man should be able to do 24 (or was it 27?) pushups, and a woman of that age should be able to do 16. I’m 32, and I can do two pushups – if you consider the second grunting, red-faced, sweating second one to be an actual complete pushup.

I’m determined to get better on this. I will defeat you, pushups!

AmyBow
14 years ago

does your belly have to leave the floor to do a pushup?

how cute are Dylan’s little legs though? Seriously, how do you not eat him up? Ah…maybe the puking and curdled milk smell are a defense mechanism!

kalisah
14 years ago

WTF? Push ups? I don’t think I can do ANY.

Andrea
14 years ago

Push Ups? You mean those really good ice cream things that come in the cardboard tube that unfortunately looks like the cardboard that toilet paper is wrapped around and there’s a plastic disc at the bottom that you push up on to get to the ice cream?

I could do about ten of those in one sitting.

If you mean the exercise, my brain just tried to tell me it was too tired to think, so I doubt I could even get it to command my body to try one.

But I’ll take an orange flavored push up, please.

chellebird
chellebird
14 years ago

Oh, push ups. Man, even when I was working out regularly with my kickboxing instructor, I could never get above 15. I got up to 15, and it was just the absolute upper limit. I could do a bunch more girlie-style, but no more manly army style ones.

Emily
14 years ago

Ooo, push-ups! I can DO those! At last testing time, it was roughly 46 in two minutes. Thank you for helping me feel bad-ass today. And I’m really glad you’re feeling better, since I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but your baby has DIMPLES. Dimples are like Automatic Happy pills.

Christina
14 years ago

I think you’re doing great. Better than I was at 6 weeeks. I didnt come around to maybe this isnt going to kill me until about 9 weeks and he is my first.
Pushups? HA! I can do about 15 girl style, 2 real ones. I’d be careful if I were you, what will Dylan do if you’ve lost all strenght and cannot pick him up? HA! I remind myself of the time I did So-many-lunges, I had to use the handicap stall….

Peggasus
Peggasus
14 years ago

I can do about two ‘guy’ pushups, and about 36 more ‘girl’ pushups, thanks to the drill sergeant who is the Wednesday strength class instructor. Aaargh, it’s tomorrow! I hurt for two days afterwards. It’s like that chattarunga (sp?) yoga move, I never have been able to do that.

Oh, look at that dimple! So cute! I loved it when the babies went from ‘Blob:Stage I’ to ‘Blob:Stage II: The Sequel.’

moo
moo
14 years ago

OMG, you just made my uterus openly weep for baby #2.

Zoe
Zoe
14 years ago

Hi Linda,

I have been following your blogs…among others…here as well as on parent dish for quite some time now. And I guess I just figured it’s time to say ‘hello’ :)

Congrats on the six weeks!! Such a magical time this is…a tiny little newborn actually turning into somthing somewhat *human* lol

I lost my only child 3 years ago at 10 months of age in a car accident. I miss her so very much. I have no family at all…save for one very spoiled rotten little dog…and in a coupla week 2 new kitties!!

I know this may sound a little creepy..but don’t worry…I’m not like some stalker kinda person…and I’m totally on the opposite side of the country from you anyway! lol I just wanted to say thanks…for writing…for sharing so much of your life with others. I tend to kinda just sit on the sidelines now and watch others go on I guess. And I really do look forward to seeing your posts each day…you are such a wonderful writer…and have such a beautiful family. :) Just remember that no matter how hard it gets…and how much sleep you lose…and how many pushups you hafta to do…it’s all so much worth it. So so much worth it. :)

Anyways, this was just supposed to be a hello…so “heya” from way over here in MA.

Keep on enjoying your children. This time is so precious…and so are they!

Zoe :)

Pickles & Dimes
14 years ago

Awww…that dimple!!

I used to be able to do 25 pushups without stopping, but I have not exercised in a million years and this morning I tried to do ONE and my shoulder blades spasmed.

Not looking good, there.

Nancy
Nancy
14 years ago

The dimple…. I wants to NOM it.
He’s beautiful — in fact, all three of your guys are just adorable. Congratulations to making it to 6 weeks with your cool intact!

Joanne
14 years ago

I agree, at six weeks it just all starts to look … possible, right? Not great, but maybe someday will be great.

I can do maybe five pushups? I mostly do girl ones, though. If you are doing ten by next week, I am going to hate you. Just so you know. :)

Pete
Pete
14 years ago

Does it count if I start with my arms extended and just go to the ground. If it does then I can do one push up (fall down). Congrats on making it the first six weeks.

Christina
14 years ago

This made me giggle loudly in my cubicle:
“I like to nuzzle his face with my own and pretend that his excited open mouthed lunging means he’s trying to give me a kiss, rather than attempting to latch onto my nose and furiously suck it inside out.”

Thank you I need a good chuckle!

ikate
ikate
14 years ago

What is it about 6-weeks? Like some cosmic switch gets fliped and all of a sudden it’s like “Ohhh – this is what it supposed to be like!” Still hard as hell but with a few little warm fuzzies to make life bearable.

I feel so bad for women who have to go back to work at this point. I was lucky enough to stay home for about 14 weeks so the “not so bad” weeks outnumbered the “good god what have I done?” weeks during maternity leave.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

Oh I love that dimple!!

Becky
Becky
14 years ago

“I like to nuzzle his face with my own and pretend that his excited openmouthed lunging means he’s trying to give me a kiss, rather than attempting to latch onto my nose and furiously suck it inside out.”

Oh that was one of my FAVORITE things to do….

I was so pleased at the 6 week “switch”…and I was even happier at the 12 week “switch”….

Kim
Kim
14 years ago

Your arms always look amazingly toned and strong for not doing push-ups. I can do none – I was not given the gift of natural upperbody strength, and for some reason as much as I love a stairclimber, treadmill and aerobics – I can’t stand working the one area that needs it the most.

jonniker
14 years ago

HAHHAHAHAHA, push ups. You kill me. Like, ONE, Sundry. ONE. AT BEST.

Ahem.

Honestly, I am so grateful for posts like these, because it’s nice to see someone that I have a lot in common with deal with being a mom realistically — acknowledging the shitty parts AND the good parts. You’re one of the most balanced, realistic people I know when it comes to motherhood, and I’ve said this to you before, but you, above almost anyone else I’ve ever known, make me feel like maybe I could be someone’s mother and not only survive, but enjoy it. So thank you.

Jeanette
14 years ago

Those cheeks just cry out to be kissed and nibbled on!

Quiana
14 years ago

Quite a while ago I watched that movie, The Descent. There were these skinny noodle-arm model types crossing caverns using hooks and crap-ons jammed in the cave roof and I laughed till I cried.

So I started doing push-ups in case I am ever forced to escape from subterranean monsters using only my arms.

Ahem. I could do two when I started. Now I can do 15. But my shoulder has been bugging me.

Moral of the story:
1. Stay out of caves full of monsters.
2. Doing push-ups will jack up your shoulder. BUT (in case you did not understand #1) may prevent cave dwelling monsters from feasting upon your flesh.

All Adither
14 years ago

A big fat zero on the push ups.

Six weeks is better than six days. Six months is better yet. And six years? I can hardly wait.

Still, I’m trying to appreciate it as it comes.

Schnozz
14 years ago

There are lots of white noise CDs and downloadable mp3s out there. Forgive me if this has occurred to you, but do you have a CD player or some other speakered device you could put near the swing? If so, I’d get my hands on one of those mp3s and play it while he swings–the one I have is an hour long!

I’m all about helping you attain your napping goals. PRIORITIES.

WCD
WCD
14 years ago

I can do 254

Ang
Ang
14 years ago

NO push ups for me. And I’m Taebo girl! I blame my wobbly girlie arms because the spouse (who’s in the same physical condition I’m in — think couch and potatoey) can do at least fifteen. Let him strut around, because Me? Yeah, I can totally roundhouse kick over his head.

Jennifer
14 years ago

I do ok with the dainty lady push ups but as far as in-shape person push ups, it’s not happening. I need to work on that.

So glad to hear things are improving with the little guy. It’s neat to watch them change from amorphous blob to nifty little being.

Meg
Meg
14 years ago

I can do, like, zero pushups. My goal is to be able to do 30. But no way in hell do I think I can do 10 by next week. More power to ya, sister! If you’re able to, I’ll start trying harder. Er, make that trying. To do any. Good luck!

Also, I am grateful to know that there is a period in which parenting feels like the worst decision ever and that it also passes. I have yet to cross the “become a parent” bridge and sometimes I get too terrified to think I’ll ever want to, but knowing there are, in fact, times of joy makes me think maybe it’ll be okay. Of course, my hormones are screaming, “of course it’ll be okay, procreate already!” but it’s my brain that’s so terrified. I’ll stop rambling now. You’re awesome for sharing all that you do, that’s all I’m saying!

Mandy
Mandy
14 years ago

DIMPLE!! so cute!

MRW
MRW
14 years ago

Push ups without using my knees? ha HA HAHAHA! Whew, hilarious. Seriously, I have the weakest arms. I was working out regularly with weights doing The Firm awhile back and got better, but then I blew out my shoulder playing Wii tennis (no comment) and am now back to square one. I need to get my arms in shape so I can effectively fight off any potential zombie attacks!

JenL
JenL
14 years ago

Your baby is beautiful (actually, your children are beautiful).

anyways, to answer the question: right now, I can do about 10 real pushups. in my prime, 38. That was for an Army Physical Fitness Test (and I am old, yo, at least by army if not internal standards), so not bad. I need to start actually exercising again (that NYT piece did guilt me a bit).

Kay
Kay
14 years ago

I can do about ONE

Then, my dear, you are able to do one more than I can.

My little Marine recruit 20 yr old son puts me to grave grave shame. I cannot even do one pull up either. (sigh) But YOU, can do more than your son I bet. Well, Dylan anyway. Heh. ;)

Imstell
14 years ago

Push ups? I can do exactly one half of one push up. Once my boobs get that near the floor I am overcome by the sudden urge to nap.

If you are determined to follow this tortuous path to upper arm strength I can share a secret to success with you. I work for the National Guard. They tell the recruits that if you do push ups every time you go to the bathroom you will soon be able to pass your fitness test. I’m sure it would work for you. Though WHY you would want it to is beyond me…

Lesley
Lesley
14 years ago

Strangely I have no trouble doing the cobra pose (which is haaaaaaaard) and no trouble holding myself up in the full pushup position but actually going up and down? Impossible, and I’m not sure why. I can do 20 pushups at one time from my knees (ankles crossed in the air variation). Still can’t figure out how to do a decent pushup on the gymnic ball. It’s just too effortless to seem right.

Tinytopous looks like a delicious dumpling in that pix.

Marie
Marie
14 years ago

I just read this and had a “I wonder how many push-ups I can do” moment myself. I just got down and did 10. I am quite pleased now and will go have some ice cream to celebrate. I’m sure I have my 20+ pound baby to thank for the arm strength, though. And Turbo Jam.

Your family is beautiful.

Cassandra
14 years ago

27 was the highest I ever got without having to take a break.

(And by take a break, I mean pitifully collapsing.)

brad
brad
14 years ago

25, but i’m a young guy, so maybe thats not so impressive
why don’t you turn off the sound on the swing and play soothing baby music on a little boom box nearby.

Karl
Karl
14 years ago

On the white noise thing: you might want to check out http://www.marpac.com. We’ve been using a Marsona for years. I just wish we had discovered them when the kids were babies.

I can do about 30 pushups without killing myself, but they always came relatively easy to me.

KarinNH
KarinNH
14 years ago

I can do 8 pushups…but in my house I’m a slacker. My 17 year old does them with his feet on the counter or the arm of the couch. Sigh.

The NYT article says a 40-year old woman ought to be able to do 16, but the Army website says at least 13 for their annual physical test and 6 for a score of 50 on the Basic test if you are between the ages of 37 & 41.

I will say my arms are looking pretty good…I’m 46 and NOTHING moves. (Ahem…a little side note: they move everything else back up where it belongs too. I am surprised every woman in the world doesn’t do them. Worth every single torturous minute.)

glambertz
glambertz
14 years ago

I feel bad because I am just coming out of that “Oh god what have I done to us?” phase, and my daughter is turning one in a few weeks! But, then nature (she is a bitch) comes and bites me and now I am all like “Ahh, I miss holding a newborn” WTF??? Am I mad? I had PPD and I am finally clawing my way out. There were a few times where I was like “Maybe the hospital will take her back” But now, when I pick her up and she is smiling and her legs are kicking a mile a minute, I realize “Wow, how did I get so lucky?” Nature..she is a wicked wicked bitch.