Quite unlike my previous post, “The Becoming of a Wifey” this post about becoming a mom is a bit more lighthearted. A collection of idiosyncrasies of motherhood, parenting and newborns. I’m sure the first of many, just give me time.
1. As you are learning the words to various songs from your childhood, you will see some nursery rhymes are ridiculous. ‘Pocket full of posey’ to mask smelly diseases and decay, ‘alouette’ to pluck feathers from a lark’s various French body parts–apparently the only nursery rhymes worth singing and passing through the ages are horrific reminders of bad times in history.
2. Newborn poop is mustardy, mountainous and magnetic. Well, not really magnetic, but if your kid is anything like my kid, it goes from his hiney, to his entire bottom under the diaper, to his wiggly thigh, to his shin because he bent his leg while crying mid-change, to his sock (I’m convinced only because frankly they are white and baby poop stains–see #9), to my hand/elbow/forearm/hair and left pinky toe in a matter of seconds. And then is compactly wadded up in a diaper, like it never even happened.
3. Bathing babies is NOTHING like the pictures. You see cute little fatties in buckets, sling tubs, barebone sinks and cute flower sink inserts and all of them look happy, not drowning and sticky. Well, from day 1 of bathing my little monster, he just turns into a slippery ball of nonsense who nearly immediately shoots a stream of not-so-cleanliness in his fresh bathwater followed up by some juicy farts which scare the mess out of me (see #2) and some half screaming/half laughing hysteria that I still can’t figure out if he likes it or hates it. It’s not pretty or cute, it’s messy and ridiculous. Plastic bathtub, ridiculous. On a positive note, sometimes I get cute little fatness smiles, just before I attack his cheese-neck.
4. The cheese-neck battle is real, and real smelly. When milk, formula, sweat and general stink slips into the folds of that sweet little rolly polly neck, it starts to smell like something died, and it’s an ongoing battle royale. I’ve found using my hand and baby soap works best–not great, but best.
5. Speaking of something that died, that umbilical cord/stump smelled like pure death for 3-4 days before it fell off. There is nothing like the smell of rotting flesh when snuggling your cute little bundle–thinking it was poop 15,742,794 times a day.
6. Sleep when they sleep. No joke. I didn’t just as many mommies before me and I wish I had/do. Even while writing this, I’m exhausted.
7. Similar to #6: cry when they cry. Even though it doesn’t solve anything, it makes you feel ridiculously better.
8. When tempted to buy cute button or snap up pajamas, don’t do it. Snaps and buttons turn devilish at 12, 2, 4 and 6 am. Think zippers.
9. Don’t buy white. Just don’t do it. It’s not worth the hassle. No white onesies, no white tshirts for you, no white pants or skirts. Just say no. Even shirts with white stripes in between colored ones are not a good idea. It’s like target practice for dribble. “I’ll clean it,” you say, “spot treatment does wonders” you say… you won’t do it–just give it up now.
10. Lastly for now, they cannot fall off the floor. I’ve heard this from pediatricians and doctors and moms. It’s 100% true. If that baby is making you want to jump off anything nearby, remember he cannot fall off the floor. Put him down, go make a cup of coffee or a glass of soda and breathe. Get your Mommy powers restored and come back in a moment or two with all of your juices flowing ready to figure out what in the world is making him cry now.
After all, we all love our kids/friends kids/cute kids around the block–but none of us are ever ready for being a mommy even if you’ve been one for 50 years.