New Mama Musings

Monday, January 30, 2006

Henry's still not feeling too well -- lots of snot and a hacking cough over here -- and getting him to sleep at night has been more difficult than usual. Last night I sat with him in the glider in his room and turned his white noise machine to "heartbeat."

For no reason at all I started to say "Bum-bum" along with the machine, and although I wasn't even trying to be funny, Henry chuckled slightly. He started to get drowsy, and his eyes were rolling back in his head, but everytime I said, "Bum bum" he responded with that sleepy chuckle.

Sooooooooo cute.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Poor Sick Baby..and Poor Tired Mommy

Henry is currently in the throes of his very first cold. I should say we're all in the throes of it, as the only way he can sleep without choking on mucus is by laying on my shoulder while I'm sitting up in bed, and even then he's been waking up a lot completely miserable. After two nights of this I appealed to my wonderful husband, who came home from work early today so I could get some rest.

I'm thinking staying up all night with a sick child is a rite of initiation into motherhood. I'll be waiting for my certificate to arrive in the mail.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Hey, That's Me!

Henry has been saying "mama, mama" for the past week. I know he doesn't mean me specifically, but it's still fabulous to hear this little person saying the word.

He's also blowing raspberries. I don't know whose name that's supposed to be.

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Segues

If you ever wondered why some of my blog entries seem a little disjointed, look no further than one generation back. This is the phone conversation I had with my mother the other day:

Mom: So, how did it go with babysitting yesterday?
Me: It was rough. We'll see how it goes next week.

*absolutely no segue whatsoever*

Mom: Where do you buy your gas?
Me: Um...not any one place. Wherever I see a gas station when I'm driving around.
Mom: Oh.
Me: Why do you ask?
Mom: Just wondering.

*and then on to a completely different topic*

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Henry 5.0

Here are the latest updates on Henry, five months old:

  • I can't decide if Henry loves or hates bathtime. After our first attempt at bathing him in a standard baby bathtub (which went badly, if you'll recall) we moved on to using a baby tub with a hammock stretched over it, placed over the bathroom sink. He seemed surprisingly okay with that but quickly grew out of it. Since then we've been bathing him in the regular bathtub, with me getting in with him. As soon as I put him in the water in a sitting position his legs start kicking. And kicking. And kicking. It's like he can't stop. The funny thing is that he has no expression on his face. Meanwhile he's splashing himself, me and anything in the immediate vicinity.
  • The other day my husband was holding Henry on his lap and when I reached out my arms to pick Henry up, he held his arms out, too. My husband said, "You're lucky," and don't I know it.
  • Lately I've been getting woken up in the morning by the little person next to me making soft popping noises with his mouth. I'll look over and his big brown eyes will be staring off into space. (I much prefer this method of waking me up to tiny fingers being stuck up my nose.)
  • I'm thinking Henry will be crawling sooner rather than later. He is already starting the army crawl. Sigh. Where did my little infant go?
  • The coolest thing to report: Henry has already developed his own sense of humor. Sure, he's been laughing at things we do for a while now. But the other day I was talking to my husband on the phone, and because Henry was fussing a little on the floor where he was laying I tossed the top to my travel coffee mug in front of him, thinking it would distract him. And it did: he bust out laughing. How wonderful is it that he found something funny all on his own?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Pick on Someone Your Own Size

I recently read a supposedly humorous essay on spanking by a woman who writes a column for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In it she explains that she spanked her one-year old for playing with the Christmas tree lights.

What she does not explain is why on earth she thought it was reasonable to expect a toddler to not play with the Christmas tree lights.

At best, that's lazy parenting; at worst, it's abuse. In my estimation it's both.

Why is it against the law to hit your dog, your elderly mother or your girlfriend, but not your child (sure, there are laws against child abuse, but society seems to condone hitting a child up to a certain point)? Is it because we assign the behavior cutesy terms like "a swat on the butt" or "a tap on the behind"?

If every parent who spanked their child instead had to say, "I physically assaulted someone one-fourth my size," well, maybe there would be a lot less of it.

I remember being spanked as a child and the way it made me feel humiliated, alone and powerless.

We owe our children guidance, understanding, patience and love. Spanking offers none of these. And joking about it doesn't let you off the hook.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Words to Live By

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

You Shall Know the Truth

On New Year's Eve my husband and I took Henry to the home of some friends who were hosting a gathering, which consisted mostly of people we didn't know and their kids. Henry was one of three babies there.

Someone at the party asked, if we live in such-and-such part of town, did we deliver at the hospital there? We told them I had Henry at home and these people just could NOT believe it.

One of the women said, "On purpose?" Yes, on purpose.

"Did Claudia (the hostess, and a family practitioner) know about this? And she LET you?" Umm, she wasn't my doctor, first of all. And second of all, LET ME?

"Did you have ANY pain medication AT ALL?" No, no medication.

And then from one of the men, "My wife would have yelled at me more if we'd been at home than she did in the hospital!"

We tried to emphasize how amazing our experience was, how it was the best thing we'd ever done, how the three of us got to take a nice long nap together in our own bed after everything was cleaned up, etc., but one of the women especially just kept looking at me like I had two heads.

Later in the evening the guy whose wife would have yelled at him more noticed the hosts' 19-inch television and asked, "Is it a European thing (Claudia is from Germany) to have such a small TV?" Then he commented, "And they don't even have cable!"

I couldn't resist; I had to mention that we were considering getting rid of our TV's altogether (more on that in a future blog entry). He actually called us communists. He was joking (I think), but still, who uses that as an insult anymore? Maybe his wife yelling at him had nothing to do with her being in labor.

That evening reminded me of one of my favorite quotes, usually attributed to Flannery O'Connor: "You shall know the truth and it shall make you odd."


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Tales of the Sleep-Deprived

Worst. Night. Ever.

Well, in a long time anyway.

Last night Henry spent more time thrashing around and crying out than he did sleeping quietly. The arms were windmilling and whapping Mommy, who kept trying to stuff a boob in his face.

I haven't been this tired since Henry was first born. Those nights were hellish. He would wake up crying and jerkily bicycle his little legs for an hour or more. In retrospect I think he may have been reacting to the soy and occasional dairy in my diet -- things I didn't try cutting out until he was a bit older and starting to spit up a lot.

At about two months he started "sleeping through the night." By that I mean he wanted to nurse every few hours, but he pretty much let me know by fussing in his sleep. He would then nurse in his sleep and settle back down right away. Who would have thought getting woken up every two hours would seem like pure heaven?

At four months or so things started going downhill again. I've read that this is common, whether because babies start doing so much more that it's hard for them to sleep soundly at night or because they've begun teething. So Henry's been waking up a few times every night for the last several weeks. If I'm unable to soothe him back to sleep by patting his bottom, my husband takes over and puts him on his chest until he's out again.

Last night, however, was something altogether different. He never got so out of control that my husband had to help out, but he never slept in heavenly peace either, let me tell you.

It got so bad that when I'd finally settle him back down and my husband would inevitably shift positions or adjust the blankets or -- gasp! -- get up to go to the bathroom, I would scream in my head, "STOP MOVING! YOU MIGHT WAKE THE BABY!"

Of course that's entirely unfair, not to mention a bit irrational. But who knew a baby could be so sensitive to even the slightest disturbance?

Hopefully the voice in my head will stop screaming after the twin-sized bed we recently ordered to put between our bed and the wall arrives. That way the baby-who-takes-up-half-a-queen-sized-bed can have his space and Mommy and Daddy can possibly get some sleep. I'll keep you posted.

P.S. Happy five month birthday, Henry!