When did buying things for your kids become a lesson in chemistry? I was shopping for a big boy bed the other day and ran across an article informing me there are dangerous chemicals in the frame and paint. Awesome, just what I need to buy my baby boy. There goes his batman bed.
Sometimes I feel as a society, we are encouraged to live in fear. Which in turn, will make us consume. From day one, you are told bottles are toxic, so you should buy BPA free. Everything has to be organic, because there are chemicals in their food. And don’t worry, that awesome ‘it’ toy you just bought is sure to be recalled in a year, because it is deadly too.
What do we buy for them to eat, play with and sleep on? What can they watch on TV that won’t give them ADD?
I find myself getting more and more annoyed. I can’t only buy wooden toys because my kid loves Batman. He needs Batman in his life to prevent breakdowns. I don’t want to be the A-Hole parent that doesn’t buy him his super hero sh*t.
I will be the first to admit things have changed since I was a youngster, especially in our food. I am the soda police at work (yes that girl, but I have convinced a few to get off the juice)! However everyday something new is on the evening news, warning of us of the ‘deadly’ side effects. Some days, I don’t want to be a lunatic who is over protective of my son. Some days, I just want to go to the grocery store and buy a regular piece of fruit. Some days, I just want to go to the toy store and buy something without reading: Caution: this could kill you and your kid. I am going to have a nervous breakdown trying to keep up with all this! Can’t we just live in ignorance? Wishful thinking.
While pregnant everyone, including strangers, had advice for me. Among the list was: Don’t give him a paci he will get nipple confusion, don’t eat spicy food it will come out in your breast milk, don’t let them sleep in your bed they will never leave, blah, blah and blah.
Everything seemed overwhelming enough, I didn’t need the added stress of the “do’s and don’ts” of parenting. About a week after baby was born, Husband and I had to tell our family and friends to just let us figure it out and if we needed advice, we would ask. Some of the advice admittedly turned out to be true, particularly the sleeping in the bed bit.
I have to admit, I was (and maybe still am) the one who didn’t want him sleeping in his own room. First off, I would have never been able to sleep when he was a baby if he wasn’t in my room. Even then, I slept with one eye open and his bassinet was within arms reach. Plus since Husband and I worked so hard to get him on this earth, that kid was never leaving my sight. After three months, Husband said it was time to let him go in his own room. After he went to sleep, I would sometimes sneak Baby back in the room. Crazy? Maybe just a little.
Fast forward to now. I have a toddler who request’s ‘Momma’s Bed’ every night, and I have to tell you: it is hard to say no. He likes to cuddle and read books, which I love. However once he is asleep, he frails his arms and legs in the air and often hits me in the head. He also likes to sleep sideways on a king bed, shared with a man who is 6’5”, and then there is me. I am lucky to get a small section in the corner. Husband has given up the battle at this point; he knows I am just as attached to Sebastian as he is to me.
If I do put him in his bed after he falls asleep, he often wakes in the middle of the night and tries to sneak back into our room. Most times he is too tired to actually make it, and I find him in the morning either on the floor with his blanket or hanging off his bed.
I figure one day he will be too cool to hang out with me, and I will be lucky to even get a hug. So in the meantime, who cares if he sleeps with his momma! But before you pass judgment, know that I fully intend on paying his therapy bills in his 30’s due to his co-dependencies.
I recently saw a commercial, which shows a man going to Burger King at 2:30 am because his pregnant wife had her first craving. Sorry Whopper, you were not my first craving but it was something equally bad for you…. Doritos. I have a similar craving story, but Husband was not near as patient with me as the man in the commercial. Does that man even exist? Anyway, I couldn’t believe how this little crisp with powdered fake cheese had such a hold on me.
It was Christmas night when my first Dorito craving hit. The winters in Chicago can be pretty brutal and this one was no exception. We were snuggled on the couch watching a movie when I turn to Husband and say, “I have to have Doritos.” He looked at me but didn’t speak. I followed up, “No like now, let’s go!” Frustrated, he turned to look out the window and pointed, “Look it is snowing outside and it’s Christmas, no one is open.” “We will find someone open, now let’s go,” I demand. At that point he didn’t try to argue because you can’t argue with crazy, right? He knew I was on another Holly mission and no one could stop me.
Luckily living in the city you can walk anywhere you need to go. We bundled up and headed to the Walgreens a block away. “Damn it, they closed an hour ago,” I yell throwing my arms in the air. Husband looks at me, “Sorry honey, you will just have to wait until tomorrow.” I explain how that is not going to happen and we need to continue on our search.
We move on to the grocery store another two blocks away. Closed also! WTF, who do I have to sleep with around here to get some freakin’ Doritos? Husband looks at me with defeat written all over his face. I tell him we will just have to walk home and get the car. Now he is pissed. He tries some logic, “Now you are being ridiculous, driving in this weather just for Doritos?” Still didn’t work, I start marching home.
At the time we lived in a high rise, so before I got too dramatic by getting the car I ask the doorman, “Hey, what’s a preggo gotta do to get some Doritos in this city?” After he realized I was serious he replied, “Go to the Seven Eleven around the corner, he will be open.” Eureka! I waddle toward the door as Husband follows. We get there just as he is about to close for the night. Thank you Jesus! I buy several bags and tell the clerk he saved Christmas. Not sure if he knew what I meant, but I did.
Once we got home, I nearly finished the whole bag. I let Husband have a few, but guarded the bag as if it were my last meal. Husband eventually forgave me, but in the end he got the last laugh. Later that night I paid for being such a diva as the Doritos got the best of me. I will spare you the details. No more powered fake cheese for me.
As mothers, you quickly learn every different sound and quirky characteristic your child has. We can pick out our kids cry or laughter in a room full of kids. We also know when something is not quite right.
You know the saying: Silence is golden? Well this is not always the case when referring to parenting. We hear stories time and time again. Sometimes in the daily grind you lose yourself in the chaos. You usually snap out of it when you suddenly hear a moment of silence. Instincts then kick in, what are they doing now?
This happened to me the other night while cooking, I asked Husband to watch baby as he was trying to watch football (first mistake). As I peek over the island, I found my son, a.k.a. Master of Destruction, painting a picture on the wall with Nutella. Awesome.
A colleague of ours shared his ‘silence’ story the other day, and it is too funny not to pass on. It went something like this:
His son was in his room for naptime. After a few hours his wife’s ‘silent’ instinct become apparent. She went up to check on him only to find him on the floor and his room in complete shambles, a total wreck. He had pulled his drawers out of his chest-of-drawers and stood in the bottom to break through the wood. He took all his clothes out and threw them on the floor. He also pulled all the wipes out, maybe in an attempt to clean up the baby powder he used to ‘make it rain’. Either way, when she asked him what he was doing he responded, “Looking for shorts.” Oh, just looking for shorts?
With this, we would officially like to change the phrase from: Silence is golden to Silence is trouble!
I think Hallmark needs to start spreading the word regarding push gifts. They made up Sweetest Day right? Why not Push Day? What are push gifts you ask? A gift, (preferably expensive), that women EARN after giving birth. Let’s be honest here, yes it takes two to tango, but women do all the work when making a baby! You lose your body, your thought process, your hair, your bladder, and during the actual birth: your dignity.
During labor, I made my husband promise to not look down there. I told him he would never look at me the same again, and I threatened divorce (being dramatic, of course), if he broke his promise. I also didn’t want to see the look of horror on his face, which would in turn, freak ME out. “Eyes up here buddy!” I yelled.
I was in labor a total of 18 hours, 10 of which I went drug free. Disclaimer: I wasn’t trying to be a hero by holding out on the epidural, I was just more afraid of a needle in my spine then I was of contractions. I waited until my pelvis felt like it was going to shatter before I begged for drugs. Finally at 7:00 pm, my little boy was here. I had my son at a teaching hospital, so as you can imagine, I had several medical students asking me questions like: “Describe your pain on a scale of 1 to 10.”
Really? I’m in labor idiot. Furthermore, my pain is a 12 because I am expected to answer ‘Captain Obvious’ questions from you!
No, I didn’t really say that but was definitely thinking it. I obliged like a good patient. Hopefully, in the grand scheme, witnessing my son’s birth was birth control to these young med students.
Three weeks after having my son, I was at home alone trying to figure out this mom business when my phone rings. It’s work. I answer to hear my bosses voice, “Hey, I know your son is only three weeks old, so you probably can’t come up, but your bonus check was just cut and…..” I cut him off, “I’ll be right there!” I wrap my son up and go wait for the bus on the corner. I was beyond excited. Not only did I work up until the DAY I went into labor, but also I had one of the busiest quarters of my career and no one was going to stop me from collecting my reward.
As I arrive at the office, everyone is amazed to see me and wants to hold the baby, chit chat, etc. I, on the other hand had different plans. I wanted my check! Once I collected my money, I got in a cab and went straight to Michigan Ave, the mecca of shopping in Chicago. I had my heart set on a pair of shoes for over 2 years now, but the guilt always kept me from buying them. As I walk into the store I b-line it for a beautiful pair of shoes lined with red soles. A woman cautiously approaches me as I am still suffering with post-baby hormones. Translation: I looked like a hot mess. My clothes were hanging off me because I couldn’t yet fit in my regular clothes. I was profusely sweating from hormones and I had circles under my eyes from lack of sleep. “May I help you?” She asked. “Yes, I’ll take these, size 6.” I command. My feet were still swollen and my hips still healing so I couldn’t even try them on. The sales woman, trying to make awkward conversation, says, “Will you be wearing these for a special occasion?” “No.” I reply, “These are my -I just pushed a baby out of my vagina- gift.” “Oh,” she says uncomfortably. “Well, congrats.” She hands me the bag and flashes a fake smile. I turn and walk out of the store feeling like a million bucks.
They say having a baby is equivalent to 20 bones in your body fracturing all at once. I have only worn those shoes a handful of times in the past two years, but when I do.. Momma looks good! Moral of the story: My push gift was worth every penny.
For those of you who do not know, my nickname growing up was Hollyballs. Why, you ask? Head out of the gutter people, I think you know the answer: I’m a self-proclaimed lunatic and nothing can stand in my way. My motto in life is: Make it happen. You can’t change anyone else, you can only change yourself. I rarely meet people who are similar to me. Most can only handle me in doses. Husband says his life would be totally boring without me, and he’s right! Just saying.
After about 3 months of dating Husband, he took me home to Florida to meet his mom. I was nervous, because not only is Husband an angel, but also he is Cuban. Translation: he has a Cuban mother. We all know Latin women LOVE their sons; they are Gods and can do no wrong. I thought with my type A personality, she would instantly turn into Jane Fonda in Monster-in-Law. I was tainting her perfect son, why on earth would she like me?
We arrived pretty late, so I really didn’t have much interaction with her on the first night. She had made the spare room up for his to sleep in there together. WAIT….what? She is letting me sleep in the same room and we are not married? My Southern parents would have put the kibosh on that real quick. OK, so maybe this Cuban woman isn’t that bad. We shall see.
The next morning she calls me out on the lanai (a rich person’s word for patio). I am a beer and hot dog girl from Converse, Texas, but I can clean up nice. As I step outside she has a photo album of Husband’s baby pictures. She says, “I thought I would embarrass him before he wakes up!” Then proceeds with an evil laugh.
Wow this broad may be kinda cool, I’m thinking. As she opens to the first page, it is a picture of her…..giving…..birth….to……him! Legit. I immediately BURST into laughter. She continues, “Oh, I’m sure you don’t want to see this, but look at him! He had such big balls as a baby!” I almost fell out of the chair as I say in my head: What the f**k is going on here? At that very moment, Husband walks out as he is sipping coffee and almost spits it out. “Mom, WHAT are you doing?” he yells. She states, “Oh stop it, just having some fun!” Husband turns and goes back inside riddled with embarrassment. She then turns to me and says, “Hey, want to go visit my friend who is a psychic?” “Umm ok,” I reply. I have to say, I knew I loved husband pre – Mrs. Cubana, but meeting her made me want to marry him. Here’s to having awesome mother in laws! Cheers.
Normally I am a pretty grounded person. I hold together nicely and rise to the occasion when faced with adversity. This has always been my strength. Ever since my son was born, this quality doesn’t apply when he gets sick. I literally turn into a maniac with a first class ticket to crazy town.
The first time my son was ill, we were on a trip to middle of nowhere, Texas for a friend’s wedding. I have family there so it was the perfect trip to combine family & friend time. My son, who was three months old at the time, started off the day with a minor cough. No big deal right? WRONG. Turns out he had croup, which sounds much worse than it is, but nonetheless, scary.
We leave the wedding and I get a call from my sister’s house, which by the way was a 45 min drive away, that something was wrong. She of course is trying to be calm because she knows as a new mom, I was on the verge of a freak out. I can hear my sweet angel in the background gasping for breath and whining. The drive was miserable and as soon as we got there, I b-lined it for the bathroom where she had him standing in the steam.
Meanwhile, Husband is trying to calm me down as I was sobbing uncontrollably. He then tells me, “It’s just the cat, and he’s allergic.”
I lose it. Why is it that men always seem to downplay the situation, and instantly become a doctor? I know woman can be drama, but this is MY son we are talking about here. Suddenly his participation in creating my son didn’t count.
We finally get to the hospital ER, where even the staff was telling me to calm down. Obviously everything turned out OK, but my poor family and husband for witnessing the wrath of the Holly. I know it only makes things worse, but I can’t be the only woman out there like this right? Sincerely, Mrs. Crazy Pants.
So my husband and I took the kid to NYC in August. New York is an entirely different experience with a toddler.
While walking through Times Square I tried to take a picture with my baby. He, of course, had other plans in mind. Trying to keep a hold on him, he starts screaming, “I want picture with Elmo!”
I am not sure if you have been to Times Square, but there are these people dressed in costumes — FULL ON — hairy beast costumes in 95+degree weather. They must need the money bad.
I continue to tell my son, “Elmo probably did bad things last night, so no pictures with him.” To prevent a colossal breakdown my husband hoists him up on his shoulders and in an instant this majestic pose comes over my son.
I am not sure if it was the sudden change in altitude (my husband is 6’5), or if he was drawing inspiration from all the beautiful faces on the billboards. If that was the case, the sky is the limit Sebastian…. now go make momma some money…!