For the record, if you didn’t know how very, very anal-retentive I am BEFORE you read this post, you will most definitely by the end.
But it is time to retire Notebook.
I didn’t just decide to do it all of a sudden and all at once, of course. It has been a process. Slowly but surely, I have weaned myself off of his friendly help. And it’s just about the right time, too, as Notebook was about to run out of nice, clean pages to write on.
What have I kept in Notebook?
Well, it started when we brought Ali home from the hospital. I started in Section 1 tracking all of her feedings, including times, lengths, and notes.
The notes ranged from her moods, where we were, what was going on, and if the feeding was interrupted by a blowout poo (you remember how those newborn poos sound, don’t you? They are so bombastically explosive that you jump up, knowing that you and the wall behind you have just been completely coated with splatter-poo, only to discover that there were no pyrotechnics, but that it just sounded like there were).
Here was that first week of motherhood, when I TOTALLY knew NOTHING about what I was doing, but knew that if I tracked it, when things went wrong, at least I would have some kind of record to go back and figure out where I messed up:
No, that would have been too simple.
Convinced of my craziness yet?
Then Section 3 was reserved for sleeping times and nap times. It started out with a LOT of notes as I was trying to figure out how to help my baby sleep the best:
Then became more of a number crunchin’ chart as she got a bit older,
And then the last full page ever written in Notebook tracked just numbers, with sparing notes.
I TOTALLY would have preferred to track all of this on a fun fancy Excel spreadsheet, but Ali didn’t have that sort of technological capabilities in her bedroom. And what new Mom can remember that kind of information until she gets downstairs to the computer?
To be honest, my family was much more shocked that I wasn’t tracking it in Excel than they were that I was tracking all of that crazy information to begin with.
Did I use this information?
those first challenging months of parenting, I looked and relooked at the information, trying to figure out how to make my very unhappy baby happy. I suspected long before the doctors that she wasn’t getting enough to eat. They were still trying all of the acid reflux medicines, thinking that was her problem.
So how have I weaned myself off of my friend Notebook?
I quit tracking the diapers first, which I’m sure you’re relieved to know. I got tired of writing down her voluminous numbers of diapers and their product right before her first birthday.
I kept tracking her meals until she was about 15 months old, then I decided that I didn’t need that info anymore either.
But her sleep, I’ve held onto that one. It wasn’t too hard to track (just writing down numbers twice a day doesn’t constitute “crazy person” like it does when you’re writing down every dirty diaper with the dirty details), and it was nice to be able to see patterns and routines in her naps. What worked and what didn’t.
But over the past couple of weeks, I’ve lost my passion for my recordkeeping.
So I quit.
That’s right, cold turkey. No Notebook patch or gum required. Not even a ten step program.
But I will keep my dear friend Notebook. I’m sure he will be handy when I have another baby. I can look back and see ALL of my mistakes with Ali.
And all of her poos.
What more could you ask for?
Plus, who knows when a Home Economics PhD Student will happen along my path and ask me if I have any large amounts of data that they could use in their thesis on the relation between infant feedings, poos, and sleeping habits?