One of those things is spending time in the NICU visiting my newborn baby, mostly sitting beside his incubator staring at him and sticking my hand in to cradle his head. It feels pretty strange to have a baby, then go home without him. And not be able to hold him. And have to drive to a hospital to see him.
And then there’s the constant pumping of the breast milk, which is really confusing to my boobs since they can’t seem to locate the baby they’re making milk for.
The other weird thing I thought I’d never do again is, ahem, go to Chuck E. Cheese.
Which I did Saturday.
For some reason, I find it embarrassing to even admit it.
Apart from their less-than-mediocre pizza, deafening noise level, embarrassingly pitiful “stage show”, and the constant spread of rhinovirus to every available surface by grimy little hands, I guess it’s not so bad.
But sometimes, as a mom, you find yourself doing a lot of things you never thought you’d do.
Like getting excited about going to a new playground.
Freezing your butt off at a Christmas parade just to see a dime-store Santa ride by on a float after enduring 2 hours of baton twirlers and giant cartoon character balloons. With no alcohol.
Spending 3 hours at an inflatables place just to occupy your kid.
Or knowing what an inflatables place is.
And yes, going to Chuck E. Cheese.
Gabe and I find ourselves embracing a new philosophy after my stay in the hospital and our new son’s premature birth.
Whereas we used to do a lot of things separately on weekend days, just to give each other a kid-break, now we want to do things as a family. We want to be together.
Crazy things happen. You have no control over them. They swoop in from who-knows-where and mercilessly smack you on the back of the head.
You can’t do anything but haul your dizzy self up and keep on walking.
But sometimes you change directions a little.
We can’t have our whole family together right now, except for those few moments when we take Asher into the NICU to visit Meyer. They’re brief, brief moments. Because 4-year-olds are not particularly welcome in the NICU.
But we grab them when we can.
Weird stuff happens. Some of it big, some of it little.
You find yourself in places you don’t want to be.
And Chuck E. Cheese.
My advice for surviving both places is neither deep nor philosophical.
Don’t eat the pizza.
They both have terrible pizza.