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Archive for the ‘Just for fun’ Category

This post is a bit of a sequel to Parenting Pipedreams.  Some of them are starting to look a little less Pipey.

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I love babies.  I really love my babies.  I love the squishy-ness, the contact, everything.  Parenting very small people is fantastically delicious.  It’s also INtense.  And as much as I love it, I have to admit that I’m also a little bit happy that the intensity is starting to subside a little.

As of the last time I risked putting a finger into Lady Fair’s mouth, she had 15 teeth.  That makes us 87.5% done teething.

Since Lady Fair is super into doing EVERYTHING like her brother, I estimate we are also about 88% done diapers.

The kids sleep in (read: >6:30 a.m.) more often than not now, so we’re about 75% done with ridiculously early mornings.

We’re 99.9% done with baby gates.  In fact, I had taken the gate down, but Mr. Fair inexplicably put it back up.

I am 50% done wrangling small arms into seemingly smaller shirt sleeves.

Now that I leave the house three whole days a week for school, I get to drink 14% of my coffees while they’re still hot!  That might not seem like a lot, but let me tell you…

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School has started, making me officially a midwifery student.  YAY!!!  We’re all trying to get to know our 29 classmates (well, 28 as we’ve had our first withdrawal already) and little by little we’re succeeding.  On the first day of orientation we did the obligatory introductions where everyone, myself totally included, gave the most impressive parts of their resume to the group.  It was intimidating.  But the faculty themselves freely told us that they’re intimidated by the exercise every year.  The faculty have pretty impressive resumes and they’re probably pretty excellent midwives.  So if they’re intimidated by us, what’s the deal?

In our first Working Across Differences class we were asked to introduce ourselves again, but this time not with a credential, with an interesting tidbit.  We all did it.  But again, we all chose something that was impressive even while we tried to be nonchalant about it.  Then we spent a good chunk of the rest of the class talking about Fact Sheets (on groups of people) and how they’re inevitably incomplete.  It’s funny because introductory tidbits are very much like fact sheets.  They’re inevitably incomplete.  That’s not to say they’re incorrect or, worse, deliberately deceitful.  They’re just incomplete.

If we think about my Twitter Profile.  What did I choose to say about myself in 140 characters (or less)?

One time geneticist. Student midwife. Tandem nurser. Feminist. Thinking Mama.

It’s not inaccurate.  That definitely talks about me.  But it’s not all of me.  I could have just as easily written any of the following and they would have been equally true:

Jane Austen lover, crumpet eater, sometimes Royal watcher, all-around Anglophile.

or

Mediocre gardener, laundry denier. My food is always delicious, but a little too soft.

or

Nose picker, fart connoisseur.  Many other things too gross to admit publicly.

or even

Trader of stock options, keeper of endless spreadsheets. I already have my cash flow projections for 2063.

So there we go.  Some of the many and varied facets of my personality.  I’m sure the girls in my class will get to know them soon enough… although perhaps not the fart bit, unless they find my blog.  And it will be interesting to find out more about their many faces too.

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Yup, Little Man is at the ‘Why?” stage.  Except that he actually asks “How” instead of “Why”.  All day, it’s “How this?” and “How that?”.  And lately he’s also caught on to the fact that I find it a bit… tiresome.  So do you know what he’s started doing?  Asking endless series of “Hows” with a big smirk on his face.  So yesterday, I put my many years of higher education to work to nip this poop in the bud enlighten him:

 

Little Man: “Hey Mom?”

Me: “Yes, sweetheart.”

Little Man: “How did Dad go boat fishing?”

Me: “He drove in the car.”

Little Man: “How did he drive in the car?”

You want to know how Dad drives the car? I can tell you. How much detail do you want??

Me: “On the road.”

Little Man: “How did the car get on the road?”

Me; “He turned it on and drove it on the road.”

Little Man: “How did he turn it on and drive it?”

(are you seeing now why I find this so irritating??)

Me: “With his hands and feet.”

Little Man: “How did he drive the car with his hands and feet?”

Sigh…

Me. “Well, you see, the nerve impulses, what are called action potentials travel all the way down the neuron from his brain to his hands and feet and when they get there, the positive membrane potential causes acetylcholine to be released into the neuromuscular junction, which causes the muscle fibres to contract so that his hands and feet move.”

Little Man: *blink, blink, vanishing smirk* “Hey Mom?”

Me: “Yes, sweetheart.”

Little Man: “Do you want to see me do a big jump?”

Me: “I sure do!”

Mission accomplished.

 

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PS Many thanks are owed to Charlotte Youngson for her excellent physiology teaching.

 

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The other day Mr. Fair and I had the following hilarious conversation.  Little Man was away at his grandparents’ house and we were discussing what to do with an evening with only one small(ish) child in the house.  Can you guess where this is going?

Mr. Fair: “We should watch a movie tonight.  And, drink some wine too.”

Me: “Yup.  And hey, we could even DO IT!”

Mr. Fair: “Ya, while we’re drinking wine!”

Me: “And here’s a crazy idea: we can do it in our bed!!”

(NB. The current sleeping situation consists of DH and Little Man in the ‘Master Bedroom’ and me and Lady Fair in the ‘kids’ bedroom.’  So Little Man’s absence frees up what is ostensibly the grown up bed)

MR. Fair: **Gives me a slightly quizzical look.** “Ya, I guess we could… Wait… Aren’t we talking about folding laundry?”

Fuck.

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OK, you’ve all heard the cliché about the big fancy toy in the cardboard box.  This is not about that, but it is about the other random, mundane, unexpected and even weird things that I’ve discovered have the ability to captivate little ones for far longer than anything Mattel makes.

Silicone pastry/basting brush: If I were planning on roasting my baby, she’d come out so juicy and golden brown that Martha Stewart would be envious.  That’s how much Lady Fair likes to be ‘basted’.  She vibrates with happiness when we tickle her feet with it.  The best part is that it’s totally dishwasher safe, so when Little Man decides to grab it out of his sister’s hands and tickle his scrotum with it (boys and their dangly bits, I tell ya) we can clean it right up.

Spoon: Little Man was NOT a toy-lover.  In fact, the first ‘toy’ he ever paid attention to was a spoon and that was when he was sitting up in a chair.  I suppose it’s a nice teether, especially if run under chilly water first.  The main benefit from a parent’s perspective though is that you really never have to pack it.  Every relative you visit and restaurant you patronize has a spoon on hand.  It’s a lazy mother’s dream.

Pill organizer: It should go without saying that I’m talking about an EMPTY pill organizer.  Not sure why, but something about opening and closing (and opening and closing) each one of those compartments is positively addictive.  It also serves as a perfect storage spot for little rocks (read more on rocks below).

Keys:  Keys, keys, wonderful keys.  How would I ever get through a grocery shopping trip without you?  I bet you didn’t know the coin slot on your grocery cart was actually a lock waiting to be opened by a toddler with keys, did you?  Well, I did because Little Man’s been working on that lock weekly for the last 18 months or so.

Rocks:  Luckily he doesn’t actually look like the Rock Biter, but Little Man’s taste for putting rocks in his mouth is straight out of the Never Ending Story.  Which also brings me to thanking goodness we did Baby-led solids, so his skills with foreign objects in his mouth were very advanced.  When he’s not eating them, he’s banging things with them, stacking them, filling his pockets with them.

Clothes pins:  Not only are they good for pinching your frenemies, they double as jewelery and hair clips and you can make sculptures out of them.

Peri bottles: Yes, you read that right.  The thing your midwife or OB gave you to wash your bruised and battered bottom after you pushed your kiddo into the world, don’t throw it out.  In just a few short months that will become the most sought-after bath toy of all time.  Consider disinfecting it in the meantime though.

And then of course, there’s that cardboard box too…

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Little Man got quite interested in potty use about 6 weeks before Lady Fair was born, but as soon as she came he decided he couldn’t be bothered anymore.  That was fine, I really didn’t want to be chasing after late-noticed pees while holding a newborn.  But he stayed in this irritating in-between state where, although he wasn’t interested in the potty, he was also vehemently opposed to having his diaper changed.  So a couple of weeks ago, when the weather got warm scorchingly hot and we started playing in the water table outside, I nudged him toward diaper free daytimes.

All went great, except…

It seems that toddler bums emanate some sort of powerful magnetic field.  The force is so strong that the affected munchkin is utterly unable to keep his fingers free of it.  They seem to be perpetually glued to his bottom.  Sucked in, even.  And do you know what happens when small children stick their fingers in their butts?  They go on to stick them in their eyes and the next thing you know, you have pink eye.

But here’s the thing.  As hilariously gross as the origin of the infection is… the real fun comes from Mr. Fair’s reaction to it.  Because the truth is, pretty much all he knows about pink eye, he learned from Seth Rogen in Knocked Up.  So while I’m busy trying to keep Little Man’s hands out of both his tuckus and his face, Mr. Fair is running around the house quarantining pillows in case they got farted on…

Boys crack me up.  (Pun completely intended.)

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Wow I love babywearing.  I love it so much, I’ve become an ‘evangelist’ of sorts, always recommending it to my fecund friends.  I’ve even convinced a couple of them to give it a shot.  In line with my enthusiasm, I’m always diligent about touting its benefits. For instance, the freedom of movement it gives me to have my little ones nap in the sling.  I never have to cut short a trip to the mall with girlfriends because of nap time, because the sling allows us to take naptime with us.  How wonderful!

But it has occurred to me of late, that I may not be engaging in a fully transparent discussion of the negatives of babywearing.  I pride myself on being fair and balanced, so this oversight is a big deal.  This post is my attempt to rectify the situation.

  • Muscle Soreness.  Carseat-toting parents often report shoulder and arm pain that sounds the opposite of fun.  Babywearers, on the other hand, may find gluteal pain to be an issue.  This is the result of performing the grande plies necessary to carry out household tasks like opening bottom drawers and picking toys up off the floor.  Those with extensive ballet training have an 86%[1] lower risk of acquiring a sore ass.
  • Choking.  Wearing a baby for several hours a day can conflict with parental meal times.  Babywearers are often obligated to consume their dinner while bouncing a baby in the sling and this can, not surprisingly, create a choking hazard for the parent.  At the very least it makes it more likely that your scrambled eggs will get snorted up into your sinuses when they were meant to head down your esophagus.
  • Poor Infant Hygiene.  The above-mentioned choking is only one side of the eating-while-wearing coin.  The other side is that bits of your food will occasionally fall onto your baby’s head, necessitating more frequent baths.  Particularly problematic is mayo as, not only is it sticky, but if not noticed promptly, it can also lead strangers to believe you let your kid hang out with bird crap on her head.
  • Increased Housing Costs.  Attempting to bounce your almost-but-not-quite asleep baby while peeing can cause your toilet to loosen from the floor, upping bathroom reno costs by 8,000%.
  • Maternal Arrest by the Fashion Police.  While many things are made easier with babywearing, putting shoes on is not one of those things.  Consequently, you may find yourself in (frequent) violation of Section 334.6 of the Fashion Code of Conduct[2], which clearly states that hot pink Crocs are NOT an acceptable shoe choice for public outings.

This is by no means an inclusive list, but I hope it does serve to illustrate some of the considerations that must be taken into account before engaging in any babywearing activities, and to begin a frank and open discussion about the darker side of this otherwise valuable practice.

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[1] Please note, this and any other statistics presented within this article are complete bullshit.

[2] For more information, please see [1].

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