Monday, June 25, 2012

The grandbaby blues

"It's been a long time since I've seen the high plains of expectation."

OK, it's been 102 degrees here for the past couple of days and like a lunatic I have been torching. Partly to finish a project I am working on, partly because I'm just plumb crazy.

Yesterday, intermittently, I smelled something that smelled like fuel fumes. So I got out the soap water and painted all the propane fittings and nothing bubbled.

But I kept smelling it today and it was starting to give me a headache, so I shut everything down. Before I closed the garage doors I wheeled the trash bins out because tomorrow is trash pickup and once Neil gets home and parks his car I can't get them out without moving my car.

As I wheeled the trash bin past my car I got an extra strong whiff of that chemical fuel smell. I thought maybe my car had a gasoline leak so I got down and looked under it. Nope, nothing leaking.

And then it hit me. I opened the trash bin and almost passed out. Something inside was rotting to high heaven and the smell was just like putrid exhaust fumes.

I never put anything in the trash bin in the garage before trash day in the summer. I even keep anything that might stink in the refrigerator until trash day. The housekeeper didn't come last week, and nobody else under this roof but me ever takes out the trash.

I still was feeling queasy and baffled, but relieved that I'm not in any imminent danger of blowing myself and the studio to kingdom come. When Neil got home I asked him to take the trash out, even though that is usually my job, because there was no way I was opening that lid again.

The little mystery was solved when Neil said that there still was trash in the can when he put it back at the end of the day on trash day a week ago. He said he figured the trash people weren't coming. There wasn't enough trash to bother putting it out on Friday (since I didn't know the bin wasn't empty). I sure hope the trash collectors come tomorrow. The earlier the better.

I'm feeling a bit ruffled tonight after a call from my daughter, the new mama. She had a complete meltdown. I thought she was doing so well, and suddenly she was a puddle of hormones and uncertainty. I remember the feelings, especially that one when the baby isn't eating or sleeping or having a bath, and you suddenly think, now what? What do I do with this wriggling, breathing tiny, fragile creature who is awake but not yet old enough to play in a playpen or watch a video or even shake a rattle. The one who fusses when he isn't hungry or wet or warm or cold.

I tried to explain, and I hope she heard me, that all babies fuss sometimes for no reason. She said she doesn't know what he wants and I said, he doesn't know what he wants either. My theory is that babies have to cry a certain amount as part of their development, it probably strengthens their lungs and it is one of the limited ways that they can interact with the world and learn about their environment.

Listening to him fuss on the phone line, I thought how unique every baby's cry must be because I would recognize him from his cry every time. I would like nothing more than to hold him and let Kandace sleep for 10 hours, because I know she is exhausted and I don't think she comprehends what a huge toll giving birth takes on your body and she is beating herself up for feeling bad and tired and sad and scared. She feels guilty for handing Ryland off to her husband the minute he walks in the door and thinks she is doing everything wrong.

I think she is doing so many things right and I'm so proud of her and I'm sad that she is hurting. The baby had his two week checkup today and he gained 11 oz. just on his mama's milk, I think she is doing an incredibly good job. I wish she could feel that. I offered to come back up for a few days and she said her mother-in-law wants to come and her dad and her sister. I said, good, let them come and let them hold the baby as much as they are willing to. I was planning to go up again in July and will just work around the other visits.

In the meantime I will monitor the situation and call more often and encourage her, and remind her that it won't always be this way. It may be hard in different ways. But this stage will pass.

I just love them both so much.

"And the last time I passed through satisfaction I felt like a stranger there, now I'm leaving normal and I'm heading for who knows where." Michael Timmins, Cowboy Junkies

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz