Things I Never Thought I’d Say

There are a lot of things that surprise me about motherhood. How one can survive on 7+ straight months of sleep deprivation. How one tiny little person can make such a horrible, stinky mess in their diaper. How much love my heart can hold.

But I think what surprises me most are the things that come out of my mouth since becoming a mother. For example.

“Please get your mouth off of the kitty’s ear.”
“No, we do not eat rocks!”
“Did you just pee on the rug?”
“She would have napped.. If she hadn’t pooped ten minutes in and woken herself up.”
“Her poop was perfect! Not too hard but not too runny.”
“Oh my god. Did she just lick her diaper pail?”
“No! We do not put our mouth on the shopping cart!”
“No! We do not put our mouth on the slide!”
“I don’t think that your friend wants to be licked on the face.”
“Shoes are for wearing, not for eating.”
“I don’t think that doggy appreciates you pulling on his lips like that.”
“How old was that goldfish cracker she just ate off the floor?”

What are some things that have come out of your mouth as a parent that you never imagined yourself saying?

 

When You’re Here, You’re Family. Unless You Crap Your Pants. {Mommy’s Side}

Today’s blog post is a harrowing tale involving my first parental experience with public diarrhea. Took me 13 months to go through this parenting rite of passage but I’ve officially been christened.
This story is being told from two different perspectives: one from my side, and one from my husband’s side. Look at the bottom of this post for the link to Daddy Green’s story.

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After a quick trip to the pediatrician’s office due to some vomiting, it was determined that Nellie might have a slight stomach bug.  We brought her home for a nap and I decided to stay home from work to be with my family. When she woke up, she was acting fine & hadn’t thrown up in hours so we decided to go see about a used car. After driving 30 minutes we discovered that the car was a POS so we left. We decided to stop at Jason’s Deli for lunch.

As we pulled into the parking lot and pulled the kiddo out of her seat, I turned to Daddy Green and asked quizzically, “Is our car supposed to be hissing?”
A quick inspection of the car warranted curse words from both of us: there was a screw lodged in the rear driver’s side tire and it was losing air. Hence the hissing. We debated briefly upon what to do before driving to a tire place and telling them our dilemma. The man there told us it’d be about an hour and a half; just enough time for us to sit down to a leisurely lunch.

Little did I know that it was going to be the Lunch from Hell.

We walked across the street to Olive Garden; laden with diaper bag, purse, jacket, and squirmy toddler. The pediatrician had advised to keep Nellie on PediaLyte and bland foods all day so after getting seated, we pulled out the sippy cup and the saltine crackers. Nellie sat happily, sweeping her crackers to the floor and clapping with glee. A short while into lunch Daddy Green sniffed the air and gave me a knowing look. I leaned over and peeked down Nellie’s diaper to see that Daddy’s nose was right. I scooped her up and carried her off to the restroom where I discovered that her stool was a little loose, but I wasn’t alarmed. I got the deed done and carried her back to the table, where we finished the rest of our lunch in peace and harmony.

Dear reader.. How I wish I could write those last words and have them be true…. but I would be lying to you if I told you that. For those of you who are weak-stomached, squeamish, or can’t handle tales of baby shit.. Turn back now. Leave this post with visions of a happy family enjoying their soup and salad in peace, smiling and laughing as their daughter charmed the waitstaff.

For those of you brave enough, our story continues.

I was digging into my soup and salad when I heard Daddy Green sniff again. He looked at me pointedly and lowered his voice,
“I think someone needs another trip to the bathroom.”
“You think so?” I ask, my eyebrows raised in surprise. “Let me look.”
“You don’t need to look. I can smell it.”
I leaned toward Nellie and took a sniff and knew immediately that my husband was right. I stood up and reached down to grab my daughter…

And quickly pulled my hands back as if a snake had bit me.
My hands were wet with baby shit.
“SHE’S COVERED,” I hissed at Daddy Green who was blissfully unaware of the situation.
“Hmm?” he asked from behind his pasta.
“Lift her up BUT BE CAREFUL. IT’S ON HER SHIRT.”
Daddy Green wrinkled his nose and gingerly lifted his baby girl from the seat. I picked her up under the armpits and held her out before me as if she were a nuclear weapon that I was trying not to detonate.

Once I got to the bathroom and was able to properly assess the situation, I almost shit my own pants. I stood Nellie up on the changing table and looked her up and down. The bottom of her shirt was covered in diarrhea and her pants? Literally dripping. Dripping with yellow, watery shit. Socks, covered. Shoes were miraculously unscathed but she pretty much looked like someone had just dipped her into a vat of feces.
Okay, I thought to myself. Stay calm. You can figure this out. I began to unload the provisions I’d brought: clean clothes. Plastic bag for dirty clothes. Diap………. Where are my diapers? WHERE THE HELL ARE MY DIAPERS?

Mother. Fucker.

I was diaperless. I was baby wipeless. I stood in the bathroom of the Olive Garden trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I had no diapers or baby wipes, and was holding a wiggly toddler covered in shit. My brain was flitting about like a hummingbird on crack trying to figure out what to do first. The Hummingbird landed on: Get the dirty clothes off. I peeled off her shirt as carefully as I could, leaving a stinky trail all the way up her body to her neck. I dumped it in the bag and removed her shoes. I spread some changing table liners down and lay her on top of them, removing her soaking jeans. I feel like I remained calm and collected throughout this entire ordeal, even when my child started to writhe around on the table like a shit-covered crocodile in a death roll.

While I was undressing my stinky offspring, people were coming in and out of the bathroom.. Not even paying Nellie and I any attention. Once I had gotten Nellie down to her diaper, the real challenge began. How the fuck do I get a diaper and wipes? Also, how am I supposed to get this vile substance OFF of my kid’s body? IT WAS EVERYWHERE. I stood there holding my wiggly, crap encrusted child under the armpits for a few seconds when I made my decision. I stripped her defiled diaper off, tossed it in the trash and carried her to the sink. I plopped her down and in what has been pretty much the classiest and most glorious moment of my career as a mother thus far, I gave my daughter a bath right there in the restroom at Olive Garden. Thankfully no one came in to find me hunkered over my naked, reeking child desperately splashing water over her while she squealed with delight. Once I’d gotten most of the funk off her I took her back to the changing table where I pulled out two more of the paper liners. I wrapped them around her like some kind of makeshift hospital gown, poked my head out of the bathroom door and caught the attention of a hostess. I told her that I needed some help and asked if she’d get my diaper bag from my husband. A few moments later, she appeared and I took the bag from her, thanking her profusely.

Now that the scent of diarrhea was only faintly clinging to both my daughter and myself, it was time to get Nellie into clean clothes. By this point she was agitated and tired of my antics so she started to fuss and wiggle even more. I managed to get her dressed, get all of her soiled clothes into a  plastic bag and we were finally done. I grabbed everything and headed back to my table where my husband was still sitting, enjoying his meal. He looked at me. I looked at him. I was a woman who had seen terrible, terrible things and I think it showed on my face.
“Armageddon.” was all I could say. I handed Nellie to him and said, “Do not set her down on the high chair. We are going to have to wipe that thing down. I have to go wash my hands.”
I went off, washed my hands and returned to finish my meal. My husband had paid the tab during my harrowing ordeal in the restroom and when Nellie started to fuss, he went to take her outside. I sat and finished my salad with  my disgusting bag o’ funk at my feet.

Our car still wasn’t ready so we went to wander around Toys R’ Us. I felt like a hobo toting my diaper bag across my body, my purse over one arm, my hoodie draped over my shoulders and a bag full of shitty clothes in my hand. I wondered if anyone would stop and sniff the air and say, “What’s that smell?” I would respond, “That’s me. What you’re smelling is garlic bread, baby shit, and shame.”

When we went to retrieve our vehicle, we had to buy a brand new tire and they advised us to replace the other rear tire as well.  We were finally given the keys to our car and were able to leave. We drove home with the radio playing and the smell of soiled baby clothes gently wafting from the backseat.

We left our apartment that afternoon in hopes of getting a new car. We ended up with a belly full of pasta,  two new tires, and – literally – a bag full of shit.

Read Daddy Green’s side of the story here.

Warm Glowing Warming Glow

I admit it. We’re a TV family. I like watching TV, Josh likes watching TV, and yes. We let Nellie watch TV, too. Not just occasionally, or as a treat, but every day. She watches PBS every morning and you know what? I’m fine with it. She enjoys it, I’m okay with what she’s watching because for the most part, the shows she watches have some educational value. For instance, one of her very favorites to watch are these kiddos:

That’s Super Why & the Super Readers for those of you who either don’t have kids, or have them and aren’t a TV family. I enjoy Super Why because it involves problem-solving, reading, letters, and teaches lessons like “try new things” and “share your stuff”.

I’m not a huge fan of mindless children’s shows, so I appreciate the cleverness of these two shows:

I think that the theme song to Dinosaur Train is really fun and clever, and so is the one for Martha Speaks. Martha also teaches words, which I love.

I of course love Sesame Street, because who doesn’t like to see Neil Patrick Harris singing & dancing while he sings about shoes? And the True Blood spoof: True Mud? Hilarious!
I don’t love all the shows Nellie loves. There are a few that mystify me:

Your mother will not mind at all if you do. WTF, Creeper?!

Cat in the Hat’s a little wacky & kind of creepy to me. His laugh kind of gives me the heebie jeebies, and every time he says “flick the jiggermawhizzer” I’m like ………………………

Then there are the cartoons that I just downright HATE. The voice, the repetitive songs, HIS HAIR… I’m talking, of course, about:

GYAH. SID THE SCIENCE KID. HATE. HATE.

I don’t know what it is about Sid the Science Kid, but my child loves him. As much as I hate him & his stupid little songs, Nellie loves him. She grins and claps and dances when he comes on and I’m left groaning and wishing for ear plugs or a beer. Or both.

Like I said, we’re a TV family and I don’t see anything wrong with it. We still interact with her, watch the shows with her, and read to her. She loves her books. She can just sit and play with a book for 20 minutes. But she also enjoys her “baby stories” and I like to watch her enjoy them because she’s adorable sitting there in her PJs and drinking her milk.

What about you? What’s your take on children and TV? If you’re TV-watchers, what are your kids’ favorites? Do you share my loathing for Sid the Science Kid?

P.S. Bonus “cool” points & and imaginary cookie to anyone who identifies what my blog title is from.

Discipline

Now that Nellie is getting older, it’s becoming clear to me that the not-so-fun part of parenthood is approaching and becoming more necessary:

Discipline. The “no” word. We’ve been telling Nellie “no” for a while now; when she crawls toward the cat food dish or tries to pull DVDs out from our towers. She understands what it means, and for the most part she stops what she is doing when a stern, “No!” leaves our lips. Sometimes it takes a few instances of us removing her little hand from whatever temptation it’s reaching for to get the message but ultimately, she gets it.

Except when it comes to her damn sippy cup.

When Nellie eats, she gets a sippy of either milk or juice. She will drink from her straw sippy like a big girl and when she’s done with the sippy, she puts her hand on it and sweeps it away like it offends her with its’ very presence. She casts it to the floor and then leans over to watch it fall. It’s both hilarious and infuriating. At first it was like, 95% hilarious and 5% infuriating but as time went on, it became about 5% hilarious and 95% infuriating. I understand that she’s learning “cause and effect” and all that but for the love of god. I’ll have my back turned doing something else and I’ll hear the sippy cup scraping across the high chair tray. I’ll get, “Nellie, N-” out of my lips before I realize it’s too late and the cup has already reached its’ destination on the floor. Nellie looks at me, expressionless, before breaking out into a big grin and I know that she knows exactly what she’s doing.

So when does discipline come in, and what’s the best form? The way I see it, I have a few options. I can:

  • Sternly say, “No throwing!”. I’ve actually done this before, and it usually elicits a grin or a laugh. Great.
  • Pick up the cup without a reaction at all. No smile, no words, just pick the cup up and place it back on the tray with no expression on my face at all. I have heard that this can be effective because kids strive to get a reaction – any reaction – at this age and giving them one only encourages the behavior.
  • Put the cup on her tray, say “no!” and lightly slap her hand. I’m not opposed to occasional spanking or hand-slapping in some circumstances but my gut’s telling me maybe she’s a bit young for this.
  • Not retrieve the cup at all, making her realize that throwing does not equal it coming back. If you throw it away, you obviously don’t want it. But is she old enough to put two and two together and realize that if it goes away it won’t come back?
  • Secure a bungee cord to her high chair tray, loop the other end around the sippy cup, and laugh victoriously as she throws the cup and realizes that it’s not going to reach the floor. Mommy wins!
  • Sell her to gypsies.

I’m inclined to just go straight for the gypsy route, but I guess I’d end up missing her and then it’d be really hard to get her back.

In all seriousness, I’m really at a loss here. I know that Nellie isn’t too young to understand “no”, because she acts appropriately when told in other circumstances. But she’s just not getting the “no throwing” thing. What say you, readers? What is the most effective way to teach a 1 year old that tossing their sippy cup (or anything, really) on the floor isn’t acceptable behavior? What worked best for you? Do you know any friendly gypsy families looking for a small, curly-headed baby to complete their band?

Childhood Games (The Weird Kid Edition)

I get inspired for blog posts in all sorts of different ways. Sometimes they come from a funny thing I experienced in my day-to-day life, sometimes they come from a song, other times I just ramble and don’t make a whole lot of sense.

I was on Twitter and read a Tweet from @mommywantsvodka that said: “Some kids remember playing Tag and Little League. I remember The Wall and Twin Peaks. /end nostalgia”

It got me to thinking about unconventional games I used to play as a child, and that is what inspired me to write this post.

Jurassic Park
I grew up living 10 minutes away from four of my cousins, and we were raised more like siblings. We loved to play together and my (9 month) older cousin E and my 3+ years younger cousin B and I all liked to play Jurassic Park. My cousins had a lot of backyard, with a wooded area surrounding their house. When we’d play J.P., I would always be Ellie, of course. At first, E wanted to be Alan Grant but then we realized that they were boyfriend/girlfriend in the film and that would have just been weird, so he came up with his own character whose name escapes me. But he was Mexican. *shrug*
B always wanted to make up his own character too, but being the asshole older kids that E and I were, we made him be the dinosaurs.
ALL the dinosaurs.
We would run around screaming while B chased us making growling noises. The woods to the left of the house were the “Raptor Forest” while the woods to the right was the “Dilophosaur Area”. The swingset was a helicopter, and the storage shed was a safe area where the dinosaurs couldn’t get us for some reason. I remember that when we’d play, Alan Grant was always missing and I was always very distraught and screaming for him.

Can’t Touch the Ground
This one’s pretty self explanatory. You couldn’t touch the ground. Ever, or you died, because the ground was lava. There was also a variation of this in the swimming pool, where you couldn’t touch the bottom of the pool OR the sides, because naturally, the sides were spiky and would impale you and again; instant death.

Don’t Wake the Dragon
This was similar to Can’t Touch the Ground, except one person would be “the dragon”. You’d start the game off with “the dragon” sleeping and everyone tiptoeing around. When the dragon woke, there was usually a lot of screaming and panic while everyone scrambled to get their feet off the floor in any way possible. As long as you weren’t touching the floor, “the dragon” could not get you. If “the dragon” got you, you were mocked and taunted properly before you became “the dragon” and the game started over. We’d climb on whatever we could find; couches, chairs, tables, the piano in the living room, etc.

Speed
This one was me by myself. I used to take my bike out and ride it around in circles pretending that I was driving the bus in the movie Speed. I couldn’t stop pedaling or my bicycle would explode and I would die. I would yell things that I’d heard from the movie and I’m fairly certain the neighbors thought I was insane.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
This one was a game I played in school. When I was in 1st grade, TMNT were all the rage. I loved Leonardo; he was my favorite because his mask was blue. All the little boys in my class would run around fighting each other and I wanted to play so badly, but they informed me that there WERE no girl Nina Turtles, so they made me be April O’Neill. I got to run around interviewing everyone.
Fuckers.

I like looking back on all of the games that my friends/cousins and I played and invented. It brings back warm fuzzy memories for me but also, as a parent, it makes me wonder what our parents thought watching us pretend and play. I can picture myself in a few years, standing at my kitchen sink and watching Nellie and her friends barreling through the backyard in the throes of some wild imaginary adventure. It puts a smile on my face and makes me realize how much I have to look forward to in my years to come as a mom.

So how about you? What were some of your favorite childhood games? Did you invent any yourself?


Lessons from Parenthood

When I was pregnant, I knew everything about being a parent.

Sound familiar? I am sure I’m not alone in saying that parenthood is the most humbling thing that has ever happened to me and of all the things being a mom has taught me there is one lesson that sticks out the most: You don’t know anything. About ANYTHING.

When I was pregnant I used to say things like, “Once my baby comes, I’m never drinking again. I’m done with alcohol. There’s no reason for it anymore.”
Now? I realize that MOMMIES NEED WINE SOMETIMES. Mommies need wine probably more than any other people on the face of this planet need wine. I was so certain that I’d never even look at a bottle of beer again, let alone drink one. Me? Get tipsy? No! I’m a mother now! That’s just terrible!
Pfff. What the hell ever. It’s rare that I drink enough to catch a buzz now, but it’s happened (never when I’m alone with Nellie, of course).

During my pregnancy I judged women who formula-fed. I can remember having discussions where I would say things like, “I mean I understand if you can’t do it for medical reasons or whatever, but if you just don’t try hard enough or don’t try at all, I think that’s terrible.”
Now? I’d like to go back and slap myself in the face. I became one of those moms who chose formula. I tried, I did, but in the end formula was what was easiest, and best for me and Nellie. I wasn’t in a good enough place mentally to endure the pressures and demands of breastfeeding, so we switched to the bottle and it made me a better mom. And if a mom chooses not to try breastfeeding and go straight to formula? I don’t fucking care. Do what works for you, sister, being a mom is hard enough without you having other moms tell you what to do with your ta-tas.

I vowed never to make TV my babysitter. Now I realize that sometimes it is necessary for Nellie to watch Martha Speaks or The Cat In the Hat (which I hate) in order for me to shower, eat, pee, wash bottles, or fold laundry without her screaming at me.

I thought that there would never be a single second where being a mother would feel like work. I thought my maternity leave was going to be filled with sunshine and little bluebirds flitting around mine and my new baby daughter’s head. The reality of maternity leave was different. I enjoyed the time with my daughter, of course, but it was also a very lonely and isolating time. Sleep deprivation, getting into a routine with baby, and postpartum hormones running rampant put a bit of a damper on my fairytale fantasy. I was floored at how much work being a mother felt like sometimes.

The ignorance doesn’t stop once you become a parent, though. When Nellie was 4 months old, I decided she was old enough for some controlled cry-it-out. I lasted three minutes before I ran back in there to pick her up. I realize now that 4 months old is way too neurologically immature for a baby to know how to self-soothe. We didn’t even attempt our modified CIO again until she was almost 8 months old (she puts herself to sleep now without problems).

When Nellie would wet her diaper I would make a mad dash to change it. Now? A little pee in the diaper isn’t going to hurt her. Obviously I don’t let her go hours upon hours in a wet diaper but I also don’t break my neck to change it if it’s just wet and not dirty.

I’ve learned a lot from being a parent. I know what songs make her laugh (Hey Ya by Outkast, The True Blood theme by Jace Everett, Sinister Kid by the Black Keys), and that tickling her feet make her squeal. I’ve learned that athlete’s foot cream with Boudreaux’s Butt Paste on top of it wipe out diaper rash faster than you can say “diaper rash”. I have learned that Baby Einsten is brilliant, and that the toy that Nellie likes best is her can of Puffs. But the biggest lesson I think I have gleaned from the experience so far is: don’t get used to anything. Your baby is going to change faster than you can imagine. And remember.. You don’t know anything. About anything.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about being a parent?

Judgemental Parents

I judge.

You judge.

Everyone judges each other, just a little bit.

Some of us are more judgemental than others, and it’s never been more obvious to me than since I became a parent. Before I became a mother, when I’d hear about women choosing to formula feed I’d turn my nose up, scoff, and say, “WHY would you CHOOSE formula if you can breastfeed? That’s so selfish.”

Now? I get it. I’m all for attempting to breastfeed and I think that women who stick with breastfeeding are awesome. It’s hard. It’s really, really hard and sometimes it’s just too damn hard for some women.

But you know what? If a woman chooses to formula feed because it’s easier or because it works better for her and her family, then that’s her fucking prerogative. It’s none of my, or your, goddamned business.

I came across a Twitter-er/blogger who claimed herself as judgemental in her very name. I’m sorry, what? Why would you advertise yourself as judgemental? Being judgemental is not a positive thing. Being a judgemental person sucks. This person announced that formula feeding, crib sleeping, and disposable diapering were all inferior parenting choices and those who chose to do them were bad parents. She added a comment saying that if circumstances were beyond one’s control and they had to formula feed, disposable diaper, or independently sleep then that was different. That was okay. But voluntarily choosing those things? AWFUL PARENTS.

I think that this is so ridiculous, and so unhelpful to those of us WHO DO CHOOSE THAT. I formula feed. I made the choice to stop breastfeeding because it was making me miserable, and because I was a better mother to my daughter when I stopped. I choose to disposable diaper because it’s what works for me. I don’t HAVE $300 to drop on a cloth diapering starter kit. I don’t HAVE the time to launder diapers. I work, I share a car with my husband who also works.. Yes, we could budget and scrimp and save and eventually buy cloth diapers but you know what? I don’t fucking want to. I don’t want to spend my free time scraping poop into the toilet, hanging my diapers out, laundering them, etc. I’d rather spend that with my husband and baby. I chose to crib sleep because I can’t co-sleep. I’ve brought Nellie in to my bed, and when I do I get no sleep. None. Whatsoever. Because I am constantly watching her and startling myself awake to make sure I’m not rolling over on her, or smothering her accidentally with a pillow. Also? I believe that my bed belongs to me, and my husband. It’s the one place that we can spend as a couple and do the things that couples do, which is have sex. There will be times when Nellie is older and has a nightmare, or is sick and in those cases I will allow her to crawl into bed with us because it brings her comfort. But as for every day sleeping? Co-sleeping is not for us.

So, tell me something. My child has formula in her tummy, has Huggies on her butt and is about to be put down for a nap in her crib. I am holding her in my arms, right now, as I type this. Snuggling her. Kissing her cheeks and in awe of how much I love this child. I would die for her. I would sell my soul for her. I would kill someone for hurting her. I would defend her to my very last breath. Am I bad parent because my kid is wearing a disposable diaper with a picture of Winnie the Pooh on her ass? Are you really going to overlook the fact that I’d do absolutely anything for my kid, simply because of the fact that I choose to put her in a disposable diaper?

How does what’s in her belly, on her butt, and where she lays her head matter if she is taken care of, and loved? Why does it matter? My child is loved beyond belief, she always has what she needs and always will.

Everything else is water under the bridge. Why do moms feel the need to attack each other for their choices as parents? We’re all in this parenting thing together. We are all parents, and we all love our children. We all do what we feel is best, and what we think is right. This goes for people who breastfeed and people who formula feed. For cloth diaperers, and ‘sposie diaperers. Whether you co-sleep, or put your kiddo in a crib.. We’re all just doing the best that we can to raise these children. Why can’t we all just support one another and stop being so damned judgemental?

Baby Wheezy

If you are a good and loyal reader, like I know that you are *COUGHevileyeCOUGH*, then you know all about me coming down with a nasty cold over the weekend. Why the HELL do the worst colds have to come on over a weekend? Or during summer vacation. I remember as a kid I used to get the worst frigging colds over summer vacation WHEN THERE WAS NO SCHOOL TO MISS.

WHAT THE HELL, VIRUSES?
What the hell.

Anyway, it seems that my nasty little bug has decided to jump into my daughter. Namely, her nasal passages and chest cavity.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen.. My daughter has her first cold.

It effing blows. As any parent with a sick child knows, it actually defies the laws of physics by both sucking AND blowing. Nellie’s cold started with a few sneezes that made me go, “hmmm”. By the next day she was snorting and sniffly. No fever, but definitely had the stuffies. So on Sunday we bought her a vaporizer (like, a Vick’s thing, not a gun from the future). It takes these little pads and plugs into an outlet; no water required. It’s kick ass, and smells really good. So we propped up one end of her crib, let her sit in the bathroom with me while I showered and it got all steamy and during bedtimes Sunday and Monday nights she did very, very well.

Well.. The cold seems to have migrated into her chest. Tonight she had one of the worst meltdowns I’ve ever seen in the 6 months that she’s been here. She was screaming so hard I thought her lungs were going to come flying out of her mouth and onto the floor and flop away in terror. She would fall asleep fine in your arms and once you put her down, she’d start coughing. It’d wake her up and she’d start to scream.. Then it would take 20 minutes of rocking bouncing and shooshing for her to calm down enough to fall back asleep. After the third time of this, I finally said screw it and am now camped out on the couch with a passed out and snoring baby in my arms. My poor little sweetie is so congested, and I hate it. I’ve done all I know to do and still my daughter is sick. This sucks, and not because I can’t sleep and am uncomfortable on the couch but because she is uncomfortable and there’s not a damn thing I can do except try and make her less uncomfortable.

I’m off, my friends, to try and catch a few zzz’s while holding my wheezy little lady.

The Evils of Chocolate

My husband and I received our first bit of unsolicted parenting advice from strangers yesterday. Last night my husband and I were out to eat at a Chinese food buffet (I know, I know.. Diet fail. But I promise I didn’t eat a lot!!!) with our 6 month old daughter Nellie. It was toward the end of the meal and my husband had gotten himself a small cup of chocolate ice cream. There was a couple sitting in the booth behind us and they looked like they were in their late 40s/early 50s. We’ve been giving our daughter little tastes of things we eat for about two weeks and yes, we have given her tastes of ice cream. Nothing huge; just a little lick so she can get the flavor of it (I’m aware that by even posting this I’m subjecting myself to comments.. But she is formula fed so she doesn’t have the “virgin gut” issue).

Well my husband put a teensy amount on his spoon and Nellie immediately lunged at it and tasted it. She was smacking away when the man in the booth behind us turned around and said,
“Now, I don’t want to butt in or say things that aren’t my place to say..”

This is something that everyone wants to hear, eh?

“But we knew a couple who had beautiful twin boys. Weren’t they beautiful honey?”
His wife nodded.
“Well they gave one of their boys chocolate milk in a bottle, and it made him retarded.”

……………..
Wait, what? Did I hear that right? I honestly thought that this man was joking. I thought that he was trying to be tongue in cheek and poke fun at people who get all up in arms about giving babies tastes of food and was making a joke that was just in poor taste.
But neither the man nor his wife laughed.
“Oh?” I asked, still unsure if he was kidding or not.
His wife spoke next.
“Seriously, they were both perfectly fine and they were identical twins, and the one they gave the chocolate milk to was retarded after they gave him the milk. He was fine, and then he was retarded. We don’t mean to butt in but you have such a beautiful baby and it’d just be such a shame for anything to happen to her. Infants under the age of one aren’t supposed to have chocolate because it can make them retarded.”

My husband and I solemnly thanked them for their wisdom, waited until we left, and almost shit ourselves from laughing so hard.

Okay. Seriously. Nevermind the fact that.. WHO ACTUALLY SAYS THE WORD “RETARDED” TO TALK ABOUT A MENTAL DISABILITY ANYMORE? Are these people for real or were they screwing with me? I wanted to be like, “AM I ON TV RIGHT NOW?”

Even if you are shaking your head at me for letting my daughter taste ice cream before she’s a certain age you have to admit, saying that giving your baby chocolate before the age of one is going to cause a mental disability is pretty far fetched. Lecture me about “virgin gut”, or the potential for developing food allergies all you want. But mental retardation? REALLY? I was just.. I was floored.

A (Nellie) Rose By Any Other Name…

In the (nearly) 6 months that Nellie’s been here, we have come up with many.. many nicknames for her, most of which make no sense. Here are a few of them that actually include her name:

  • Nellie Bug
  • Nellie Bean (daddy made this one up)
  • Nellie Belly (or Nellie Wit Da Belly)
  • Nellie Belle
Then there are ones that, I think, are pretty typical:
  • Bunny
  • Booger
  • Baby Girl
  • Boo Boo
Then there are ones that have evolved from those:
  • Lady Boogerton
  • Booger Shoes (and I sing her a song to the tune of ‘Boogie Shoes’: “I wanna put on, mah mah mah mah mah Booger Shoes! Just Booger Boo Boo!”. Yes, I’m crazy.)
  • Booger Butt
  • Booger Bunny
  • Sugar Booger, which got shortened to “Shoog Boog”)
Then there are ones that.. Well, are a little weird:
  • Lady BaBa (I made this one up b/c she loves when I sing her “Bad Romance”)
  • Pee Diaper, which evolved into Pee Dipe, which then morphed into Pee Dipey, P. Dipey for short. (like P. Diddy. I will sing to her to the tune of ‘Tik Tok’, “I wake up in the mornin’, and I got a P. Dipey!”)
  • Hobbit (this is because she’s short, has fat rolls, curly hair and eats a lot)
  • Lady Hobbit
  • Cranker
  • Very Angry Badger (“The Badge”)
  • Chub a Lub (to the tune of ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’, when they say ‘jitterbug’: “Chub a lub! Oh Nellie Chub a Lub!”)

Yeah.. I sing a lot of weirdo songs to my kid.

So… How about you? What are some of the nicknames you’ve given your LO?