Tuesday, February 15, 2011

5 month addiction

Hello, my name is Megan **deep breath** and I'm an Amelioholic.

The other night I sat holding Millie as she slept in my arms. I tickled her bald head and chubby cheeks while Leonard looked on, the day drawing to an end. I was contemplating how long I would hold her before putting her down - maybe we'd just stay like this all night! I could feel my love for her swelling, expanding, threatening to overtake my human form. "It couldn't possibly get any better than this," I thought. As if in response Amelia stirred, startled. Upon seeing me her eyes relaxed into contentment. Lips pursed together, she blew me a lazy, slow-motion raspberry and then fell right back asleep. "Did you see that?" I mouthed to Leonard, who nodded, doubled over in silent laughter.

Amelia at 5 months is a sweet, goofy, roly poly, cooing, grabby, jabbering, dimpley, toothless grin of a baby whose cuteness emits tiny molecules that cross my blood brain barrier and keep me coming back for more. It starts first thing in the morning; her entire body smiles with excitement at seeing me. I'm instantly hooked and spend the next three hours intoxicated by her charms: airplane rides to the changing table, 10 minutes of peek-a-boo with giggles arising from deep within her chest, watching her maneuver a toy in her hands with the concentration of a world class chess player. When nap time arrives I busy myself with tasks around the house, withdrawal threatening if she sleeps longer than usual. Once awake, I again get my fix and the fun continues.

I recognize I'm not alone in this. I've noticed the signs during well child checks of babies this age. Parents unable to take their eyes off their infant, pride and adoration in their eyes. Happy babies who smile at every goofy face or gibberish-speak presented to them. I knew I'd be one of them, I just didn't understand the strength of the attraction. Her adorability is so vast, any comment about it seems trite - exclamations by passersby of "Oh, she's so cute!" cause me to simply nod affirmatively in agreement, no "Oh, do you think so?" will escape my lips. You may as well tell me that the sky is blue.

Right now I am her entire Universe. Giver of comfort, supplier of food, performing artist of her favorite lullabies, instructor in completion of developmental milestones, comedian extraordinaire, 5 star rated shoulder to sleep on. In return she rewards me with her constant adoration and preference. I completely understand that this phase is temporary. With time I'll be forced to exert more energy to obtain the same affection and gasp! one day she'll actually look to me as the cause of her anger or frustration.

But for the moment I am going to enjoy my high.

Monday, February 07, 2011


The bowerbird is considered one of the most romantic of all species. In his attempt to court a mate, the male bowerbird will construct a bower, or dwelling, out of sticks. He will then elaborately decorate the bower with colorful objects such as shells, feathers, berries, or rocks. The flashier the bower, the more likely his success.


Sometimes clinic can be busy. Working with the underserved population carries a high no-show rate, and our schedules are overbooked accordingly. So when everyone does show up, things can get crazy. Like, figure out how to solve 12 unhealthy patients' multiple medic
al problems in four hours while still focusing on preventative health measures and whittling away at a few social issues kind of crazy. Leonard and I handle this intense experience very differently. I rush from room to room, my neanderthalesque brow appearing occasionally in response to the situation, avoiding any distractions. Leonard focuses on being efficient, but periodically requires micro-breaks as a means of respite, and his main outlet is my office. He'll pop in for a moment, we'll discuss a case, I'll ask him for a piece of gum, etc. But when I'm in a patient room Leonard encounters an empty desk - and that's when the magic happens. I'll return to my office to find my dermatology book lying on the keyboard, strategically opened to display a revolting pus-ridden rash. My pens and pencils arranged into the shape of a heart. Or my all-time favorite, a large summer zuchinni given to me by a co-worker leaning against my mouse, the computer screen displaying numerous thumbnails of zuchinni photos from Google Images as though the squash were surfing the web. Each time I'd encounter one of Leonard's "gifts" I'd shake my head and smile, feeling somewhat scandalous for this workplace wooing. The feelings ilicited by a dozen roses would have paled in comparison.

With my new part-time schedule, Leonard and I rarely work together. I figured this special flirtation of his would be yet another victim to all the changes a 12 pound munchkin has inflicted in our lives, and prepared myself as such. And so I wasn't expecting anything special this last Saturday morning as I typed away on my laptop in bed, Leonard making Millie laugh next to me with Chewbacca-esque sounds. The cute/cheesy calendar valentines for Young Women's were finished, and I went to retrieve them from the printer.

When I returned, this is what I saw:

Same joke, different prop.

I shook my head and smiled.
Leonard, consider this post my affirmative response.