Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sophia Grace: a rant

I am sure that most of you are familiar with Sophia Grace (and Rosie). In case you aren't, they are the two little British sisters who became famous on youtube for singing Nicki Minaj's song Super Bass.

If you haven't seen it, this is the video: 

When I first saw this, I thought to myself, wow the little brunette has some legit talent. The little blonde, well, not so much. She functions pretty much solely as Sophia's wingwoman. Adorable, definitely prettier, but significantly out-shined in the talent department.

The video exploded in popularity, and I thought that maybe Parker would enjoy it. He seems to enjoy little girls for some reason (I think because every encounter he has had with them involves him being treated like a doll), so I figured he might get a kick out of the video.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Parker quickly escalated from the boo boo lip to tornado siren wail. He hated Sophia Grace and Rosie. I couldn't figure out why.

Then I saw these two on the Ellen show, and realized that Parker is just smarter than I am...and apparently a better judge of character when it comes to first impressions.

First off, let me say, I LOVE ELLEN DEGENERES. Meeting her is on my bucket list.

Ellen does have her flaws though, like all of us. She love love LOVES these little girls. But Ellen doesn't have the insight that Parker has.

Sophia Grace is crazy obnoxious. ***Lord forgive me for poking fun at an innocent little girl, but holy geez. When I saw her on Ellen, I had a vivid flashback to Tom Cruise on Oprah, and thought to myself, holy shit...Sophia Grace is Tom Cruise's illegitimate love child. She has his manic tendencies, random bouts of scream-fests, inability to sit still, and uncanny ability to suck you in with her indisputable talents.

If you haven't seen these two on Ellen, I'll do you a "favor" and post the video. Prepare yourself for the world's most annoying, self-centered, tutu-wearing brat.
 
Now, let's focus our attention on Rosie for just a second. Poor, adorable, dumb-as-dirt Rosie. Please stop perpetuating every stereotype out there for blonde girls. Do you have a brain? Do you have your own thoughts? Do you have to look at Sophia Grace for permission to talk? Do you need Sophia to tell you what to say? I'd have her evaluated for "the spectrum"...if you know what I mean. I can't wait for the day she realizes how much she actually despises Sophia. Then they can switch from the Ellen show to the Jerry Springer show.

All I know is, Parker knew it all along, from the moment he first set his eyes on her. Ellen and I didn't see it coming.

It's girls like these two that make me happy I had a boy. And it's karma from this post that let's me know that my next baby will probably be a girl, just like Sophia Grace (except probably without the musical talent and twice the obnoxiousness).

***This post is just for fun. I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings here, or get readers all riled up and angry. Don't take it too seriously!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

my mom moment

Most of the time, the fact that I have a child is very surreal. You might think that 40 weeks of pregnancy and 9 months of " look mom! I'm a real-live-boy" is enough time for me to wrap my head around this fact, but it's been slow to set in. It's not that I haven't enjoyed (almost) every minute of having Parker in my life, because I have. It's just been weird for me to suddenly have my life revolve around a person who isn't myself. Parker wasn't a planned pregnancy, so this may be why it's been less instant for me than for most.

[Sidenote: When Parker was first born, I had a lot of people say to me, "Have you ever thought you could love someone so much?" I think these people need a serious lesson in the baby blues (which more than 70% of women experience) and postpartum depression (also VERY common). Loving a baby (beyond the obligatory, this is my child, love), for me, is just like loving anyone else. The relationship takes time to develop, and you have to get to know each other first. It should be a give (and give, give, give, give) and take kind of thing. If you have that instant magic love for your newborn, that is AWESOME. But you're not a monster if it takes a little time!!]

This morning I had a moment that made me feel like a "real" mom.

You may picture me taking my son to play with friends. Or us taking a stroll in the park. Or me happily tossing Parker up in the air, in the middle of a meadow, while butterflies flit about us and a double rainbow in the sky circles our heads.

My mom moment involved nothing more complex than oatmeal.

I discovered the other day that Parker likes oatmeal. Adult oatmeal, with texture and everything. So this morning, I doubled the serving size that I normally eat so he (and I) could both have some. When it was ready to eat, I poured it into one bowl, and grabbed two spoons: one baby and one adult. Then I sat him in my lap and we ate it together while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (or was it Baby Einsteins? It was early, I can't remember).

I am not really sure what was so profound about this MOMent (couldn't resist), but I think it was the fact that he was sitting in my lap (and not in his high chair) and we were sharing food. It was so sweet. I thought to myself, now this is something I'll actually miss (along with baby laughs and nakie babies).

Monday, February 20, 2012

"I hate you mama!! But don't put me down."

"I hate you mama!! But don't put me down." I feel like Parker is thinking this a lot lately.

Parker is 9 months old now, and I suppose this is about the time when babies start to recognize things as familiar and unfamiliar. The cruel irony of separation anxiety is that it coincides with increasing testing of independence in terms of developmental timing. So, for example, Parker will test his independence by crawling away from me and into another room, but then he will cry like a crazy man when he realizes he is alone. He doesn't always figure out how to crawl back to me, so I have to go retrieve him from whatever bedroom closet he ventured into. He is always there, crying with fear, until he sees me and smiles.

Things that are familiar to Parker (and by familiar, I mean 'source of comfort'):
-First and foremost, the cats
-Me (with glasses on)
-Tim
-the cats
-our apartment
-pacifiers
-bottles
-Sesame Street...ok let's be honest, all daytime TV
-Making monster noises, screeching, and doing all things boy
-Did I mention the cats?



Things that are unfamiliar to Parker:
-Me with contacts in
-Me dressed in anything other than pajamas
-Tim dressed in anything besides work clothes
-dogs
-any place other than our apartment, Target, or the grocery store
-Sippy cups
-Cuddling with me, except for when sleepiness lends itself to accidental snuggle episdoes

Separation anxiety hasn't been all bad. It's been good for my left biceps. It's been a good test of my patience. It makes me feel like Parker thinks I'm the most awesome person in the world.

The problem is that it is SO annoying sometimes. I posted this video on facebook, but not everyone who reads this blog is fb friends with me, and so I am reposting it here:

video
People tell me all the time, "You'll miss this." And you know what, I will. But only after the passage of time has bestowed rose colored glasses on my hindsight....as it has for all parents who tell me to enjoy every moment. I am enjoying it. I'm sure I'll enjoy it more when I no longer have it.

The grass is always greener, and all that.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

a close call

A few days ago, Tim had a day off work. We usually do a bunch of errands on these rare occasions, and this day was no exception. Everything we had to do was in the same, small plaza.

Tim dropped Parker and I off at Old Navy while he went a little further down to get a hair cut. He met us back at Old Navy, we walked over to Barnes and Noble, then we needed to go across the way to the grocery store. It was freezing out, so instead of just walking (with a getting-progressively-moodier baby) we decided to drive and park a little closer.

Since Parker was being a beast, I didn't strap him into his car seat. We were driving maybe a thousand feet and would hit a max of 5 miles per hour. I wasn't worried....

...Until I see a cop car heading straight towards us, driving on the opposite side of the road. In seconds he would be passing us, and no doubt would see this crazed 9 month old infant bouncing in my arms, and screeching and banging on the window. When I say "crazed," I mean it. This was the first time he had ever been in the car facing in a forward direction. He was SO EXCITED. We're talking Disneyworld excited.

Parker, being the genius troublemaker that he is, was TRYING to get me busted. After all, I deserved it for dragging him out, in the freezing cold, PAST HIS BEDTIME, to buy clothes only for myself at Old Navy. The grocery store stop was just too much. Someone had to stop me!

So what do I do?

I have a millisecond panic attack, and then I orchestrate a move that my mother taught to me, and her mother taught to her and so on for many generations. I am referring to the coveted "throw-the-kids-not-wearing-a-seatbelt-on-the-floor-of-the-car" move. Also known as the "everyone duck move."

I was blessed that this maneuver has been passed through so many generations, so as to have been perfected by the time I had to bust it out.

I gently toss Parker to the floor of the car, look straight up to the sky, and practically start doing the "nothing to see here" whistle. I mean, it's not unusual for a wife to sit in the back seat while her husband chauffeurs her around with an empty car seat next to the wife. Everyone does that, right?

I'm cringing...waiting for the cop to pass us, turn around, and "pull us over" in the parking lot. He passes, I'm still looking up at the sky (clenching every sphincter in my body), and Tim goes, "OMG he looked right in our car."

At this point I really think we are going to get a ticket for upwards of a thousand dollars for this infraction. What does it cost to drive with an unrestrained infant?

Answer: I wouldn't know! SUCKER!!!!

No. Just kidding (kind of). I have learned my lesson. In the future, if we are only going a short intra-plaza distance, I will at least sit Parker in the car seat so as to give the illusion that he is buckled in.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

things no one told me about being a parent

I was going to title this "things that were not apparent before I became a parent" but I figured that was too lame for even me.

Pregnant me was so excited, so free from worry, so naive (and so well groomed). I really just had no clue.



1. Babies don't sleep: somehow I knew this was true, but I figured my baby would be the exception. When he was still waking up every 3 hours at 5 months old, we took his insomniac-ass to a pediatric sleep specialist (ya, they make those!). Even with sleep training, he wasn't truly sleeping through the night until he turned 8 months-ish. And, by sleeping through the night, I mean when he cries I turn the monitor waaaaay down, and I figure if he really needs me, I'll hear it.

2. Babies don't enjoy being naked.

3. Babies don't enjoy being clothed.

4. Babies don't just lay there on the changing table, waiting patiently for you to change their diaper. When I lay Parker on the changing table, he acts like I am going to pull out a scalpel and slice his penis off. I mean, sometimes he is full out sobbing while I change him. It is so beyond my comprehension. He has never had a traumatic changing experience. You would think he enjoys staying in a wet/poopy diaper.

5. A play date for me is the parenting crystal ball. I've never spent much time around toddlers and young children. When we have play dates now, I make sure I pay extra attention to how they act, so I know what to expect in a couple of years. I've learned: they cry over dumb shit (Parker put a little boy's toy car in his mouth and the boy melted down), they get irritated very easily (Parker grabbed a little girl's dress, and I thought she was going to punch him in the face), always carry extra underwear and clothes, kids are obsessed with bathrooms yet still pee/poop themselves, black potties are both scary and intriguing, kids are human garbage disposals, the other kid's food is always better, the idea of having a baby over to "play with" is far superior than the reality.

6. Babies are mean, evil geniuses. At some point, Parker quickly became smarter than me. He learned to cross his legs when dangled over his neglectasaucer exersaucer so as to prevent me from putting him in it, he learned to flex his hips when I lower him to the ground so I can't set him down, and when he wants picked up he knows all he has to do is head in the direction of the litter box.

7. Babies are dumb.  How many times does Parker have to do the same thing to realize that every time he does it, he gets hurt? Answer: I am still counting.

Monday, February 6, 2012

the silencer

The silencer...aka the pacifier.

The pacifier, acting as silencer, is a double edged sword.

On one hand, the pacifier is almost wholly responsible for getting Parker to sleep. Never mind that I've spent close to hundreds of dollars on pacifiers so that, no matter where he is in his bed, there is one within finger distance (heck, probably within mouth distance...there are so many in there all he really has to do is pucker his lips and POOF, one will magically pop in there!). (One time I picked Parker up from a nap, and when I went to change him out of his pajamas I found, not one, but two pacifiers inside his pjs.) The pacifier can keep Parker quiet in the car, in the grocery store, and while he is playing.

On the other hand, the pacifier tends to keep Parker a little too quiet while he plays. It allows him to get into things that are off limits without me honing in on his normally constant baby noises. These things include the cat food, cat water, litter box, trash can, toilets, food pantry...the works.

Then there is the issue of having a play date with other babies who also use a pacifier. It's just a fight waiting to happen ("binky battles," if you will). Parker just crawls around, trying to grab other children's pacifiers...out of their mouths. And if the other kid is dumb enough to leave it on the ground, Parker will haul ass from across the room to snatch it up. I've seen Parker actually try to put another poor, unsuspecting baby's binky in his mouth IN ADDITION to his own pacifier, which is already in his mouth. Then he gets all bent out of shape that he can't suck them both at the same time.

This is especially malicious because Parker only uses one specific type of pacifier, the Soothie. Despite this, he indiscriminately steals pacifiers of all types and shapes. 

I really think that when they are old enough to fight over pacifiers, they are probably old enough to give them up. I think the "need to suck" has passed when the priority becomes pathologic pacifier hoarding. And that is what Parker is...a pacifier hoarder. Is this how people become "adult babies," aka the world's most disturbed and disturbing group of weirdos?

Alas, despite the fact that I know that Parker is probably ready (in theory) to give up the pacifier, I will not get rid of it. Let's be honest, that thing is as much for my sanity as it is for Parker's comfort.

I used to see toddlers, walking around with their parents, sucking on their pacifiers (the kids, not the parents), and I would think to myself, "wow. Those parents really need to bite the bullet. That kid is able to TWIRL the pacifier 360 degrees."

Then you have the toddler with a true pacifier addiction, such as this little girl. If you notice, she has true signs of an addict: she has dependency (she needs several pacifiers to satisfy her, not just one), she also has fully dilated pupils, suggesting that the pacifier has acted as a gateway drug, to other, more hardcore substances. Such as pixie sticks.  
 (I stole this image, of this very adorable little girl, from http://www.tertia.org/so_close/2007/04/i_fear_that_add.html).

Now that I have my own little pacifier addict, I say to you parents, good for you for encouraging your child to become dependent on their pacifier. Who gives a crap that your kid looks absurd walking around holding his own iphone while sucking his binky (or binkies)? Is it allowing you to run to the store for dinner without a total meltdown?

Then carry on.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

reasons why physicians make bad parents

We all know that physicians (and pretty much all health care professionals) make bad patients. I'd venture to say that most people who go into the field of medicine have some degree of mental illness, not the least frequent of which is narcissistic personality disorder. This leads to a lot of discomfort letting someone else tell you what's wrong with you...and a lot of self misdiagnosis and self mistreatment. 

Not to offend all the mothers out there, but in a similar sense, we all think we know more than our pediatricians at some point or another. ("I know my kid needs antibiotics....his snot is GREEN!") I am no exception to the rest of you moms out there.

For comparable can't-get-rid-of-my-personality-disorder reasons, physicians make bad parents.

Reasons why:

1. I've considered the possibility that my son is autistic numerous times. He is 9 months old.

2. I thought it possible that my son's lack of babbling at almost 8 months was due to a hearing problems (and/or autism).

3. I encourage turn a blind eye to my son to putting things of very questionable cleanliness in his mouth. This has included: the arm rest on an airplane seat, the bottom surface of shoes (some of which my husband has worn to work in the hospital), cat vomit (this one I did not turn a blind eye to), the toilet seats in our apartment, cat food...you name it, and it's probably been in Parker's mouth. And I've probably had a very high threshold for removing it.

4. My husband and I have WAY too high of a threshold for taking Parker in to the emergency room. An example: today Parker was gagging on something that he put in his mouth that he retrieved from under the coffee table. When I dug it out of his mouth, it was a small piece of foil from a pill package. I am not sure, but I think it was part of a package that Benadryl comes in. Normal parents would have taken their kid in to be evaluated for a) possible ingestion of an adult dose drug, and b) possible ingestion of a plasticky foily package with potentially sharp edges. Tim and I decided on the "wait and see" treatment (disclaimer: I do not recommend this method). We decided we would take him in if he started acting weird or he had blood coming out of any of his orifices. So far so good.

5. I've called my pediatrician's office asking for specific prescriptions to be called in without an office evaluation. Including medications that Parker had never received in the past.

6. It makes me really angry when I am in the pediatrician's waiting room and another parent keeps complaining to the secretary that people are going before them and they were "waiting there first." More than one doctor works in the office people. Some patients are there for a nurse visit. Relax. It's not the first time you've been in a waiting room...you know it takes forever, for all of us.

7. I think every issue with illness can be handled via a phone call to my pediatrician's office.  And by "every issue" I mean I've called twice.

8. I give my kid Ibuprofen way too liberally. ("Oh, poor baby, do you have a tooth coming in? Are you in pain? Are you just acting like a little shit?" Ibuprofen!)

9. I plot Parker's growth curve at every well-child check.

10. I saved the inflammatory one for the last. I am a very liberal person when it comes to how people raise their children, but I have one exception. I can't stand it when parents don't vaccinate their children. I've seen kids die of meningococcal meningitis before and I've seen several babies hospitalized for influenza. Since the chances of a complication occuring with a vaccine are much lower than the chances of a child having a potentially life-threatening complication due to a preventable disease, I think it's just COMMON SENSE to vaccinate your kids.