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:

2496650460_90cc85f8d3.jpg

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:

2495826329_f1139b890a.jpg

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
70 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Naomi the Strange
15 years ago

hey does your new kid have red hair?!? cool.

Swistle
15 years ago

Is Dylan a redhead? His hair looks red there! Also, I love your children. How can this be? But it is true. I would expend considerable effort to save them in an emergency situation. (I should write for Hallmark, yes?)

Jas
Jas
15 years ago

Aw, look at that cute, gray snout!
And, is it weird to note that your baby’s head fuzz coordinates with Dog’s fur?

justmouse
justmouse
15 years ago

omg. YOU are adorable. your CHILDREN are adorable. and that last picture of dog gently snorfling your baby? i could die.

Sarah
Sarah
15 years ago

Aww … doggie love!

stephanie brown
15 years ago

Pretty much ditto every comment made so far. I love your kids, Dylan’s hair matches dog and that trips me out, and pretty much anything else.

Pixie
Pixie
15 years ago

Okay I see several people have already said it but, Dylan’s hair looks like it is the loveliest shade of red in that last picture. I’m so jealous.

samantha jo campen
15 years ago

Love that exerpt. LOVE. And yes yes exactly. Because dude, you’re up 35 minutes later? In the middle of the night? Why why why?!?

And because I’m not original, IS Dylan a little redhead? Theo has some red in his hair too (and I’m going to look like I slept with the mail man because my husband has jet black hair and NO ONE in our family has red. Whoops!). I think my son is a copycat of yours, which is fine with me because your children are yummy.

Susan
15 years ago

OMG! I love that last photo!

Tracy
Tracy
15 years ago

love the red hair and i love how dylan and riley have the exact same hairline. adorable!

H
H
15 years ago

Aaaaawwwwww. There’s nothing like Dog Love. (Sounds a bit pornographic, but you know what I mean.)

nonsoccermom
15 years ago

What an adorable little guy!! That second picture is exceedingly cute.

Sam
Sam
15 years ago

Gotta love the Anne Lamott. She’s pretty much my personal saint of choice.

What kills me is when I hear my one start crying from his crib, and I am SO FRUSTRATED because DUDE just sleep in your crib already! And then I see him standing up and his little face crumpled and my heart melts into mushy lump…and yes, that’s why we have a kiddo who can’t sleep without us! Go us!

Caitlin
15 years ago

Not only does Dylan appear to be a Ginger…he appears to have gotten his coloring from Dog!

Additionally, his left arm appears to have been replaced with a stack marshmallows. nom nom nom.

Joanne
15 years ago

Oh my God you are so right. I loved that book but it made me cry. That passage that you quoted about the reptilian head is so, so true. I swear all the time at my sweet four month old girl. Mostly I say “are you FUCKING kidding me?” To a little baby! But honestly, I wouldn’t say it if she would EVER nap for longer than 40 minutes. She takes 100 naps a day and I am OVER it. Six months – that’s my new milestone I am waiting (praying fervently) for. THEN maybe I’ll stop swearing!

Christina
15 years ago

Do you suppose he wondering about the dog breath in that photo? He looks like he is concentrating deeply!

My son had red hair like that when he was born! SO BEAUTIFUL. Every women who saw him would say ‘oh women pay a lot of money to get that hair color and also where does he get it from? (I am a brunette naturally and my husband is blond – apparently mix that up and it makes red?!?!)

We thought for sure it would change since both hubby and I were TOW heads when we little kids but no his has stuck and turned into this beautiful strawberry blond that I seriously would die for and his hair is SO thick it makes me jealous!!!

Stephanie
15 years ago

Good lord you have some adorable little ones.

And the ass munchy dog. He reminds me of my ass munchy dog.

SherE1
15 years ago

Ah, I have those mommy dearest moments quite often. Especially when I’m sleep deprived or just plain tired. It’s kind of sad that the older two have learned to stay on the DL when I’m having one of those days. =(

Ashley
Ashley
15 years ago

they have the same color fuzz :) how cute is that. also your kids hairlines kill me – they are so damn adorable.

Nowheymama
15 years ago

I kept/keep that book on my nightstand for every pregnancy/first year of life. I want to marry Anne Lamott.

Leah
15 years ago

I have a question about the book: Is it good for moms-to-be or just moms-currently-in-the-thralls? Some things are fine for one but VERY MUCH NOT FINE for the other. I’m thinking, specifically, of how horror stories about labor and delivery can be comforting and community-building for a group of women who have already been there done that, but, as a mom-to-be, I really really really don’t want to hear about all that stuff right now.

So…this book: now or later?

Jennifer
15 years ago

“…monstrous hairy vaginas…”

I can’t even THINK about what kind of googlers you’re going to have coming your way.

Also, Dog! I can just imagine her snorffling Dylan in that pig snorty way common to labs (or at least common to OUR lab!)

wealhtheow
15 years ago

I really needed that today–both the baby and I are sick, and that excerpt describes my day perfectly.

Chris
15 years ago

it is very important for your dog and your baby to be color coordinated. LUCKY!

Marie Green
15 years ago

I LOVED all the books you mentioned… the Baby Catcher was fascinating- it made me want to be a midwife (for about 20 minutes).

I know it’s probably not your bag, but I love Anne Lamott’s other books- especially the ones about her faith. She’s just so real and UNpious (not a word, that I know of, but very accurate descrition of her just the same.)

Riley does look a tad forlorn after a haircut. Cracks me up. Also, Dylan? STOP GROWING.

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

Yes! I just read Ann Lamott’s book right before I had my son (which was about a week and a half ago, by the way). And it’s so dead on. I’m speaking from experience since I have a toddler too. How can we love them so much, yet sometimes have absolutely NO patience?

Great photos!

Carrie Bo Berry
Carrie Bo Berry
15 years ago

It is so refreshing to read your blog. Don’t get me wrong…I love my kids to pieces, but raising them is the most rewarding frustrating thing ever! Everyone writes about the good times, which sometimes makes me feel all alone in the world with my kids who drive me crazy majority of the time. You tell it like it is and for that I am one grateful mama. Enjoy this beautiful weather!

Lesley
Lesley
15 years ago

I’m betting Anne Lamott wouldn’t survive ParentDish…which is a huge compliment to you. The best writers are brave, bold, and no holds barred. The boring-est ones are politically correct harpies.

Loving the double dose of Dylan-Dog cuteness and Riley’s softcaterpillarscrunched eyebrows are adorable. It’s hard to believe Riley’s only two…I keep thinking he’s three or four.

warcrygirl
15 years ago

Awww, good Dog! And why didn’t I read these books when my babies were babies? I would have helped so much. Right now I need a book to help me get them (now ages 6 & 9) to quit punching each other in the head.

Valria
15 years ago

Dog and Dylan sooo cute!!!!
I already know for a fact I love dog and since I’m not changing diapers or getting barfed on I bet I could love baby too.

All Adither
15 years ago

I loved that book, but it kind of scared the crap out of me too. Great reading while you’re in the midst of it. But i shouldn’t have looked at it before giving birth to the reptile.

Alyson
15 years ago

Operating Instructions is my favorite book ever!

anonymous of course
anonymous of course
15 years ago

I am going to stop reading your pitiful blog TODAY.

christen
christen
15 years ago

Hey there,
This has nothing to do with this particular entry but after three years of trying to lose weight (I am a FITNESS PROFESSIONAL, people, and nothing works for me) I just bought Turbo Jam.

Because of you.

Thaaaaaanks, Flickr photo stream. ;)

I have a 5×5 space in my tiny apartment living room to work out, you think I can jerry rig some Turbo Jam moves so as not to put a foot through my TV?

Kari
Kari
15 years ago

God, Riley is just the most handsome little boy. You can completely see what he is going to look like as a young man, and holy hell, will he be a heartbreaker.

Also, I am trying to figure out what kind of miserable human being feels compelled to leave a comment about a resolution to stop reading your blog. Can’t think of a more pitiful person.

Meagan
15 years ago

“I am trying to figure out what kind of miserable human being feels compelled to leave a comment about a resolution to stop reading your blog.”

It’s because they found the site in error after doing a google search for: “rough shit + How you like mah dick.” They made all the way back to this entry before realizing that this is not in fact a scat/porn site. Disappointment leads to most natural cruelty. You have to sympathize, I mean this blog is pretty pathetic as a raunchy porn site.

Sarah Miller
15 years ago

I don’t even HAVE kids and I love that book. Gave it to my best friend when her first baby was born. Hee.

anonymous
anonymous
15 years ago

I HAD to say something, simply because her post struck as very sad. If Linda resents her adorable boys SO much, I don’t want to read about it anymore. It was my way of saying WTF? to her rant. Lots of people bitch and moan about parenting, but with much more class and tact and heartfelt honesty than she musters. My kids are not a piece of cake either, but humiliating them and calling them names on the internet is not appropriate. Here- read this blog and then complain about YOUR kids.
http://mylittlefighter.blogspot.com/2008/04/and-plot-thickens.html

anonymous
anonymous
15 years ago

Only to defend myself. Sundry,I hope you don’t have any more kids, it’s obvious you have the parenting fortitude of a lightweight.

Amie
15 years ago

Now, now. Only parents with special needs children are allowed to express their frustration over parenting. Anyone else who doesn’t sail through this circus of raising children without so much as breaking a sweat is obviously a complete and utter fuck-up who should have her tubes tied. Preferably around her neck.

/endsarcasm

sarah hart
sarah hart
13 years ago

i’m a new reader, and i LOVE your blog. i’m getting a little stalker-ish, backreading old posts in every spare moment. thank you for being so honest! i’ve been getting a bit nauseated by all the other mommy-blogs i’ve been searching (all of the I LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM EVERY SECOND AND ALL WE DO IS CRAFT AND MAKE ORGANIC BAKED GOODS TOGETHER variety, it seems). anyway, ditto on the anne lamott rec – i make it a point to give a copy to all new mommy friends (i keep a stack on hand). she is a freaking PROPHET.

cheapair.com
9 years ago

Hey, anyone ever hear about that new electrician on Chambers Street by the name of New York Electrician, 94 Chambers St, New York, NY 10007 (646) 415-6723

negozi hermes italia
9 years ago

Sur Android, aujourd’hui, difficile d’accoucher d’un clavier raté. Le tactile multipoint (10 points) de la Spark combiné au panneau de saisie de base d’Android donne ici une expérience agréable où le tapotement rapide est autorisé.

medical technologist
9 years ago

bookmarked!!, I really like your blog!

eyelash
9 years ago

This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Thank you!

Canada Goose
9 years ago

I all the time emailed this webpage post page to all my contacts, because if like to read it next my contacts will too.
Canada Goose http://www.mmbrownlow.com/otcly.cfm