Every day with a child is an experiment. Not having grown up around a lot of babies (and not particularly liking other people’s kids – sorry, it’s true), I spent most of my time with grown-ups or people who could carry on an adult conversation. I marveled at my friends who had kids, always wondering: “What must that be like?”
Now I know. It’s amazing.
Once I held Sophie, it felt like I’d been holding her my entire life. Things kind of just… fit, and as Alex and I were chatting the other night, we’ve surmised that having Sophie has maybe changed our lives by 10%. This either means that we are incredibly adaptable or incredibly boring. The fact that we would both rather stay in with a hot meal and a good movie versus being out at some club is either awesome or pathetic. Either way, it suits parenthood well.
But back to my stupidity. Since there is no manual on things to do and things not to do with a child, I am compiling my own short list. These are mistakes I have made already, in Sophie’s eighth week of life. But for every stupid thing, there are a million kisses and hugs. And so much love and laughter.
Things Not To Do With A Child
1. Don’t strap your baby in her car seat, wear four-inch wedges and carry an open diaper bag with a steaming hot canister of coffee on your shoulder while walking down two flights of stairs. Just as I was patting myself on the back for making it downstairs in heels with my baby intact, the hot canister fell out of the diaper bag, exploded against the wall and splattered all over her. I dropped everything and screamed, rushing to see if I’d disfigured my perfect baby. Turns out, it just splattered her socks and outfit, but I was mortified. MORTIFIED. Lesson learned: Don’t carry hot coffee with your baby, even if it’s in a supposedly air-tight canister.
2. Don’t go grocery shopping with a stroller. I am at the grocery store three to four days per week. Now that my job entails making food for others (as I am foraying into making healthy food for clients as well as selling my no-bake energy bars), Whole Foods and I are frenemies. As Sophie falls asleep the moment she hits the car, I don’t want to wake her up to put her in the Moby once I get to the store. And her car seat is too big to fit in a basket. (WHY is there no invention for shopping mothers with strollers??) So, I bring in my own bags and hang them on her stroller handles, as I mire my way through the aisles. Little did I know, as I kept weighing down the bags with groceries that I would turn around to see the stroller, and my baby in it, tipping off of its wheels, about to come crashing down from the weight of the items. Things spilled everywhere as I frantically lunged to set her upright. I still haven’t figured out the answer to this problem, but it’s embarrassing.
3. Don’t leave your baby in your bed with a heavy Tempur-pedic pillow within three feet of her. Our baby sleeps with us. Yes, it’s true! It’s the only way, at this young age, that I can nurse her with ease and let her sleep through the night. We promise to break this habit before her sixteenth birthday. In the mornings, she sleeps until about 8. I always leave for the gym at 6:30 while Alex takes over. One morning, I set my pillow up behind her to get it out of the way as I was getting out of bed. It came crashing down on her head and for those of you who have a Tempur-pedic pillow, you know it weighs 1,000 pounds. So it’s quite possible she has brain damage.
4. Don’t ever take your hands off your baby when she surprises you with projectile poop on her changing table. In the early weeks, I was changing Sophie one afternoon. As soon as I took her diaper off, she shot a stream of poop on her changing pad, along with a fart loud enough to come out of a grown man. I startled and kept moving her back, so as not to ruin her white onesie. Before I knew it, her head flew off the end of the changing pad and she almost went headfirst into the garbage can. Note to self: let the onesie get ruined. Keep your baby on the changing pad at all times.
5. Don’t leave a burp cloth in bed at night with your very active baby. My boobs leak. A lot. Especially at night, as Sophie now goes long hours without eating. So, I always have a burp cloth, usually safely out of reach, up by my head or under my pillow. A few weeks ago, I awoke to find that Sophie had rolled herself onto her stomach and was sleeping, face down IN the burp cloth. She was completely fine and often loves to smush her face into things before going to sleep, but I’m pretty sure the SIDS people would say this was definitely a “dangerous” activity.
Oh, there are so many more, but I will stop there for today. I need material for part II.
Happy Friday everyone!