It was only a few short months ago that we checked in with our friends in Maine, Brian and Elsa, for the first time. They were preparing to become parents for the first time! And then there he was. Otis emerged a bit earlier than expected, but he was healthy and oh-so-welcome to the world. Otis’ dad, Brian, took the time to kindly catch us up on life with a new baby.
Out into the World
“It was a surprise this week to glance at the calendar and see that Otis is already four months old. It’s also surprising to look out the window and see it’s finally spring, which the Mainers just call “mud season.” And it’s super surprising to find myself working an honest-to-god day job as of last week — my first following nearly eight years of full-time freelancing — while Elsa’s wrapped up her maternity leave and gone back to the co-op part-time. Big changes around le cottage du Kevin.
Otis is spending three days a week at daycare during Elsa’s shortened work week, which had been our plan from the get-go and is an iron-clad necessity now that I’m no longer working at home. So we’re all heading out into the world at least a few days a week. Otie’s really taking to it, even guzzling his bubbas like a champ, whereas he wouldn’t touch them during his first three months at home. He has a favorite bouncy chair, loves cuddling and singing songs with the super nice staff, and enjoys rolling around on the play mat with his chums in the infant room.
It was yet another nice surprise when our village’s refreshingly progressive daycare was more than happy to accommodate our gDiapers. We send the boy with a wet bag every day, three pairs of gPants, and a stack of inserts. Our landlord even came through with a dryer last month, so we’re no longer drying on the rack — nice, since woodstove season is over and the humidity is settling in. And the extra laundry loads necessitated by an infant — swaddle cloths, bassinet sheets, recently spit-up-upon onesies, and so on — don’t seem quite as gratuitous now that I suddenly have to look presentable five days a week and have “work clothes” to wash.
One downside of the new gig, though, is less time with the boy. I’m at a magazine with a small staff, headquartered just up the road in the neighbor town. On the plus side, I’m remembering what it’s like to have weekends (days of the week mean nothing to a freelancer). We’ve had fun taking Otis to the ocean here and there, and I’m looking forward to heading into Maine’s mountains for our first camping trip before too long.
Of course, I have no idea what camping with a baby is like. But of course, I didn’t know what any of the last four months were going to be like, and one of the great lessons of new parenthood is to embrace the not-knowing and simply dive in. So one of these weekends, Elsa and I will load up a diaper bag and a carrier and a tent, point the car for Mt. Katahdin, and just see how things go. It’ll be a surprise.”