Monday, August 25, 2008

because i LOVE a good graph

My shirt has a sizable oatmeal stain on it. I am not going to change my shirt until after Alice wakes up from her nap, and after I have fed her her cereal. In the time we've been doing the whole cereal routine, I've learned a couple of valuable lessons. The first one being, whatever is clean prior to the Cereal Endeavor, will be dirty afterwards. And whatever is dirty prior to the Cereal Endeavor, will be even dirtier. See! Look at how I've GROWN!

My oatmeal-stained shirt goes hand in hand with my new understanding of Life with Baby - and more specifically, Doing Things in Life with Baby. I have even drawn you a helpful diagram:


Anything we do with baby falls somewhere on this line. Things like giving Alice kisses and tickling her toes easily fall on the left side of the graph - smack dab in the green zone of everyday doings. Some things (like the kisses or the toe tickling) are easy easy EASY from the start. Other things, like nursing or baths or getting her dressed begin at the more difficult end of the graph - maybe not in the RED ZONE exactly, but closer to it (because the closer you get to IMPOSSIBLE, the harder things become). But like the nursing or baths or getting Alice dressed - some things get easier, the more you do them.

Like this:

Then there are some things (like, say, putting Alice on the floor and expecting her to entertain herself for an hour) that are near IMPOSSIBLE - and being the relatively smart person that I am, I wouldn't dream of trying them. I also have to add that Bogey Sucking is in the RED ZONE OF INSANITY, but I do it anyway. Because it's the right thing to do.

The biggest challenge in Life with Baby is figuring out where something lies on the graph. And it's even better when I can ascertain where something is going to be before I do it - because it makes my expectations of the outcome that much easier. If I know something is in the RED ZONE before I try it, I can hunker down and just kind of expect the screaming - no harm, no foul. If the Thing I'm Trying continues to live in the RED ZONE I might decide that it's simply not worth my while and nix it from Life with Baby altogether. And yet, as I mentioned, sometimes things do get easier...

So that's where I'm at with the whole Working Out of My Boss' House with Alice in Tow. As gut wrenchingly AWFUL as it was a week ago, I'm hoping it gets easier. I'm hoping hoping hoping that, in time, it might eek down the graph just a tad - maybe even fall outside the RED ZONE. We had another office day on Thursday (the day I published this post about the last Thursday) - and it wasn't as bad. It wasn't peachy-keen perfect, mind you, and there was still crying at inconvenient times and much much much SWEATING (on my part) - but it was actually easier. My boss continues to be a really great guy, and does want us to come back again this week. I've just got to give thanks for the small miracles of toys that Alice LOVES and a soft blankie and also the Pack and Play (which I brought with me on Thursday). (Message from Whimsy: when in doubt, bring more STUFF.)

I think that one of the hardest things (and also the most entertaining- go figure) of Life with Baby is that Chip and I continue to sort of throw new experiences at the graph and try to see where they're going to stick.

Let's work out of boss' house! (SPLAT in RED ZONE OF INSANITY)

Let's try to go to FOUR places instead of our usual limit of THREE when we run errands today! (SPLAT in RED ZONE OF INSANITY)

Our newest endeavor that has me TERRIFIED is a road trip (gulp gulp GULP) down to ---- SAN FRANCISCO. Oh the humanity. We leave on Thursday night. I'll just let you know that I've already decided that the road trip heavily resides in the RED ZONE and I am unsure how far it will move the needle IF ANY.

Oh boy.



9 comments:

Alice said...

that is an EXCELLENT graph! also very informative for the non-baby-havers like me. i like to have a frame of reference for unknown experiences; "red zone of insanity" is very, uh, descriptive ;-)

Eleanor Q. said...

I love a good graph too! If you put it in power point I'd be even more ecstatic. For me the quandry is that some events (like putting on PJs after the bath) fall into the red zone on some days and in the green zone on others. I try to see what "variables" we've changed but can't figure out a good explanation.

Amanda said...

I LOVE a good graph as well and this one was lots of fun. Fewer and fewer things will be going into the red zone the older she gets!

Pickles and Dimes said...

This is an excellent graph. You are awesome.

Good luck with the new work situation and Alice! I think after a few adjustments, you'll have a nice routine all worked out.

Susie Q said...

Like you my red zone of insanity changes day by day. Today it was Alex eating his lunch...apparently peanut butter was not on the approved list of food for Tuesday August 26, 2008. Who knew? 3 days ago it was the greatest thing in the world....sigh. Kids are crazy.

Vicky said...

I totally agree with the red zone of insanity and agree with the other posters that things that aren't on the red zone one day can be the next. I never know what will set my 3 year old off. Good luck with the working with Alice.

Tamara said...

The more you do do something with your baby, the easier it does becomes. I think it also goes along with their getting older and adjusting as well.
We'll be going on our first road trip in a week. It may not as far as you're going, but it will be the longest the little guy has ever been in the car. I suggested to my husband we leave in the evening so the little guy is sleeping most of the way. Of course, we are going to sacrafice our sleep, but it beats having a screaming baby in the back seat.

Tamara said...

The more you do do something with your baby, the easier it does becomes. I think it also goes along with their getting older and adjusting as well.
We'll be going on our first road trip in a week. It may not as far as you're going, but it will be the longest the little guy has ever been in the car. I suggested to my husband we leave in the evening so the little guy is sleeping most of the way. Of course, we are going to sacrafice our sleep, but it beats having a screaming baby in the back seat.

Chelle said...

The graph is awesome! The Red Zone of Insanity is a constant in my life... and we don't even have a child! And I can't say that I will handle as deftly as you have with your little Alice.