Reflections on motherhood...


Sunday, May 29, 2011

If I can't party, no one can

A conversation had last Friday:

Me: "I'm thinking about going to a movie tonight - is that ok? (A reasonable request, I hear you say)
DH: "Sure, that's a great idea. (You're thinking, what a great guy)
Me: "Are you sure it's ok?  You'll be alright at home with the baby? (Why didn't the conversation end with "sure, that's a great idea"? What's with this woman, is she paranoid or what?)
DH: "Of course it's ok.  Why wouldn't it be? (He's so reasonable!)
Me: "Well, I don't like it when you go out. (Now she's starting to sound a little unbalanced)
DH: "Yes well that's because you don't like other people having fun. (He's hit the nail on the head there)

Too true.  I hate the thought of the DH going out and having fun.  Without me.  I say terrible things like "You're leaving me stuck at home with the baby?"  Which, technically, is what I've been all day, but somehow it seems different at night, when the DH has a choice of whereabouts.  "But what will I dooooo?" I whine.  "Get some sleep?" the DH says.  Ok, point taken, I'm not much of a conversationalist these days.  Full sentences are a bit of a struggle when you've been getting up at 5am for the last 3 weeks.

Anyway.  I went out to a great movie, laughed, cried and got home feeling refreshed.  And the best part?  The baby didn't even wake up!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Puppetry of the infant penis

If you ever wondered the point at which men become obsessed with their penises, I would venture to answer: IN UTERO.  I am casting my mind back to the early tiny-baby days and I cannot really remember a time when Milkbaby's little hands did not wander to investigate his junk.

A common nappy-change-time conversation in our house:

"Ok let's just change your nappy.  Let me just get it undone...  No, get your hands out of there!  Look why don't you hold onto this? [hand over random item]
Okay, let's just get you cleaned up.  Hey, what's happened to your toy?  No, oh gosh, you really shouldn't do that to yourself.  Hey hey hey, really, I don't think it's meant to stretch like that.  Ouch, that's gotta hurt.  Just hang on, let me find you something else to play with.
Let me just finish this and put a new nappy on.  No, hands off that now.  There.  All done."

Or if DH is participating in the nappy change:

"Dude, that's really not a good idea.  Jebus buddy.  Ouch.  No really, don't do that!  Buddy, it's not a good idea to pull on it like that.  You might need it in future!"

Last night in the bath, in an effort to get a better look at things over his portly tummy, Milkbaby toppled over backwards, landing with a splash and giving himself a fright.  It didn't discourage him.

I know from conversations with other mums that Milkbaby is not alone in his obsession.

Yes we really do talk about these things.  And if we didn't have each other to talk to, I suspect we'd be posting questions on public forums like "My baby grabs his penis every nappy change.  Is this normal?".  Yes honey, it's totally normal.  Just spend five minutes people watching and you'll see grown men doing the same thing.  Or if you're really worried, just check out this article.  It will prepare you for the toddler and teenage years.  And you'll be pleasantly surprised to find out that this behaviour is not contagious.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

An ode to my favourite chair

A little ode to my favourite chair

in the corner of
the junk store
the rocker now nestles
in the corner of
the yellow room

back and forth
forth and back
we feed and rock
rock and feed
feed and chat

colours that match
fabric to scratch
knobs to gnaw
rock me to sleep
close the door

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Goodbye Miss Lily White

The star of My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes, Miss Lily White, passed away peacefully on Monday evening, after a short battle with an unknown illness.  

Lily was a Lower Hutt foundling, rescued from a woman with pleurisy and a five o'clock shadow.  (Seriously. Pleurisy!  I thought it was some 1950s disease that no one got any more, since we now all have plenty of gumboots.)

Most likely to be found curled up in front of the fire (or in a box if you've left one lying around), Lily also loved to sit on your lap.  Every night of Milkbaby's gestation she slept next to me on the bed, curled somehow around my growing belly.

I thought we might have to play recordings of a cat purring to get Milkbaby to sleep after he was born.

Milkbaby was present at her death, and was completely oblivious to the emotion and high drama.  He shook my keys and pointed wildly at random things in the room, saying dah, did, doh, doh.  It was only fair, I said afterwards, since she was completely oblivious to the emotion and high drama at his birth.

Lily, relaxing in front of the fire at Milkbaby's birth
Well known for her unique appearance, Lily never let her short ears, skinny legs and bald stomach get her down.

Milkbaby: WTF?

Her gentle, quiet nature will be missed around here.

Goodbye Miss Lily White.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Feeding time at the Carnival

When he's not garrotting himself with the bib, or hurling things over the side of the chair, it struck me last week that getting food into Milkbaby's mouth is like getting a ping-pong ball into the mouth of a Carnival Clown.  Pretty much impossible.  And messy.

Photo by Pixelfish74

It's the same with vomiting.  This is a regular occurrence in our house.  So regular I'm considering buying shares in The Rug Doctor.  Holding an about-to-vomit baby is like holding one of those clowns.  The head swivels back and forth, and you pivot wildly around the sink, hoping not to catch a chest-full of sick.  Also pretty much impossible to get right.  

And the prize for getting your aim spot on?  Another soft toy?  A giant one?  Pretty pleeeaase?????

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Motherhood lesson #2

How to pee in a public toilet while wearing your baby in a backpack.

So you've just got the damn pack on your back and suddenly you need to pee.

Step 1: Wedge yourself and your baby into a toilet cubicle, taking care to lock the door behind you.  No one needs to see you do this.

Step 2: Attempt to sit on the throne in the normal fashion.  You can't can you?  Because the baby-filled backpack is jammed up against the wall behind you, and your tush is not sitting where it should be.

Step 3: Think for a minute.  Employ your once amazing problem solving skills (they were amazing until you went for about 256 nights without decent sleep).

Step 4: Turn around and sit on the throne backwards.  Straddle it, in other words.  Hey, it actually makes no difference.  Though in case you're wondering, there are actually wrong ways to use a toilet:

"Flowchart" in Massey University bathrooms

Step 5: Congratulate yourself on having conquered another perennial motherhood dilemma, without having taken the wretched backpack or baby off your back.

Step 6: Give a smug smile to the people giving you strange looks as you come out of the bathroom.  Bet they couldn't work it out!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Baby fashion crime #1

While having a recent sort out, I came across this:

Total baby fashion crime.  

Made from scratchy wool, bunchy in all the wrong places, and with a neckhole small enough to ensure that you'll feel a bit strangly while wearing it.

It's also the same colour as our carpet (minus the puke stains):

Don't stare for too long or those contrasting orange stripes will make your eyes bleed.

And don't even get me started on the matching hat with oversized pompom.  Wear only in cases of dire baby facial emergency.  Like the worst case of cradle cap ever.  Or a snotty nose so bad you want to distract everyone from looking at it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

All you need

Our spare room is filled with a few small mountains of baby clothes.  And other baby stuff.  Swaddling cloths, a moses basket, a playgym, a year's worth of clothing, and knitwear that, unfortunately, was never modelled.  Having promised to lend "all you'll need for the first year" to a friend, I spent a good part of the weekend sorting through it, ditching never-worn or worn-out clothing, trying to find missing pairs to about 30 pairs of booties, and feeling nostalgic (only a little) for those early newborn days when, provided there were no poo explosions, Milkbaby could stay in the same onesie for a good 24 hours.  Hey, it was winter - why change his clothes for no good reason?

It got me thinking though - what does a baby really need?  The answer?  Not much.  Not much at all.  Though consult any baby store and they'll have you believing otherwise.  In no time you'll have spent a small fortune on clothing and other "necessities", a pram that was more expensive than your first car (but it fits so well in the impractically sporty car you currently drive!), and a carseat so big you need to get rid of your impractically small vehicle.  I just think how lucky we are to have escaped with purchasing just the pram and the carseat - the mountains of beautiful clothes were hand-me-downs from my talented quilting cousin (who, incidentally, is giving away some beautiful fabric on her blog at the mo).

Then there are the toys.  Upon announcing your pregnancy, you'll find you start accumulating soft toys.  I could probably pull together an audience of at least 20 softies in our household, of various shapes and sizes.  Despite diligently scattering these around, Milkbaby ignores them unless they are animated by an adult speaking in a silly voice and shoving them in his face.

I recently came across this list of ridiculous parenting products.  These top the list of things that a baby really doesn't need.  My favourites:

  • the bathroom baby harness: need to pee in that public toilet but don't want to put your baby down on the dirty floor? Whip out your bathroom baby harness and hang baby over the door - right next to your handbag.  Just don't forget to collect him on the way out.
  • The Snozzie: a handkerchief that's also a bracelet.  So handy for collecting those wayward boogers when you don't have a tissue.  Not a good idea to put it back on your wrist once you've used it though.
  • And when you just can't get those baby boogers, you could try a Battery Operated Nasal Aspirator - as if having a giant tissue shoved in your face wasn't scary enough.
Rock that skull print:

And on my list?:
  • the Pee-pee Teepee: for the sprinkling wee wee (in 24 exciting prints!).  Sorry but if nappy changes are so slow you've got time to faff about in your nappy bag finding a little hat for your baby boy's privates, no wonder you're getting peed on.
  • a pair of safer sleeper triangle pillows, so that you can prop baby on their side to sleep.  Probably a SIDS risk - and what's wrong with a rolled hand towel anyway? 
  • breast shells - "to collect excess milk" - not only do they make your boobs look weird, but once they're full (and in my case this took about 15 minutes) the milk starts leaking out the top, meaning you have a lake-sized puddle of milk down your front to contend with.
What's on your list of useless parenting products?
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