Monday, April 19, 2004

The more the merrier

Misty's Aunt Wanda left this morning after having spent about a week at our house.

If you'd have asked me a month ago what I thought about such a situation, I'd have been dead-set against it. We'd read that new parents should try to avoid having visitors for the first couple weeks after birth in order to curb extra stress and allow for better bonding with the baby. It made sense to me. I knew that I'd be getting less sleep with an infant in the house, and I feared that having houseguests would prompt me to visit with them instead of taking a nap when I could. I even asked my parents to please not visit us for a couple weeks.

Now that I've actually experienced new parenthood, I can't get enough of company. I want relatives and friends to visit all the time!

For one thing, Misty is home by herself during the day, taking care of Emily. Having contact with adults helps maintain her sanity. Also, Emily tends to be better behaved for guests than for us. I think this is because those who don't see her all the time make a big fuss over her, thereby wearing her out. Then, of couse, there's the fact that one more pair of arms to hold the baby means our arms can be freed up for a few minutes to do things like eat, play with the dogs, or answer the phone.

Over the past several days, Aunt Wanda cooked dinner for us and helped Misty work in the yard. The two of them bought some potting soil and flowers and planted a whole bunch of stuff. They cleaned all the weeds out of our little garden of lilies. They even dug a hole through the rock in the ground to plant a hydrangea. This morning when Uncle Mike came to pick up Wanda, he brought some yellow bells and planted them in the yard. Everything is looking great.

the irises before this weekend's renovation

Next weekend my parents are visiting us, and I can't wait. They're bringing along my Aunt Suzy who's down from New Hampshire. That's three more people to shuffle Emily around and get her tired.

I'm not trying to imply that Emily is such a problem. It's just that a screaming child does more than merely wake you up at night — she prevents you from eating meals together, watching your favorite TV show, or even having a conversation. As I told Misty the other day, she's totally exasperating, but I can't imagine not having her as part of her family. Given the chance to change how life worked out, I wouldn't change anything. But given the opportinuty for someone else to hold her for a few minutes, I'd be delighted.

Just so long as I get her back.

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