My Baby Wants to be Olivia Pope’s Fixer

I’ve alluded to my baby’s fussiness, but it just occurred to me that her disposition is entirely my fault. My baby

girl is preparing for her life as Olivia Pope’s “fixer”. Think Huck (you know, the guy who was kept in a hole to become a robot assassin) times 3…at least it feels that way.  She’s pretty ruthless.


Let me back up to the part that is so obviously my fault. When Jojo and I got home from the hospital, she had her days and nights mixed up like so many newborns do. She was so innocent then. It was Christmas, so my husband had the rest of our brood at various holiday functions. I was home alone with J. I hunkered down with snacks, Netflix and my precious babe. First up: Scandal. I ravenously consumed two seasons over the course of my confinement while Josie curled peacefully into my chest. It was kind of awesome if I’m being honest. I didn’t worry about the occasional torture scene or suggestive violence because she couldn’t see beyond a few inches from her adorable face. Now, four months later, I am face-to-face with the cold, hard truth: she’s honing the torture techniques she learned through osmosis.

Sadly, I’m her victim. These are the tried and true methods she employs to break me.

1. Sleep Deprivation.
Obviously. Just when my body surrenders, she wakes. As soon as a perfect dream percolates behind my eyes (hello, Ryan Gosli–), she wakes. If I close my eyes for an inordinately long blink, she summons me like an unexpected slap in the face or a sudden dousing.

2. Auditory Assault.
There’s fussing. There’s crying. There’s red-faced screaming. She’s a baby Molotov Cocktail.

3. Endurance Tests.
The child is boycotting naps with unparalleled dedication. Her ability to fight through one of her body’s most basic needs is impressive. I’m left staggering and barely able to string words together while I coax her eyelids to close by rocking, bouncing and making empty promises. If I sit down, she fights harder. My rear hasn’t touched down in almost four months.

4. Physical Pain.
There isn’t a single part of my body that doesn’t ache from lack of rest and recovery. My neck is permanently kinked from late-night nursing. My spine is c-shaped from desperately trying to rest my girl against my abdomen when my biceps burn. Her tiny needle nails pinch and claw my chest until I wince.

5. Mental Mutilation.
I used to read and write. I used to get information from sources other than my Twitter and FB feeds in the middle of the night. I wrote a master’s thesis once. And a novel. Yesterday, I didn’t get one of my children’s names right in at least a million attempts.

6. Emotional Manipulation.
Her smile, it’s killer. Her open-mouth toothless grin, amazing. Her giggle, almost too much for me. She reels me in with her twinkling eyes and wrist rolls and cushy feet, and then she arches her back, stiffens and wails while I scramble to soothe her.

7. Humiliation.
She has fired feces at me in a way I didn’t think was humanly possible. It rocketed right from the source onto my face. MY FACE. Thankfully my mouth was closed…that time. She’ll get me when I’m cooing. I know it.

One day, I’ll break it to her that Scandal is fiction, that Olivia Pope isn’t real, that all of her training was in vain. One day…if she doesn’t break me first.


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