It’s day fourteen of my second foray into the topsy-turvy world of life post-partum. Or, to put it less egocentrically, my little boy is two weeks old today. That’s a fortnight of tiny hand-holds, of nappy roulette, of the kindness of strangers and friends, and of pushing the envelope of sleep-deprived hair-styling. The house is colonized by laundry, decorated with cards showing little blue teddies and shoes. But it’s quiet, too, besides the reassuring clunk and slosh of the machine washing the dishes for us. We’re old-timers now, me and the other half, seasoned pros: our firstborn is out at the childminder’s and this new one, the little one, is napping. He naps! The other half is working and, laundry temporarily tamed, I am bathing in the laptop’s blue glow. It’s all under control. Right now. But on this second voyage into motherhood, what I’ve learned so far is that I haven’t learned very much. The mistakes I made in the first battle-scarred month after my daughter was born? This time around I’ve avoided some, but repeated many others, and surpassed others still with mistakes far greater and, I hope, more hilarious to read about.
This blog comprises my dispatches on the mistakes I’ve made, this time and last, in this strange and sleepless world. One a day for each of the first six sleep-deprived weeks. Why blog about them? Not as a cautionary tale for others: a lot of my friends, it’s true, are heading into this treacherous territory this year for the first or second time, but I know better than to tell them how to navigate it. Even if preaching weren’t obnoxious, one of the key ridiculousnesses of life postpartum is that no one can save you from it. You just have to blunder on through and slap yourself in the forehead retroactively. If not that, then what? Maybe I want to remind myself to see the funny side as I set out for pitfalls new. Hell, maybe I just want to create a little time-capsule guilt trip for my kids. Either way, it’s good to have you along for the read. See the Big Ol’ List for an advent-calendar-style preview of my adventures in post-partum idiocy, and stay tuned.