Thursday, February 28, 2008

God, are you there?

It's me. New Mommy? God, is your name Jenny Craig? And can you help me lose the last 10 lbs and fit my sexy jeans in one week?
My glamorous, tall, red-headed best friend just announced she'll be here in one week for a visit! Yay! and Fuck! all in the same exclamation. One week is not long enough for me to get my shit together. How am I supposed to make motherhood look like it didn't change me, like I lost all the weight naturally ("seriously the pounds just slid off!"), like I still am hot enough to be sex on heels, in one week? I don't even know where my high heels are; they are probably crunchy with dust in the back of my closet and have been since month 4 of pregnancy. Oh sure you say-she'll understand. Who cares? I don't want her to have to understand. Look, one shouldn't care what others think and you might say-especially a friend! But, eff off, I am not perfect and I do care. I don't want to meet up for a sophisticated coffee downtown and look like her "frumpy friend". She'll be all glossy and cashmere, so sue me if I would rather not be sour milk and zippered nursing shirt. Give me diamonds! Give me classy! Give me a a couple of hours where my son won't cry and make me sweat and leak breast milk! Give me an AMEN!
Somewhere out there, someone is listening to my prayer. And somehow between now and March 7th I will find a pair of sexy jeans sans elastic, a pair of sexy boots that I can push my stroller in and not drop my baby à la Britney, and a rockin' hair cut that doesn't scream "mom". And when my friend has her first baby-I will be smiling during that first visit. 'Cause I'll know I was the best motivation she could find to get off her ass, stop watching "A Baby Story" on TLC, and look good for once.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Babysitter's Club: Senile Edition


My Mother-in-law is joining Kristy, Claudia, Mary-Anne and Stacey and now has her babysitting certificate. Yup...to pass the course she apparently had to diaper a baby doll. Wow. The club will be lucky to have her.

One has to wonder what would possess a 65 year-old woman to do such a thing. Further-what would possess her to giggle about it like a middle-schooler. No doubt she is excited about her new grandson. Actually, based on our previous relationship I usually joke that she'll be filing for custody any day now (I'm only half joking-the other half actually thinks it's possible). After-all, I am refusing to provide her grandson with a mobile in his crib-GASP! Perhaps I should have preempted this post by posting about what I consider to be her fragile mental health and her addiction to many prescription pills. Of course, her family acts as if nothing is amiss...but I saw her days-of-the-week pill organiser. Instead of having a pill segregated per day, she just had it filled to the brim with multiple pills all jumbled in together. It looked like packages of those colorful candy rockets had emptied into the Halloween pillow-case. Yeah, I know that funky sitter Claudia loves candy, but my MIL will not be allowed to bring her candy to Club Meetings. In fact, are we sure her certificate doesn't just say "Certifiable"?

THANK YOU !!! (take 436)


If this was a movie shoot of my life, this scene would have taken thousands of takes by now.
The scene: Grocery Store meat aisle
The characters: Me (new mom); Store clerk in coordinating store colors polo shirt, black pants, fat ass and glasses; Old Lady with silver hair, colorful floral blouse, black panty-hose, orthopedic sneakers and tan raglan; Innocent Bystander (Male); Crying Baby with red face, spittle on cheek.
The props: Stroller and accoutrement, slab of pork tenderloin in Styrofoam.

Enter New Mom pushing stroller with Crying Baby. Stops to examine pork tenderloin, picking up a package. Enter Clerk, right, gingerly poking head in at Crying Baby in stroller.
Clerk: Awwwww, someone is not happy!
New Mom: (Shrugging) Yeah. He's not happy.
Crying Baby: (Wails.)
Clerk: How old is he?
New Mom: (with a fake smile) he's 3 months.
Enter Old Lady, right, joining Clerk by sticking face into stroller at Crying Baby.
Crying Baby: WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! (Choke, Sputter, Cough,) WAHHHH!
Old Lady: (Asking no one in particular) He's so sad, hey?
Clerk: (Enthusiastically) Oh yes, he says "I'm hungry mom! Feed me. (in baby talk:) I'm hungry!"
New Mom: (without making eye contact, grabs stroller handle as if to go, squeezing pork tenderloin in the other, and says through gritted teeth:) He's not hungry.
Old Lady: (grabs new mom by the elbow to prevent her from leaving, in a baby talk voice:) Don't you have a soother or something he could at least suck on???
New Mom pushes stroller and shrugs Old Lady's hand off arm, Old Lady huffs and responds: Don't believe in those hey?

New Mom angrily marches off, thinking of the pacifier attached to his shirt. Stops, looks lovingly at Crying Baby and says loudly: I know honey, life sucks!!!
Innocent Bystander Male: (Wide eyed, laughs nervously. Seems afraid for Crying Baby.)
New Mom sees the judgment in Innocent Bystander's eyes, leans back and tosses pork tenderloin at his head, hitting him squarely between the eyes.

Ok, that last part didn't happen...but it sure would have made me feel better.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hey BABY come here often?


Does anyone have a good pick up line for new moms? Look, I don't want to have sex with a post-partum crack-pot, I just want to be her friend. What? You think that makes me sound like a post-partum crack-pot? (Silence....cue crickets) Yeah ok, I'll take that.

But seriously, finding new mommy friends is like dating and I'm starting to feel a little too masculine here. Whenever I find a cute new mommy, looking fine in her pre-mom jeans, swept up ponytail and eyes shining bright, I just can't help myself. I am turned on by a new mommy who looks better than me! I mean, why stoop below when I can reach for the stars? The right "girlfriend" is only gonna make me look better.

Growing up I was always that girl with many guy-friends and few girlfriends. To be honest, having girlfriends was too much work. With guys I could just flirt my way to friendship; put out a couple of times, not care if they called, teach them about the clitoris so they could impress their girlfriends and learn the rhythm riffs on the guitar so they could rock out a solo. Really-surrounded by boys I was a goddess of knowledge into the secret world of women, a laid back vixen that everyone wants, but wouldn't have, for fear of "ruining the friendship". That little bit of sexual tension always made it easy to get along, you know? With girls...well-there was just too much competition. Well... As an adult I've learned through many slap-my-forehead-the-next-morning, "what-did-I-say/do/scream/sing" moments post rollicking party, that some women have similar senses of humour to mine. (That is-when I remembered it was them standing beside me on top of that bar after-all!) And so I finally have a choice number of cool girlfriends. Problem: they have no kids.

It's time to have girlfriends with babies so, I dunno, we can wax poetic about shit and vomit together and, well, maybe trade off babysitting. (Ok that's the real reason). But every time I see a drool-worthy mommy I get all nervous. I fall into stereotypes and lame one-liners: "How old is your baby?" and "Wow that's a great stroller!" This is hard for me especially because I am sooo in the know-chances are the thing I'm admiring and acting all in awe of is something I saw online and read about months ago. So how come I get all phony?

Case in point: today I approached a hot blonde strolling the infant boys designer section at a local baby store. I struck up a convo and for the first time got past the pleasantries to actually talk some real sense about motherhood. "Does it get easier?" No, to be honest I told her, it doesn't. We chatted and I was struck by her beautiful white teeth, her rosy skin and her trés chic knit hat that matched her shrug sweater and suede high heels. Yes, she was wearing high heels and her baby was only 3 weeks old! She also had a cool, hip stroller and obviously a rich husband judging by the size of her engagement ring. I thought: I NEED this woman in my workout-pants life! But I choked...I walked away without sealing the deal. I didn't get her digits.

Now I will always wonder if she was the one that got away. I'll always ask "what if" when I see other mom-couples pushing strollers, sipping lattes and giggling at the poorly-dressed people around them. What if she was my better half? I'm hot for mommy and I've no way to scratch my itch. Is there a lavalife for new moms? I can see my profile now
"New mom with intact vagina after caesarian childbirth seeks same (no judgments from you natural hos) for bitching, moaning, and complaining, walks in the sunshine, help in justifying new purchases and support when obviously doing everything wrong in raising kids. Will teach your adolescent son the coolest retro guitar riffs and take care of the birds and the bees talk too...your future daughter-in-law will thank you for being my friend!!!"

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

*Cringe


I just gave advice to a mom to be. Somebody help me! First my husband gets a point and now this?! I'm losing vitals fast. Get me a friend who'll slap me, stat! Oh, I feel so terrible, I'll just stay inside the house all day, stick the baby on my boob, surf the web from the couch, procrastinate about the mess in my kitchen, eat chocolate for all meals and wallow in my shame. Then tomorrow I'll feel good as new. Hmmm might sound a little manic, but that's how I roll.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Me-1, Husband-1

We are tied. This morning I slept in and made hubby fairly late to work by the time we loaded in baby, etc. It was a beautiful day and super sunny for a change. As soon as we sat in the car and exited the garage hubby said "Oh man! I forgot my sunglasses!" (Thing in my head I never said: "Well if you used the doorknob organizer I bought you then you wouldn't have forgotten them! Nah-nah! SO there!"). I said "Yeah, shizz, me too." But then hubby reminded me so kindly that my sunglasses were actually in the stroller that was in the trunk. I wrinkled my nose as if to say "oh yeah..that's nice, but I'm so lazy I won't get them, so I'll just suffer driving with squinty eyes instead."

When we got to his work and we were doing the changeover (me scooting over to the driver's seat), I looked for hubby to kiss goodbye and heard the trunk open. There he was holding my sunglasses. Awwwww, shucks. I mean DAMN! He scores a point for that. Why is it always the little things? Jerk.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cacophony of crooked cronies



Yeah, let's be honest here: I hate being told what to do. I'm always right. So much so that I tend to study up profusely on a subject if it interests me just so I can be in "the know" and not likely to make an ass of myself. For example, when I had to teach Ancient Egypt (yeah I teach middle school...or did before baby) I studied for weeks at every library in town and trolled the internet at all hours. Damned if I was gonna let a 12 year old stump me! (Er-I mean it was for the good of the children and providing them with a quality education, yadda, yadda, yadda. You get the picture). So it's not like I didn't do the same for pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. In fact, all the studying I did proved to me that there are no wrong answers when it comes to raising baby***. Everyone has an opinion. All the experts provide excellent advice which will make you laugh, thrill or cry depending on the day. Actually this realization made me quite calm when it came to giving birth-and trust me I had reason to not be calm at all (think school hallway flooding with amniotic fluid and you'd have a slight idea). But then along came my son and calm isn't always possible when parenting. I'm giving in to the fact that I don;t have the answers, I'm not always right either-but I am doing my best and that usually is enough. Right?

So, wasn't I pleased as punch today when my son first of all screamed bloody murder in his stroller at the mall after I had just fed him. And yes, many people offered up the suggestion that he was hungry-mutha f$*#kers. But I was non-plussed as I brought the back-up plan: the babybjorn. Strapped him in and headed for the bus. Only he decided he was, in fact, HUNGRY. DAMN. Capital letters. DAMN. I hate being smug and then proven wrong. Now, my heart was breaking because here I am standing at a bus stop and the bus is coming. I can't very well whip out my boob and then hop on and put my cash in the coin collector with it smacking the driver in the face. So I do everything I can to shush him. The driver takes pity on me and covers the coin slot saying "It's okay, Ma'am". (Ma'am-yuck). Thank you nice driver-score! Park the stroller and then sit down amongst-get ready for it...7 old ladies with canes. No, it wasn't the Senior's Bingo-Buffet Bus Excursion. It was the city bus, but take note: when you are a new mom you will be out and about during the day when only other new moms and the elderly are out and about.

The 7 cronies jumped on me like I was B7 and they were guaranteed heaven. He doesn't like his stroller? Well it's obvious I'm holding him too much then. Babies get spoiled-this must be your first one (knowing nods and glances abound here). "When I had my second/third/fourth I didn't...(fill in the blank). You should let him cry it out, you are coddling your baby, tut, tut, tut. Is it a boy? Oh that explains it-mommies love their boys too much. He won't grow up to be...(fill in the blank) if you continue...and on and on. Thank god I was only going a dozen or so stops. Most of this "advice" was spoken in loud "hushed" tones to each other and random strangers sitting nearby as if I wasn't even there-unless they had to ask me a direct question in order to prove their theory. And did I mention he was screaming bloody murder the whole time? He was. Was I embarassed? Yes. Did I have a headache? Yes. Did they make me feel like the lowliest, scum-mother of all time? Can I get a resounding BINGO!?

And so I wasn't calm. I almost cried on the city bus. And my F-you face just wasn't cutting it with the cronies. Thing in my head I never said: OH GO SHOVE THAT CANE IT UP YOUR C*NT!

***All the readings/seminars/pamphlets provided by the hospital, "experts", the local nurses, my provincial health organisation, the Pacific Postpartum Society, etc, etc,..point to NOT letting your baby cry it out at all. They stress that babies only communicate in one way and that's crying-its how they let you know they need something. They believe there is no such thing as spoiling a baby as they do not know how to manipulate you-yet.So they encourage highly that you respond to your baby quickly. They strongly advise against (and even the author does as well) "Ferberizing" your baby until the age of 6 months. Now did we make a conscious decision to follow this advice? Nope. I'm calm remember? It just seemed pointless for our sanity and for our son's to be sitting around on our lazy asses (which we are prone to do) and ignore his pleas (read: cries) when it was clear that holding him settled him immediately. Women all over the world have been "wearing" their babies for ages and the only really effed up generation seems to be the current one. Now, am I nervous that soon it will be hard to cut the ties and lay down some rules? Hell yes. But for now it works and my life is more peaceful, usually, with less crying. Really-all advice you get is crap. You just have to do what works for you, in the moment. So, old cronies: SUCK IT!

Friday, February 15, 2008

On the lighter side

What makes some food combinations go well together and some others turn our stomachs? Why would we eat french fries with ketchup, but not just the ketchup? I'm asking because I just ate a hard-boiled egg dipped in ranch dressing. It was delicious, but sounds disgusting. If the $5.99 bottle of organic, gluten-free ranch dressing was not about to go bad (and I couldn't bear to waste that money) I would never have been enticed to dip my egg in it, and never would have known the glory. Glory be! Glory be! What else can I dip in?

Who let Debbie Downer write on this blog?

I'm terrified. I think my baby son is what the "experts" refer to as "high needs". He cries inconsolably for at least, AT LEAST and hour every day. He never wakes up happy. He won't sleep at night unless he is on my shoulder and if we put him down he cries within 5 minutes. He won't stay in his stroller for more than 20 mins. without screaming. I don't know (shrugging my shoulders here). It's not really bothering me at this point, (I finished my grocery shopping today amidst scorn and stares at my wailing/sputtering baby with my fuck-you smile on) and I'm not on the edge of anything psychotic. I remind myself all the time that he was 6 weeks early and is just still learning to be in the world. But it terrifies me because I don't want to have that kid.

I don't want my little boy to cling to mommy. I don't want him to whine or cry around new people, hiding behind my leg. I am too fun and flirty and ready to rock and roll to have a kid like that. It would be so unlike me. And really scary to think how much it would change me because I know already how you really would do anything for this little person. It's hitting me for the first time how you don't just have a baby-you have a person. And that person has their own personality. And I'm wondering just how much influence us parents really have in shaping who they become. It's scary and exciting too I guess...to watch him grow and see if my husband and I do a good job. Oh dear. Please let me do a good job. In some ways that makes me REALLY want to go back to work-at least there I know I do a damn fine job.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm winning!


I'm winning the secret competition I'm in with my husband to see who's the most thoughtful partner. I had a Valentine's gift for him-complete with red construction paper heart. I don't know what would be more satisfying-if he got me a present, or if he didn't, so I could "win". Pish Posh to those of you claiming the competition is illegal due to the competitors lack of knowledge regarding the rules and regulations. I put forth that he entered said competition with full disclosure 4.5 years ago on our wedding day.

P.S. Yeah it's just a book. We just had a baby and I'm not planning on another anytime soon-so shut up.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Breastfeeding and bonding

Courtesy of www.babycenter.com:

Is it okay to nurse my baby with the TV on?
Kelly Ross, M.D.
Pediatrician at St. Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri, and mother of triplets
As a general rule, no — feeding time with your baby is bonding time for the two of you. It's a time you hold, snuggle, and talk to your baby. He needs this interaction to grow and develop.

Oh man, I guess my son will never know who I am or learn how to do anything from me. On the flip side he'll surely feel a kindred bond with Oprah and know how to decorate like Nate. These things could come in handy, so I'm not turning off the tube. And I suppose surfing the web whilst nursing is just as detrimental? I'm screwed.

THANK YOU!

Thank you so much-you just saved my life! Here I was wandering aimlessly downtown/around the grocery store/at the mall/up and down the street with my ipod blaring to drown out the sound of my baby's ferocious wailing cries...hoping to all hope that someone with your wisdom and insight and obvious experience would happen to wander close. Little, lowly, uneducated and bewildered me has been struggling for the last half an hour, feeling on the verge of a breakdown, wondering if it would be all that bad to "accidentally" let baby's stroller roll into traffic, because I didn't have the answer to stop the crying.

But there you are stranger...an angel on earth with your other-wordly answer to my prayers: "Awwwww, mom-he's hungry!". Or in the grocery store case: "Awww-must be suppertime?" (Said with a Reese Witherspoon-in-Election-patronizing smile and not really a question at all). Or in the case of the mall: "He needs to be fed, mommy!".

Yes, yes, yes! Thank you! I didn't know I had to feed my baby. Actually the last time I fed him was days ago, but I thought that would suffice. I had no idea that would help the crying! (hahaha-silly me!). Really, (sigh) breastfeeding hasn't been the most all-consuming job I've ever had, and really, I haven't been feeding every hour on the hour for two weeks straight, and really, my nipples aren't raw and burning from the suctioning monster/gremlin I think my baby is sometimes, especially when he pulls away still attached and my nipple looks like hot-pink taffy. Oh dear...how can I ever repay you?-since I didn't think of that-NO, it wasn't like, oh say, just HALF AN HOUR AGO that I last fed him, but he's still bawling, and that's why I am here frantically walking this block.

Thank you stranger savior. Do you have kids? Yeah...didn't think so.