Okay, okay... thanks to some gentle prodding from another SAHM mother of 5, blogger, and oh- my cousin, over at The REAL Adventures of a SoCal Mom, I am going to try and break back into this whole writing situation. You know... also, because *oh yeah*, it's what makes me happy. Duh! Sometimes, us new parents -even ones that have had a baby (or three) before- need some gentle nudging to see the forest for the trees. Thanks, Rose! <3
I suppose it goes without mention that I did, indeed, finally give birth. Huzzah! He was 4 days overdue, but little Patrick James was born Dec 4th at 12:54pm, 7 pounds, 13 oz. 20.5 inches long. Hey- I still remember, even! See? Being a parent doesn't ENTIRELY consume your brain! Oh wait... it took three months to post that- nevermind. Yes it does. I'll write some version of his birth story down at some point- I was only in labor a couple of hours anyhow, true to the timing in my two prior lightning-fast labors: I had Aiden in two hours (who is now 8, see his birth story in my blog from another life here: The Anatomy of Labor) and Annika in one! I think the last three labors combined total something like 5 hours and 5 pushes/minutes of pushing? Something like that. (Ouch! Don't worry, I can still feel you punch me through the computer- and, rest assured, those few hours are completely filled with the transition stage. It still really hurts, trust me.)
Another thing that happens after the birth of a child, even for an experienced parent, is that it takes time to develop a routine, especially at nighttime. Patrick is still working out his sleep schedule, I am still working out (the lack of) mine. Sleep deprivation, joy! At least he's not my first child, so I know that as my Grammy always says, "This too, shall pass." I am sitting here, reveling in my coffee right now, I can tell you that much! Sweet, sweet nectar of the Goddesses. (I'm pretty sure the first thing Zeus' wife does before he starts running the cosmos is start the coffeemaker. Are we kidding, thinking he keeps track of all that without a caffeinated cohort?)
One thing that has helped tremendously in my adaptations is babywearing.When faced with astonished inquisitors when responding that no, this isn't my first child, but actually my fifth, (counting my stepdaughter, who lives with us full time) I developed the response, "No big deal, we like our kids. You just pop 'em out, strap 'em on and get back to it!" ...which has pretty much been the case since I discovered babywearing when Aiden (my second in line) was born & I found myself trying to work in a newborn with my 2 year old. I found a non-adjustable, simple sling from Earth Child that he and I both loved- especially since he had colic and it was one of the only things that actually soothed him and allowed me to move on with my life.
& "The A Team" (Annika & Aiden) at Pier 39
Moby-ed up for a parade!
One thing babywearing makes MUCH easier is shopping. Every time I go out, the Moby always draws comments. Most them are of the, "Wow! Did you do that yourself? It looks so complicated!" or "Aww, your baby looks SO cozy! I've seen those, but always been afraid to try it." variety. I've even walked a mother to where the Mobys are sold in Target last week. ($44! They used to be like id="mce_marker"00) Almost every time, I find myself admitting, hands-in-the-air that no, I am not a creative genius and yes, I've had to study the instructions, watch instructional videos via their YouTube channel AND have my sister help me. But I always immediately follow with how much I love it- and moreover, how much Patrick loves it. Seriously, that Moby tag is like a snooze button! He's calm, quiet & even sleeping within 5 minutes every single time, as soon as I pull that sucker into position- and I might go as far as to say he's even kinda of a fussy baby. (Sorry, Patrick. I love you, but your gas is an obstacle for both of us to reckon with- if I could make it die a slow, crampy, stinky death, I would.)
As we enter, I am instantly wary: it is FULL of Eastery-pastel-kid-crack. Amazingly enough, all of my children are maintaining control, despite being tired AND hungry. This is a momentary reprieve from The Universe not to be taken lightly. Better make this quick. We beeline to the movies & begin perusing. Patrick is peacefully passed out, everyone's getting along, looking at which movie to choose, the clouds parted, angels were singing... okay, maybe not that last part, but sometimes, it seriously feels like it when they are all calm and quiet.
Then... The Lady. The small minded Lady comes up and announces matter-of-factly, "Your baby is... uncomfortable. Can he breathe?" (Um, what?) I already kind of want to slap her for her blatant display of public stupidity. (NO, b*tch. He can't. I'm quietly trying to kill my newborn... I just spent 9 straight months vomiting profusely for FUN. Oh, these other kids? Yes, they're lucky to have survived me this long.) Sensing I may have been a little tired (Who, a mother of a newborn? Nooo...) & defensive- (being that this is CLEARLY not my first rodeo, as a friend so aptly put it) I finish choking her in my mind, come back to reality, smile and say, "He's fine, thank you.", managing to even maintain a grain of sincerity for her actually caring about my sleeping sweetheart, though it is NONE of her flipping business. I even go as far as show her his angelic, unobstructed face sleeping against my chest. (See? He's adorable AND breathing. Now shush.)
This Lady is no longer dancing on the line, she is charging right through to the other side, oblivious that it even exists! All of my children are behaving & minding their own business, Patrick is sleeping soundly... I am FUMING. I want to punch her in the ovaries. In my head, I hear my Grammy (bless her!) say, "If you don't have something nice to say..." and I decide I'll leave the verbal smackdown for another time- it's hard to tell your kids to choose their battles & not argue all the time if I choose to give my energy to a total stranger. Instead, I take a deep breath give her the "We are DONE here. Speak again and I miiiiight accidentally murder you." stare, usually reserved for challenging children or misinformed husbands, (ahem) and proceed to guide my wide-eyed girls back toward the movies. We check out Puss in Boots (which, as a sidenote, was great!) and get THE HELL out of there- away from The evil, sniping, vulture Lady & her trite, sanctimomious blather and home, to the soothing sounds of Antonio Banderas as a cartoon cat. Ahhh.
So really, The Moby (and babywearing in general) ensures the comfort of yourself & your baby- just not the comfort of self righteous, ignorant (or maybe just amazed & confused) folks that you may come into contact with. Sometimes babywearing in public (just like breastfeeding in public, which is another post altogether) feels like the safest, most comfortable, soothing, bonding experience possible between parent & baby. Other times, it can feel like arming up for battle. (Behold, my Moby of truth! Revere my bountiful boobs of justice!) Either way, keeping the little sprout (literally) close to our hearts is the best choice for our family, and something I will happily justify to naysayers. If having five children has taught me anything, it's that they grow up fast. Those sweet moments breathing in the top of Patrick's sleepy head are the currency of motherhood and I'll take as much as I can get before they're gone... no matter what anyone else thinks.
Do you and/or your partner wear your baby? Which style do you & your munchkin prefer? Do you ever get sanctimommied? How do you deal with it?
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