Everything feels new with the baby. I've always tended towards agoraphobia in new places. But now tiny Granolaton feels strange and must be re-explored.
We've been going out for walks in that grumpy part of the afternoon, after she's been sucking for an hour and a half and is sloppily milk-drunk but grunting and punching my slow-flowing boobs. Into the sling and off to campus, or downtown, or maybe even a little into the woods. Even the students do little double-takes and smile at us: everyone likes tiny babies. She's asleep after the first block, always, but sometimes wakes up 45 minutes or so later. Especially if it's a hungry day. And I still get tired pretty easily, so we don't stay out long.
One particularly adventurous day, I got myself a bagel at a coffeeshop. She slept in the sling and let me eat it there. I felt blessed.
Yesterday she went to the supermarket for the first time. Out cold in her car seat as we filled the cart with more convenience food than I've eaten since leaving my grandmother's home. The checkout clerk was about 17, and was totally charmed. (But did she have to ask, "Is she your first?" with such a note of skepticism?)
Today is a sleepy day, not a suck-suck-suck-suck-suck-snore-no-wait-I-meant-suck day, and I left Tabby with Beaker during one longer nap and headed off on my bicycle. First time I've ridden since probably last October. And oh, did those 20 minutes feel free: I'd forgotten how much of how I experience the seasons here is about bike rides on back roads. Right now is asters and goldenrod and grasshoppers and maples barely starting to turn—just like it was when we bought ourselves nice new bicycles two years ago, as consolation prizes after the second failed cycle. As I rode, the clear cool air carried me back to where we were mentally, then, and it renewed my sense of wonder that it did all oh my God work, and life is so different now.
Next summer, perhaps she'll be riding along behind me, snug in a seat with her own little helmet, and we'll look in the hedgerows for baby woodchucks and apple trees gone wild.