Monday, October 31, 2005
That picture is going to cost us thousands of dollars in therapy sessions alone.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
(Have you ever had someone suckle your nose? I know, it sounds gross, but it's also kind of hysterical to see a little four-month-old baby stuck on to the end of your nose, looking around the room with a wide-eyed expression that seems to say, "Dum de dum dum, don't mind me, I'm just sucking on your nose here.")
Of course, it's not just me he wants to eat. It's everything. Whenever I give him something -- whether it's my knuckle, a toy, a blanket, or even a cloth diaper -- he stares at it with a happy smile of recognition and then hungrily tries to stuff as much of it into his mouth as he can. All the while wearing the same innocent, "Gee, how did that get in there?" look on his face.
He isn't the least bit daunted by the size of the object he wants to eat, either. I've seen him eagerly attempt to fit his mouth around toys that are three times the size of his head. And when things don't work out the way he expects, he gets quite perturbed.
He probably has no idea that some of the things around him are bigger than him while others are smaller. Some fit in that gulping baby-bird mouth of his, and some don't. My guess is that his ever-developing ability to comprehend is still so firmly situated in the realm of the senses (What's this feel like? What's that taste like? How does this form compare to that form, and what the heck's making that noise? And oh, look -- moving food machine thingy! Moving food machine thingy makes funny sounds and makes funny faces and carries me around to different places. I like moving food machine thingy!) that he doesn't yet have any real understanding of the concept of relative size.
He probably thinks that he is the entire universe, and that everything he sees, hears, feels, smells, and tastes rightfully belongs inside of him. Oddly enough, I'm inclined to agree.
Friday, October 28, 2005
I just walked in on Rob making himself a snack in the kitchen.
“Peeuw, what’s that smell?” I asked.
Then I looked at what he was eating: microwaved potatoes and gravy.
“Ohhhhhh… I don’t think you should eat that, honey,” I said, referring to the gravy.
Rob looked at me, perplexed. “Why not?”
“Um, because it’s from Thanksgiving.”
(Canadian Thanksgiving, for those of you not in the know, occurs on the first Monday in October. Yep. That was almost four weeks ago. Now granted, we’re mostly vegetarian, so our gravy didn't have any turkey juice in it, but still. That stuff was waaaaay past the “best before” date.)
Rob leaned over his bowl and inhaled deeply. “Smells fine to me.”
I took another cautious sniff. “No, it doesn’t. Trust me.”
He shrugged and took a bite of gravy-smeared potato. “Tastes all right.”
I shuddered and left the room. He ate the entire bowl of potatoes, no doubt thinking that I was overreacting once again. He thinks that so long as you boil or nuke something long enough, it’s perfectly fine to eat.
I'm beginning to suspect the guy has no taste buds.
So I was just typing up an e-mail to a friend, dum de dum dum, when all of a sudden I felt like I was being watched. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. The very air around me seemed laden with malevolent portent.
I turned around to see if Rob was perhaps giving me the evil eye from the kitchen for not washing out my breakfast cereal bowl (I couldn't -- the sink was still filled with last night's cold slick-slimy dishwater, something that instinctively makes me throw my dishes down on to the counter and flee to the furthest room in the house and hide behind a large piece of furniture), but he wasn't there.
So I turned a bit further and looked behind me and what did I see but Milo in his floor rocker, suck suck sucking away on his soother, his eyes wide and staring at me.
He's SUPPOSED to be sleeping. I only put him down for his nap fifteen minutes ago. I'd been planning to use his nap time to parent-proof the house in time for my mom and dad's arrival later this afternoon.
(They're going to babysit tonight while Rob and I go to some big Casino Night bash my office is throwing for its employees -- yep, we've been having a good year. It's going to be Rob's and my first night out ALONE since Milo was born. Yay! Sob! Angst! Yay!)
But now he's awake, and it doesn't look like he's about to go back to sleep any time soon. In fact, it looks like he's the one who's ready to party.
Sigh. If only I could figure out where his off-switch was located.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
But when a Queen commands you to do something, there's no ignoring the royal summons.
I got to tell you, though, if it had been a mere commoner who'd asked me to do this, I probably would have refused. Lists scare me. They hurt my head. I end up spending far too long on them, wracking my brain for the best possible answers, always certain that there's a better one out there IF ONLY I COULD JUST THINK OF IT.
All right, here goes... But I just know that as soon as I go to bed tonight, a million better answers are going to occur to me.
7 things I want to do before I die
- Finish my frickin' book already (and get it published -- aye, there's the rub)
- Go on an onsen tour of Japan
- Poke around inside the Great Pyramid
- Ride a horse in a place without fences -- without a paid guide there to smirk at my ineptitude
- Learn how to make my grandmother's fudge
- Learn as many languages as I can
- Help promote a "word of mouth" revolution that results in the demolition of an economic system dependent on the production of countless tonnes of crap and instead promotes the value of quality over quantity
- A cartwheel
- Bake a pie
- Design my own web site
- Tolerate intolerance
- Mow a lawn
- Make pretty things with textiles (e.g., sew or knit or crochet)
- Believe that there's only ONE right way to access the Divine, and that all other ways are WRONG WRONG WRONG
- Sense of humour
- Musical talent
- Skill in the kitchen
- "Who's my little cutie pooty pie?"
- "Oh! I think I hear the boy."
- "I'm tired."
- "I've DEFINITELY got to do yoga -- tomorrow."
- "Can you hold him for a minute? I've got to go to the bathroom."
- "Inuyasha ga daisuki desu!"
- "It's probably up your ass." (It's true. I do say that quite often. But never in a dirty way.)
7 celebrity crushes
- Dean Ween (WEEEEEEN!!!)
- Gene Ween (WEEEEEEN!!!)
- Luke Doucet
- Danny Michel
- Steven Colbert
- Don McKellar
- Owen Wilson
7 people I want to do this (for those of you who don't blog, you can post your lists in my comments)
- Meg of Blogcabin (Hah! Yet another opportunity for you to indulge in your list fetish!)
- Sandra Smith (not the one who was the last woman to be hanged in South Africa)
- Cindy Lou
- Ms. Mama
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Whenever he graces us with a poopy diaper, we usually throw it into an ice cream bucket before rinsing it out in the bathroom sink and then tossing it in the diaper pail along with the rest of the soiled dipes. We usually try to deal with the poopy ones right away, but sometimes we forget, and they sit in the ice cream bucket for a while before we remember to rinse them out and put them in the pail.
Fortunately for us, our exclusively breast-fed son's poo doesn't smell (much... yet...), so a poopy diaper out in the open doesn't make our house smell like a charnel house or anything. Too bad, almost -- if we had some sort of olfactory reminder of the poopy diapers just sitting there, we'd probably be more vigilant about rinsing them out right away and putting them in the diaper pail, where they belong.
And that would be a good thing.
Yesterday, after we'd returned from taking our dog Nell for her afternoon walk, Rob and I were in Milo's room, taking off his little bomber jacket while both marveling at how cute he looked in it (as only lovestruck new parents can do), when suddenly we heard this noise behind us: slurp slurp slurp.
This isn't the kind of noise you want to hear when there's a poopy diaper in an open bucket on the floor and a dog in the room.
Sure enough, I turned to look, and lo and behold, what did I see but Nell with her head in the ice cream bucket, chowing down on a big ol' helping of diaper pudding.
Okay, so I'm the first to brag about how my baby's sh*t doesn't stink... but I draw the line at suggesting it might be tasty.
It wouldn't be so bad if he had to have just one shot, but no, he had to have three -- two in his right thigh and one in his left. Thankfully, his objections were dampened somewhat by the infant Motrin we dosed him with prior to leaving for the health office. He screamed bloody murder as he was given each needle, but recovered fairly quickly. Yet another example of better living through careful chemical management...
All in all, I'm sure the whole ordeal affected me more than it did him. After I'd rearranged him in my arms to prepare him for the final shot in his left thigh, he recovered from the tears caused by the first two shots and looked up at me, wide-eyed. Just as his mouth began to stretch tentatively into a smile, the nurse stabbed him a third time. The look of betrayal in his eyes was far more painful than any stupid old needle.
"HOW COULD YOU LET THIS HAPPEN TO ME???" it screamed.
Somehow, the "it's for your own good, sweetheart" excuse just didn't seem to cut it. Sigh. I feel like I just gained official membership into the parent club.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Milo has recently discovered that my face and my breast are both part of the same person. During his feeds, he likes to pull away from my breast from time to time to look up at me and make sure I'm still there. When he sees me smiling down at him, his eyes grow huge and his face splits into a wide, toothless jack o'lantern grin. I can see how pleased he is to have his expectations confirmed.
Last night, when I was giving him his bedtime feed, he stopped eating for a moment, looked up at me with an incredibly earnest expression on his face and said, "Awoo."
Then he said it again. "Awoo." And again. "Awoooo."
He stared at me for a long moment, then his eyes slid away from mine and looked out through the bedroom doorway at something in the living room beyond. "Awoo," he said thoughtfully to himself. "Awooo."
His eyes widened as if he'd just been struck by a sudden realization. "Awoo," he said, louder this time. "Awooo! Awoo! Awoo! Awoo!"
I watched him, spellbound, as he very clearly and distinctly said "awoo" at least 30 times in a row. He said it loudly and then he said it softly, slowly and then quickly, rolling it around on his tongue like a wine connoisseur sampling an expensive claret.
I'm pretty sure it was the first time he'd ever made a meaningful sound and was aware that he was the one making it. He consciously repeated it over and over again, experimenting with it, fully aware that he was in complete control of it.
Each "awoo" was pregnant with meaning that only he could understand. He tried several times to convey that meaning to me, but all I could do was smile at him and try to keep my heart from breaking from the sheer stupendousness of it all.
And so it goes... Every day brings another "first" for Milo, and I'm constantly dumbstruck with wonder as I watch him make new discoveries that help him make sense of his environment.
But with each new accomplishment, an older version of Milo is forever lost, and every time I have to say goodbye to one of those obsolete Milos, my heart feels like it's being torn to shreds.
Where's the little newborn who slept in the bassinet in our room and kept us awake with all the zombie-sucking-skull-marrow noises he made in his sleep?
Where's the baby whose tiny head wobbled so dangerously within the car seat's padded head rest? Or the baby we washed in the bathtub on the kitchen floor? Or the tiny floor giraffe who could be completely hidden in the folds of his yellow hooded bath towel?
How about the Milo who needed to be dosed with Ovol after every feed, to help him cope with his gas pains? Or the Milos who wore all those cute summer outfits that were so hysterically huge on him, or the Milo who laughed without making a sound, just crinkled his eyes and opened his mouth as wide as he could and then waited expectantly as if some other entity was responsible for making the laughing noise for him -- where did they go?
Gone, gone, gone, to be replaced by a Milo who can reach for things and roll over on to his side and who no longer needs to be fed in the middle of the night and who squeals with delight when I go into his room in the morning to pick him up from his crib and bring him back to bed with me for his first feed of the day.
Don't get me wrong -- this is a pretty good Milo we've got right now, and I wouldn't trade him for any of those obsolete versions. I know that every time I say goodbye to one of those old Milos, I'm also saying hello to a new one who can do more things and interact with me on a higher level and is better able to make sense of the world around him. I'm thrilled with all the progress he's making, and every morning, I wake up excited to see what new Milo awaits me.
And yet... I can't help but miss those old Milos. Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock so I could hug and hold their tiny little newborn bodies just one more time.
But I can't, and so I content myself with hugging and holding the Milo I have now. For I know that this little baby will soon be replaced by a bigger baby who's able to walk and talk and say "dada" and "mama," and that baby will be replaced in turn by a little boy who's able to run and jump and talk in full sentences and then that little boy will be supplanted by a big boy who will one day become a man.
It's all too much for me to wrap my head around at times. Faced with such irrefutable evidence of life's fundamental transience, I find there's only one word that comes even close to expressing my overwhelming sense of awe: awoo.
It all makes sense to me now.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
No, I don't take him out to a nightclub or salsa bar. (Though I often wish I could. They have some stupid law in this province about not allowing babies into drinking establishments, which has seriously limited my ability to go to shows. What, are the authorities afraid that Milo's going to suck back a few too many highballs and then trash the place? O Lord, protect us from hordes of drunken babies!)
Instead, I bring him into our home office and crank the iTunes on Rob's Mac. Of course, the ambiance isn't as great here as it would be in a club -- there aren't any strobe lights or go-go girls in cages -- but we make do. I hold his long little 14 1/2 pound body against mine and shake my booty while he contentedly settles in for the ride, staring at lights and shadows on the wall.
Recently, however, I've begun to wonder whether I should be worried about his taste in music. There are certain kinds he enjoys and certain kinds he most definitely doesn't. If I try to dance to reggae or punk, he'll squawk and wiggle fretfully. If I play alt rock or 80s' tunes, he'll kick his legs and start to cry. In fact, the only two kinds of music he seems to enjoy are hip hop and disco. Hmm.
What's even more unsettling is the fact that the naughtier a song's lyrics are, the more he seems to like it. He's only 3 1/2 months old and already he's showing a marked preference for albums that have parental warnings on their covers. Though, as Rob points out, given his sole food source and main form of comfort these days, it shouldn't come as any surprise that one of his favourite songs is "Tits on the Radio" by the Scissor Sisters.
He's listening to bands that are telling him to "get retarded" or "move his booty." More specifically, to "shake that thing like we in the city of sin." He's learning that "all the freaky people make the beauty of the world." And he's often accused of being "an acid junkie college flunky dirty puppy daddy bastard."
I mean, really. What's a mother to think?
p.s. My husband has just informed me that Milo likes dancing to reggae when he's holding him. He seems to be suggesting something, but I'm not really certain what. Surely he couldn't be implying that my taste has some bearing on Milo's musical preferences. I like my music to be a little headier than that. Yeah, that's right. Sure I do.
Monday, October 10, 2005
That's what it says about my blog in the directory at BlogExplosion, an online blogging community I sometimes visit. If you look up blogs under the category heading, "Kids and Family," there mine is, with a big, red, bold-faced "ADULT" written in the site description.
Kind of makes me sound like a sicko, don't you think? I mean, what kind of weirdo writes adult content about a wee little baby?
At first, when I saw the "adult" rating, I thought it was a joke. How could anyone say this blog has "adult" content? Cripes! I don't even use swear words (note the exclamation immediately preceding this sentence) because I know my mom occasionally reads this blog and likes to think her daughter still retains some vestiges of ladylike behaviour (sorry, mom, fat chance).
I debated about contacting the moderators at Blog Explosion to tell them they'd made some sort of mistake. But then I started thinking about some of my recent posts, and how often they mentioned the word, "penis." "Oh, how ridiculous," I said to myself. "To classify a site as being 'adult' just because it involves a frank and open discussion about circumcision!"
I mean, really. Should I have refrained from using the "p" word and instead referred to Milo's little wee-wee? Should I have called it his willy, his little birdy, or his fireman? His peter or his cute widdle mannikin? Sheesh!
So I got myself all hot and bothered and started venting about it to Rob, who listened to me rage on about uptight puritans who refuse to call a spade a spade and probably still dress their table legs in frilly stockings. Then, while I paused to catch my breath, he reminded me of an entry I'd posted a while back that had certain pictures that were more likely to blame for my "adult" rating than anything I'd actually written.
Oh yeah. Those pictures. S**t.
P.S. My husband's other site, which has numerous nipple shots on it (being that it's all aboutsuperfluous nipples) got by the censors just fine. B*st*rd.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
My hair is falling out. Actually, "falling out" is an understatement. It's committing mass suicide -- literally jumping off my scalp and throwing itself to its death.
I'd be a lot more disturbed if I hadn't been expecting this cranial exodus. See, when you're pregnant, your hair stops falling out. It's pretty cool, actually. Back in the days when Milo and I were one, my hair was thicker and shinier than it's ever been in my life. I kept on telling myself, "Don't get attached to it, it's not going to last, it's going to start falling out again as soon as you have the baby and be as limp and fine as it ever was."
But I didn't listen. I couldn't listen. Heck, I was shaped like a WATERMELON -- how could I not be a little vain about the one aspect of myself that wasn't bloated beyond recognition?
Well, the time has come to pay the piper (or rather, the hairdresser, as soon as I can manage to get Rob to babysit Milo long enough for me to take a trip to the salon). As soon as Milo turned three months old, just like clockwork, my hair started fleeing my scalp in droves. You'd think there was some kind of 30-story lizard monster residing up there or something.
The carnage is everywhere. There are long, dark wavy hairs all over the floor and the furniture. Huge, gnarly clumps of it are clogging my bathtub drain. I'm even finding it in my food. Mmm... fried eggs and hair. My favourite!
Not even Milo is safe from it. Every day, I pull at least 20 hairs from his tiny clenched fists. I find them pressed to his cheek when I take him out of the crib after his nap. I even find them floating in his bathwater, trying to wind themselves around the folds in his chubby little neck.
And just a couple nights ago, I was presented with this fresh horror: I'd passed off diaper changing duties to Rob (because I knew Milo had taken a poop, heh heh heh) and was playing around on the computer when I heard Rob call out in a sing-song voice.
"Oh Errrrrrrin... guess what I just pulled out of Milo's butt???"
Yep. You guessed it. I've seen some pretty strange stuff come out of that boy's butt, and I'm sure there are much stranger things to come, but this one I wasn't expecting.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Since we're on the subject of books written by baby experts, I felt it was time for me to do a bit of mea culpa kowtowing. A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog entry expressing extreme frustration over my failed attempts to get Milo to conform to the kind of eating and sleeping schedule advocated by many baby experts and sleep specialists. You know, getting young infants to eat every three hours and sleep for at least an hour after every daytime feed -- that sort of thing.
Well, at the time it seemed like all my attempts were getting me nowhere and leaving me with a chronically fussy child to boot. This was mostly due to the fact that Milo's digestive problems were preventing him from getting enough to eat in one sitting and leaving him hungry and unable to sleep properly during his naptime. He was constantly hungry and tired -- a recipe for disaster, when it comes to dealing with a newborn.
And so I abandoned my attempts to get Milo to adhere to any sort of schedule and started listening to his signals for a change. I fed him whenever he wanted and only put him down for a nap when he actually looked sleepy, rather than when the clock was telling me to do so.
Well, within a week of me letting Milo do his own thing, he started following a fairly regular routine all on his own! He started eating every two or three hours, his naps became longer and more consistent, and he began going to bed at around the same time every night and settling very easily into sleep. He already had a schedule; it was just a little different than the one I was trying to force him to follow. But if it weren't for the books I'd read, I wouldn't have been able to recognize it.
Wouldn't you know it, I'd commited the first cardinal sin of childcare -- I had neglected to listen to my baby and take his individual needs into account. And this is something that all those baby expert books warn against, time and time again. If I'd only listened to THAT particular piece of advice, Milo and I might have achieved a happy equilibrium a whole lot sooner.
On top of that, I know I have baby experts Tracy Hogg (aka "the Baby Whisperer") and Dana Obleman to thank for teaching me how to get Milo to sleep so well at night. Their books really helped me understand the importance of implementing a consistent bedtime routine. Because of them, Milo now understands that after his bath and last feed, it's nighty-night time, and more often than not, he settles down in his crib without a fuss.
Of course, me being me (e.g., woefully imperfect), I'm still not following their advice to the letter. The Baby Whisperer advises against nursing right before bedtime, and Dana Obleman strongly cautions against using of soothers, and both of them believe that babies should always have their naps in the same place they sleep at night. I'm currently breaking all three of these rules. I let Milo have some of his naps in a little floor rocker we have, just so he can get used to sleeping in environments other than his crib. And, as I said before, Milo's a very sucky baby, and until he finally perfects his fist-sucking technique, I'm going to let him use the soother -- it's the only thing that settles him when he's seriously freaking out.
These "weaknesses" might come back to bite me on the ass someday, but for right now, Milo's happy and mama's happy and both of us are having good sleeps (most nights).
Milo and I might have our own ideas on how to deviate from the routines suggested by the experts, but it's only because we're building on the strong foundation of their advice that we're doing anything right at all.
So, three cheers for the baby experts! Thank god they're around to give us some ideas on how to deal with our babies when they start acting all wonky on us. Otherwise, there'd be a whole lot more only children out there, I'm sure.
p.s. I know that a lot of you moms out there tend to lean more towards the Dr. Sears' school of attachment parenting (e.g., co-sleeping), and that's totally cool, too. Whatever works for you and your baby is best. Milo and I, we wouldn't do so great with the whole co-sleeping thing. He's WAY too noisy and wiggly while sleeping, and I'm WAY too light a sleeper. He'd be having to deal with zombie-mom 24-7, and that wouldn't be good for either of us.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
The Wonder Weeks, the book I mentioned in my last post.
I actually think that Milo's little hissy fit WAS due to the kind of intellectual growth spurt described in the book. In just the past couple of days, he's become far more aware of his surroundings, and is demonstrating a tremendous increase in dexterity. He's now watching Rob and I very closely, and monitoring our movements as we walk around the world.
He's also taking notice of our dog Nell for the first time, and is quite clearly seeing her as a cohesive moving object, rather than just a random collection of canine body parts. And he's started moving his fingers independently of each other. After paying them scant attention, all of a sudden he LOVES grabbing and batting the toys dangling off his little "Tiny Toys" activity center (that thing's a godsend, I tell you -- he can entertain himself in it for a whole half hour at times!) . He can even amuse himself by playing with his own fingers.
And just this morning, I'm pleased to announce, the little guy discovered his toes! It was quite hilarious. He was sitting on my lap during our little post-feed chat time (during which he usually flails and squeals and I try to imitate the sounds he makes -- impossible -- and do my best not to laugh TOO hard at his hysterical facial expressions), and his whole attention was focused on something near the end of his leg.
Then I realized it WAS the end of his leg that had him gripped so completely. He was flexing and curling his toes and staring at them intently with one eyebrow raised, as if struggling to wrap his head around the fact that yes, those tiny little sausage things were actually attached to him, and yes, he could actually make them move! On command! Through the sheer force of his own indomitable will!
It was quite the moment, I tell you.