Thursday, 31 January 2013

6 things I should be ashamed of, but I'm not...

Alright, confession time.  Here's a list of six things, that before I had a baby, I would have never EVER thought I would do.  I should probably feel ashamed for having done them -- but lets get real, there's only so many times your hand can get pooped in like a frozen yogurt machine before you lose all sense of humility and how to act appropriately.  So judge if you must, but being a Mom is about keeping your head above water while there is baby poop floating all around you.  And for the record, you're not a real bad-ass Mom until you've done at least one of these things.

1.  Left your child in his carseat because he is sleeping.
This seems to be a hot topic right now.  I've had more than one Mom   come in close, all up in my grill, to whisper like they're going to tell me their deepest secret.  They've even made me pinky swear not to tell anyone as they look left, then right to make sure no one is listening.  "I let my child sleep in their car seat, please don't judge me".  

Ah jeez! Common now! I thought you had something Britney Spears bad to tell me.  Like you said, "Screw it, it's only a couple of blocks -- he's asleep in his carrier, I'll just drive home with him like this -- air bags are soft, right?"  

Seriously, I really don't see the problem with this, I do it.  I've even left him in a parked car in the garage, with the door to the house open (and trust me when I tell you I will hear him when he awakens from his 17 minute slumber, infact the whole neighbourhood will likely hear him) -- while I put away groceries.  Here, let me get the number for Child Protective Services for you...

2.  Breastfed while roasting red peppers.
Amongst other strange things, like crocheting.  (Ok, I don't crochet.  My BFF does...and she's bat-shit crazy multi-tasking talented.  In fact, one time at band camp, she crocheted my son a hat while making an apple pie and breastfeeding.  True story.)

Now remember back to when you first started breastfeeding and thought, "Awesome, I have all this time to catch up on my television watching!  This is going to be great!".  But then you find yourself taping Boy Meets World reruns and you realize you cannot possibly sit still on the couch for a minute longer--not even for the marriage of Cory and Topanga? (even though you were cordially invited...)  This is how I became a multi-tasking breastfeeding ninja. 

Here are a some (but not all) of my most noted tasks that I have accomplished one-handed while breastfeeding:

- playing level 32 of Candy Crush on my iPhone 
(...clear the jellies? dammit, I hate that level...)

- going to the bathroom 
(...he finally just latched after a hunger strike and I really had to pee ok?)

- eating dinner, but difficult things to eat one handed, like a beef dip or hard tacos 
(...extra points for licking the salsa off your child's head that you most definitely dropped on hour ago... Oh, wait... is that some shredded cheese? Mmm...)

- blogging 
( just tried to picture it, didn't you...weirdo...)

- drinking hot coffee 
(...for some reason people get shocked when I do this... Hey, you're at my house at 9 in the morning, either call first or deal with the fact that my boob will be out and there is going to be caffeine involved.)

Admit that you're now feeling one of two ways.... Jealous of my mad-skills or itching to leave a comment below to "one-up" me...

I don't know who this is, but she wins the 'best breast-feeding-multi-tasker', hands down!

3. Fake breastfeed.*
I know, sounds weird right?  It's brilliant, if you haven't done it  yet -- trust me you will.  Picture it.  Your husband is putting out the garbage, vacuuming, or cleaning the kitchen...something that he could use some help with but you just need to see the end of Project Runway.   You know that Uli is for sure going to 'out' because her dress is hideous (what the hell is with all the neon this season?).  But dammit, your baby has fallen asleep and the panel has just started their deliberations.  You hold your baby close, shove the nipple back into his sleepy-open mouth for added effect and just wait until the show is done to get off the couch.  

So I used my breastfeeding superpowers for evil, sue me.  (By the way -- Uli was 'in'.  Fashion is so weird.)

*I don't think my husband reads my blog, he probably has just scanned it to make sure I'm not saying anything horrible about him.  He gets enough of the 'live' version at home.  But if  you happen to be reading this right now honey, this is a purely fictional scenario that I just made up for comedic purposes.  Honest. ;)

4.  Left your child in the car while paying for gas.
I don't know why people freak out so much from this.  Listen, he's 6 months old -- he's not going to take my standard car for a joyride.  If it was an automatic it be a different story, but he hasn't figured out how to drive stick yet, so we're ok.  

In all honesty, I tried to pay at the pump but the bloody machine wouldn't work no matter how many times I quickly removed my card.  I did it so many times that the gas attendant had to embarrass me by talking over his intercom..."EXCUSE ME MA'AM (ouch.. Ma'am?..really?) ARE YOU TRYING TO GET GAS?"...No I'm trying to roast a turkey.  

Take a minute and calm the hell down when you see me dash inside, I need gas or my child and I will be living here at the Shell station.   The car doors are locked, so the minute my child is alone while I pay inside is hardly a huge issue.  Either way, since he's my child and he's in the car, he's probably screaming like a banshee so the chances of someone willingly taking him are slim to none.  So take a breath, everything will be ok peanut.     

5.  Became a boobie flasher.
Seriously -- how many people have I accidentally shown my aerola to?  I've totally lost count.  Actually, to be honest, it was only accidental for a couple weeks and now it's like, hey if you don't want to see my boob-- call first or don't come over.   This baby needs to eat and in my own house I'm not going to be sweating my ass off under an 'utter cover' as my child passes out from heat exhaustion just so you can feel 'comfortable' with me nursing.  Let's get real, I'm also not going to the other room because there's no TV in there.  And while we're being so honest, even if I was covered up -- you'd probably be visualizing my nipple.  So stop it.

Then what about at the hospital?  Just how many female nurses can fondle your boob before you switch teams?  I distinctly remember one nurse telling me (as she squished my engorged boob into a pancake), " just have to make it like a hamburger...".  

What?  A hamburger?  Really?  That's the best analogy you can come up with?  Why not a cheeseburger?  Or maybe a portabello veggie burger, for the vegans in the crowd?  That's it lady now you've done it, pass me my cell phone, I need to call my husband so he can stop at McDonalds.  You can't expect me to eat this shitty hospital food when you went and got cheeseburgers on my mind.   Let's clear something else up while we're at it, the first food I want to eat after giving birth in the dead of summer anyways, is NOT a microwaved 'Hungry Man' turkey dinner.

And I can't even count how many times Liana Pretto, the lactation Godess or Wizard whatever she is, (she has magical powers, honestly -- she can just think about your boobs over the phone and somehow fix any breastfeeding issue you have) has seen my nipples.   I used to have some modesty and now I can flip my boob out quicker than your husband will pass you your child during a meltdown.  Impressive, right?  Anyone up for a boobie show down?  1....2.....3......draw!

6.  Sat your child in a Walmart shopping cart.
Are you crazy?  It is a proven fact that Walmart is a complete cess pool where terrible diseases are born, and where happiness goes to die.  Watch out for falling...bubonic plague!  Infact, I believe the first Ebola outbreak started at a Walmart.  You'd have to be out of your mind to let your child sit in one of those seats.  Quick!  Hide!  Now I'm calling Child Protective Services on you!  My how the tables have turned... ;)

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

At the risk of sounding selfish, what about me?

Put on your seatbelt Mama, this journey begins now...
It's pretty hard work being a Mom.  You can never know what you're getting yourself into.  Likely, because if you did -- you would have given that night of condomless bliss a second thought.  Let's get honest here, first and foremost, I love my son and I love being his Mom.  Nothing can change it, I'm hardwired to love him to infinity and beyond, so if you're being a hater -- calm down.  You can read what to expect until you're ready to push that babe out, but until you're a full fledge Mama, how can you really understand it?  Let's face it...For 25 plus years, you've cruised around thinking only about yourself (and ok.. sometimes others) and in a second (ok, if you're lucky like me, 28 debilitating hours..) you're someones ENTIRE world.  Instantaneously, thinking about yourself takes a back seat (along with eating hot food and sleeping).  

Becoming a Mom turns your life around and can be pretty isolating.  I was literally parked on the couch breast feeding for 23 hours a day thanks to a slow let down and an even slower eater.  So as you can imagine, the pvr became my friend.  

Now before motherhood, you think -- I have my friends, they're awesome!  It never dawns on you the need to make new friends.  What do I need new friends for?  My friends are great, we hang out all the time, I'll have so much time when I'm "off" -- it won't be hard to keep in touch at all.  Three weeks after becoming a mom, you realize the error in your thinking.   It's about the time that the novelty of you creating a human has worn off, the gifts stop coming in, everyone is back to work, and you're on your own Momma.   A few will keep in touch, but it's not the same as it was -- never can be.  They conventionally go to work, and you do not.  When they can go out, you just want to go to sleep.    It's even harder with your working child-less friends, because they just can't understand (it's really not their fault) or they try to draw parallelism between having a kitten and a newborn baby (yes, because that's the same...).  I highly recommend having lowered expectations, it's way better than the stark realization that everything is different.

Flashback to my three week old baby.  Scary times.  I remember the first day I was by myself with him.  There was so much crying, probably because the more my son would cry, I would just cry harder.  I vowed  to figure this small human out.  I made him, I should know what to do with him --right?  Nah.  In hindsight it seems like you just fumble along the way, and sometimes things work and sometimes things don't.  You probably never really know what you're doing.  And here, three weeks in (and counting), is where the hard work begins.  

It's not the sleepless nights, acquiring a taste for coffee no matter how cold it is, or trying to eat a quesadilla in one hand while bouncing your baby in the other while breastfeeding.  Nor is it the cracked, chafed, pain-ridden, leaky nipples or the inability to hold your urine in your bladder for months after childbirth (...kegels anyone?).  It's not even not being able to go out like you used to (remember going to the movies, or to dinner, or even to the grocery store baby-less?), having to change poopy diapers (it really doesn't even phase you anymore, is that poop on my hand or guacamole?), or having to perfect your shower routine to under 4 minutes (including drying time).  I know, hard to believe that any of that is not the hardest part of being a mom but it really isn't.  All of that is just par for the course and most of it is a phase that will eventually end.  The hardest part about being a Mom is not falling into the trap of ONLY being a Mom.

Hey you--with the boobies,  come here!
My son is six and half months old, and only now in the last couple weeks have I felt like myself again.  I went through some emotional times, especially at the beginning of January.  I don't know if it was the lack of sunlight, or the drastic drop in hormones because it's been 6 months since I pushed out a human (...seriously, what is with all the hair I'm losing?) but I felt sad and lonely.  I realized it was because while I've devoted everything to being at home with my son -- for some reason my highlights of my day: getting regularly milked like a dairy cow, vacuuming, stopping to watch a bit of pvr'd Kelly & Micheal, then cooking dinner, and maybe folding some laundry, were not at all satisfying.  For the record, I love my husband and we have a great marriage (I know, where's the barf bag?).  And I know it's cliche but he's my rock who is hilarious and keeps me laughing through it all, and not to mention that he is a phenomenal Dad.  And I love being a Mom, it's a gift and a blessing -- my son, I simply adore him.  I love him to the moon and back.  But I'm more than just a Mom and a wife.  Hold your shock, but what about me?

The problem with being a Mom is we inherently think it's selfish to want to do anything, and I mean anything for yourself.  Not too long ago, I felt selfish for wanting to take an uninterrupted bath for 30 minutes.  A freaking bath people.  True story.  So sad, and so totally brought on by my own negative self-talk.  So, it was a red letter day when I realized that it's ok to put myself back into the equation.  Seriously ladies, it is OK to do something for yourself-- infact, it makes us refreshed, more patient, and thus better parents (so really, that pedicure is not selfish, it will in turn make you a way better mom to your baby...I'm calling for an appointment right now...).  So, I took my life back into my hands, signed up for some classes, and decided I was not a prisoner to the sleep schedule.  That's right, I said a big *screw-you* to the nap schedules and I stopped worrying about when I can leave the house.  I bet some of you are like, "What? You're crazy! But how will your child sleep? And what if he doesn't? What if he melts down? Do you feed him only organic food?  Are you worried about BPA from your baby bullet? You don't use cloth diapers? Oh my God!"  

My mothering philosophy.

The truth?  I no longer care about what anyone thinks about me or about his day time sleep.  If he sleeps, he sleeps.  If he doesn't, he doesn't.  What's the big deal anyways, it's not like I can get him to sleep when I want him to at home or for longer than 17 minutes.  Honestly, he'll be fine -- really he will, and I need to feel like me again.  

For those of you just getting the hang of it, the trick is hanging out with other Mom's to remind you that you're not alone in this battle of re-discovering who you are.  Maybe go to a knitting club, join a baby boot-camp, or do some ridiculous sing-a-long class where you feel like a dork -- my current favorite is learning how to salsa dance with my 20-lbs chubba-lub strapped to me.  It's a pretty easy recipe once you're ready to take the plunge and be "selfish".  Take something you like to do (that you can bring your child with you -- or not, your choice) and add a Mom or two or twenty to the mix (my baby boot camp has SO many awesome Mom's in it).  Voila, you'll feel better in no time and you're a better mom for doing it.  

Other Mom's are awesome sources of empathy and inspiration -- you can be certain that you won't just be sweating, squatting, and cursing suicides at your work-out because collectively you become each others sounding board.  Warriors, fighting the good fight, battling the same war, these wonderful women are becoming my new friends. They make me feel better about myself, don't judge, and remind me that we're all in this together.  They even text-guilt me into getting my butt to boot-camp or even better, Zumba.  But the best part is they share in your victories (no matter how trivial they may seem to husbands and child-less friends) and legitimately feel your pain from your child waking every 15 minutes for 4 hours during the night (because they've been there done that, and all they got was this lousy breast milk stained t-shirt).  

Now please know that I still love all my friends (with and without child) and my husband.  I can't tell you how much I adore him for trying to be interested in things that are definitely not interesting to him --like finding a new nipple for a bottle that is more like a regular nipple so the baby will be more likely to have less nipple confusion with it.  He won't have a clue how to follow up on that mouthful, but a Mom-friend will ask you what brand it is and marvel that you could find the number 1 and 2 nipple at Superstore.  

But rambling aside, the truth of it all is the only people who can truly appreciate how hard it is to be a Mom, is another Mom.  So if you're newly initiated to motherhood and crying into your pee diapers, get out there and meet some Mom's.  We're all treading the same stormy waters, trying to get to the same shore of sleep and sanity.  Trust me, you need new friends (really, who can't use a few more), and only Mom's will fit the bill.  And to all of you Mom's in my life, whether I've only had one conversation with you or I've know you for years -- if you're reading this, you've been a big part of helping me find me again.  Thanks.  

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Friday, 25 January 2013

Meet Diablo-the-Squirrel, my son's alter-ego...

Papa and an teeny-tiny full blown meltdown.
I used to be mortified by "the meltdown".  I dreaded it; the stares, the glares, the unwanted advice (maybe he's hungry?... yeah or maybe he only cries when annoying people talk to his mom...).  Causing severe stress, the meltdown for newbie moms is like experiencing some sort of PTSD.   Sweating down your back, your paranoia grows. Surely someone is calling child protective services while you frantically run to your car.  Left, then right, then left again you look while fumbling for your car keys results in fallen lip-glosses that are left behind as casualties of war.  Your child's rage grows exponentially with each jerking-back-arcing manoeuvre as he tries to escape your clutches, all the while wailing like the incredible hulk.  You swear if your babe could, he would rip off his sleeper in complete rage and yell, "Hulk ANNNNNGRRRRRRRRY!".  

But yesterday, I turned a corner and used my sons alter-ego, I've affectionately named Diablo-the-Squirrel, for good and finally figured out another use for a screaming baby in pre-nap meltdown mode other than a form of birth control for myself and anyone within a five-mile radius.

You know when time gets away from you?  Carrying your babe in your snazzy carrier, shopping with your BFF, all is well -- you almost forget that you are a mom.   Boots and even jeans have been tried on, you're a rockstar.  All the while thinking, why did I used to think shopping with a baby is difficult?  You're whisked away to that magical kid-less time because your day has been spectacularly easy.  Then you realize, oh shit it's 3:30pm..we've been shopping for hours and he hasn't napped.  I'm now playing Russian-baby-roulette with every minute that ticks by but I still need to pick up a card, dammit-- I'll just quickly pop into Hallmark.

No sooner do I thoughtlessly pick out a card (it looks very thoughtful, though, with all those italic words scrolled across a sunset coupled with a glistening lake), his eyes widen and glaze over, now enter Diablo-the-Squirrel.  The meltdown has arrived.  

I briskly walk to the cash register with my wailing child and the till-showdown happens.  You've been there, both people walk up at the exact same time and stand side-by-side behind the person paying.  The competition begins when neither person will stand behind the other because each think they should get to go first.  

Now, I've gotten used to people having some sympathy when my child is mid-meltdown, but this 70-something crusty-old-lady we shall call, Nasty Nana, had none.  Now before you get all pissy about me not being nice to an old lady -- this was not the I-make-delicious-chocolate-chip-cookies-just-eat-one-more-because-you're-too-skinny kind of warm and loving Nonna's, it was the cranky-I-hate-the-world-insult-spewing-just-because-I'm-old-and-don't-care old ladies (the ones who will frankly tell you that, "..yes, you could stand to lose 10 more pounds, you do look chunky..).  But I digress...  

This is usually the point in the story when I nervously sweat and just throw my intended purchase to the floor, apologizing to anyone who will listen, and run away as quickly as possible with my tail between my legs.  But not this time, Mama has a list of things to get done today and get done they will.  

A stroke of genius hits me, my eyes narrow in for the kill...bring it on Nasty Nana, Diablo-the-Squirrel is here and he's not going anywhere.  I know he just needs to be jostled a bit into la-la-naptime-land, but really -- whats a few minutes of crying.  He's cried longer while I try to take a shower, so I decide today we will harness Diablo-the-Squirrels powers for good. 

Nasty Nana looks me dead in the eyes, imploring me to make the torture to her old ears stop.  Suuuurrrre, I could bounce him.  My magic-mom-ninja jiggle will easily stop this ear piercing wailing but the interact machine just froze and you have no sympathy beneath your short-Sears-permed-tinted-blue hair in your old-lady eyes, so bounce him I will not.  

Both of us maintain eye contact.  Glaring at me with complete disgust, she anxiously waits for the moment she can bud in front of me and go for the win but there is no way am I going to cave.  I'm tired, ready to get home and quite frankly this cranky old broad, who thinks the world owes her something, will probably be dead-set about fiddling for 803 years trying to find the exact change at the bottom of her embroidered coffee-cup and kittens purse.  So I let him cry.  I use my telepathy to tell him, all is well and to keep up the good show, and what does my superstar son do?  Stops crying for a moment, arcs his back and stares her right in the eye. When that old wench doesn't smile or give a lick of compassion to his glistening tear stained face, he sticks out his tongue, razzes her with frustration, and then turns the scream up to epic proportions.  At this point she rolls her eyes while my heart grows two-sizes too big with motherly-pride as I step in front of her and take the win for the team.  

As soon as I finish paying, I walk out of the store with my mom-ninja-jiggle-bounce and he stops crying instantly.  I don't look back.  I don't need to.  I joined forces with the beast and won.  Diablo-the-Squirrel fades away as my little angel lets out a heavy sigh for all his hard work.  The meltdown has subsided.  His eyelids grow heavy as he rests his head on my chest, and I feel an enormous amount of smugness having reached a mama-milestone of owning the meltdown and not letting the meltdown own me. 
"Take that old-lady!  Don't mess with my Mama!"

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Saturday, 19 January 2013

If you're easily offended by the mention of boobies, don't read this post...

Remember the controversy over this shocking Time magazine cover photo?  It sparked debates beside many-o-water coolers discussing when one should stop breastfeeding.  Argued was the balance between "breast is best" and social appropriateness of nursing your child beyond infancy.  But don't worry -- I won't talk about any of that.  In fact, looking at my engorged self in the mirror today -- I figured this lady out.  

I understand why she doesn't want to stop breast feeding, and it's not for the conventional reasons you may think.  Yes, breast-milk is a magical substance that changes to meet your child's ever changing needs.  It protects them from illness by increasing their immunity by transferring Mommy's antibodies on to fight the good fight.  And of course, breast-feeding creates a special bond between mother and child...but that's not it.  

A visual representation of my engorged melons.
I love my new boobs.  No, I don't think you don't understand... I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my new boobs.  This is coming from a grown woman who, when not breast feeding, has teeny-tiny-tatters.  Sub-A cup I assume I would be, if they made such a cup.  In fact, I could probably still train those boobies if I didn't feel like less of a woman for shopping in the juniors section.  So a generous (on Victoria's Secrets part) 36-A was my pre-breastfeeding-boobies.  

For all you non-boobie compromised women out there, Victoria's Secret is that she doesn't think that there are women with breasts that small.  That's right.  Every time I've gone in there, I've felt like I'm the last person being picked for the dodge ball team.  None, and I mean NONE of the pretty, gorgeous, look at what I can do for your bosom, bras come in a 36-A.  My only three choices have always been one style of push-up bra (never the phenomenal miracle worker push up bra that is advertised all over the store) in white, beige, or black.  Imagine my excitement.  Thus, I have never been able to buy pretty panties with the matching bra because of their rude prejudice against the booby-impaired.  That's right, I was discriminated against for having tiny-titties.  But I shall feel left out no more!  

So you guessed it, I have no intention to stop breastfeeding anytime soon.  Forget it.  Are you crazy?  My tata's are now a beautiful small C.  That's right ladies.  I can finally fill out a top like it was intended to.  I sometimes have to wear a scarf to minimize how inappropriate my cleavage is in certain situations (I say sometimes, because really, I don't mind having the ladies oggled).  I even can shake them like a Polaroid picture while Zumba'ing.   It's like the universe apologizing for stretching my lady-flower beyond recognition during child birth, by handing out a free breast augmentation with every human made (limited time offer). 

So mock the Time lady if you will.  Debate her reasons until you're blue in the face.  But take a good look at her breasts and I'm sure you'll agree...she didn't want to stop breastfeeding.  Not for any of the noble reasons that were written about in such a prestigious magazine...but because she, like me, is in no hurry* to trade in her temporary motor-boating-beauties for saggy empty milk bags.   

*I have no intention of nursing my son into junior-high, this post was for pure comedic purposes only.  Well, and to let my new boobies know how I truly feel about them.  For some reason, Hallmark didn't seem to have a card that captured the right sentiment.

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Thursday, 17 January 2013

You can only make me feel inferior if I give you permission...

Alright, I'll admit it.  I'm a type A personality.  I have my own way of doing things and I really don't need your help nor will I ask for it, thank you very much.  Honestly, I won't ask for help no matter how much I need it.  I could be drowning in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and likely refuse the offer of your life jacket because I thought I might be able to swim to that ship, waaaaaaaay over there... (or is that just a bird?).  So imagine how much more difficult I make my life, from this inherent personality trait of mine, now that I have a wee child of a mere 6 months old.    

Most days I feel like super-mom but it happens, that moment when you no longer can do it on your own -- and you give in.  This has happened far more times than I can count since my son was born (and even when I was very robustly --yes that's a polite way of saying 'hippopotamus like'-- pregnant) and I have learned some pretty heavy lessons.  There are two types of people that you encounter while requiring help:

1.  The "no-problem-I'll-stop-what-I'm-doing-to-help-you-because-I-know-you-never-ask-for-help-and-must-need-it-badly-and-I-love-you" kind of person.  They are your rocks.  You love them.  They deserve all things good because they are so wonderful.  They potentially are on the road to sainthood.     

2. The "well-no-not-right-now-because-it's-not-about-me-but-I-could-help-you-later-when-its-inconvienent-for-you-but-convinent-for-me-and-I'll-be-sure-to-complain-about-you-later-to-anyone-who-will-listen-because-you-didn't-accept-my-help-after-I-didn't-offer-it-when-you-needed-it-so-shame-on-you-for-forgetting-you-can't-rely-on-me" kind of person.  

Ok, that was a little wordy and clearly hitting a little close to home but maybe you know who I'm talking about.  That person who you try to let into your life, but is a constant source of disappointment because you don't want them to suck as bad as they do, but really they're just hopeless and shitty but they think they're awesome.  I've also noticed that these people are often pretty religious.  Not the normal, I pray to a deity, and am a nice person kind of religious.  The preachy, hallelujah, I'm a pharisee type of religious.  You know, the Jesus loves you but everyone else thinks your an ... well you get the point.  You really only ask them if you're REALLY in a bind, and they always make you feel like it's your fault they can't help you because watching 'Biggest Loser*' (see the irony in that?) or filling up their half-full tank of gas is more important than you and your child?   You're never ahead of the game after asking this type of person for help, infact, you feel worse having done so.  So new rule -- NEVER ask them for help.  Why?  Because nothing good can come of it.

*The name of this reality show has been changed to protect the identity of this fictional non-helpful person.

But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my ultimate favorite person, when I don't need help at all, ready for it?  You know who it is... you've met them while grocery shopping, or while in the mall, or maybe at Chapters.... the "let-me-offer-you-my-opinion-even-though-you-don't-want-it-because-I-think-I-know-your-child-better-than-you-do" person.  Always a woman, usually your Mom's age.  Thinks they're deadly because they had a kid 803 years ago that they fed rice cereal (that they milled themselves) at the age of 4 days old while walking to school uphill both ways in a snow storm.  Listen lady, there is nothing wrong with my child so stop asking me, "Aw, what's wrong with him."  Nothing, he's bloody perfect and I'll cut his hair when I'm good and ready.  Also, spare me your two-cents that you think he's hungry because he's fussing while I wait in line for my venti-skinny-extra-hot-cappicino.  I fed him 27 minutes ago, biotch, so when I tell you he's tired, he's tired.  Capeesh?  She rolls her eyes at you because clearly she's right, obviously you're starving your baby and she should immediately call child protective services.  Three minutes later, with a hot beautiful cup of love in your hand, your child is now sleeping while you search out that broad to give her a "thats-right-biotch-who's-right-now?" look.

But the point of this whole rant is that no one knows your child better than you.  NO ONE.  You grew them inside of your body for God sakes.  So here's the clincher, we can't let them shake our confidence because like the great Elenor Rosevelt once said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."  So chin up, and stand tall ladies.  When you need help, ask those that you know won't make you feel like the worst Mother in the world for asking -- and God forbid we have to go to those-who-shall-not-be-named people...take it with a grain of salt when they make a thousand excuses of why they can't right now, and don't give them any power over you and definitely don't give them permission to make you feel guilty for thinking you could rely on them.  You got this.  You'll figure it out.  You can do this. Hell, if you can grow a human -- what can't you do?  You are super-mom after-all.  

5 Reasons You Are a Super-Mom
1. You created a human.  Seriously, think about that for a second.
2. You are a shape-shifter.  (Take a look back at yourself 38 weeks pregnant -- now look down at your belly now--how the hell is that possible?).
3.  You're capable of creating a life nourishing substance that changes with your baby's growing needs.  Talk about magic.
4.  Abracadabra...You're sleep-proof!  Could you even imagine before you procreated how little sleep you can actually survive on?
5.  Take a look at that little munchkin of yours, maybe they're sleeping right now (yeah, right!) or rolling around crazy on the floor, or crying as you try to bounce them and balance your iPhone in your hand while surfing the internet... wherever they are ...they're healthy and loved and safe and beautiful and smart and perfect and happy.  All because of you.   Pretty super isn't it?

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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

WebMD feeds into my hypochondria...

Post number three, look at me go!  I found only one mistake in my last post, which is a serious improvement from my first post -- again I will continue to try to not assault your eyes with my poor grammar and incorrectly spelled words.  Remember, I am by no means an English teacher.  (and I still lay blame to my sweet little cherub -- he obviously distracted me with his baby ninja telepathy skills)

Here it goes.  I have Baby Schizophrenia.  There, I said it.  Sadly there is no cure.  I am in no means making light of the actual medical condition schizophrenia, because that is no laughing matter.  I am however dismayed that I have recently noticed worrisome symptoms that lead me to believe that I am a "Baby Schizophrenic".  Let me explain...

Thanks to WebMD, I can now easily feed into my hypochondria and diagnose myself by simply looking up my symptoms and modifying it to what I'm experiencing.  Ready, here it goes...Baby Schizophrenia makes it hard to:

1.  Tell the difference between what is real and not real:
Here is my main symptom, I hear my son cry.  Now I know what you're thinking, uh huh... me too.  No no, you don't understand.   It's like me saying, "I see dead people..." because when I go in to check on him, he's not crying -- in fact, he's either perfectly awake and happy or blissfully asleep in a baby coma.  This happens to me mostly while in the shower.  You know, you put the baby down for his nap, you have a solid 20 minutes before he'll wake up -- but two minutes into the shower, barely lathered up, SCREAMING!  Somehow this melt-down has combined with his apparent first word, "MAAAAAHHHH-MEEEEE!"  So you hastily shove your head outside the shower curtain, and strain your ear to towards the door, wait for the next wail to begin...Hmmm, nothing.  Back in the shower you go.  

Three minutes later, you've rinsed and repeated, started to condition and... "MUAAAH!  MUAAAH!  MUAAAH!".  Ah ha!  I knew I heard him!  This time you shut off the shower, jump out into the bathroom -- dripping all over the floor, hair sopping wet filled with conditioner, you tip toe quickly to the door (because you obviously get the floor less wet that way), open it up so you can better hear the meltdown and wait for it....NOTHING.

Convinced your babe must have somehow seriously injured themselves into a concussion you now quickly tip-toe (because somehow walking full footed is not an option while you are perfectly nude and rushing to save your child from impending doom), dripping wet, leaving a trail of water and conditioner like Hansel and Gretal, to your poor baby's room to find them just as you left them, perfectly fine and asleep.  

Somehow you feel defeated.  Like your mom-ninja skills led you astray.  Each time it happens, your need to find your child in full melt-down losing his-marbles mode increases, just to validate your sanity.  Then you realize (after many more similar experiences) you may have a problem.  You vow to look up your symptoms on WebMD on his next nap, and you walk your perplexed self back to the shower, to finish what you started.  Flat footed this time, because God knows it doesn't matter now.      

2.  Think clearly

After 6 months of sleep deprivation, silly nursery rhymes that you don't know the words to anyways so you change the lyrics to what you're doing during the day instead, and days upon end of baby talk like...Maaa Ma, say Maaaaa Ma... Who thinks Mama is funny...Mama is SO funny...Hahahahahaha... Maaaaa Maa.... Common, seriously...what Mother can really think clearly?

3.  Have normal emotional responses 

I think crying after reading Robert Munch's, "I'll love you forever!", is not the intended emotional response.  (Seriously, the Mom dies?  Who the hell writes this crap?  As far as my son is concerned, I am immortal and twinkling and pretty -- like Bella in Breaking Dawn, but with the ability to show a broader emotional range than a smiley faced eraser.)

 4.  Act normally in social situations

Obviously to the non-baby folk, baby talking in public must certainly not seem especially normal.  (Ohhh, you smell!  Did you poo poo?  Let me smell your bum.  Ahh, no -- just a toot toot. Well Mama's got your bum bum! Your bum bum.  That's right, your bum bum! You're such a stinker!)  Don't believe me?  Next time you're in a "social situation", imagine saying that to an adult in your life.  Maybe your husband, or your sister, maybe your friend.  That's right, it's definitely not normal.

But more especially, when my husband and I are adventurous enough to bring our son out to a friends past 8pm -- we'll put him to sleep in his car seat in another room.  He'll sleep like a, well, baby -- because that's what he is.  But this is when my Baby Schizophrenia is at an all time high.  It's like every 12-23 minutes, I'm called down to be the next contestant on the price is right.  I jump out of my seat, to walk quickly towards the room he is sleeping in and rashly ask my husband, "Is that him? Is he awake?".  When he tells me that he didn't hear him, I can't possibly believe him (he doesn't have Mama-ninja instincts!), so I rush to peek in on the baby -- convinced again that I will find my son awake and bewildered, but nope -- out like a light.  Sheepishly, I walk myself back to my seat, and try to apologize and explain that I'm not a crazy mom to my friends -- which clearly is not the impression I leave them with.  And like I said, 12-23 minutes later -- rinse and repeat. *sigh*  

Please tell me I'm not the only mom who suffers from this terrible affliction!

In closing, with no cure in sight, I hope that at some point my symptoms lesson and that I will be able to re-integrate into society as a normal functioning 30-something year old woman.  But in the mean time, I'll be sure to leave an extra towel on the floor -- so that I can to try to step-glide my way gracefully to my sons bedroom without leaving a slippery mess the next time my BS flares up.

This rant was inspired by this hilarious mom-ism someecard.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The floors are not laced with arsenic...

Look at me, post number two -- in the making.  Now first things first, I must apologize for the grammar and spelling errors in my first post.  My only excuse
(which seems to always elicit sympathy from everyone) is that its my son's fault.  I didn't have a chance to really give it a good proof read because my little angel has angry little white saws destroying his gums, and I hastily pushed publish in an excited and frazzled spontaneous moment.  I will try my best to not punish you with bad grammar and spelling errors from this point onwards.  Scouts honor.

Alright, so here's the thing I need to make perfectly clear.  Babies do not come with manuals.  Let me take a time machine back a few months, when my son was just born.  I had ZERO idea what to do or what I had done.  We created this human that solely depended on me to do EVERYTHING and to know EVERYTHING and to somehow figure out EVERYTHING that he needed.  Oh, and by the way, I realized that I said me and not us.  Essentially this is how it works, the Mom is the principal who runs the show and the Dad is the vice-principal who steps in when the principal is out of the school with meetings (lets call these meetings, showers...remember when you could just shower?).  Vice-principals are important, don't get me wrong... but the brunt of late night feedings and cranky teething humans land on the principals shoulders.  Such is the life of a Mama.

At any rate, the first three months of being a Mom I treaded water, barely feeling like my head was above the water but then I figured him out.  BOOM!  Like a flash of lightening, I figured out this sweet, cute, chubby, adorable (ok you get the point) human that I made.  I now am completely confident that I know EVERYTHING that he needs, because I'm his Mama.  Completely over confident that is.  And because of my over-confidence, the universe decided that I needed to get a little bit put back in my place.  

Now don't laugh and don't judge but I had no idea that you needed to sterilize your bottles EVERY SINGLE time you used them.  Really?  I wash them, like I wash my dishes, shouldn't that be fine?  Apparently not. Now I don't exclusively bottle feed, my little dude is still on the boob but one never leaves the house without an emergency bottle.  So yeah, now I feel like the worst mother in the world subjecting my son to the microbes that could survive my dishwasher and clearly cause him to have elephantitis or rocky mountain spotted fever or something equally horrible.  And then I think to all the times I have (or lets be totally honest not...) washed his toys.  I mean, when the toy falls on the ground -- is it subjected to the 2 second rule?  And then does it matter the type of ground it fell on?  Is there a point system for how disease infested my son's toy has now become?  Just one point for falling on the kitchen floor (it's pretty clean, right? We wear slippers...), but what about the foyer-- that must be 2 points because it's so close to the outdoors and all our shoes, his nursery must be a freebie because clearly anything so cute and baby like should be clean, and then there's someplace horrible like Wal-Mart. *shutter*  That must be like 100 points or do you just have to throw it out and get a new toy because its impossible to get the grossness of Wal-Mart off anything?  

I feel like we as parents, especially Mothers, are subjected to fear mongering.  That's why I stopped reading.  I don't care what I should "expect".  Like a wise friend, and a great fellow mom, once told me, "...the floors are not laced with arsenic."  So am I bad Mom, nah.  Does my son have a stronger immune system -- probably.

While we're on the subject of toys, my closing rant will be for the beloved "it" baby toy that any baby who is a baby, has.  You guessed it, the over priced dog toy herself, Sophie the Giraffe. I've seen this stupid giraffe cost anywhere from $19.99 to $25.99 and it makes me angry.  Angry that I didn't think of the idea first.  Seriously?  A squeaky dog toy that has long appendages that are easy to hold, and fun to chew on?  But wait, on the box I'll tell you that it was made in 1961 in France (Ooooh la laaa, how posh!)  Bah.  I bet even Kevin O'Leary didn't see that one coming.  And the worst part of it all?  My son loves it.  LOVES it.  Sophie is the only toy that I need to bring with me anywhere to occupy the ever so fleeting attention span of my 6 month old little boy.  So much to my dismay, I have succumbed to the -ism that is Sophie.  

Look! $100's worth of Sophie's!
My luck, the next time I have the misfortune of having to be at Wal-Mart, let alone require having to change my babe in their washroom, he'll drop Sophie (for fun to laugh at me -- not out of lack of dexterity, he's a real joker like that).  Wal-Mart bathroom floor...what would that be, 1000 points?  

Let's be honest, that squeaky French-Posh even-toed ungulate mammal would get a first class trip to the garbage can...and I'd be stuck grumbling while forking out another $25.99.  Because even a laid back non-fear mongering Mother like myself can see the the arsenic glistening upon the cesspool that is Wal-Mart.

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