What I really think is, "Oh shit, I do not envy you."
A year ago last week, I went into labor with the G. T and I walked into the hospital calm, smiling and holding hands. We walked out three days later exhausted, clueless and totally annoyed that we could not figure out how the damn straps on the car seat worked. (My brother actually had to drive to the hospital to help us.)
G floored us.
The lady popped onto the planet all crinkly and red and weird looking. I was embarrassed of her nose. There was something weird about it and I wondered if everyone else thought the same. T left my side immediately to be with her and I felt replaced. I wasn't all aglow and in love with her. I was hormonal and trying desperately to figure out this weird, new planet on which I had suddenly found myself. And G was literally sucking the life out of me: The hungry girl was nursing every two hours! grappling for my boob like some sort of blind rodent. I would look out the window into the alley at midnight, at 2 am, 4 am, 6 am...and I'd wonder how the heck I was gonna do this.
Our favorite survival story comes at the end of a G screaming day-into-night marathon. We were so fed up and exhausted and at our wits' end that we threw on some jeans, threw G in the stroller and walked to the bar for a much needed beer. G stopped crying. And we stopped being totally annoyed. T's advice to anyone now with a colic baby is simply, "Keep a six pack in the frig."
"Why do people do this?" We'd say to each other. "And on purpose! And more than once!"
G turned one this weekend. The year has felt like both the fastest and the slowest year of my life. She has opened up my heart. She has demanded the best of me. She has seen the worst of me. She has made me a better person. She has exhausted me and challenged me. It's been tough, but I sort of wouldn't want it any other way. After all, anything truly worth doing requires real effort, determination and strength. I am proud of our battle scars.
Today G sleeps a bit more. We understand the workings of a car seat. And T and I both think our smart, strong, highly vocal lady is the coolest thing on the planet. Even better, (and thankfully!) we're pretty sure she likes us too.
Happy one year my crazy lady!