Friday, June 27, 2008

SIDS

The title should also stand for "Suddenly Infant is Doing Somersaults". This morning I was contemplating letting baby boy CIO when he woke at 5 am. Actually I did let him cry it out a little. Probably like...10 minutes? Hard to say since I was trying to sleep and only glanced at the clock with one squinty eye. But he was quiet, and then he'd let out a yelp. "HAHA!" I thought "he's trying out new ways to call out to me. Cute."

When I went in, resigned that if he sleeps 8 hours straight he will probably wake earlier, I first saw his little leg. IT WAS TRAPPED IN BETWEEN THE RUNGS! His chubby little thigh was stuck! He was trying to roll over and struggling to get his leg out the only ways he knew how: move more. So he was hurting his leg. I scooped him up suddenly wide awake and feeling soooo bad.

Yes, cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome have been reduced drastically since the "Back to Sleep" program was introduced (or so my public health division has told me-and I'm too lazy to look it up right now) and the American Academy of Pediatrics released the risk reducers for SIDS (no smoking by parents, breastfeeding, no soft bedding or lambskins, etc). But I'm putting the crib bumper pads in today. This is a case of knowing your baby and what works for you. If you think I'm going to be committing infanticide by doing so...please just keep it to yourself.

My son loves to move A LOT in his sleep. Often, I have to send my husband in because the baby has gotten himself into a position on his tummy where he is so close to the rails he can't put his head down. I keep hearing the "Thump". Poor guy. I think the bumpers will help him. I've already committed the mortal sin of giving him a little bear to sleep with (which he actually cuddles-so cute!) and a loose blanket. The blanket is crocheted and has holes-so I figure it would be dificult to suffocate? This is by the recommendation of my favorite "mommy book" author Stephanie Wilder.

Only problem: I made the crib skirt myself and have the fabric for the bumpers...where am I gonna find time today to sew them?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

BAH! Men.


Preface: I love my husband. He is nicer than me and one of the few great men. In the words of a wise lady: "I obviously think so otherwise I wouldn't have chosen to do the nasty and have a child with him". But I can dislike and love at the same time.

Hubby and I have had a fairly steady routine for a while now. It's been working quite well until something awful happened: the Fisher Price Aquarium Swing, the god of our world to which we bowed down, stopped working.

In the mornings I bring baby boy into bed for his morning feed, which is usually around 6 am. I doze while he eats and when he is done hubby takes him out of bed, burping as they go. I assume that baby then gets a fresh diaper (since he's been in the same one for twelve hours I HOPE so!), his medicine, and play time with daddy. I know somewhere in there hubby makes coffee too. Here's what used to happen: I would snooze until about 8 am when hubby would wake me gently with a sweet cheek kiss and whisper "Baby is asleep in the swing, I'm off. Enjoy your day, you beautiful, perfect woman I married!" (Ok, I made some of that up.) Thereafter I would stretch in the soft morning light and sometimes even go back to sleep for a half hour or so until I heard a complaint from the swing in the living room. DREAMY! Yeah it may have been bad to leave baby boy unattended in the swing...but it has a three-point harness!

Things started going downhill when baby boy decided that the little fishies swimming joyfully above his head needed to be eaten and the music needed to be sung along to and that he should struggle continuously to sit up inside the damn thing. No longer working its magic, I piled it with the items going to my friend who is expecting in August. And now my morning is quite different. Just as you can't make someone love you, you can't make a man act like a woman.

About two weeks ago, for about a week, I woke a mere 1/2 hour after the feed routine to hear baby boy whining non-stop. Ok...he does that with me during the day. But it's impossible to ignore it and let hubby figure it out when you just need some sleep goddammit! And when you are half asleep and grouchy. A fight ensued. I led hubby around the house bitchily pointing out ways to occupy baby now that the golden ticket is gone (which I now realize was the ONLY ticket: I'm sure hubby just plopped him in there every morning bringing his swing time to approx 5-6 hours a day when you factor in the later afternoon nap I put him in there for!). I was a little furious still. Why do I have to explain all of this? No one explained it to me!!! I just had to figure it out! Why can't he just try something? Whatever, I smiled through gritted teeth thinking "Don't bite the hand that may give you a couple of hours sleep in the morning". I didn't bite, but I barked instead when hubby exclaimed sometimes he just couldn't calm him and there were things he had to do to get ready in the morning, and so he might just have to whine. Funny. When I have "things to do" during the day, like oh-say, buy the groceries he eats, clean the house (ok, I don't really do that), and other important- things- I-want-to-be-smug- about-but-can't-think-of-right-now I somehow manage...by carrying him. Novel idea. We even have carriers for expressly that purpose. 3 of them in fact. Sigh. Triple sigh, in fact.

So as a result of this, hubby agreed to try harder. Thank you, Jesus! But it's not hard enough. On the weekend, in an attempt to get hubby as excited as I am about our new carrier I convinced him to strap baby boy in there while I was showering and baby boy was feeling particularly whiny. It was great, until hubby came to me wondering how to get him out since he is falling asleep. Uh, so let him fall asleep? He couldn't just wear the kid while he napped for the afternoon, not unlike what I would have to do on any given day? What the hell? I mean, why doesn't he WANT to carry his baby. The guy on the carrier's accompanying DVD called it the most loving thing he did for his baby. But I just know my hubby was thinking : "yay! I'll put him down and then I can play Grand Theft Auto!". Triple sigh again. Fight ensued. Why can't you be more like a woman? Or at least the DVD guy?

Again hubby gives it the old college try...until this morning. 6:30 am I feel something wiggling next to me and then something holding my nipple between two of the tiniest, strongest little pincers known to man. What the hell? WHY ME? (I must admit something here to explain my extreme crabbiness-CIO method is working like a charm for us...baby boy had slept 10 hours straight! But I didn't because I was busy drinking bellinis. Don't smirk.) Where is hubby? Having a leisurely moment reading on the can. I've written about this already so I don't need to go into detail here too much...but come on! After all of the options I gave the man for occupying baby boy he still chooses to bring him to me when the going gets tough?

I have to explain: Yes, you can bring the bouncy chair/bumbo seat/quilt with toy into the bathroom with you. They are portable items for a reason. Yes, sometimes a regular go-to toy is not making the grade, but you need to improvise a little! Tampons from the bottom drawer are fun little drumsticks! A brand-new, unread INStyle magasine (shedding a single tear right now for what I lost) makes the best noise being ripped to shreds! The decorative bucket holding my face creams is like a day at the beach!

How come this engineer seems to be so freakin' dense lately? How did I figure all of this out? Was it genetic? Hormonal? Women's instinct? Perhaps a stay-at-home dad would be an equal to a mom? Do they have all the tricks down pat and have to educate their wives when she gets home from her job? As for my husband, I'm convinced it's just always the easy way out to plop the baby back with me. I suppose I'm a part of the problem. Obviously I just need to make myself more scarce. If only he will experience a smidge of what I endured those first couple of months I just know it will make my journey feel better appreciated. I know he will put me up on that pedestal we new mommies so want to be on...

So, until you've taken a shit while singing the Bonanza! theme song and giving baby a pony ride on your lap...you haven't lived (as a parent). Saddle up, hubby! Momma needs her beauty rest.

Some People...

...simply have no sense of humor. Or, this is another case where I don't seem to get along with other women. I attended a "mommy's night out" there a while ago which was quite...lovely. It was foot baths and scented candles and crudite. I say lovely in a tone that is confused, questioning and a titch snarly. Everyone was kind. Too kind. Everyone was supportive too. Too, too supportive. Ok, let me put it this way: when I chimed in my two cents on the "this is what my baby is like" chit-chat, I called my baby an asshole. No one laughed.

Come on! My favorite show of all time is Sex and the City. There is a great scene where Samantha listens to Miranda go on about her baby Brady and then she exclaims "Well that baby sounds like an asshole!". Clear. Concise. My kinda gal. I've used the reference before and gotten a laugh! So my reference to Sex was lost there, but at the least the mere juxtaposition of baby and asshole should conjure a giggle? Nada. Cue crickets. I was met with stone-faced silence and a few wide-eyed disbeliefs. Then: too much support.

"There, there" they said, patting me on the shoulder. "Surely he is not. He is beautiful! He is so sweet! He is a gift from heaven!". An image of that awful intern who atted me on the shoulder day 2 in the hospital when I was crying about my baby being hooked up to machines-and she mentioned to my husband in a hushed whisper the dreaded "postpartum" shot to mind. This sent me backtracking and red-faced, explaining my joke...and if you have to explain a punchline-blah. The weird thing is, I was looking for support...just not that kind. I was out for the first time in ages without a diaper bag slung over my shoulders, a spit-up stain down my front, a crusty-dried drool on my cheek or a baby on my hip. My stomach was sucked in, standing tall and wearing an underwire bra. And there was wine! I just wanted a laugh.

Speaking of the wine...and the laugh: later still questing for the guffaws I poured myself the first glass of red. I correct myself: a HALF glass. A few sips really. And I indulged in a little hyperbole:

"It's been so long since I had a glass of wine ladies that I may be a cheap date again! It'll be the good ol' college days again! Before you know it I'll be taking off my top and dancing on the dining room table-who's joining me?"

That did get a few chuckles-I'm sure because most of them could remember being there. But then came the moment I realized no one at the party "got me". Basically when I was leaving-so you can imagine how many more jokes I told that would earn me this treatment:

Host: "All joking aside now, are you really ok to drive home?" As she kindly and supportively stroked my arm.

Oh my god. I started stammering "I'm fine! No really...I was ONLY JOKING! Really! I only had a few sips!" All of this just made me sound like a drunk...so I tried to cover it up by talking faster, causing me to stumble over my words...which made me turn red and sweaty, so I just tried to leave quickly, opening the door the wrong way and awkwardly stumble down the walk.

I bet now you are laughing. But the mommies weren't. I can still hear the hushed whispers from here. And feel the hot tears that streaked my cheeks on the drive home. It's not my feelings that were hurt. Just my sense of humor. It needs a mommy-friend.

Monday, June 23, 2008

La la la la...

Life raft. Loogie. Lufthansa. Lard-ass.

These are some of the gems NOT included in The Barenaked Ladies song "La La La La Lemon" for kids. Its actually an awesomely catchy tune. I downloaded some new musak to listen to in the car with baby boy. He had grown really fond of my world beats drum music...it was this CD made by this world music children's band that is local. They came and performed at a school I worked at during our Multicultural Day Assembly, and they were awesome! So I bought the CD to support them, threw it in the glovebox on my way home and forgot all about it. Until just last month when I was desperate for something other than the radio tuned to a random white noise AM station to calm crying baby in the backseat.

See we use a "sophisticated" white noise machine at home whenever baby boy sleeps in his crib. It works like a charm for a couple of reasons. First off-I call it "sophisticated" but, well, if you know me by now, I'm being sarcastic. Its an overpriced alarm clock with a few extra features. Ones I appreciate but still, waaaaaayyyyyyy overpriced. It definitely signals to him that it is "sleepy time" and it drowns out all the noise my husband and I make having our nightly hootenany out here in the living room. And by noise I mean talking. And by hootenany I mean internet searching and simultaneous reality TV watching. Baby boy's room is really the den in our squatty condo and opens off the living room, you see. Anyways, in the car I've resorted to tuning, or not tuning- as it were, to a non-station for the same effect in the car. But you try driving 40 minutes with a blizzardy, buzzing noise in your ear! And its worse when every now and again some person's voice squeaks in and out reminding me of that movie "Frequency" and some other weird/creepy M. Knight Shyamalan type stuff.

So I rummaged in the glove box and came up with this drum CD. He loves it. I love it. We shake our invisible maracas in the air at red lights! Ok...I do that. He just sleeps. But I needed a change of pace and thanks to iTunes I found "Just for Kids" a Canadian musicians' CD for kids. Love. It. Especially because Sarah Mc. does Kermit like nobody's business. Check it out and try not to sing along in a froggy voice. I triple dog dare you.

The Barenaked Ladies' original tune has them being silly and singing La la la followed by a "lovely" word that starts with "L". Last night it's all I could sing in my head. I found myself not counting sheep, but singing "L" words. Not as easy as it sounds. I started with "Luxury" and I fell asleep with somewhere around "lick me!" and "Lumpectomy!" and "Lubrication!". Hmmmm, some are not ones I'd sing with baby boy. But then tonight hubby and I...no, we did not make use of that last "L" word (I'm sure I should post about that sometime though!)...we took turns coming up with "L" words over dinner while singing the tune. My, how times have changed. Dinner conversation used to be politics and current events! Ok...it was more like "what did George Dubya say when..." and "You won't believe what Shitney Spears did today!" I admit. La-la-la is probably an upgrade.

Friday, June 6, 2008

TMI

Ok, this post will definitely be TMI and may turn you off your lunch. I'm just saying. I'm about to talk poop.

Since being sick last week I've had what I will refer to delicately as "digestive issues". God I feel like my nanny right now. Whenever anyone of my aunts were sick and anyone asked after them she would look away, a little haughtily, puff her cigarette uncomfortably, and do a hand *"wafture", saying "oh now, its women's issues". It might have been a simple headache. But I digress.

Baby boy has discovered a very powerful tool: whining. Its like TNT, a spider on your ceiling above your head as you fall asleep, a dripping faucet, an earthquake=impossible to ignore. Really he is ok, but whining to let us know he would like something different. How do you tell a 6 month old (oh my god...he's 6 months old!) to stop the whining!!!!??? So today I ran off to do my business leaving baby boy in his new "office" (must change my profile to explain how much I like this new toy-the exersaucer) and just as I'm pinching a much needed loaf, he begins to whine. Whine. WHINE. WHINE! Agh. As a new mother I've discovered this uncontrollable and inexplicable urge to always respond to baby. No matter what you are doing. Its silly at times...you know, he will live for 2 minutes while you finish...but instead I feel myself becoming overwhelmed. Sweating. Rushing...only you can't rush nature. So there I am stuck between a rock and , well, you know...

And I'm calling out to baby boy "its okkkkkayyyyyy......(breathe, breathe) mommmeeeeee's here! Just a minuuuute sweeetheart!". And it hits me. This is what it means to be a mom. Never shitting in peace. Never having the luxury of closing the door, reading some comics, trolling the internet on your laptop. Oh I know many moms warned me before about this. But its even more weird than you can imagine when you come to actually experience it. Because I could close the door. I could have my laptop. But, I CANNOT ignore baby boy. And it makes your heart race. Its really not something you'd understand unless you are a mom-and dads I think you could just close the door and ignore.

And so...my doody does not win over my duty. And it doesn't feel good on the bum, but my ears and heart thank me.

*While teaching Julius Caesar to grade 7's the funniest and best part was when Brutus gives Portia an "angry wafture of his hand" and for weeks the kids were wandering around "wafturing" at each other :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ew.


So I have been absent from blogging, but with all due respect you would not enjoy typing while barfing either :)

Yes, my husband and I got the stomach flu. I rushed off to the chiropractor's last Thursday afternoon after having ate some leftover curry. My stomach was feeling a little off at the appointment but I put it off to having run after eating. Then the appointment started to get realllllllly long in the tooth with the chiro insisting on x-rays, etc. It's no matter as I appreciate him being thorough, only at this family-friendly office baby boy was starting to get restless playing on the floor on his blankie. Not to mention the fact that the tiny exam room was stinking up with this diaper stench. Yes...baby boy did the loudest shit while I was having my appointment. Luckily the chiro laughed it off. But It was hard to laugh when it wafted up and permeated the room...you can't laugh and hold your breath at the same time. Eventually I had to change him and I've enough experience that I asked the chiro to leave the room. It. was. gross. Green and gross. Like nothing I've ever seen before. Foreshadowing? It turned my stomach and then I felt a little more sick, but chalked it up to the diaper. By the time I was getting ready to leave an hour later, baby boy was screaming and I was getting dressed in the room with him when I had a violent urge from below...but nothing came up. COULD YOU IMAGINE? I paid so quickly using baby boy as the unspoken excuse, got out onto the sidewalk and started wheeling baby boy away. I only made it as far as the street corner before curry met pavement. Over and over again. I'd like to think I was discreet about this, but it was a busy intersection at 5 pm. Right beside a bus stop. Oh, I can't even go back there in my mind.

By the time I'd gotten myself home I threw up in the Kitchen sink over baby boy's shoulders and called my husband to "get home now!" and I was crying. Not sure why...just this overwhelming feeling of being lost...so sick, plus throwing up is a little traumatic added to the feeling of not being able to care for my baby and being scared. It was not good. Hubby came home and took goooood care of me. He even hooked me up with a barf bucket and a wet cloth beside the bed which came in handy-though he chose one of my new rubbermaids. I remember vaguely thinking "NOoooooooOOOoo, not my new rubbermaid container!" but I couldn't muster a real protest. At around midnight hubby goes "Gee, I'm starting to wonder if I'm getting sick?" in a pathetic sort of voice.

I ADMIT...I am cruel and not as nice as my husband. I immediately rolled my eyes (though only in my head as it hurt too much to actually roll my eyes at that point and I also did not want to anger the caretaker), and thought of course, what a baby...he has to be sick too. I thought "he is not sick. Geesh! Suck it up Soldier!". Then somewhere in the middle of the night I was haunted by the monstrous sounds of sickness coming from the bathroom.

Baby boy still refuses to take a bottle. I fed him lying down in bed. We took turns laying on the couch while he laid on the floor. At one point I remember us lying belly-up on the bed staring at the ceiling, holding hands and admitting we were both feeling desperate. We don't have any family living nearby...no friends we could subject ourselves too, or our fussy kid...it was a very lonely and scary feeling. We'd always liked being away from family and taking care or each other, but this was different. I can't really even explain the depth of it...anyways, clearly we love each other (though I might be mean...I took care of hubby later!). Clearly we lived to tell the tale and our baby did too. Yay us. Boo stomach flu.

P.S. Above pic is from baby boy's early days which I thought à propos. For J-dog.