*WARNING: Swearing ensues (Grandmas have been warned)*
I was at the library recently, looking for baby sleep books (I’ll let you know if I find anything worthwhile), and I stumbled across “Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us”. Of course I had to grab it.
This book is a quick read, and hilarious the whole way through. Even while caring for my son, it only took me 2-3 days to read. The humor starts immediately, with chapter 1: “Road Trip with Your Kids: Multiply How Bad You Think It Will Be by a Thousand, Then Add Ten Million”. Here are a couple excerpts:
YOU ARE NO PRIZE.
Good God woman, look at yourself. Or better yet, rent Sweeney Todd and check out Helena Bonham Carter. Cause that’s you. Ratty hair, crazy eyes, making questionable food choices. Now think of your poor baby. She spends all day staring at you, wondering if this is how she’s going to look when she grows up. Of course she is crying.
Your baby needs to see how rested adults behave. If she goes only by you, she’ll think it’s normal to shout, “I can’t do this anymore!” and storm out of the house to sit in the car and eat cheese.
Knowing you aren’t the only kind of person on Earth gives your baby a ray of hope.
This one struck close to home, because my baby is named Nacho. It’s an unusual name, I know, but we think it fits him.
How to Tell When Your Friends Are Pretending They Like Your Baby’s Name
You went your own way with the baby’s name. You picked a name that you’re pretty sure no one else will touch. You like it, your husband likes it, and that’s all that matters. Besides, if first names were destiny, Condoleezza Rice would have been a stripper.
Back to your friend. Perhaps she is old-fashioned – raised to be a Jacob Mom or an Emily Mom. Your name has taken her by surprise.
She will ask you to spell it. This is a stalling technique. She really wants to say, “Uh, what the fuck did you just say?” Spellcheck is a gentle way for her to confirm that, yes, your son’s name is Z-e-p-h-y-r.
She may ask, “How did you come up with that?” She is giving you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was a family name. In fact, before you answer, she’ll suggest that very thing, and her voice will trail upwards: “Sounds like a family name…?”
Your response. “It is, now,” will not help her.
Those are just the two parts that were short enough for me to overcome my laziness to type out. The entire book had me cracking up and reading parts out loud to Hubby. Even non-parents will be able to laugh and enjoy some good, old-fashioned schadenfreude.
It does have a lot of strong language (which should be self-evident), so if that kind of thing bothers you, you should probably toughen up. We’re all grown ups. I go to work, vote, pay my taxes, and balance my check book. Swearing and drinking are a couple of the adult privileges that cancel out the boring crap, and I intend to take full advantage of them.
I’ve provided the Amazon link above, or just pick it up at the library, like I did. It’s absolutely worth the read. It gets the Clever Chick Thumbs Up!
I know a lot of people out there love their Moby wraps, and if this is you, you better skip this post now. I apologize, but brace yourself for an epic rant.
A friend of mine was kind enough to lend me a Moby wrap when I had my baby, Nacho. If you aren’t familiar with these, they are basically 87,000 yards of fabric you’re supposed to wrap around yourself in a configuration more complicated than an Enigma Machine. Your baby then supposedly fits right into the fabric without falling out the bottom or smothering to death. You can now carry your baby around with your hands free!
Here’s the thing(s):
1) There is too much damn fabric. There has GOT to be a better way to carry your child than 9 million yards of stretchy fabric. Women in pre-industrial countries wear their babies all over the place, and I have yet to see one using enough fabric to clothe the nation of Lithuania.
2) It’s hot. I was using the thing in WINTER, and my son and I were both coated in sweat after 30 minutes. I guess it’s to be expected with 18 billion yards of fabric piled on you, but it was ridiculous.
3) It’s overly complicated. I watched several videos trying to figure out how to use this thing. I got Hubby to watch and help. I prayed to both the old gods and the new (that’s a reference to a TV show, Gram, don’t worry), and I was still unable to get the thing on me how it was supposed to go. If you don’t get the tension exactly right when you put it on, you have to take the whole thing off and start over again. Lifting a wriggling baby in and out of the wrap 3 or 4 times before you get it right will test anyone’s patience, and I have very little to begin with.
4) It’s not really “hands-free”. You can sit in a chair, or walk around without holding your baby, sure. But forget bending over to do dishes or laundry. My son didn’t have neck control yet when we were attempting to wrangle the 8 cubic miles of fabric, so if I leaned over at all I had to support his head. If I tried to tuck fabric around his head, I had to worry that he was smothering to death, or his head would slip out and suddenly flop backwards (which happened, and was the impetus for me throwing in the 8,000 mile long towel). If I have to keep one hand on the back of his head at all times, it’s not that useful.
5) Getting in and out of it is nigh impossible. So let’s assume you succeed in finally getting your infant into the wrap. And then s/he poops. You’re now trapped, tied to a fussy, squirming baby and a poop balloon, just waiting to explode. Have fun untangling you both from 67^10 acres of fabric in a timely manner. If your kid is anything like mine, s/he’ll choose the moment s/he’s almost free to kick you in the chest and launch him/herself into oblivion (or, hopefully, the pack-n-play). Forget trying to feed a baby you’ve been mummified with also. There’s no room to get a bottle in there, much less get a boob out.
6) They’re expensive. $50 for some fabric? Come on. I’m really glad I got to borrow one rather than drop that kind of cash on some fabric I hated.
I do know a few people that like their Moby wraps, and I have a theory. All of the women I know who enjoy them, and who are shown in the tutorial videos and websites have fairly straight waists. I, however, have an hourglass figure, with big hips, so all the fabric slides up and bunches around my waist. Without such an exaggerated anatomy, the fabric seems to stay put where it’s supposed to. That’s just my hypothesis, based on a very small sample of data.
Wearing your baby is really fun and wonderful, but the Moby Wrap is not necessarily the way to do that. I was lucky enough to trick Mi Madre into making me a ring sling. She found a tutorial and the rings online, and used fabric she had laying around the house. We’ve used it a ton, and plan to keep using it for awhile. A fellow mom-friend of mine found a baby-wearing meet-up group that rents out different baby carriers so you can try them. She tried several before finding one she loves. Search for something like that before making any purchases.
I love popping my son into his sling and going for a walk around the block when the weather is nice. He’s fallen asleep in it several times, and it’s very easy to slide him out into his crib, or just sit down and let him nap on me.
I randomly had the song “Down Under” by Men at Work in my head, and it made me remember some random facts about the song, and the frightening land it’s about: Australia.
1) The first verse of the song contains the lyrics, “I met a strange lady, she made me nervous. She took me in and gave me breakfast.” If you meet a strange person who makes you nervous, don’t eat any food they give you! That’s like, lesson number 1 to kids: don’t take candy from strangers. I realize in the previous line he had a “head full of zombie”, aka weed, so maybe his judgement was impaired. But maybe this is also a lesson why you shouldn’t smoke weed?
2) The band Men at Work were recently sued by a music company who claimed part of the song “Down Under” was comprised of a 70 year old song, “Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree”. This was the best version of the song I could find, but you’ll probably be familiar with it. Now to me, if their song came out in the 80’s and you wait until 2009 to sue, it probably wasn’t that important to you. Fortunately, there is a statute of limitations on some of the reward, so the band only have to pay earnings of 5% from the song starting after 2002. But still, really? A 70 year old song? The Happy Birthday song copyright mess is even worse. It was written in 1893! But you can read wikipedia for all that nonsense.
3) Australia is a testament to the arrogance of mankind. No one should live there. Everything is trying to kill you. They have tiny jellyfish there called Irukandji that are extremely venomous. They’re only 1 cubic centimeter in size, and they can FIRE THEIR STINGERS AT YOU. I don’t know about you, but invisible, venomous jellyfish don’t need ballistic weaponry on top of everything else.
These things plus magpies, snakes, pool spiders, and drop bears make the sharks seem particularly benign. This doesn’t even cover the heat and poisonous plants that want to kill you. If you want to be grateful you don’t live in Australia, just google “Deadly Australian Animals“. I can see why people were just dropped off there as punishment in the 18th and 19th centuries.