Some people have a rodent problem; at my house it's the catalogues that seem to enter through the walls and procreate. They showed up in trickles and then seemed to arrive at a steadier rate the closer we got to the arrival of my second daughter. Now, a week into her life, it seems they are being drop-shipped in bulk. Or perhaps I'm just noticing them more.
I try to resist earmarking every page of the LL Bean catalog. It's a funny thing--the hormonal shifts that accompany the post-natal period. All of a sudden I could see myself in a chamois cloth shirt … in multiple colors, even Butter and Baltic Blue. I could see myself in a different shade of comfort fleece every day of the week.
It seems a bit early to buy flannel sheets for the baby's bed, especially given she hasn't yet transitioned to even a crib. Still, it also seems reasonable to stockpile on bedding now, while it's available. You just never know when there will be a shortage of linens. I play out how the green ticker-tape pattern on the pillows would look against pale green fitted sheets.
I call out to H-band: "Where will they put their mittens?"
He's used to these outbursts and knows I'm talking about our girls. "It's the beginning of September. Do we need to think about it now?"
"If we don't think about it now, winter will come, and we'll start losing things." I play this out in my mind as well. It will start with a lost mitten, then eventually we'll find hats and scarves in the back of the closet underneath the vacuum cleaner.
I instruct H-band: "See page 41 in the Pottery Barn catalog. There's a shelf unit for the mud room with little bins." We don't officially have a mud room, but that hardly matters. I'm confident we'd transition a space into one.
I notice that the shelf needs to be mounted to the wall, and I'm reminded of something. "The artwork! You need to put it up today, while Liv's at the Nanny share. Today … now!"
I suppose that, technically, I could put up the new pink and green panels I purchased off of Gilt Groupe back when I was only six months along. They sat in our dining room the past three months gathering dust. Then, the weekend before Vi was born I felt this coming urgency. Not quite the head coming out of my uterus kind of urgency, but not dissimilar.
"Uh huh." H-band says. I don't know if he will actually mount the artwork, but at least I can move that item to the "Delegated" list in my brain.
I know there's more retail research to be done, but my mind can't stay engaged on any task for long these days. I've learned to prioritize and apportion time in chunks of activities to do in-between feedings. To plan more elaborately is more than I can handle until I get more consistent sleep. I end this particular exercise by opening up EverNote and listing the items I've discovered today, naming the file, "To be revisited".
I dare not get more specific than that; I know that these retail urges come on and then often disintegrate. I still bristle when I look at some of the utmost urgent clothing purchases I made with my first daughter, when I was at the peak of my engorgement and convinced that my boobs were going to stay that way indefinitely. What I had defined as casual chic for the nouveau Mama became Weekend Muumuu wear that I turned to on those days when I wanted no one to recognize me in public. I had also harbored fantasies of packing up everything in our urban abode and relocating to a farmhouse; the waffle tees and lug-soled shoes had seemed mission critical. Now, they were novelty items; good to have for my next barn dance.
This time I get similar twinges. I've started a recipe file, for when I start to bake and jar my own jams while I catch up on the front page of All Things Digital. I've managed to stay on top of my headlines, but have not yet made anything. How can I, I rationalize, while I'm still working my way through the food from friends and neighbors? In truth, this amounts to a bowl of bolognese. It just FEELS like there's more in the fridge.
But there's still time. Once I pick up a latte at Starbucks I can refocus. And after I see what the baby's crying about ...