If he wasn’t a baby, I would say he’s kind of a jerk…

Don’t you just love it when you’re trying to feed your baby and he:

a) grabs parts of your face and squeezes as hard as he can;

b) gives you a wet willy;

c) rips your glasses off your face and hits you with them. Repeatedly. While laughing.

I apologize to future schoolmates for somehow creating the playground bully.

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A Tale of Two Boobs (and a Hungry Baby)

When I was pregnant, many moms told me that breastfeeding was hard, and of course I would nod and think I understood.

I had no idea.

I thought I was prepared: I had read books (ok, so I mostly Googled, but there were illustrations and videos and everything!), but there is no Google in my womb, so when munchkin came out, we found ourselves fumbling along to a dance we only kinda knew the steps to.

I was optimistic; after all, people warned me about this. And after a few tries and with the help of a lactation consultant, he was on the boob and doing his thing.

Then the problems began. The munchkin’s blood sugar level started to plummet and the doctors suspected that he was not getting enough food (I should mention that he was a 10 pounder at birth…I know, labour was fun). He was put on an IV, kept in the NICU for observation, and by the second day I was presented with two options: keep him in the NICU for at least a week until my milk supply was established, or supplement with formula and be able to take him home in two days. So I agreed to supplement.

In the days that followed I ran through a seemingly endless cycle: the munchkin wasn’t latching on reliably anymore so I would spend an hour or so stubbornly trying to get him to nurse, after which I would give him a bottle (he was downing a 2 oz bottle in 10 minutes…crazy!) then pump for half an hour. And of course this was repeated every 3 hours, 24 hours a day.

It’s no wonder that I was a wreck by the time we saw our family doctor for his one week checkup. He asked how I was and I burst into tears.

“Sure, breast is best, but no baby has ever died from drinking formula,” he said as I sobbed (embarrassingly) uncontrollably.

Hello common sense. Between the sleep deprivation and the raging hormones, I had missed the obvious – he was going to be okay no matter what. It sounds ridiculous now, but I had bought into the idea that I was a failure and that if I gave up on breastfeeding it was somehow going to hurt him. I was afraid we wouldn’t bond (although shoving my boob in his face while he screamed and cried hardly seemed to be bonding). And I was afraid of being judged, because lets face it – other moms can be harsh (I could write a whole post just on this alone…and I probably will!).

So with strict orders to cut out pumping so I could get some sleep, I decided I would let whatever was going to happen happen. And wouldn’t you know it, at 3 am that night, as I picked him up out of his crib, did the little bugger not nestle into my chest, mouth open, and latch on all by himself.

So while I have never been able to fully “catch up” to his appetite, I’ve continued to nurse him (6 months and counting). Some people may judge me for continuing to supplement, but we’re both happy (and sane), so who can argue with that.

Stranger Danger! 8 Bizarre Comments and Parenting Gems from Total Strangers

I’ve never really been one to chat with strangers, but I lost any choice in the matter as soon as I had the munchkin. Apparently, if you have a baby with you when you’re out and about, you may as well be carrying a sign that says “Advice Wanted” or “Tell Me How I’m Doing”.

And so, I present 8 bizarre comments and parenting gems from total strangers:

Don’t put sunglasses on your child, the darkness is bad for his eyes.
Apparently UV rays and glaring brightness are good for his eyes.

He really should be wearing shoes.

Yes. My 3 month old would be running all over the place if only I had remembered to put on his shoes.

Isn’t he going to be cold?

No matter what we dress our child in, apparently it is never enough for our “frigid Canadian winters”. Maybe if he was wearing two snowsuits and a parka…

Isn’t he going to be hot?
Sigh…

Dip his pacifier in rum, that will ease his teething pain.

This one is usually met with the awkward laugh and nod combination. Yeah. I’m going to give him rum.

She’s a cutie – what’s her name?
A woman asked this while I was out with my son. On the one hand he was only a few weeks old, so it’s hard to tell gender just by looking. On the other hand, he was wearing this:

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Boys Rule!

Ahhhhhhhh!
An old woman actually shrieked and scurried away onto the grass in terror once as the munchkin and I passed her on the sidewalk.  Of course she assumed we were going to run her down with the stroller, but that’s just crazy.  Old people are hardly worth any points.

I think he’s hungry.
Thank you random stranger for being so attuned to my baby’s needs. Should I whip out my boob while we’re waiting in line to pay for our groceries? Or show you the bottle he just finished?

What stranger stupidity have you been subjected to? Post your stories below so we can all laugh and roll our eyes at them!

Maybe I can buy a potty that looks like an ExerSaucer…

Don’t you just love it when you’re halfway through changing a diaper when your little one remembers that he has feet and they are DELICIOUS!

om nom nom

om nom nom

Makes it a tad challenging to complete the task at hand. (Enjoy it while you can, kiddo – mommy can barely touch her toes.)

Speaking of diapers (and, by proxy, poop): My son has recently developed a fondness for pooping while in his exersaucer. He is in for a rude awakening when he learns that you don’t poop while standing in the real world.

Can you give me a sec, mom?

Can you give me a sec, mom?

OCG: A Mom Disorder for the 21st Century

It started one evening with some eye discharge and a slight fever. By morning, his eye was so swollen he could barely open it. And so, after much deliberation with myself, I made the call to his pediatrician and brought my little cyclops in.

It is an issue that I have spent much (too much) time stressing over: When is it “legit” to call your pediatrician?

I always swore I would not be the mom who frantically calls her pediatrician ten times a day at the first sign of sniffles. And while I thought I had succeeded in avoiding this stereotype, I realized I had merely modernized it. I am a mom with a wicked case of OCG: obsessive compulsive Googling.

I have been afflicted with OCG since early in university, when I realized the wealth of quasi-accurate facts and diverse opinion that was at my fingertips. It started innocent enough – a quick check to see the name of so-and-so who played what’s his face in that movie. It grew into a need to check facts and disprove people in arguments. But during pregnancy, I found I was constantly checking to see if what I was experiencing was “normal”. And when the munchkin was born, I began checking to see if everything he was experiencing was normal. Unfortunately, this habit spawned a minor case of hypochondria along the way. I Googled when I thought his legs were too curved. I Googled when i thought he spat up too much. I Googled every time his poop colour and consistency changed (my pre-baby self never dreamed that I would ever study and ponder my child’s poop). I am the crazy pediatrician-calling mom of the 21st century.

So in the end, the doctor checked out little E and diagnosed him with a “minor viral infection” (the next day, when he woke up crusted in his own snot I realized “minor viral infection” was doctor code for “nasty cold”). And while I felt stupid and cliche the next day for bringing my baby in for a cold, there was a certain peace of mind I got out of it that no amount of Googling can ever really replace.

Oh dear god, what have I done?!?

Childbirth:  many new moms will regale you with glorious tales of the first moment they laid eyes upon their new baby.  Some will tell you they instanly fell in love with the wriggling babe placed upon their breast.  Others will tell you they felt a great sense of connection to the sisterhood of women through the shared experience of childbirth.  As such, this is what I expected in those first moments as I stared into my little one’s eyes and he stared back into mine.  Instead, the first thought that entered my mind was:

Oh dear god, what have I done?

Once I recovered from the initial shock of having literally pushed a tiny human out of my body while my husband looked on, I was overcome by the terrifying notion that I had no clue what to do next.  Before I became pregnant, I was petrified of babies (and they were none too fond of me either).  I had changed one diaper in my life (in high school…and I wore rubber gloves…I wish I was joking…).  Somewhere in those nine months, all those crazy hormones made me forget that I was a totally newbie and made me believe in the power of instinct.  But at that moment, as we stared at each other for the first time, I felt like a stage actress who didn’t know her lines.

Maybe instinct does kick in for some women.  Maybe some fall instantly in love.  However, I do not believe that I am alone; and while I can now nurse like a pro (while eating, texting, and watching tv) and change a dirty poopy diaper in under a minute, I am still learning and evolving as I go.  And so, I invite you to join me as I take on this whole “mom” thing.

Make sure you bring extra baby wipes.