Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hey, there's a world out there!

Amalie turned six weeks old this past Wednesday. I have to say that the past week-and-a-half has been rewarding for Mommy, because little girl has started noticing things outside of herself. At four weeks she started really, truly looking into our eyes, and at 4.5 weeks or so she gave us her first smile in direct response to our voices and gazes. Now she smiles reliably to us and to her favorite visual stimuli.
The most popular is her Zanzibar mobile. The zebra and elephant are particular favorites. Jon jokes that the mobile is like "baby heroin", because it is guaranteed to make her smile and gawk unless she's in complete meltdown.
The other favorites are black and white patterns. She has flash cards and a Powerpoint filled with black and white clip art. She takes note of any high contrast stimuli, including the ceiling fan and picture frames, if they're dark enough. She loved visiting Grandma Driscoll's art studio yesterday.
Mom report: I am experiencing some anxiety over all of the things that are on my "to do" list for work that aren't getting done. I feel like I have snippets of time that could be used for writing my grant proposal, but my cognition and motivation are impaired by the sleep deprivation and my new "milk truck" role.
I understand completely that it is silly to worry about the "to do" list when I should be relaxing and enjoying this special time with my daughter. I think that the drive for productivity has been so ingrained for so long that it cannot be separated from my identity, at least not very easily. After all, it has served me well professionally. This will be an opportunity to grow, to think about how I frame my life priorities. Amalie and Jon are always going to be first, which will mean NOT having guilt about making work second. Guilt is a fascinating phenomenon that reveals much about the person experiencing it, including assumptions that we make about our world, baggage that we carry from earlier in life, expectations that we have and assume that others have for us.

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