Siblings

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I’m an only child, and my parents rarely fought.

That means that I am completely alien to any kind of family discord. A sharp word is devastating. A disagreement is the end of the world. I have never had to fight for what I wanted with an equal. The only people at home were my parents and they outranked me so if I asked for something and the answer was no, well, that was the end of the matter.

It may have led to a peaceful childhood, but I’m not sure it did me any favours.

So I always knew that I wanted two kids, and Owl’s personality confirmed that before he turned two.

But I am dreading sibling rivalry.

PH is the youngest of 5 kids, so he probably won’t be horrified when the kids fight and hit each other and claim to hate each other, but I will. Such things simply NEVER HAPPENED IN MY HOUSE when I was growing up. They are not normal to me.

We did a lot to prepare Owl for the baby. We explained how babies were made when he asked, although we refused to give him a live demonstration despite his repeated and eager petitions to witness one. Instead we got him a book.

We explained carefully what babies are like. The baby won’t be able to play with you. It will cry and dirty its diaper and that’s about it. Murmel Murmel, by the way, is a great book for explaining what babies do and what they are for.

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We explained the importance of being a big brother. One of my friends didn’t want to make her son into a second parent and placed a lot of weight on him NOT having to help, but we decided to go another way and tell him how important it was for him to help us and help her. He likes to help.

He was very pleased with the idea of having a baby sister and showed no signs of anxiety before she came, but I was still worried about how he would deal with the change. I braced myself for acting out, jealousy, all sorts of stuff.

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Guys, he LOVES her.

In fact, his behavior has actually IMPROVED since she was born. He loves to hug her (unfortunately he grabs her head and squeezes so she doesn’t really appreciate his hugs) and coo over her and he will drop whatever he is doing rather than miss a chance to come upstairs with me and hand me a clean diaper when I change her.

He even tries to play with her. One of his favourite games is to  pretend that one of her flailing fists has hit him. He then throws himself down on the bed as if she has just sent him flying.

It’s adorable.

Better yet, in the last month or so she has started noticing him and she loves him right back. When he is in the room she watches him and smiles, and sometimes she’ll just stare at him and chortle, and then he chortles back, and it is SO CUTE.

I know that she’s going to get bigger and start knocking over his block towers and messing up his stuff and she’s going to start pestering him and their dynamic will change.

But for now, they love each other and I am SO, SO, SO RELIEVED.

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On Our Own

So, our inlaws flew home at the end of July, and we’ve been hacking it on our own for the first time since January.

That’s right. We haven’t had to be proper, full fledged adults in EIGHT MONTHS.

I’ve forgotten how I did it all – how did I get dishes washed and Owl’s face wiped and keep him entertained ALL ON MY OWN?

Luckily, PH’s mood is more stable these days. He’s still struggling, but he’s further from the edge. He has a bit of energy – enough to get Owl his breakfast in the morning and help him into bed at night, and sometimes help out during the day either with laundry/tidying/dishes or simply taking our extrovert out of the house. Of course, he still thinks that he isn’t doing enough but compared to what he was able to do eight months ago, I consider this level of help freaking miraculous.

Besides, we’ve organized a bit of help for ourselves.

Last week we put Owl in a preparing for kindergarten camp which took him from 9 am until 3 pm every day, which was fantastic.

This week we could only find a gymnastics camp from 1-3 pm, so that’s where he is.

It’s wearing us out, but we’re managing.

PH deals with Owl in the morning and lets me sleep until Fritter wakes up between 8 and 9 am. Then I get up, shower, dress, have a diet pepsi, put Fritter in a carrier and her and Owl out on a looooong dog walk with Beloved Dog. Sometimes Fritter falls asleep on the long walk and so when we get home I can do some dishes and clean a bit while she snoozes.

The biggest problem is not the baby, although she complicates things and fills my arms for the majority of the day. It’s TALKING TO OWL. He wants to talk all the time. He wants to move all the time. If I take him out of the house it’s not so bad, but in the house he wants to be bouncing or swinging or climbing within my personal space while saying “Mom? Volcanoes esplode lava, right mom? Lava is hot rocks. Mom? The rocks are hot. Right Mom? Hot rocks make lava. The lava is so hot. Mom? What if lava esploded IN YOUR HEAD?”
It’s exhausting to introverts like PH and me.

So we take him out places. 

  
On really good days, I can arrange to meet a friend for a playdate, and then I can stand around and cuddle my baby and watch Owl playing with his friend and it’s adorable and I feel happy.

  
On days like that, I have time to reflect on how lucky I am. I’m lucky that so many of my friends have boys about Owl’s age. I’m lucky that I live in such a beautiful place. I’m lucky that Vancouver hardly ever has rain in the summer and so I can take Owl outside because otherwise I don’t know what I would do.

  
I was lucky to have so much help for so long.

And I’m lucky to still have a husband who can take Owl for a couple of hours in the morning, and help him brush his teeth at night, and sometimes even clean the house while I’m out on a playdate.

We have each other.

So really, we’re not on our own at all.

In Which I Feel Both Geeky And Fabulous

It all started with this Mugglenet article. 

It was full of photos of amazing Harry Potter related babywearing wraps and I fell in love.

As you may remember, I wore a colicky Owl as a babby frequently. He hated the car and screamed, so he rarely slept in his car seat. He was much happier in a carrier, so I wore him in a hand-me-down Sleepy Wrap until he got too heavy for it, and then transferred him to an Ergo.

I loved wearing Owl and joked that my carrier was “baby bluetooth – hands free”. I even wondered why people bothered with strollers for tiny babies, because I found them bulky and annoying compared to the lightweight, hands free freedom of a carrier.

But I never felt PRETTY.

Whether I was wrapped in yards of grey cloth, or wearing Owl in what is basically a front backpack, my carriers were utilitarian.

I occasionally mooned over a stock photo of a woman in a classy ring sling, but I couldn’t justify spending extra money.

My mother made me a faux rebozo, which was not as useful as the Ergo but much prettier, so I used that occasionally.

But now my eyes were opened to a whole world of nerdy babywearing and I WANTED TO BE THAT COOL.

Unfortunately, so do a lot of people, and these quality woven wraps are pretty niche and hard to come by. Used ones actually cost MORE than retail because the wraps are broken in and often limited edition. We’re talking HUNDREDS of dollars.

I shared a photo of some beautiful woven fabric, a Natibaby “Indivisibility Cloak” (get it, because you wear your baby and you two become INDIVISABLE) and bemoaned the fact that they are so expensive.

Then I got a facebook message from my cousin.

I love my cousins. As an only child, they became my surrogate brothers, and I miss them a lot. I keep trying to cajole them out here. The older one is single with a good job as a computer programmer. He was offering to buy me the wrap.

I was like “I SHOULD SAY NO BUT OMG YES PLEASE”.

I asked him for a ring sling, since I don’t have one, and they look so pretty. A wrap would be more versatile, but ring slings are easier for in-and-out sorts of trips, and I already had an Ergo for long treks.

It arrived the week before a friend of mine got married and I worked frantically to break in the fabric in time.

  
It’s purple. I also happen to have a purple dress. The purples totally match. I went to that wedding feeling SO coordinated and geeky and over all fabulous. I can’t remember when I have worn an outfit that made me feel so together.

  
This must be what it feels like to be one of those fancy, with-it people who wear coordinated outfits all the time. It is amazing. I highly recommend it.

  

  

Neighbourhood Friends

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I met up with an old friend the other day.  She lives in Ontario, but her father and step mother live on Vancouver Island, so she and I got together for lunch while she was passing through Vancouver on her way to the ferry.

“I’m trying to remember when we met,” she said.

I couldn’t remember either. I don’t remember a time when she wasn’t in my life.

We lived down the road from each other, on different streets but only a two minute walk away, when I was a young girl in Ontario. I’m pretty sure I was playing in her bedroom and she was swimming in my pool when we were three and four years old.

I remember the names of her Siamese cats and I remember the crisp, British voice of her live-in grandmother. I remember playing in her back yard and sharing popsicles on my back deck.

We haven’t lived in the same city, or even the same province, since we were nine years old.

We aren’t particularly close nowadays. We don’t call each other for a chat and we don’t know the intimate details of each other’s personal lives. But we send Christmas cards, and get together whenever we find ourselves in the same city. She visted me in Nova Scotia when we were teenagers, and again when we were in University. She came to my wedding.

She’s my friend, one of only two people from that time in my life with whom I am still in touch.

I had other neighbourhood friends. The boy next door, Joey, into whose house I often burst without knocking. Colleen, who was my bike riding buddy. I have lost touch with them, but they fill my childhood memories of hot summer days, trick or treating at Halloween, and building snowmen in winter.

It’s funny how you make your own community when you live in a big city. A small city block becomes its own small town. These neighbourhood friends were not my only friends, but they were special because they were also my community.

Now Owl is getting old enough to be able to run and play outside without my direct supervision. Our housing complex is made of clusters of townhouses, doors facing each other, with green quads in between. They make perfect meeting places where children can play and neighbours can talk.

We are lucky to have several fantastic neighbours, and even luckier that the family directly across the quad from us has two small boys right around Owl’s age. One of them is 5 months older, and the other is less than a year younger.

Not only can we swap babysitting, but our boys are starting to realize that they have ready-made playmates living just steps away.

“Owl! You’re my friend, Owl!” is a constant refrain whenever Owl is outside and the neighbour boys spot him through the window, and if Owl hears their voices outside he drops what he is doing, tugs on his shoes and runs outside to greet them.


Sometimes they play tag outside. Sometimes they crash into our house and sometimes they barge into the other house. They fight and make up, run and shout. Screen doors bang and small childish voices fill the air, and I am just so, so, grateful.

I’m grateful that these boys provide distraction for Owl, whose constant need to interact sucks me and even my doting mother in law dry by the end of the day. Heck, by the middle of the day. Okay, by mid morning.

I’m grateful that they are good kids from a loving family, and they don’t fill Owl’s head with corporate characters or guns or gender stereotypes.  If anything, they run around in Ramones tee shirts and have little familiarity with many of the things Owl brings home from the kids in his daycare.

I’m grateful because there is something inexplicably peaceful about sitting on one’s stoop at eight in the morning, sipping a Diet Pepsi (normal people can replace that with the word “coffee”), nursing my baby and listening to the joyful shouts of small children.

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But most of all, I’m grateful that Owl has neighbourhood friends. Maybe they’ll still be in touch 30 years from now. Maybe they won’t be close. Maybe they won’t even live in the same provinces.

But I like to hope that if one of them is in town, Owl will meet them for a lunch and a drink, and they can sit back, and talk about old times.


Maybe Owl will say, “hey, remember my bouncy castle?”

Maybe they’ll say, “hey, remember going out on our Dad’s boat?”

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Maybe they’ll ask each other “when did we meet?” and then realize that they have known each other since birth, that their parents witnessed each other’s pregnancies, and that they are part of each other’s life stories.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying the peace.

An Open Letter to McDonalds, Subway, and All Other Purveyors of Gendered Toys

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(For those of you joining me from Reddit, welcome! I don’t post my child’s real name on the internet for obvious reasons. Owl is clearly a pseudonym – a blog nickname chosen by my readers. In case you read any of my other posts, my daughter’s name is also not really “Fritter”.)

Dear Fast Food Industry,

Tell your employees to stop using my child’s genitals to define his toy choices.

Let me tell you a story. Actually, let me tell you a series of stories about how my son has been reduced to a set of genitals by your employees.

McDonald’s recently had a line of Nerf brand toys on display. They had a line of blue toys and some of their pink/purple Rebelle line (because apparently girls can only play with pink weapons).

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My 4 year old’s favourite colour is pink, so he decides that he wants a pink one. He loves things that throw and shoot so he’s very excited.

I get to the cash and order his happy meal and ask for a pink weapon.

“He wants a girl one?” says the cashier.

“He wants a PINK one,” I said firmly.

He got a pink throwing star type thing and he was happy.

The next time we went to that McDonald’s he decided he wanted the cannon toy, which he had seen at a friend’s house.

The cannon toy is also part of the Rebelle line.

So I order his Happy Meal, and the cashier (a different one from before), “for a boy, right?”

“Actually, do you have that pink cannon that shoots a ball? He has his heart set on that one.”

“He wants a girl one?” asks the cashier incredulously.

“He wants the PINK CANNON THAT SHOOTS,” I said. “Do you have it in?”

“Uh, I’ll check,” she says, and marks his happy meal as “girl” on the cash register.

They had it in stock and he was overjoyed. He was playing with it in the Play Place (sans ball, because I didn’t want him to shoot another kid) and an older boy kept asking him “why do you have a girl toy?”

Owl ignored this questioning completely, perhaps not even realising that it was aimed at him. He’s not a girl. He’s a boy. He’s a big, loud, messy, active boy who loves to shoot things but also happens to love pink.

“Uh, why does he have a girl toy?” the older boy finally asked me.

“Why is it a girl toy?” I asked with a note of exasperation. “It doesn’t say “girl” on it.”

The boy looked stumped.

“Because it’s pink?” I asked him. He nodded slowly.

“Does that seem fair, to tell boys that they can’t play with anything pink? Girls can play with blue,” I pointed out. The boy wandered off and I tried not to be afraid.

Owl is going into kindergarten soon. He will be told that pink is for girls, that he can’t enjoy it or wear it or play with it. I wish I could tell him that this is silly childish nonsense, but in the end, where are kids getting it from?

FROM ADULTS.

From the amazed ADULTS who insist, in a BUSINESS ATMOSPHERE, on calling pink toys “girl toys”.

From the BUSINESSES who actually have separate toy lines for boys and girls, as if genitalia should be relevant when it comes to choosing playthings.

I’m sorry, but even sex toy shops don’t divide toys based on the genitals of the purchaser. Dildos are for everybody.

When we go to McDonald’s drive through, I have no idea what to say when they ask if my happy meal should be “boy” or “girl”.

How do I know which my son would prefer? If they said “Skylander or Barbie?” I would say “Skylander”. If they said “Blue or pink?” I would say  “pink”.

My son has often wanted a toy from the supposed “girl” selection, and while that’s easy enough (though annoying) to deal with when we are inside, at the drive through we are denied even the opportunity of knowing what the choices are.

So it’s a crap shoot.

“Boy or girl?” we were asked recently at the McDonald’s drive through.

“It doesn’t matter,” said my husband. “Whichever.”

“…Sorry, was that boy or girl?” asked the voice on the other end.

“Whichever!” said PH loudly. “Just pick one.”

“I still don’t… is it for a boy or a girl?”

“BOY!” I said loudly over PH’s shoulder, just to end the exchange. I felt like saying “HE HAS A PENIS, DOES THAT REALLY TELL YOU ANYTHING ABOUT HIS TOY CHOICES?”

They might as well say “penis or vagina?” when I order a Happy Meal at the drive through.

ASK ME WHAT MY CHILD WANTS, NOT WHAT IS IN HIS PANTS.

He has a penis, but sometimes he likes My Little Pony. He has a penis and sometimes wants the Skylanders toy. The two are not especially related.

But don’t worry, McDonald’s, you aren’t the only company I am pissed at.

Subway, I’m looking at you.

Owl LOVES Subway. He likes McDonald’s for the toys and the Play Place, but he loves Subway for the FOOD. He always gets a kid’s tuna sandwich and piles six different vegetables on top.

The kids meals at Subway are a good deal.

You don’t get a toy but you do get a drink and apple slices along with the sandwich and they put it in a reusable shoulder bag featuring characters from whatever animated movie is playing in theatres right now.

Inside Out is playing in theatres right now.

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Owl liked the green one, featuring the Mindy Kaling “Disgust” character.

Who is female.

“Oh, but that one is for girls,” said the lady behind the counter, hesitating and looking at my husband in dismay.

He glared at her. “THAT’S FINE,” he said with gritted teeth.

Seriously? You’re going to tell a little boy that he can’t have a particular bag because it is “for girls”? Why? Because it has a female character on it?

REALLY??

Listen, Fast Food. You need to stop. If you insist on carrying different toy lines for different markets, then you need to train your employees. This has been going on for a long time.

It isn’t enough to say you don’t train your employees to say girl or boy, because that’s how your frigging machines register the difference. Of course your employees will ask “girl or boy” because that’s the button they need to press.

Besides, they are part of our global culture which general recognizes that pink is for girls and boys can’t touch it. 

So it’s not enough to say that you don’t TRAIN them to be sexist. You need to make efforts to train them NOT to be sexist.

Don’t mark certain toy lines as “boy” and “girl” in your cash registers.

Change your POLICIES.

Train your employees in what to say.

Teach them to say “what colour of bag do you want?”

Teach them to say “Do you want a blue weapon or a pink one?”

Teach them to ask at the drive through “standard Nerf toy or Rebelle line?”

And when a boy asks for a pink toy, tell them to say “sure!” and deliver it with a smile because feminism starts here. Freedom from gender restriction starts here.

Otherwise you are a purveyor of sexism, and I’m not buying that.

LET TOYS BE TOYS.

Right now, the only way we have of protesting is with our wallets. But I hope you won’t do it because you want my money. I hope you’ll do it because it is RIGHT.

Sincerely,

A Pissed Off Consumer

Electing A Lovey… AGAIN

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Some of you remember Owl’s sleep.

Or lack thereof.

You may also remember my frenzied research into classically conditioning sleep using sleep aids and my selection of a toy to help with this project.

That didn’t go so well.

At the time, I was really thinking of Pavlov’s dog and researching toys that made noise to help Owl sleep. I thought that if he could mash a button and turn on a conditioned sleep response, that would be wonderful.

Unfortunately, the toy I chose was large, firm, and not very cuddly.

Then, one night, he developed an irrational fear of it, and that was that.

It might amuse you to know that he found it recently and had no memory of it. I showed him how you could press the button to make music. He listened to the music for a few seconds and then quickly demanded to know how to turn it off.

“I’ll save that for the baby,” he said firmly.

He never did develop a true attachment to the seahorse or any other object. My sister in law made and sent a cute blankie for him when he was a baby and while he still likes to lie on it occasionally, he never developed the kind of fixation on it that I had for my own “blankie”.

Anyway, lately I’ve been wanting to try again with Fritter.

Fritter is actually a pretty good sleeper. At night she’ll sleep three to six hour stretches and naps frequently during the day, although they’re generally cat naps.

That being said, sleep experts all recommend a “lovey”, and as someone who had one herself, I know the comfort it can bring. I want her to experience that.

This time, instead of thinking Pavlov, I just started researching popular lovies. What do kids fixate on?

Well, it seems like every site I find on the topic votes for a blanket with a head.

I’ve seen these around. My neighbour’s oldest son had a blanket with a dog head called Puppy that he lugged around everywhere. I think they’re weird looking, personally. What do they represent? Is the dog’s head severed and tied onto the blanket? Is it a skinned dead dog?

But you can’t argue with results, and according to the internet, kids love it. A blanket with a head combines the physical comfort of a blankie with the friendship of a teddy bear.

The most commonly recommended lovey is a product called Angel Dear. They have dozens of animal-headed blankets all under $20 in price. Price is important because parents warn you to buy multiples for when the original inevitably gets lost  or destroyed (I never lost my blankie, but I do remember my mother doing major repairs on it at regular intervals). Parents also claim that they wash really well and hold up to heavy loving.

Except I don’t like their lamb version, and I have it in my head that Fritter needs a lamb, because she’s an Aries who was born in the Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram.

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Besides, the Angel Dear blanket really is a head on the corner of a blanket. You can’t even pretend that it’s a whole animal.

Then I found the Gund Huggybuddies. huggybuddylambThe lamb version is darn cute, and it looks like an actual lamb, albeit either a skinned one or perhaps just an anorexic. Out of 49 reviews on Amazon, not one is below 3 stars. Parents claim that they wash well, too, and kids love them. The only complaint is that the head is pretty big – much bigger than the Angel Dear version.

So I ordered it in.


We’ll see how this goes.

Dear Fritter – if you have a horror of sheep as an adult, it’s probably my fault.

In Which My Anxiety Fixates On Something That Is Completely Impossible To Prevent

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In the days following Fritter’s birth, I got a lot of questions about my mood from the public health office.  They called to check on me when we got home from the hospital, a week later, and again when Fritter was six weeks old.

Through some sort of file sharing with the hospital, they know that I have a history of depression and so they kept reminding me to expect baby blues. In fact, you could tell they expected it to turn into full on post-partum depression given the whole depressed-husband-and-a-four-year-old life situation.

I expected baby blues too. I mean, that’s pretty normal. Weepiness, sobbing over Skittles commercials… that sort of thing.

But it never came.

In fact, when they took me through a depression questionnaire at the six week mark, I passed with flying colours.

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Look at me, all not-depressed

I don’t know why I have been spared any sort of bizarre hormonal fluctuations, or post partum depression, but I am grateful.

Maybe it was having the support of my parents and mother in law (who flew out here again once my parents returned back to Nova Scotia). I haven’t had to behave like a fully fledged adult since the nightmare that was early January.

Support. It helps.

In any case, I’m feeling pretty happy, but I DO still have my generalized anxiety gnawing at me.

When Owl was a baby, I used to fret over his head. I kept having images of accidentally crushing it like an egg or melon.

With Fritter, I am terrified of SIDS.

Continue reading

Worst “Preparing-For-Baby” Book Ever

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When I was pregnant, Owl picked a book out at the library and we thought it was great because it was called “There’s Going To Be A Baby”, so I thought it would be good for preparing Owl for the baby.

It looks fine in pictures.

The mother tells her son that “there’s going to be a baby” and then there’s a a series of lovely pictures showing the mother out with her son while her belly slowly expands and the seasons pass.

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Then we got home and read the text.

WTF.

Throughout the book, the kid asks his mother questions about what it will be like to have a baby, what the baby will do, and occasionally expressing resentment of his sibling-to-be.

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Ignoring all of that, the mother responds with speculations about what the baby may do when it grows up.

The kid, totally not comprehending the “when it grows up” part, tries to imagine a baby doing all this cooking, banking, sea faring, gardening etc. He gets a very confused image of what exactly having a sibling is going to be like, but he seems sure of one thing – it will be messy.

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So this poor kid basically keeps imagining various iterations of the theme “this baby sibling is going to ruin my life” while the mother does nothing to reassure him. She’s too busy watching the seasons change and speculating on baby names.

Finally, at the end of the book, the kid goes with his grandfather to meet the new sibling, and asks “…we’re going to love the baby, aren’t we?”

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He never gets an answer because the BOOK ENDS THERE.

Not only does the child never receive actual adult reassurance that they will, in fact, love the baby, but we never find out what really happens.

We never meet the baby, we never see whether the child gets useful answers, or if he does, in fact, love the baby sibling or (and?) if it really does ruin his life.

It’s basically a “how NOT to prepare your child for a sibling” book.

WHAT A GREAT BOOK I AM SO GLAD WE READ THAT.

I have seen this book in book stores since, so it actually seems to be selling. Who is buying this book? Who thought it would be good to prepare a child for a sibling?

I’m happy to report that Owl loves Fritter and hasn’t shown much resentment, so I think the stuff we did to prepare him worked. This book had NO ROLE IN THAT.

Things I Had Forgotten About Babies

I loved Owl’s babyhood, despite the colic, but in recent years I haven’t been able to remember WHY.

I liked this??

I would look at him pulling on his own pants and putting dishes in the sink for me, I’d wonder why on Earth I had ever thought that babyhood was so great.

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Some parents may sometimes wish that their children were babies again but I didn’t get that feeling. I loved watching him grow.

Wishing Owl back into a baby would mean undoing the person that he is now, not to mention bringing me back into the world of diapers and 2 am breastfeeding.

And yet, when Owl was a baby I used to cuddle him and I had felt that I definitely wanted to do this again.

So I did it again, even though I couldn’t remember why.

I did it even though I was dreading going back four years and starting all over again.

I did for the same reason my husband agreed to it, even though he did NOT love Owl’s babyhood and was dreading a baby much more than I was: because while we didn’t really want to go through another babyhood, we did want a second CHILD.

And there were parts I was looking forward to again – I did look forward to the tiny outfits and a child too young to talk back to me, or to run headlong into me from behind, nearly knocking me down the stairs.

There was so much I had forgotten:

The tiny little panting noises that babies make. God, those are cute. It’s like holding a very tiny, floppy puppy.

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The way babies stare off into space with one side of their lower lip drooping more than the other. It’s so adorably derpy that I can’t even.

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How hilarious it is when they get mad and do a really angry pout over absolutely nothing of consequence.

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The cute little “ah” noises they make in that tiny little voice.

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The way the skin on the back of the head moves around all loose and soft like that of a rotten peach (I love it, I don’t know why, I just do).

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How it feels to cuddle your child close and have them snuggle into you, instead of having them say “waaaaaaa-BASH!” and pretend to smash their car into your skull.

Those first smiles which are full of such pure and instant joy.

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The other crazy derpy faces that they make. IMG_2116

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Basically, I had forgotten the cuteness of a child who CAN’T pull up their own pants or put dishes in the sink – the sheer adorableness of a tiny person who has no idea what is going on and whose thoughts are so simple that they are probably best articulated with non-sentences like “wut do?” or “how be?”

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Fritter will get older, and she’ll start to understand what on earth is going on, and she will make me proud by learning words and achieving milestones and become more and more self sufficient, and maybe I won’t miss this stage.

But right now I’m glad she’s a tiny, soft, confused, derpy baby.

Who, by the way, sometimes sleeps through the night.

WRITE ALL THE THINGS

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This blog is six years old now and I miss it.

I miss writing. I basically haven’t done any in months. During pregnancy my energy levels decreased to the point where I could barely even read at the end of the day. Heck, by the last month before the baby came I was taking NAPS in the afternoons.

NAPS.

I NEVER NAP.

If someone wrote a blurb-like description of me, they would probably include “can’t sleep between the hours of 11 am and 11 pm” (along with “drinks a lot of diet pepsi” and “spends way too much time explaining stuff to people.”)

And this was with my mother in law, and then my own mother, to help out around the house. Even with someone cooking my meals, washing my dishes, and playing with my son, I still couldn’t summon the energy to focus on writing.

Now, I have slightly more energy, and I am burning with a hypothetical desire to write ALL THE THINGS.

I want to write a book on dog training for my dog training business, so that we can be the dog trainers who wrote a book.

I want to finish writing my fiction trilogy that parodies Twilight but with feminism and zombies.

I want to write on this blog and tell you about a zillion things.

I want to do a whole other blog where I do nothing but heavily overthink things.

Do I have the time for any of this? No! Because, baby! And four year old! Even with my mother in law to help, the fact of the matter is that it is very hard to type on a laptop while holding a baby.

I never sit at the desktop computer anymore, because that has become PH’s refuge from all the hustle and bustle in the rest of the house. It’s not like my first mat leave where I was home alone all day at the computer. Now it’s every now and then at the lap top with one hand.

Even when I do get to put the baby down for half an hour or so, I have trouble writing with the knowledge that the baby could wake up and interrupt me at any moment. It’s like falling asleep – you need to feel like you aren’t JUST ABOUT TO BE INTERRUPTED.

But I’m going to try. Because I love writing and I need it. I have so much to say.

But when I get half an hour – which do I write first?

write-all-the-things

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