The Missing

Car keys. Cell phone. Five dollars. Hair brush. These are some of the things that Lucie has taken from counters or tables and moved/hidden/thrown away. Thanks to the Tile, we have tracked down #1 and #2 on that list. The money? It’s probably in a landfill somewhere, degrading among the banana peels and tissues and Ace of Base CDs. And the whereabouts of the hair brush is yet to be determined. Maybe under a couch cushion or in the dog’s room. I haven’t checked Lucie’s kitchenette play set, so that’s always a possiblity. Mmmmm, “microwaved” hair brush.

Also, as you’ll observe below, the hot seat doesn’t really work very well at this age.

Anyway, if anyone is materialistic prior to having a kid, they sure aren’t afterwards. You just can’t afford to be “thing-centric” as a parent, neither financially nor psychologically.  I mean, people vs. things was a no-brainer the instant Lucie was born, but just in case I forget, there’s the constant breaking, ripping, ruining, staining, crumpling, denting, and oh yeah– thieving.

PS- makers of Tile, if you want to send us a check for the endorsement, feel free to leave a message! We could use the money…

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If you don’t have anything nice to say

Mama K tells me that I need to be more positive when talking to Little Bug. At first I scoffed at her suggestion (an indicator in itself, perhaps?), but then I kept a log of the dialogue I had with LB that week. It seems Mama K may have a point, so I suppose I could tone it down a bit…

“Oh, you have a booger on your ear.”

“Don’t hit me in the face.”

“Stop that– I’m trying to help you.”

“You’re a goofball.”

“If you’re so tired, why don’t you just go to sleep?”

“Here comes Destructo-saurus…”

“That’s not for eating, Little Bug.”

“What in the world…?”

“I think you’re trying to blow your nose, but you’re just spitting.”

“Oh, if only being cute was a survival skill…”

“Are you smiling at me? Nope, you’re pooping.”

“What could possibly be the matter now?”

“Ouch! Ow, ow ow!”

“You’re silly.”

“Where are you going?”

“Gross! Don’t spit your food at me.”

“You’re going to eat my drawstring again?”

A/V Club

Scholarship #5: finding stuff (future detective/investigator/snoopy neighbor)

A friend of ours (and mother of two) took a preview of our gift registry back in February and changed the audio baby monitor to a video one. Always a fan of austerity and frugality, I protested, but she stopped me mid-sentence and said: “Trust me.”

Lo and behold, she was right. Not only does the video monitor let me know that Little Bug is awake, even if she is not making any noise, but it also provides minutes (oh, okay, hours) of entertainment. Wait, did I clarify that I am not the only one who is entertained? Observe:

Vesica Piscis

My coworker asked me last week when the last “date night” had been for the mamas. That question was met with a long pause and probably a downward glance to avoid her disapproving look. I mean, come on! She was asking this on the Friday preceding a holiday weekend, when everyone else had left the office over an hour ago. If that wasn’t a glaring indicator, she could take a look at my junior partner tether (the must-have fall accessory for all young, corporate/masochistic types) and make an educated guess…

Well, being a mother and grandmother herself, she had no patience for excuses. “You have three priorities in life, and they are linked together like the Olympic rings,” she said. “No circle is bigger than the other and they are all essential to maintain: the first is your family, including your little one; the second is your partnership and the third is yourself.” I can’t say I’ve internalized everything to its fullest extent, but I do believe this is the most important nugget of information I’ve received thus far regarding parenting.

Vesica Piscis

Now, as a bonus round, bits-o-wisdom we did not heed:

– “I highly recommend having twins.”

– “Maybe you could put a barette in her hair.”

– “Daycare is bad for kids. Have you thought about getting a live-in nanny?”

– “Maybe give her a Jolly Rancher during the flight so she doesn’t cry.”

– “You should have a boy, they are so much easier.”

– “Push harder!” (said by a medical intern during the delivery)

– “You should get all of the sleep you can before the baby comes.”

I like that last one. As if we could put sleep in the bank and retrieve it later. Ha!

The Checklist

Congratulations! You have another mouth to feed. Have you:

– built up a savings account?

– created a living will?

– named back up guardians?

– adopted your child (if a second parent)?

– solidified your partnership (if applicable) via marriage or civil union?

– started a college savings plan?

– obtained life insurance?

– re-prioritized your budget?

– updated beneficiaries?

– prepared for employment benefits changes (flex spending accounts, coverage, etc.)?

– considered disability insurance?

This list was brought to you by your blogging anal-retentive new parent/financial planner.

So long, farewell

…Auf weidersehen, adieu. Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you. These are the things I no longer need at this point in time:

1. The Fandango app What’s a movie?

2. Necklaces “Oh, no no no nononono. Let go, Baby. Come on…”

3. Magazine subscriptions Or anything in the category of “leisure.”

4. Alcohol Holding a sweet baby is great stress relief, and living with a baby will cause all the drowsiness a person can take.

Look out for the cobwebs, Kiddo.
Look out for the cobwebs, Kiddo.

5. Fancy, scented hand lotion The last time I washed my hands this frequently was when I was in food service. When I attempt to relieve my dry skin, I’m going straight to industrial strength, quasi-medical hand cream.

6. Season tickets to anything Imagine adding a $10/hour tax onto the price of your admission. That’s called babysitting.

A Costco Field Guide (to be read in a British voice)

Though it is more common to spot a matris soccerus (soccer mom) or Asianus hoarderus (Asian stockpiler) in the aisles of a Costco Warehouse, an astute researcher may be lucky enough to experience a rare sighting of the parens novum (new parent). This species is usually restricted to the comfortable confines of their own dwelling– a shame because their bumbling frustration is often a treat for observers to take in.

Unfortunately, it does not monetarily benefit researchers to “camp out” at a Costco in hopes of catching the new parent at work (remember, [time at Costco] x [merchandise viewed] = [dollars lost]). However, if already at the behemoth superstore, keep your eye out for traits of the new parent. Notably, look for its subspecies, matris katum (Mama K) and her counterpart, matris cathycus (Mama C):

1. New parents pull up to the the Costco warehouse with zero trunk space because their offspring accoutrement already takes up most of the vehicular storage. This is counterintuitive, as everyone knows that Costco carries not singular boxes of product, but packs of no less than 16. Nevertheless, the new parents push onward.

2. The offspring’s fuzzy head bobs up and down in its pouch-like carrier, in synch with Mama K’s over-exaggerated bouncy steps. Scientists believe this to be an attempt to placate the ever volatile temperament of the young human, with a success rate hovering around 39.4%.

3. When the new parents get separated because an item was forgotten a few aisles back, the parent carrying the offspring can continue traveling, as the sound of the wailing baby will lead the more mobile parent back to the family unit in no time.

4. Notice the squirming child in its carrier, trying to defy constraints and general principles of safety. The young species squints her eyes and amazingly sounds as though her fist isn’t shoved wrist-deep into her mouth. This is a true testament to the Noise Blockage Counter-argument: despite a physical blockage, noise will persist as though there were no blockage. If in a public setting, the noise is actually amplified.

5. The fact that the offspring tries to gum anything within mouth’s reach indicates that the new parents indeed brought their child to Costco during a feeding time. Since providing sustenance occurs every three hours, this is not hard to predict. Still, it is possible to forget/ignore/hope otherwise.

6. When all else fails, a handoff is made when the baby carrier is unlatched and observers can see that the baby is without pants. In fact, the new parents thought they could “run in quickly” to Costco (see article on “Fallacies of the Impossible”) without anyone knowing that they had brought their baby in her sleepwear. Since Costco closes in a matter of minutes, it makes sense why the new parents would throw everything together for a last minute trip, but it does not excuse the behavior.

In closing, society should not judge the new parent, as it is not a lack of love that hinders their success, but a force of habit from days of a childless existence. Rather, people should be entertained and possibly cautioned by the follies of the clueless new parent.

Keep calm and carry on.

Mama Vision

Anyone who knows me recognizes that I can be a pretty cautious (read: anxious) person. My life jacket clicks shut the second I step onto a boat, I look both ways about three times before making a left turn into traffic, and I know at a handshake’s notice where the nearest Purell is kept. Mama K, on the other hand, is much braver (hence taking on the adventure of birthing Lucie). And I mean it endearingly when I say she takes enough risks for the both of us. Here’s hoping Lucie will learn from both mamas equally…

You guys are boring. I'm rolling over and staring at my hand for about five minutes.
You guys are boring. I’m rolling over and watching these fingers wiggle for about five minutes.

In the meantime, I have acquired a modified viewpoint for daily life. Just as neurotic, but more purposeful. True, if I saw a texter on the road in the past, I would move over and allow them to pass me– this is still something that I do, especially with a little one in the car. But there are other things that I have taken to noticing that I didn’t prior to parenthood…

1. I was never a huge fan of crowds, but I now have a ranking system:
a. stroller friendly
b. stroller do-able
c. Ergobaby only
d. No #*^%@ way; we’ll come back later

2. Speaking of strollers: ramps. I often think of the Americans with Disabilities Act and what an uphill (no pun intended) battle they have. If it gets more ramps installed, I officially stand behind log rolling (pun intended) legislation.

3. Having once changed a baby on what I deemed to be the “cleanest” part of a floor in a public restroom, I now keep track of where the nearest changing table is, or next best surface. Past substitutes include the tailgate of a car and my lap.

4. Along that line of thinking, I also keep an eye out for private nooks where Mama K can hide for 15 minutes to feed Lucie. Even with a drape, there is always the WTWGoML (well timed wind gust of Murphy’s Law).

5. Shady parking. No, not questionable parking, rather that which lies in a tree’s shadow. It is way easier for a car to cool down if you don’t have to burn your fingers off turning on said car and pushing the ironically blistering air conditioning buttons.

6. Not only is finding shaded parking a priority, but how about just regular sized spots? I think the same jerk designed all of the parking spaces in town. These only allow enough room for a contortionist to enter or exit because the lines are painted about two inches wider than the car itself. With the time it takes me to wiggle a car seat in and out of the vehicle while not Carrie Underwooding the car next to me, I might as well have put Lucie in the stroller and walked the six miles.

7. As much as I don’t like to play the comparison game, I do feel a little relieved when I see another baby in public. It’s comforting knowing that we are not the only ones with a special request (though I am surprised how many booths aren’t spacious enough to fit a baby carrier) or potential noise bomb. Safety in numbers…

8. Finally, there is one thing that can cause me do an about-face and scrap my plans in their entirety: old ladies with dirty fingernails, runny noses, baby radar and no sense of personal boundaries.

Noooooooooooo!
Noooooooooooo!