Sunday, September 25, 2011

Well, This Stinks

In honor of the great Shel Silverstein's birthday today, and because the depths of my nerdiness apparently know no limits, today's post comes to you in verse. 

Baby N was out good, asleep on my lap,
As I fried my brain with T.V.,
When up through the air, rose a terrible stench—
What could that nastiness be?

I gave a sniff in the diaperous region—
(The culprit I first suspected)
But the baby was as sweet as a fresh-powdered bum,
My hunch, it seemed, misdirected.

I carefully stood, put N in her swing,
And turned off Dr. Oz.
The reek still remained, taunting me, and
I had to know its cause.

I checked out the kitchen with its dishes and trash,
Sure I would find the source.
The can overflowed with veggies and rot
So I took it out, of course.

But alas when I entered my unkempt house,
The smell had not dispersed.
If anything, though I opened the windows,
The odor had grown worse.

I rolled up my sleeves and got to work,
Vowing to uproot the stink.
Maybe I’d find a forgotten sandwich
From when, I hated to think.

But there was no sandwich or abandoned diaper,
Or a long lost bowl of slaw. (Thank goodness).
I did, however, pass a mirror
And what do think you think I saw?

Well, I found the source of the Odorous Funk:
Not cheddar, nor swiss, nor brie.
Curdled breastmilk on my shoulder lie—
The source of the stench was me!

Ew! Double ew!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Don't Mind Us

I always thought babies were pacifists by nature. But baby N, despite being all big eyes and cuddles, is a warrior. She even has an archenemy: the Dark Bringer of Doom, His Uncomfortableness, the Car Seat. In her first months, whenever she encountered her nemesis, she would call upon the only weapon available to her—a piercing, hysterical scream.

And though the car seat was not phased in the slightest by N’s assault (what with it being an inanimate object), there were civilian casualties. Namely, Mommy’s sanity. 

You wanna knuckle sandwich? Try puttin' me in that seat!

To avoid these battles, I drove as little as possible in N’s early days. Unfortunately, big sister S needed to go to preschool every day (okay, let’s be honest—I needed S to go to preschool), so daily car rides were inevitable. To say these trips were unpleasant would be like saying that World War II was kind of a bummer.

One warmish March day when N was about five weeks old, I decided to pick up S from school on foot. We would avoid the DBD, get some exercise, and enjoy the fresh air.   

I nursed and diapered baby N, and set out with the stroller. N was sleepy, so I assumed she would pass out pretty quickly. Well, you know what they say about assuming…

Poor N started fussing almost immediately, and screaming not long after that. The neighborhood elementary school was about to let out, so I had the delight of pushing a wailing baby down the street at top speed, while parents sat in their cars eyeing me and probably googling ‘Amber Alert’ on their cell phones.

We finally reached S’s preschool, me huffy and puffy, N red and angry. I transitioned her into the baby wrap, sure she would settle down, and we began the uphill haul back.

S was thrilled we were walking; there were always a million treasures to be found on the way home—sticks, bottle caps, random pieces of tire, and other awesome playthings. N was not appeased, though. She howled even more as I hauled butt, with S motoring along beside me as fast as her little legs could carry her.  

The crying was not subsiding and the parents in parked cars were really giving me the evil eye now. I finally admitted that there was only one solution to this problem. Even though I’d already fed N and couldn’t imagine how she could possibly be hungry this soon, I knew the answer lay right in front of me: the almighty Boob. (And speaking of World War II, how many more problems might be solved with boobs? Just throwing that out there).

I turned down a quiet side street, found a shady patch of grass between a long wall and the sidewalk, and parked the stroller. S danced around looking for bugs while I went about my business, nodding casually at the few stray cars that passed. Nothing like nursing your baby on the side of the road. 

But no big deal. Until I heard the dread words, “Mommy, I need to go potty.” 

We were still a long way from home, and N was just getting going. I panicked. Looked left, looked right.

“Honey, do you remember how to squat?”

That's right. I told my three-year-old to pop a squat behind a tree on a public street. Not my finest moment. And she went for it.

“Mommy, I did it! I peed on the ground!” S gleefully waddled back to where I sat on the curb. Despite her excitement, it was clear that she did not remember how to squat. Her pants were around her ankles, and she was soaking wet.

I told her to take them off, thinking she could ride home in the stroller with a blanket over her. She pulled off the wet clothes and skipped around while I tried to remove N, who still clung to me like the Strongest Barnacle in the West. 

And then it happened.

A car pulled out of the driveway next to us, veeeery slowly. I tried not make eye contact. La la la. My half-naked child didn’t just pee on your oak tree, I’m not exposing myself in the middle of the street, la la la. Doo do doo. 

I kept my head down, waiting for him to pass.

Then S cried, “Guess what, Mommy? I waved at that man in the car!” 

Really? This is a child who won’t even say hi to people she knows half the time. She had to pick this moment to go all Mr. Rogers on me?

“But he didn’t wave back." She stuck out her bottom lip in a pout, then shrugged her shoulders. "Oh well. Maybe next time.”

Dear Lord, I don't ask for much, but please let there not be a next time. Thanks.

Your humble servant, 
S. B.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Murphy's Laws of Parenting

1.   The baby will wake up the second the food is served.

2.   Your child will pee in his pants the one and only day you
      forget to bring a change of clothes.

3.   Illness will hit on the first day of vacation. 

4.   Your child will choose the day your
      mother-in-law comes to visit as the 
      day she decides to go all Picasso on 
      the living room wall. 

5.   Whatever it is, it’s just a phase. (Of 
      course, after this phase comes. . . 
      another phase.) 

6.   The doorbell will ring if, and only if, 
      the baby just fell asleep.

7.   The most expensive toy will be the most ignored. 

8.   In the time it takes you to clean any given area in your house, 
      your child can destroy a space three times that size in another room. 

9.   The best way to get a baby to have a giant poop is to give her a 
      bath and dress her in her cutest outfit. 

10.  As soon as you have things figured out, they change.

What wonderful truths have you discovered about parenting? Share in the comments!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ain't No Rest for the Weary

Hello, readers, Happy Labor Day! Are you thanking the ‘folks that brought you the weekend,’ enjoying a paid day off, grateful for mandated breaks and worker’s comp? Me neither! 

The closest thing I’ve had to a Labor Day in the last four years is the day I was actually in labor, which definitely does not count as a vacation. Invigorating, life-changing, awe-inspiring, borderline psychedelic, yes. But no weekend trip to the lake.

Perhaps you are one of those lucky ladies who has fabulous in-laws that take the kids for the weekend while you and hubby zip off for a romantic getaway. Or maybe the hubs watches the wee ones while you and your girls enjoy a spa and yoga weekend? (Do things like that actually happen in real life?) Anyway, if so, I am thrilled for you! Alas, the last time my man and I went out by ourselves was for the parent orientation at S’s preschool. Aw, yeah. Big date night over here!

The thought of creating a Parent’s Union is quite appealing, but faces several challenges. First is organization. Who’s got time to devote to that?

Even more daunting is enforcement. I’ve tried to tell S at times, “Mommy’s on a break right now, but I’ll get right on that juice order just as soon as I complete the requests for clean laundry and hot dinner,” but she just laughs maniacally and cracks her whip. 

So much work, so little time for martinis. Ah, who am I kidding? Like I clean!

Baby N is even tougher. I try to convince her that Mommy is contractually entitled to a peaceful meal (since she wakes up or fusses the precise minute the food hits the table), but she won’t have it.

My children have also denied requests for: a full night’s sleep, an uninterrupted shower, an hour—just an hour!—of quiet time. Nice try, Mommy. It’s like the Gulag up in this mug.

Luckily, my bosses also provide some very nice perks. These include multiple hugs and snuggles, a job that offers lots of room for growth, and plenty of humor. Just the other day, Sofia flung open the door to see the mailman, while pretending to talk on the phone. “Hello, hello?” she yelled into her make-believe device. “Anybody there? I can’t hear you!” Her telephone prop? The flange to the breast pump. Nice.

I realize that someday I’ll have a quiet, peaceful, clean house…and I’ll probably miss the heck out of my little task-makers. So for now, I’ll try to enjoy the chaos, while I continue to labor away. Speaking of, I just got an urgent call via the Ameda Purely Yours…gotta go!