Guest Post from Jessie of Early Bird and Night Owl

08 January 2013

While I figure out the logistics of nursing whilst heaving 35 pounds of Basher out of his cage and dressing the bodacious postpartum bod without having a total meltdown and crafting elaborate plans to leave the house with all three kids sometime in June of 2015 ...  (and maybe someday pound out zee birth story) ... a few talented ladies have agreed to hold down the fort for me.  If you don't already read Jessie's blog, Early Bird and Night Owl you should absolutely start doing so this instant. While I've never met Jessie in real life (but I will one day ... whether she likes it or not) ... I'm so glad the glorious internet exists because her blog is one of my favorites. And her daughter, Jordan, looks eerily identical to Julia. Go see.

Hello to you fellow Campadres. A good many of you may not know me. My name is Jessie. I am mother to one, wife to one, blog-reader, blog-writer, working girl, and if we have none of these in common at least we know we share kindred turf in our serious e-lationship with Camp Patton.Which is why I am so very e-lated that Grace asked me to guest post and I hereby make her a pinky promise that I'll keep my puns at bay. Try my hardest.

In the spirit of things ("things" being a fresh baby Patton) I thought I'd revisit a period very near and dear to my soul. There is so much you find out about yourself when you become a mother for the first time: your capacity to love increases exponentially; your capacity to exist off of chai tea and Excedrin Extra Strength astounds; your understanding of life is utterly leveled and then rebuilt in the wake of holding the new human that you and your husband created together; your understanding of peaceful repose fades completely.

Throughout this period of self-discovery it is helpful to consider that your partner in life is undergoing formative changes as well. It sheds light on those few instances near the beginning that, when I reflect upon them in my mind, are titled under

New Mother - Body Wracked from Labor and Delivery
New Father - Sleeplessness Due to an Unfamiliar Type of Party Rocker in the House
*Law & Order's "DUN DUN"*

NM: Love, Jordan stinks again. I changed her diaper 27 minutes ago, and while I was up I also got you a beer. Would you take this one?

NF: Yeah but Jess, I always take out the trash, which holds like 112 of the diapers she's accrued in the last two and a half days. So I feel like those numbers should count for something.

NM: Ok sure, but if we're going tit for tat...Jordan has pretty much wrecked the former of those terms in her "learning to latch" phase.

NF: Yeah but when you had your meltdown - I mean - your exhaustion-induced episode at 4 this morning, I picked up the slack and the infant and I only phoned my mom once for moral support.

NM: True. But in my nesting crisis which occurred when I was 8 feet pregnant, I alone dislodged the closet doors from their hinges that we might fit a dresser in its depths, and also single-handedly assembled this utilitarian changing table - though the instructions were in Chinese - because I absolutely could not wait for you to get home from work.

NF: Touché, but along a similar line of thought, please recall all my late-night fro-yo runs spanning nine months, which made me look like the fattie fetching two huge containers of red velvet with sprinkles and mochi. When actually both were for you.

NM: In that same vein, I carried, grew and expelled your progeny. And she looks just like you. Game, set, match.

Essentially the picture I'm painting for you is that Sean and I had a couple of fatigue-triggered run-ins in which we may have behaved like Flora and Merriweather in Sleeping Beauty and the baby-related chore at hand ended up looking like the proverbial Princess Aurora's Dress

Blue Spatters - "No, you do it."
Pink Spatters - "No, you do it."

Though I don't have a second yet and thus nothing to compare to, I think the first baby experience can be jarring because new parents have to learn to distribute the seemingly insurmountable workload amongst an inexperienced and limited task force of two. Of course, I should mention that I include myself in the group of exceedingly fortunate who have sainted family members and in-laws, all of whom lent themselves selflessly to us for the first couple of weeks. But when the baby powder settled and the husband returned to vacation - I mean, work - I was left holding the diaper bag, and it became hard for my postpartum crazy not to keep tabs. Because while Jordan is footloose and fancy-free now, at nearly a year and a half, she made it shiny crystal clear in her first three months that she was none too pleased with me for evicting her from my comfy and amply accommodating womb.

As any parent can and will tell you, those wits-end moments are outnumbered and outshone by a trove of exhilarating and previously unknown emotions and experiences - all of which are compulsively documented by your ever-ready phone or camera. Even now, 17 months later, Sean says on a weekly basis that "being a Dad is so much greater than I could have imagined." And it's true, you really can't fathom the beautiful - if sometimes harrowing - adventure that is parenthood until it's plopped on your chest in all her plascenta'd finery. And then something changes forever. 

To all you parents out there - holler. To you who have yet to be, look forward friends. It's awesome.

With that I'd like to to say très bien to Grace on número tres! (Just a little trilinguistics for you all. Don't worry about it.) I am very stoked for you Grace, for adding another Camper to your unbearably cute posse. And forever in your debt for letting me drive the Pattonwagon for a day. I was thrilled to step in but now I want you back, ok?

Thank you times infinity, Jessie! Now off you trot to go read more where that came from ... scoot


  1. LOVE this.
    I am so glad I found Jessie's blog, it is added to my "best blogs" list on my reader, as is only fitting.

  2. You always find the best blogs. This is going to be a new fave I can tell!

  3. Thanks for shining the spotlight on her, she is funny!! And what a great blog title!

  4. Wooohooo Jessie, so excited to see you here. I kind of feel like Will Ferrell on Elf right now..."SANTA!!! I KNOW HIM!!"
    Except I don't really know you. But you know what I mean. You're hilarious.

  5. Grace, I am forever in your debt. Ship those three munches out here, free babysitting for a week- a month! (J & J might develop identity crises, but they'd have a blast.)

    Thank you for your exceedingly generous intro Grace, and the crazy awesome opportunity! If I knew how to blush...

    (ps Jamie - totally died at your Elf reference.)

    1. I'm a little disgruntled that Blogger wouldn't let me post the image in the comments...

      Also - Grace, 35 pounds??? Seriously??? He's 10 pounds heavier than my 3 year old?!

  6. This post is hilarious!! And so heartfelt, too...just like Jess. Way to go, Early Bird!

  7. A guest post - ugh!!! Then I remembered to trust Grace...and I'm so glad I did. Hilarious and awesome all rolled into one!!!

    The other thing I think is funny is that for "not blogging" you sure managed a decent intro...always going above and beyond!!

  8. Oh I think I found a new blog to read, Jessie! Is it not astounding how incredibly helpless they are in the beginning...and the babies are really needy too. Aw crap. I was going to write more but I've got a flu-bound little one crying about poop. I need to investigate. Adios.



Camp Patton © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger