Dear Olivia: Week 4

Dear Olivia,

You’re throwing your hands in the air like you just don’t care, because you and I had a girls’ day out this week.

It wasn’t something I had planned on. But the night before had been really tough, and morning found me lying on the floor in my bathrobe while your sister built block towers around the terrycloth heap of exhaustion that was your mother. I asked your Grammy to come over for a bit to hang out with us, just so I wouldn’t be outnumbered by pint-sized people, but she did one better: not only did she come over (and I got to SHOWER, hallelujah!); she also decided that she’d take Natalie to a local children’s museum.

So it was that your sister waved us a brief farewell, and you and I sat there and stared at each other for a moment like, “Now what?”

My brain immediately started whirring with possibilities. We could literally do anything. The day was ours to seize!

But first: responsibilities. We had some errands on our list that were much more easily accomplished with just the two of us than with your sister in tow, so we did those.

And then, after realizing that we had PLENTY of time before Grammy returned with your sister, I decided it was a treat yo self kind of day. And so I did. We went to McDonalds, just so I could verify whether the Twix McFlurry was everything I’d dreamed it would be (it was). We cruised through the children’s consignment store and found an adorable outfit for you, and a ring sling for $30 (woohoo!). We popped some tags at another thrift store, since my postpartum wardrobe is very, very sad right now and I desperately needed some tops somewhere in between “maternity muumuu” and “stuffed sausage.”

You were a dream to travel with. You slept almost the whole time, waking only at very convenient moments so I could nurse you, change your diaper, and lull you back to sleep either in your car seat or the wrap.

The difference in perspective between that day and my first solo outing with your sister is, well, laughable. I was SO NERVOUS to go anywhere with her. Scared she’d cry (because surely I’d be the first mom whose baby EVER cried in public), scared I’d need to nurse her, scared that I wouldn’t be able to handle whatever might happen.

But now, with you? Never in a million years would I have thought that spending the day alone with an almost 4-week-old would be relaxing, but it was. We were footloose and fancy free!

Not much has changed in terms of newborn temperament. You and your sister are both pretty easygoing. The difference is that now I know I can handle it. Whereas Natalie had my undivided attention, but also all my first-time-mom anxiety, too, you’re reaping the benefits of a calmer, more laid-back mama who’s much more confident in her abilities — even if I do have to keep one eye on your sister ALL THE TIME.

Seems like a good trade to me.

I’m still learning the ropes when it comes to caring for both of you at once, but one at a time? Especially someone like you who sleeps for eighteen hours a day? I got this.

Love always,

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