I was whining to the poor, long-suffering Hunter this morning about life: about how stressed I am both in the things I am supposed to be doing, but can’t, because they are all contingent on other things that aren’t done or aren’t clear yet, as well as on the state of the world in general. He sighed.
“It’s clearly time for another blog post,” he said.
“Of course, it’s time for another blog post,” I replied. It’s been over two weeks since the last one, but I don’t know what to blog about. Besides, all I really want to do is rant. And that is so non-productive.”
He sighed again. “Write about the new baby, of course.”
Now he didn’t add, “You Dope” to the end of that sentence. He is too much of a gentleman to actually say that out loud. But, I did see the words, clearly outlined, in the thought bubble above his head.
But what about the new baby? I asked.
The Hunter, for the third time in as many minutes, seemed surprised at my non-grasp of the obvious: You can write about new parenthood in general and what a shock it is going to be, and in fact already has been, for the kids. About the things that they don’t even know they don’t know yet.
All of this is true, but it seems a bit cruel to lay it all out now. I’m all for letting The Son and Daughter-in-Law just enjoy their first baby. Besides, I am much more impressed by what I apparently don’t know these days: The rules on babies seemed to have changed since I was having them.
For example, it appears to be a crime to put a baby down on anything but its back. In her time, my mother was given the instruction to only sleep a baby on its tummy. When I brought The Daughter home, I was told to only let her sleep on her side and to accomplish this, I was taught how to make a swiss roll out of a receiving blanket and prop up her back. My mother was appalled.
Now we have moved on to putting the baby on its the back – with absolutely nothing whatsoever in the crib – no stuffed animals, no bumpers, no blankets, no nothing. I am sure my mother would still be appalled, and I can’t help but think that in another 20 years we’ll be back on the tummy – because life is like that.
When I was having babies, we swaddled them. It seems that swaddling is a bad word now. We burrito them, instead. Although, having seen a demonstration of the burrito process, it appears identical to the swaddling process of old. And, I am happy to report, that babies in this family continue to want nothing to do with the swaddle/burrito if it involves the arms, proving that the “experts” aren’t always right.
And “experts” not always getting it right leads straight into the pitiful choices for baby clothes. I think they have actually gotten worse since I was buying them three years ago for the new grandbaby at that time. I have to think that so-called fashion designers live on another planet where function doesn’t matter. They can’t design clothes for normal women, they can’t design clothes for normal pregnant women, so why would I think they would design garments that make sense for little babies?
I went on a shopping orgy shortly after the little one was born two weeks ago (as one is entitled to do as a grandmother) and was prepared to stock up on sensible gowns and leggy suits – things that are easy to change, wash and wear – in pastel colors, because all babies look so sweet in pastel shades. What do I find? Trousers and hoodies in bright primaries or gray and black.
How is a baby supposed to sleep in a hoodie? And what happens when he turns his face and finds it all smothered in fabric? Talk about being at cross-purposes with the diktat to keep all extraneous stuff out of the crib. And how can it be comfortable for the poor baby to have all kinds of things grabbing him at the waist while the hoodie rides up as he squirms? “Fashion” (if hoodies and sweat pants can actually be called fashion) wins out over sense and function, once again.
“Fashion” for little ones appears to have returned to the dark ages or the middle ages, or perhaps the Elizabethan or Jacobean eras – all times when children wore miniature replicas of adult clothes, with little consideration for their comfort or whether it was even appropriate. Certainly all the cheap and streety clothes pushed on little girls does nothing to refute this theory.
I am, however, wandering from the subject of babies and the fact that I apparently no longer know how to take care of them. And I am ranting, something I said I wasn’t going to do, which means it’s time to go find The Hunter and ask him what else I can write about.