23

If my toddler could tell me off…

I got to thinking today (I know, I know…it’s dangerous when I start to think about things) about how tough it must be to be a toddler. I mean, I’m literally doing things to ruin her day all the time. That’s where the title of my blog came from. She wants to do things, I say no, I’ve ruined her day.

It must suck to be such a tiny human, and be constantly told you “have to do this” or “can’t do that” all day long. My L is only pint-sized, but she’s a strong-headed personality, and she definitely has a mind of her own. Of course I piss her off when I go ruining what she’s got planned.

So I thought to myself – if she were able to eloquently describe to me her thoughts on my “Mommy bossiness” and tell me off, what would she say? Would she have reasons for wanting to do what she does? What would her perspective be?

So here’s my take on it – knowing my daughter as I do, and how hard it is to change her mind when she has it set. I’m going to lay out the situation, my response (and reasoning) and her response (and reasoning) as I imagine it might be.

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Situation #1 I left the room for two minutes, and L took the time to dump half a bottle of baby powder all over the living room carpet, and herself.

My thoughts – “Ohhhhh noooooo, L! We don’t dump that on the carpet! Look, you’ve made a mess. Now we have to clean you up and change you before we go out. Uggh. I don’t have time for this…”

Her thoughts – “Come on Mom, I’m learning here! It’s physics! Look at how it all goes down to the floor, but some of it floats in the air! And look – I dumped it on my feet, then moved and could see my footprints on the carpet! How effin’ cool is that?! Maybe I’ll do it again – look two sets of feet! Holy crap I’m an artist. Why aren’t you loving this?!”

Situation #2 – She asked for a cookie/cracker, so I hand her two. One is broken. Meltdown ensues.

My thoughts“Oh for goodness sake, L, they all taste the same. The whole one will look like that once you take a bite out of it anyway!”

Her thoughts – “What do you take me for Mom, a pushover? This one is broken, and I’m being ripped off! Less cookie than I would have gotten? Hell no! Besides, when a cookie/cracker is broken, it dies. DIES! Who wants to eat a dead cookie! How do I get enjoyment out of seeing that this cookie had its life cut short because the box got shaken up? LIFE IS SO CRUEL!”

Situation #3Wanting to eat the lone goldfish cracker she found under her ass in the car seat, or the raisin she found stuck to her foot after stepping on it.

My thoughts – “Ewwww, L, dirty. Don’t eat that. Yuck, yuck, yuck!” (Secretly thinking – hmmm, will that tide her over till lunch?)

Her thoughts “Sweet, I found that snack I stashed away for later. I knew I’d need this! Wait, WTF Mom, why are you taking that away? I planted this on purpose! It’s food, dammit. FOOD! You’re supposed to eat it. You’re always telling me to “eat my breakfast”, or “come on, one more bite of supper”, and now you WON’T let me eat? YOU ARE SO UNFAIR!”

Situation # 4 – I give L her favourite lunch, and she refuses to eat it.

My thoughts – “Come on L, you love this! You ate it just the other day and devoured it. I know you like it. Why are you pushing it away today?”

Her thoughts – “Seriously Mom, have you ever just not been in the mood for a certain thing? I had this same kind of sandwich two other times this week, and I just don’t want it today. Can’t you learn to make ANYTHING DIFFERENT? I mean, would you want to eat the same things on repeat all the time? No. It’s boring. AND YUCKY! Why can’t you just make me something new for once?!”

Situation # 5 – We’ve just gotten out of the car to go to my Mom’s, and she is unhappy because I make her walk (not run) and hold my hand on the street.

My thoughts – “L, we’re by the road where there are cars. You have to hold Mommy’s hand. It’s dangerous. STOP! I mean it sweetie. No running by the road!”

Her thoughts – “OMG I’M ALWAYS TIED UP! You lock me into the car seat so I can’t move. You lock me into the booster seat at the dining room table so I can’t move. You put me in a stroller so I can’t move. You hold my hand too tightly by the road so I can’t move. I JUST WANT TO BE FREE, DAMMIT! Look, there’s leaves on Gramma’s front yard. LEAVES! They’re yellow, and orange, and green, and I want them all! I want all the rocks in the driveway. I want to run to the neighbours fence to say “Hi Doggy!” to my friend with the waggly tail. Stop with the restrictions and LET ME LIVE!”.

So I guess I have to try and think of things from her perspective for a bit. I think I ruin her day a lot.

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7

My leaky bladder makes sense now!

Call your mother and say something nice!

My little L will be two at the end of October, which means I am approaching the hell that can only be described as potty training. She’s already shown interest a tiny bit, and has asked to sit on the big girl toilet once, and stayed there for about 15-20 minutes while singing songs and “chatting” as much as a not quite two year old can. Which means, I’ll have to go buy a potty.

So I’ve been trying to mentally prepare myself for potty training. I’m bracing myself for accidents – an unintentional pee in the underpants, not quite making it to the toilet in time, her feeling ashamed of peeing herself, trying to let her know it’s okay, and that Mommy knows it was an accident, etc. Then I realized – it all makes sense!

THIS must be why after we give birth, our bladders aren’t ever the same. THIS must be why when we cough, or sneeze, or laugh too hard we piss our pants. THIS must be why I’m up a bazillion times a night to pee. THIS must be why.

Mom’s are biologically made to accidentally piss themselves after giving birth so that we are empathetic to our toddlers when they piss themselves during potty training. I’ve unintentionally peed in my underpants, I’ve felt ashamed at peeing myself (even if it is just some wee drips), and I need comfort too, dammit! So this is why it happens – so when my sweet L feels embarrassed and ashamed when she has her first pissy accident, I can say with complete sympathy, “It’s ok L, Mummy understands. She sometimes pees her pants too, but we have to keep trying to make it to the toilet on time, and empty ourselves frequently to avoid accidental drips”.

So, my sweet L, Mummy gets it. She really, really does. Kegels just don’t do what they are supposed to do 100% of the time.

(Do you piss your pants, too? If so, vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs – just a single click on the button to the right of my blog equals a vote! If you don’t piss your pants, I’d still  appreciate sympathy votes to make me and my leaky bladder feel a little bit better).

7

I now know how Mr. Potato Head came to be.

tumblr_ltxnkywQkZ1qkiulvo1_500

For the love of potatoes.

You know how kids are. They go through phases where “this is my my most favourite toy ever!”, and nothing else will do. L has one of those – it’s her Lamby. It looks like this guy, except it’s now a permanent shade of dirt grey and probably full of more germs and bacteria than I care to admit to.
pTRU1-6969324dt

While she hasn’t given up  her Lamby (and I doubt she ever will), she has found a new love. A potato. Sadly, I wish I were referring to Mr. Potato Head, but I’m not. I’m talking a plain old dirty potato. She found one in the potato bag the other day and has had it ever since. She carries it around with her, she puts it into her pot and stirs it to make what I can only imagine is potato soup (which I then have to pretend to eat a bazillion effin’ times a day), she lays on the floor and hugs it and cuddles it, she asks to take it to bed, and she cries when we try to put it back in the potato bag.

WTF. Seriously. It’s a potato.

funny-friends-potato-quote

I fear this might end up being her first science lesson.

Will she freak out when the skin starts to get all wilted and squishy? What will she do when it starts growing eyes? I could put it in water and show her how it grows, but I think she’s too young to understand that – she just wants to cuddle the damn potato! What will she do when it starts to rot and I have to toss it? Will she notice if I replace it with another potato? If I steal it from her, does that make it a “hot potato”?  Holy hell, I can’t believe this is even an issue…

I’m feeling this way about a goddamn potato. I can’t imagine what’d I’d be feeling if it were a pet!

This must be how Mr. Potato head was invented. Some freakin’ parent realized their kids pet potato was about to rot and give them diseases, so he made it into a toy. That’s got to be the only explanation.

Speaking of Mr. Potato Head, did I ever tell you all the story about how he almost murdered my Mother? That’s a whole other blog post…

(If you haven’t already, I’d love it if you could vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs. Like, I’d love you enough to share my chocolate bar with you….maybe. Just click the Top Mommy Blog button to the right –> and that’s it! One click = one vote. You don’t have to do anything else.)

8

I needed this laugh.

I’ve seen this done before by a few other bloggers, so I thought I’d play around on WordPress and do my own version.

You see, I’ve been feeling quite sad this week and thought I needed a laugh. Boy oh boy, did this do the trick! I went through my stats, and looked up the history of all the search terms that people have used to find themselves at my blog. Some of them I read and completely understand how it led them to my blog, and some of them even have me stumped, and I’m the one who writes all of my content! So if you want a laugh of your own, read through my results (and my reactions to them), and take a peek at your own search term results for fun!

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Please note, I have not changed any spelling or punctuation in any of these results. I will let them speak for themselves…

1) adult baby pacifier
You see, I did a post about how I feared that if I let my kid have her pacifier until SHE decided to wean herself from it, she might well end up as one of those creepy adult babies featured on “My Strange Addiction”. Apparently though, there are a lot of people who Google where to find adult baby pacifiers. Interesting.

2) wobble boobs

Well, I can only assume they were led to me by my post titled “Do your boobs hang low, do they wobble to and fro”. I still don’t know if I want to meet the person who googles wobble boobs though…

3) devilish woman

Is this what I am? I am lost as to how this led to me…

4) boob hand tuch facebook

So what exactly is a tuch? Is that supposed to say “touch” or “tush”? I don’t get it at all…

5) woman breastfeeding kitten

I have three letters for this one. W T F!?!?!

6) my mom touched me

Eek. I don’t like how that is worded, and don’t like that it led to my blog.

7) i have to poop not coming out

Well that’s unfortunate. Might I suggest some stool softeners or some prune juice or some fibre supplementation?

8) he is nothing, thems work for computer

Hunh? I really am lost on this one. Can anyone help me out here?

9) i bought them and they were mine but you ate them yeah you ate my fries and i cried and you died see me cry

HAHAHA! I have no idea what this person was trying to find, and how they ended up at my blog, but thank you for making my day. We must be kindred spirits. I would cry if someone ate my fries, too.

10) tortured vagina in horror films

YIKES! I know where this one came from. It’s from “So you just had a baby. Now what?”, where I said do not look at your vagina. It looks like it is straight out of a horror film: Think “Vagina Chainsaw Massacre” or “Night of the Living Labia”.
But really, who Googles this!?

11) will my bratz doll be worth something one day?

I sure as hell hope it won’t! They are awful!

12) how many winan poop on the delivery table

First of all, unless it is some sort of cultural term I’m not aware of, I’m pretty sure it is spelled “women”. Second of all, more women poop on the delivery table than you might think. Pretty sure this one was from “The Royal Baby is Coming! Do Princesses Poop on the Delivery Table?”. I set myself up there I’m sure.

Have any of you ever looked up your search terms and found some gems? I’d love it if you shared.

Don’t forget to like How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day on Facebook!

11

Strangest baby/kid products part 2!

Since I’ve been sad about what is to come tonight (see: “To my cat, before you die.“), I decided that to cheer myself up a bit and distract myself I would scour the internet for some more beyond crazy baby and kid products. There are some weird ones out there, but these were what made my list today.

Here we go!

1) Bratz Babyz.

Ok, as if Bratz dolls aren’t slutty bad enough, there are apparently also Bratz Babyz out there. WTF! Babies are innocent, sweet, and pure. Babyz on the other hand, are slutty, skanky, full of makeup and sexualized. WHO THE EFF THINKS IT IS OK TO SEXUALIZE A BABY AND MARKET IT! So wrong on so many levels. Hate, hate, HATE!

SO WRONG!

SO WRONG!

Talk about marketing to pedophiles...

Talk about marketing to pedophiles…

Who buys this stuff!!!

2) First High Heels by Heelarious. ( http://tristinstyling.com/kids/baby-girl/get-her-heelarious-for-christmas )

heelarious1

Popular among celebrities for baby gifts, apparently these babies are popular all over the world and have been featured in Vogue Japan, given out by Ellen DeGeneres for mom’s to be, and the list goes on and on.

Am I the only one who wonders what the hell is wrong with letting kids be kids? Why do they have to be little grown-ups at 6 months old? A woman wearing high heels is considered a sex symbol, so what does that make a 6 month old in heels? Sure, little girls like to play dress up and that’s all fair. But these are made for babies 0-6 months old. At that point they aren’t playing dress up, Mommy is. Mommy is also pushing her ideals of beauty onto her child before she’s even gotten to an age where she can begin to develop a sense of worth, or have confidence in herself for who she is rather than what she is wearing or what she looks like.

So much wrong…

3) The iPotty. ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2259969/iPotty-gadget-lets-toddlers-watch-videos-iPad-toilet-training.html )

Take this review as you may, because I don’t own an iPad. But I see all kinds of reasons why I wouldn’t buy this product.

iPoop, iPee, iPotty!

iPoop, iPee, iPotty!

Here’s my thoughts on this. We already are living in a digital society where our kids are spending too much time in front of screens and not enough time learning to do things by hand or interact with other humans. Between TV’s, computers, iPhones, iPads, Leapfrogs, etc., our kids are learning that everything has to be done with digital accompaniment. While some people may say the iPotty will help their kid actually sit still and stay on the potty, I say it will help them to learn to be too dependent on technology rather than focusing on the task at hand.

Plus, if you’re training a toddler, there are bound to be “misses” with the pee aim, dirty poop and pee covered fingers smearing the screen, and germs galore! How will they be able to focus on that “I have to go” feeling, when they’re focusing on a video or a game? How weird is it that your kid knows how to use an iPad and not a toilet? To me this just screams “easy out” for parents who don’t want to have to put work into potty training. Potty training is one of those times that you should be active in engaging your toddler, and talking with them, teaching them, and rewarding them. Not plunking them down and walking away while the iPotty babysits for you.

Ever heard of Pavlov’s dogs? This is a prime example of classical conditioning. We are going to raise a generation of kids who see an iPad, and have to iPoop or iPee. Gross.

Seen any weird or crazy products geared towards parents or kids lately? I want to hear about them!

Don’t forget to like How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day on Facebook!

15

Let’s play a game called “Did it make her cry?”

That’s right folks. It’s game time again!

This time the game is called “Did it make her cry?”. So basically I’m going to throw out a real scenario, and you have to guess if my sweet little L cried, or didn’t cry. Let me know how many you got right in the comments section. The winner will get….well nothing. Unless you count pure satisfaction, and the knowledge that you are a toddler expert a prize, then by all means you’re the top banana!

Here we go!!!!

preschooler-problems-food

1) After climbing onto our coffee table/ottoman, L forgot she was near the edge and leaned back. This resulted in a surprise fall flat onto her back with a bonk on the head (complete with deflated ego). Did she cry?

2) When Mommy went to pee, L had to be in the bathroom, too. I mean of course she did. What Mom gets to pee alone? But when Mommy was done peeing she flushed the toilet and L didn’t get to wave “bye bye” to Mommy’s pee. Did she cry?

3) Daddy took L to the park! She ran and ran and ran away from Daddy. She ran so fast into the bicycle path, that she fell and scraped her knees and Daddy had to scoop her up and away from the bike path into safety. Did she cry?

4) Looking backwards while running forwards meant that L ran head first into the dining room table. There’s a bruise now. Did she cry?

5) While watching Dora the explorer (Uggh I hate that show), the map came on to show Dora where to go. Did she cry?

6) While watching Daddy play a game, she saw zombies and dragons and monsters. Did she cry?

7) Mommy told L that she couldn’t bring all of her stuffies into the tubby with her. Did she cry?

8) L watched Daddy writhing in pain after she elbow dropped him in the guts while he was lying on the floor. Did she cry?

9) L asked Mommy for some juice. Mommy gave her some juice. Did she cry?

10) Daddy put on his shoes, but then sat in the chair. Did she cry?

Those are the questions to be pondered. Get into your little toddler brains and try and figure out what happened. Are you ready for the answers? Here goes!

TODDLER-CAR-CRYING

1) After falling off of the coffee table, L rolled over and looked at Mama and said “hahahaha uh oh”. She proceeded to get back up onto the table. You could then see she was seriously considering “falling off” again to see if it was funny a second time. Mommy put a stop to that. So the correct answer is: Did not cry. Will also accept: Future in physical comedy.

2) When L couldn’t wave goodbye to Mommy’s pee, mayhem ensued. Mommy clearly didn’t realize that she had an emotional bond to the urine, and taking away the ability to say goodbye to something so special has left her emotionally scarred. Mommy couldn’t bring back the pee….well at least not for an hour or two. So L cried, and cried, and cried some more. So the correct answer is: Cried. Will also accept: Needs a new “special friend”.

3) After running away from Daddy, falling in the bicycle path and scraping up both knees, L didn’t cry. However, when Daddy scooped her up to move her to safety (away from the bikers), L lost her cool. Nobody can tell that wild spirit of mine what she can and cannot do. So the correct answer is: Trick question! Didn’t cry from the injury, did cry because she lost her independence.

4) The bonk in the head caused by looking backwards while running forwards into the dining room table resulted in an obviously fake, attention seeking, no real tears cry. It wasn’t real, and after 5 seconds when she realized the world hadn’t ended, she laughed and continued her running race around the house. So the correct answer is: Didn’t cry. Will also accept: “And the Oscar goes to…”

5) That map on Dora is almost as creepy as Dora herself. No wonder she cries when he comes on the screen and runs away! The correct answer is: Cried. Will also accept: I cried, too.

6) She may cry when she watches Dora the Explorer, but show her a zombie, monster or dragon and she’s in her element! She does the best zombie impression in the world, and runs around pretending to be a dragon. My kid is the coolest! The correct answer is: Hell no she didn’t cry, she knows where it’s at!

7) When Mommy said the stuffies couldn’t come in the tubby, all hell broke loose. The tubby was the enemy at that point, and she’s a fighter. She would not get in the tub, and when we finally got her in, she stiffened every muscle in protest and refused to sit down. She had a “standing up” tubby that night, and the water level doubled in height by the time we were done with her crocodile tears. So the correct answer is: Cried. Mommy doesn’t understand that stuffies need tubbies, too.

8) After elbow dropping Daddy in the guts, L thought his pain was hilarious. She proceeded to elbow drop him a few more times, gently sit slam down on his belly, and slide down to the floor like Daddy is a human jungle gym. Apparently to L, pain is funny. So the correct answer is: L didn’t cry, but we can’t necessarily say the same for Daddy.

9) Mommy gave her the juice she asked for, but she cried anyway. Mommy still isn’t quite sure why. Maybe she filled up the cup too much? Maybe she used the “wrong” cup? Maybe she had planned to cry regardless of what Mommy did? Who knows. So the correct answer is: Cried. Will also accept: Messing with Mommy’s head is fun.

10) Daddy put on his shoes, then sat down in a chair. He didn’t immediately scoop up L and take her out for a walk or for a ride in the car. Can you see the potential problem? Lack of instant gratification! The correct answer is: Cried. Will also accept: It’s our own fault for looking more ready to leave the house than we were.

Thanks for playing! How many did you get right?

Don’t forget to like How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day on Facebook! 🙂

36

Ever hear of a Lotus Birth? Don’t eat while you read this blog post!

photo of newborn with intact umbilicus, one ho...

photo of newborn with intact umbilicus, one hour postpartm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

* Edit – these thoughts are just why I PERSONALLY wouldn’t choose to do this. I can only write what I know, and what I feel. If anyone has any information on the benefits to a Lotus Birth, and a link as to why it should be considered, feel free to leave it in the comments section and I will gladly edit my post to include it and have both perspectives.

Have you ever heard of a Lotus birth? This rather new parenting trend was recently brought to my attention, and my first instinct was to barf all over my keyboard as I read about it.

Before I start with MY TAKE on just how messed up I think a Lotus Birth is, let me fill you in on what it’s all about.  

After a baby is born, the conventional medical thing to do is to clamp and cut the umbilical cord right after birth. Some people do a delayed cord cutting (an hour or two tops) as they wait for the cord to stop pulsing which allows the last of the cord blood to enter the baby’s blood stream. I can completely get behind that concept, and think there are great benefits to the practice of delayed cord cutting.

HOWEVER, with a Lotus birth, you don’t cut the umbilical cord at all. You leave the cord attached to the baby AND to the placenta. You bathe your placenta in a salt bath (to apparently aid in reducing the STENCH, and you can also “scent” your placenta if you wish), place the placenta into a little cotton carrying bag – design of your choosing – and bring home baby, placenta and the attached umbilical cord as a package deal. Then, you wait for the umbilical cord to naturally fall away from the baby – a process which can take anywhere from 3-10 DAYS!

So let’s start with the benefits of a Lotus Birth. Apparently babies who remain attached to their placentas after birth are more content and relaxed as the placenta is comforting to them. They can be less affected by jaundice, lose less weight, and apparently continue to get nutrients from the placenta while it dries up. (** I’ve also since been told that it is often a spiritual/cultural thing, where people believe the spirit/chi/soul of the baby is in the placenta and that if you leave all attached, the soul will be able to fully enter the baby’s body without being severed. I wasn’t aware of this, and think that is actually a pretty cool concept! Also, in these cultures the mother often goes nowhere for 40 days, and has mothers/aunts etc. help take care of her.She is simply expected to rest. Still not for me, but at least now I have been enlightened as to why it is done). All ok points, but for me the negatives outweigh the postives.

Here’s my take on this:

1) I get it. The placenta is the new “in thing” for birthing mama’s. First there were placenta pills, then placenta jewelry (yes, that’s a real thing – not on my Christmas list!), and now you get to spend a crap ton of money on a cotton bag to carry around a rotting flesh organ for up to 10 days. That’s right, days. I just don’t think I’ll ever relate to the placenta loving Mama’s. Just not my thing. These bags aren’t cheap either! Here’s one I found here on etsy, and it costs $95.55! http://www.etsy.com/shop/LotusBorn

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2) If this becomes mainstream, you can be sure that some hippie granola celebrity Mom is going to have a custom designed Balenciaga placenta bag. Or Louis Vuitton. Or Prada. Prada Placenta bags. Oh the possibilities (and increased profit margins) are endless.

3) Wait a minute. If you have all of these design choices for placenta bags, and people are charging $100 bucks for a cotton sack, doesn’t the whole thing become “designer” and “mainstream”? Would that not be exactly what an au natural granola Mom would be against?

4) If you delay cutting the umbilical cord until the pulse stops, you’re not looking at more than one day (let alone a few hours). With this process, it can be 3-10 days. Could you imagine?!? “Awww can I hold the baby? She’s so adorable!” Ahhh sure you can, but you also have to drape the cord over your arm and hold this bag of decaying flesh as well. Oh don’t mind the smell, I’ll just spritz it. BARF!

5) Heaven forbid you have to go to the grocery store. How do you manage the baby, a shopping cart, and a placenta bag? It’s hard enough with just the baby! Oh, and what about the poor people who work at the store and have to check all outside bags for shoplifting? “Excuse me Ma’am, you can’t carry your own shopping bags around the store. Please use the designated shopping cart only. Do you mind if I search your bag?”. That’s going to be a shocker!

6) You thought Baby-wearing was a trend! You obviously haven’t tried PLACENTA WEARING! If feeling so close to your baby feels that good, imagine what it feels like to feel that close to a piece of your very own insides! There’s no love like self-love, baby!

7) So it’s bath time. Yay! Where do you put the placenta? Make sure you don’t get it wet. The only thing worse than the smell of slowly decaying organ in a bag, is WET AND MILDEWY slowly decaying organ in a bag. BARF, BARF, BARF! Oh and make sure you manoeuver that bag carefully. You don’t want to accidentally kneel on it when you’re bathing dear baby. SQUISH – BARF!

8) Just how often do you have to give your placenta a salt bath? Because let’s face it, as a new Mom you barely have time to bathe yourself, let alone something that’s dying in an overpriced bag.

Uggh. I could go on and on and on about how much I really am not into this idea, but I have to stop before I get even more nauseated. I’m sure there are some who will completely disagree with me, and I’m sure there are some who will send me hate mail. That’s fine, we are all entitled to our opinions, this is simply mine. That’s the wonderful thing about giving birth. You have the choice to do it your way with whatever method you feel is best for you and your baby. But no matter what you say, I’m sure as hell going to stick to doing it my way!

11

The Field Guide to Visiting a New, First Time Mom.

I was so flattered to be asked to guest blog over at Modern Man of the Cloth, for my post entitled “What a New Mom Wants from You“. This post was mainly directed towards the Father figure/partner in the Mom’s life. I really enjoyed writing things from that perspective, and was very appreciative of the offer to guest post for him. As a result of that post, I got another amazing offer.

The wonderful Mama from Mama Miller Parenting contacted me with a great idea. Why not have the two of us collaborate to come up with a two part blog post, covering what a new mom wants from friends/family who visit after a new baby is born? I would cover “The Field Guide to Visiting a New, First Time Mom”, while she (a soon to be Mama of three) would cover “The Field Guide to Visiting a New, Veteran Mom”. Two different views, from two different women. I jumped at the idea, and wrote her almost immediately with scattered thoughts and ideas.(I shamefully admit she seems much more organized than I do when it comes to blogging).

Be sure you pop over to read her take on things here: “The Field Guide to Visiting a New, Veteran Mom“.

1) Call before you pop over for a visit.

I get it. There’s a new baby and everyone wants to meet her/hold her/fawn over her. As a new Mama, she wants everyone to fawn over her baby, too. But she also would like to have notice that she should put on a bra, some clothes that aren’t covered in baby puke/shit, shower (since she likely hasn’t in a few days and smells like be aforementioned baby puke/shit mixed with the stench of hormonal changes we experience post-birth as mentioned here). Plus, do you know what she hasn’t had time to do lately? Clean. At least not to her prior standards. So yes, a call would be nice, with at least a couple of hours notice.

2) When you come over, surprise her with something she just might need.

She likely hasn’t fed herself properly all day (or all week for that matter), hasn’t had a chance to run to the store, and is running low on both the essentials and her sanity. Not sure what to surprise her with? Here are a few ideas: Her favourite coffee/tea, some basic groceries (think a loaf of bread and some milk), her favourite chocolate bar or snack, a rotisserie cooked chicken from the grocery store so she has one part of dinner looked after. Heck, if you’re SUPER close to her, pick her up some hemorrhoid cream, overnight maxi pads, or lanolin cream for her surely cracked and bleeding nipples. As tempting as it is, DO NOT BRING HER FLOWERS. It’s just one more thing she has to look after (which is the last thing she needs) and they will likely suffer a quick death.

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3) Do not make any comments on her appearance.

If you have called and given appropriate notice and she still looks/smells less than stellar, don’t say anything. Sway away from comments like “Oh you look exhausted!”, or “I’ve never seen you without makeup” and especially “Are those maternity pants you’re still wearing?”. You’re lucky she even managed to get up and answer the door for you, so shut up and focus on the precious baby. PS – the same advice goes for the state of her house. Pretend you don’t notice the mess. If you do notice it, and it bothers you that much, she’d much rather have you clean it than hear your opinions about it.

4) Keep your visit short.

She’s tired, and likely not really up for entertaining. Don’t hold it against her if she forgets to offer you a drink or take your coat. If she keeps looking at her watch, don’t take offense. She’s probably caught up with trying to remember the last time the baby was fed or pooped. Don’t overstay your welcome, unless you plan to be helping out around the house.

5) If you’re sick, don’t come.

Even if it’s just a little sniffle. A new baby is susceptible to germs, and the effects on a tiny human are much greater than on an adult body. If you’re even the slightest bit sick, or have been making out with a sick person, or even breathing the same air as a sick person, postpone your visit. It is not worth the health of the baby, and the mother doesn’t want to be the bad guy who says “You’re sick? Sorry you can’t hold the baby”. On the same note, if you do come over to visit please wash your hands before handling the kid. It might sound like overkill to you, but it’s just plain smart and respectful.

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6) Can it with the unsolicited advice.

If she’s asked you for your thoughts, opinions or suggestions by all means advise away. But if she hasn’t asked, don’t offer. She might not be perfect yet, but she has to learn about her child’s cues all on her own, and she will. Both she and the baby are new to this, and they are learning together.

One great example of this is how she chooses to feed her baby. If she is breastfeeding/bottle feeding, she doesn’t need your advice on why the other choice is better. She’s made her decision so just support her in it. If she is breastfeeding and is having difficulty with it (as I did), she does not need to be inundated with 6,537 pieces of advice on things to try, stuff to take, etc. Chances are if she’s made this decision she has already been in touch with her doctor, a public health nurse or a lactation consultant for information. Hearing over and over and over about other things to try and how it was “easy” for this person because they did “this”, just makes her feel even more stressed out. And guess what? Being stressed makes breastfeeding EVEN HARDER!

Again, the best rule of thumb is to keep it to yourself unless she asks for your advice.

7) Don’t tell her that her birth must have been easy.

It’s the question that always follows meeting a new baby. People want to know how the birth went. It’s fine to ask, and most Mama’s I know don’t mind telling their birth story at all. Just don’t follow up with things like “Oh your birth was only 20 hours? I wish! Mine was 53 hours!”. Seriously. Whether it was 1 hour, 20 hours, or 53 hours – it all is painful and it all sucks. Don’t try to minimize what she went through or felt. Empathize, share your story if you like, but don’t tell her what she went through was “easy” in comparison. Nothing about giving birth is easy. We’re all just as tough as the other to have gone through what we did, no matter the process, length of time, or outcome.

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8) Don’t complain about how tired you are in front of her.

I’m sure some of you are wondering if that’s really necessary to include, but it is. Trust me. I came off of a 47 hour labour and delivery, followed by nearly a week in the hospital with a baby who was really jaundiced, so I wasn’t sleeping most of those nights either out of sheer worry for the health of my baby. The second or third night I was home, I got a phone call from someone. We chatted for a bit, and they then complained to me about how tired they were because the neighbours had a party till 1am the night before. They only got to sleep from 1am till 9am, so they were “exhausted”. Looking back, I honestly don’t know why I didn’t tell them to stuff it and then hang up the phone. I probably should have. So yes, just don’t even bring it up as a topic of conversation. It won’t end well.

9) Offering to babysit.

I’m torn on this one. Since my girl is a toddler now, I’m all for having people babysit her (family at least). But when she was first born I was literally overwhelmed by the number of people that offered to babysit for me. Some of these people I wasn’t even close with, and the thought of leaving her with these people sent me into panic attacks. Heck, the first time I decided to leave her with my own mother so my fiance and I could go to a movie, it took me 45 minutes to leave the house, I hyperventilated a bit, checked my phone every 5 minutes and cried. So chances are if she hasn’t come right out and asked you if you’d be willing to babysit in the future, you are best served finding another way to help.

Need some suggestions? Offer to come over and sit long enough for her to shower or take a one hour power nap (she might feel less anxious about leaving the baby if she knows she’s still under the same roof). If you’re close enough, and she’s comfortable with letting you, offer to come over and help her with the dishes or the laundry that is piling up. Heck, if you’re rolling in the dough and you want to gift her the ultimate help, buy her a maid/cleaning service for the first month she is home with the new baby.

10) If she’s coming to visit you, remember to greet her as well as the baby.

It takes a lot for a new Mom to get it together enough to trek to your place for a visit. She has to think if she’s got enough diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, toys, etc. Chances are she is paranoid and has grossly over packed her bag, which makes it ridiculously awkward to carry around. She probably had to start getting ready 2-3 hours before her time of arrival just to be sure she got there on time. So when she gets there and hears “Oh there she is! Look at that sweet little one. We’ve been waiting for you to get there!”, then sees that you’ve whisked away the baby into the house and left her at the doorstep alone, it is kind of a slap in the face. She put in the effort to come see you, the least you could do is acknowledge her existence as well. It happened to me more than once, and left me feeling like the person couldn’t care less that I took the time to come see them. Yes, we all know the new baby is the star of the show. But don’t leave the new Mama feeling like she’s invisible.

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11) If she’s breastfeeding, be aware that she might be modest.

I was never really a super modest person, so this wasn’t as big an issue for me as it can be for some. Breastfeeding for a new Mom is hard. Likely at first, it is hard to tell if baby is latched properly unless you can physically see that your nipple is going in the baby’s mouth correctly. This makes nursing with a cover difficult for a new Mom (until she’s got the hang of things). Also, every new Mom I know has one particular “spot” in the house that is her comfort zone for nursing. Don’t know what I mean? Think of Sheldon and his “spot” on the Big Bang Theory. This spot is sometimes essential for a relaxed Mama and a successful feeding. Maybe that spot for her is in her chair, smack dab in the middle of her living room. Be aware that there is potential for her feeling modest about exposing her breast. If it is time for a feed, it is perfectly fine for you to ask the Mama if she’s comfortable with you being in the same room while she feeds, or if she would prefer privacy. For me, I didn’t care and just fed my kid. I felt if they were uncomfortable seeing my boob that was their problem, not mine. For some new Mom’s, however, it could be a make it or break it situation as far as feeding goes.

12) Don’t complain to her about how she’s “changed”.

Becoming a Mom changes you. Hot pants are traded in for sweat pants. Make up caked on your face is traded in for baby food caked on your face. Vacations with the girls down south are traded in for escaping to the grocery store by yourself. Is it a complete change? Yes. Does she miss some of her life from before? Probably some aspects of it, yes. Would she trade in her kid for any of it? Never. Complaining to her about how she isn’t fun anymore since she’s become a Mom is a surefire way to ruin your friendship. Her kid will always take precedence over a friend who doesn’t “get it”.

So, if you’re a Mama to be and are worried some people won’t follow the not so subtle hints I’ve written in the Field Guide to Visiting a New, First Time Mom, feel free to forward this along to them. It might save you the trouble of looking like a crazy person (I’ll gladly look like that person for you). If you have any other points to add, feel free to leave them in the comments section!

And don’t forget to visit part two of this post – The Field Guide to Visiting a New, Veteran Mom written by Mama Miller Parenting.

Be sure to like How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day on Facebook!

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Thanks for drawing more attention to it, kid.

My sweet little L is almost 22 months old, and so far she is taking after myself in the language development department. I had very few words that I would use properly, until just after my 2nd birthday when I all of a sudden went straight to 3-4 word sentences. L has a few words she uses consistently (and properly) but for the most part she still grunts, groans, points, screams and stomps to get her point across.

It’s for this reason, that when my sweet L decides to use a new word properly, we tend to be a little overly exuberant in our excitement and encouragement.

Until today.

L got a new word: Pimple.

She got that word, because Mommy currently looks like this:

I wonder if it's noticeable...

I wonder if it’s noticeable…

Right on my forehead, in a spot you just can’t hide. All you can do is hope that nobody points it out.

Here’s the thing…if you have a toddler, it will be pointed out. Literally.

All day, L kept climbing up as high onto my lap as she could get so that she could take one of her grimy little fingers, jam it into the pimple (which hurts, by the way) and then begin the following dialogue.

L (while jamming her finger into my pimple): “That? That!”

Me: “It’s a pimple sweetie. Please don’t. Ouchie. Why don’t you go colour with your crayons?”

5 minutes later…

L (seems to think it’s funny when she makes me wince in pain with a fingernail in the soon to erupt pimple volcano): “That???”

Me: *Sigh* It’s still a pimple, L. Please don’t touch. Ouchie.

Fast forward to tonight. She climbs on to my lap, jabs into the offensive spot AGAIN (remind me that I can’t be lazy and actually have to wash my face this evening), looks at my fiance C and says “Dada… pimple!”.

Frig. As if it didn’t suck enough to have the eye of mordor on my forehead for the world to see, now she has to make sure that her Dada sees it, too.

So what do I do? Do I hide my forehead with my hand and do the walk of shame to the bathroom? Do I quickly try to distract her with a toy? Do I get defensive and yell at my fiance “And what? Like you’ve never had a zit before!?”.

Nope. I say “Yay! That’s right L, good girl. Pimple!”.

Motherhood changes you.

Now I need chocolate, but I fear at this point I’d just be feeding the beast between my eyes…

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How cute is this!

How cute is this!