Just Call Me Quasimodo

I have the worst posture since becoming a mom.

Is it because I’m too tired to hold this body up? Could it be the lack of core strength? Or is it like gray hair and wrinkles–showing up when you reach a certain age? Probably all of the above.

Whatever the reason, I’m sick of it. When I notice that I’m slumped over like a deformed creature who lives in a bell tower, I straighten up –pushing my shoulders back and holding my head high. It lasts for maybe a minute before I’m back to Slouchy McSloucherson.

At the rate I’m going, I’ll have the biggest hump of all the gals in the resthome. Hopefully I’ll have my own teeth to offset it.

It’s too much work to have good posture. They say it makes you look ten pounds thinner, but so does a girdle…not that I would deal with wearing one of those! (Mummy does not want to feel like a sausage casing.)

Sitting up straight could be the easiest way to “lose” ten pounds, but just because you reposition the rolls doesn’t mean they’re gone…sadly.

Guess I’ll have to figure out how to rock the hunchback look. A cute little bird in your hand (or in my case, my adorable daughter) just might do the trick.


This Is It

I love when people ask what I’m doing for the day as if I have a life…a life outside of my baby bubble, that is. What do they expect me to say? That I’m close to curing cancer or solving the world’s hunger problem? That would be nice, but I’m lucky to respond to an email, if it’s the only thing I do non-baby related.

So to answer their question I say, “This is it” while opening my arms Vanna-style to the toy-littered floor around me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby bubble. I prefer to stay there than venture out into the crazy, annoying world. To some, our monotonous days might seem boring but I take comfort in our routine. Plus, she’s my little sidekick: the Robin to my Batman, the chocolate to my peanut butter. We share inside jokes and the latest celebrity gossip over her lunch of apples and carrots. “72 days! Can you believe it lasted that long?” We listen to Louis Prima on Pandora and twirl together in the kitchen while I prepare dinner.

It’s funny to think that while no two days are exactly the same, we do the same things every single day and it’s easy to see how they all just blur together. We play with her toys on the rug, we chase each other around the house (really, I chase her), we read, and sometimes go for a walk. That’s our routine, give or take a trip to the store. When that routine is out of whack, it makes me a little batty. Good thing I’m getting back on track.

Maybe the next time someone asks me what I’m doing that day, I’ll say, “Raising an exceptional child” instead of my usual answer of, “Nothing.” Because the truth is it’s more like everything, instead of nothing.

And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Not Wrong, Just Different

Somehow my brothers and I survived our childhood with few broken bones and only a couple stitches here and there. My mom laughs about not having car seats for us when we came home from the hospital or helmets when we rode our bikes — so it’s a wonder I’m sitting here today in one piece.

It’s been 30 years since my mom raised a baby, so it’s safe to say A LOT has changed. But it’s also safe to say that nothing has changed, as all babies really need is food, a clean diaper, and love.

Seeing all the gadgets and thingymajigs that I have for my daughter: the fancy stroller with its 5-point harness and shocks, the diaper genie that magically swallows dirty diapers, the video monitor, the shopping cart cover…it all makes my mom feel like she did everything wrong.

When I told her that some of my daughter’s first solid foods were mango and avocado, she looked at me as if I’d given my baby a shot of tequila. I reassured her both mango and avocado were on the “first foods list” from wholesomebabyfood.com, but from her reaction she clearly thought I was insane. But she didn’t have the Internet when I was a baby, all she had was one Dr. Spock book. So how would she know? Plus, it was the 80’s — people were drinking Tab soda and organic wasn’t even a blip on the radar.

I know how she feels though. I constantly question whether I’m doing things right. In 30 years, if my daughter has children, there will be a whole new parenting style with a whole new set of gizmos to accompany it. I’ll feel like an utter failure when she asks me what I used to do with her. I’ll laugh like a crazy person and say, “We used to put you in a car seat! Can you imagine?” Because by then, we’ll all have flying cars and babies will be equipped with ejection seats and parachutes.

The way my mom did things, and the way I’m doing things isn’t wrong, it’s just…different.

Karma Shmarma

Back when we were young and untethered, the hubby and I upped and moved to San Diego. We felt more at home than the small town we hailed from, so it’s no mystery that we plan on returning one day. Last night while taking one armful of laundry out of the dryer and throwing in the next, I was reminded of the first place we lived. More specifically I was reminded of the chick who lived in the granny flat behind our house. Normally I’d say woman or young woman, but this gal was the very definition of chick. She dotted her i’s with hearts and her name rhymed with Gimme.

I didn’t have any gripes about her other than the laundry room situation. We shared a washer and dryer. No big deal. I only did 3 loads of laundry a week, tops. That seems preposterous now. I practically do 3 loads a day! Funny how the addition of such a little person creates so much more dirty laundry.

It makes sense to me now that both the washing machine and the dryer were always jam-packed with “Gimme’s” clothes, as well as her son’s and daughter’s things. At first I was polite about it. I’d take her stuff out of the dryer and neatly arrange it on top. But it felt utterly wrong touching a stranger’s underthings…even if they were clean. So as time went on, I’d just stack everything in a huge lopsided tower on top of the dryer as there was no other place to put it, feeling some sort of weird vindication when it all ended up on the dirty ground. When I couldn’t take it anymore I asked her to clean it up. Her clothes were everywhere, like a teenager’s bedroom floor.

I don’t remember if it ever got better. We moved out after our one year lease was up. We loved that house and probably would’ve stayed if there had been an actual Granny living in the granny flat.

Now when I open my dryer door and see a load of laundry from days before, I think of Gimme and how hard it must have been for her to do anything being a single mom to 2 young kids. Then I think I shouldn’t have been so annoyed with her, that she was probably doing the best she knew how. Perhaps it’s my karma to always have a dryer full of clothes now for ever passing judgement, for ever thinking that I would never be like Gimme.

Karma shmarma.

I still think there’s something wrong with a grown woman dotting her i’s with hearts.

Where Is the Snooze Button on This Baby?

“5 more minutes, mom.” I’m not pleading with my mom though, I’m pleading with my baby! Wouldn’t it be so nice if she did have a snooze button. She doesn’t —  I’ve looked all over. To be able to push on her head like Small Wonder and sleep for at least ten more minutes would be glorious. But you know I’d start to abuse it, snoozing for at least an hour. Why do we do that to ourselves? I remember going through a phase when I was younger that I would purposely set my alarm clock for a half hour earlier and hit the snooze until I really had to get up. Is that why it’s so hard to tear myself from the covers now? Or is it because it’s not on my terms?

A baby dictates the schedule from day one. If she’s crying, you’re up trying to soothe her. When she’s awake for the day (even if she’s just babbling to herself in her crib) that means you’re awake too. When she’s taken a massive dump in her pants and you can smell it down the hallway, you don’t get to change her diaper when it’s convenient for you. You change that dirty diaper even if your eyes are still full of sleep. When she’s screaming because she’s starving even though she just ate two hours earlier, then it’s boobie time. Forget that you were in the middle of a dream where you were kissing James Franco. My favorite is when she’s up earlier than normal — happy and smiling at the crack-o-dawn. I bring her in my bed to show her it’s still sleepy time, but she’s bright-eyed and ready to play. She slaps me on the face and tries out her newest, loudest vocalizations. Only when I fully give up on trying to sleep and surrender to the day, does she decide that she’s tired again and needs her morning nap. She’s got a cruel sense of humor. (But at least she has one.)

Babies don’t have snooze buttons, but what a wonderful world if they did.

The Top 5 Things I Realize Now

The Top 5 Things I Realize Now That I’m a Mummy

1) Boobs are Overrated. It’s not like they can cook you dinner or wish you a happy birthday, so why all the fuss? Why did I wish I’d wake up with the chest of a Victoria’s Secret model when I was a teenager? We’ll blame TV and the media. Now I realize that fun bags are just that–fun to look at for 5 minutes then they’re just…there. And now that I’ve experienced both worlds, I’d rather go back to how they used to be! (Maybe that’s #6–appreciate what your Mama gave ya!)

2) It’s Not About the Stuff. For months before I had my baby, I’d obsess about all of the things we needed to have before she arrived. The crib, the obnoxiously expensive rocking chair and baby bouncer, the clothes, blankets, beanies, and nursery decor. Who knew babies needed so much crap! But they don’t…it was me thinking I needed the crap. The baby gets here and poops and vomits on everything and you wondered why you cared so much about all the stuff.

3) Date Nights Are Crucial. Romance isn’t something that comes easily after eight years of marriage, and it was the last thing on my mind after giving birth. But now I realize that making time for just the two of us is more important than ever. Plus, it’s nice to clean the poop from under your fingernails, change into something that doesn’t smell like sour milk, and go out (even if you’re just pretending not to think about your baby every 10 seconds.)

4) Judge Lest Ye Be Judged. I used to get annoyed with screaming kids in public. Who wouldn’t, am I right? I used to hide in nearby aisles, grumbling and vowing that I would never be that mom. But I realize now that the mom of the temper-tantrum, shrieking child is going to be me one day. Luckily, my baby hasn’t made me sweat too badly yet, but I know it’s a matter of time. And I hope when that time comes, people will not be so quick to judge but will offer a knowing smile instead of a scowl.

5) Chores CAN wait: I like a clean house. I like organization and order. But I LOVE my daughter. Sometimes I panic that time is going by too quickly and why am I wasting all this time with dishes and dusting? Do I want to look back and remember having a clean house or remember the day we rolled around on the floor laughing and playing with her toys? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be on Hoarders anytime ever, but I realize now that the dishes will still be there tomorrow while my daughter will be a day older.

Me Time

A moment to myself…what is that? Is there time to escape to a tropical island? Nope. Is there time to eat a sandwich? Just barely. Thus is the life of a mom with a serial cat napper. It’s rare that my daughter will nap longer than 45 minutes. This makes it virtually impossible to get anything done around the house. Everything is always half-finished. This drives me insane! I don’t claim to be a June Cleaver or Martha Stewart (that’s my mother) but I like to keep a clean, organized space.

Since becoming a mummy I’ve had to say sayonara to the days of a neat and tidy home. I get twenty minutes to straighten up what was left undone from the previous nap and about a whole 90 seconds for “me time.” It seems she has a sensor that goes off when my butt hits the couch and I prop up my feet. As soon as I’m good and relaxed–pop–eyeballs! I can’t imagine how anyone with more than one child gets anything done. That’s got to be the reason why school was invented. Get these kids out of the house so Mummy can think straight, and while you’re at it, teach ’em something.

On the odd occasion she naps longer than 45 minutes, I don’t know what to do with myself. Plenty of time to do all my daily chores and thirty minutes to enjoy whatever show is on Bravo (even though I’ve probably already watched it twice already.) Oh happy day!

Is it bad to admit that sometimes I look forward to naptime? Well…I just did. I wish, as moms, we wouldn’t put these crazy impossible standards on ourselves. We shouldn’t feel guilty for indulging in a little Mummy time. That is what keeps us sane, right? That’s what the handbook said, anyway.

Pint-sized Bosses

“Change my diaper! Bring me my binkie! Where’s my milk?” A mummy is somewhat of a 24 hour pro-bono personal assistant to her baby. And her client can be very demanding at times. Who am I kidding? More like ALL the time. Mummy is a personal assistant times a billion. P.A.s in general  take a lot of abuse and are required to smile while they complete their tasks. A poo-eating grin, if you will. But the poo involved here is literal and must be wiped and cleaned off your “employer” several times a day, sometimes even out of their hair or off the TV screen after a huge blowout (Yes, this has actually happened to me). The boss also has a free pass when it comes to your body — no grounds for harassment here. I never knew I could get pinched, slapped, and scratched so much while feeding my baby. Usually it makes me laugh because she doesn’t do any real damage, but once in a while she’ll make me say ouch. I’m just thankful she’s not the Naomi Campbell of babies capable of chucking a cell phone at my head. Those days are sure to come later. Hopefully she’ll be as sweet and gentle as a lamb and nowhere close to a demanding diva.

I knew all this when I “signed up” to be a mom. Funny thing is I couldn’t wait to be responsible for all the daily needs of caring for my baby: changing diapers, feeding, bathing, burping, cuddling, etc. Yes, my services were free but I knew I’d get paid in hugs, smiles, and the sweetest coos anyone has ever heard. The rewards of being a mummy far outweigh the demanding schedule that comes along with a baby and I know when she’s capable of doing things for herself I’ll probably be right there trying to “baby” her again. The days and weeks keep flying by and she’s reaching milestones quickly so I know her independence is right around the corner ,which freaks me out a little, so I’m content with playing personal assistant for a lot longer.