“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”Gilda Radner

Friday, August 9, 2013

Rookie Mistakes

I get a lot of judge-y looks when I say this, but if you've ever seen me or a picture of me holding a small baby, you can see for yourself that I'm super uncomfortable. Babies make me really nervous.

Therefore, as I approach the nesting period of my pregnancy, I'm determined to use my past experience and avoid all rookie error. I have an especially great opportunity here, because I hadn't planned for a third child and rid my house of all things baby. I can actually start all over again and try to only acquire things that I know I will use and that make sense. Here are some of the things I'm focusing on:

1) Clothes without snaps. I don't know if it's a boy thing or a "my offspring" thing, but I've had especially kicky babies. Changing time was always a wrestling match that I only ever won by a hair, and it usually involved a lot of self-encouraging statements on my part like, "You are the mom. You can do this. You will not be defeated by the insanely strong arms and legs of your eight pound infant child." Every time, every time, I finished dressing my child in clothes with snap buttons they ended up so mismatched that the poor kid couldn't even fully straighten one leg (while the other one stretched out luxuriously in miles of extra leg room).

2) Clothes with built-in footie covers. I don't know if anyone else has had this problem, but I find that baby socks are a ridiculous inconvenience. They don't stay on. Period. Whether it's from wild activity or poor design, those cute little booties are always dangling off a toe, or else leaving trails behind us through the house. And you never discover one is missing until a cold, clammy little foot brushes against your skin, and then it's, "Gah! You lost your sock! Let's go find it!" Of course, if you're anything like me, you eventually just throw a blanket over it and hope nobody notices.

3) Hats. I've heard a lot of complaining about baby hats: They never keep them on, they fall off of their own accord, they're silly. I've had exceptionally bald babies, so I want their little heads covered. I want a variety of little hats.

4) Avoid bags/gowns. I've owned exactly one baby "bag" that I loved. It had a drawstring bottom so that I could tie their little feet in. And that's just the issue. When you put a baby in a gown, yes, it's convenient for diapering, but quite honestly, the rest of the time there is a major ride-up issue. Those scrawny little legs keep slooping out the bottom, the whole thing gets bunched up around the tummy/chest region, and, if you recall point number 2, they create a need for socks. I think I'll be boycotting the whole situation.

5) Avoid white ANYTHING. I seem to produce only refluxers, so every beautiful cream or white article of clothing we've owned has inevitably ended up with a yellowish/brownish stain down the front. With Joey, whose reflux was particularly rough, there was also a starchiness to those stains that never quite went away.

6) Really good swaddle blankets. I'm a terrible swaddler. I don't know what happened from the time I was a small child who enthusiastically wrapped up her dolls in cozy blankets, but it's a definite ability I now lack. Again, my children were very active, so perhaps they'd break out of anybody's swaddle, but I did find that I had three swaddle blankets that were the right amount of soft and stretchy and did the job better than any other. (I also had a large variety of flannel/fuzzy/starchy ones that grew little faces every time they untucked themselves and smirked at me as if to say, "You suck at swaddling.") And as for those "Swaddle Me" things, Noah had one, but it didn't swaddle his legs. I'll have to see if that issue has been corrected in the last five years. Or, glorious wonder, have they decided that swaddling should be done away with altogether? Someone let me know!

7) No mobiles or hanging devices in the nursery. I've had Noah. I'm not going to create any sort of situation that, down the line, lends itself to catapulting, ziplining, Tarzan swinging, or general destruction. No matter how lovely it is.

8) Clothes that speak so I don't have to. I'm thinking something along the lines of jammies that read, "My mommy is a germophobe and if you touch me she will take you down."

9) I should probably make posters to hang all over my house that say, "Don't forget to have fun with this!"

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