Tag Archives: advice for new parents

The 12 things I learned the first 12 months of my baby’s life

  1. No matter how many times you check to make sure your baby is still breathing while he’s sleeping, you will still need to check one more time. And then, just to be safe, one more time after that.
  2. Babies are born with the mistaken idea that diapers grow on trees. Which is why they think it’s totally cool to immediately poop the second they get a fresh diaper velcroed to their tooshie. Hey man, don’t sweat it. Mommy can just run out to the diaper tree in the backyard and pluck a fresh one. Which I will also immediately poop on. Because diapers are plentiful and free, dude.
  3. Vegetables truly are the worst. Human beings were never meant to eat them. Because if they were, babies (who have very little to compare them to and haven’t even TRIED cheeseburgers yet) wouldn’t spit peas out with the speed and accuracy of an AK-47.
  4. Newborn babies like to cry between 7-8:30 p.m. for no other discernible reason than they never want you to watch TV again. Which is why moms are always out of touch with pop culture and call celebrities by wacky monikers such as Jack Gypsypants and The Girl Who Looks Like She Smells Bad And Is In All Those Vampire Movies.
  5. The only people who can successfully swaddle a kid are wizards and my cousin Andrea. And I’m pretty sure Andrea is a wizard anyway.
  6. Babies don’t care if you lose the baby weight or if you have makeup on or even if you smell like a dead weasel carcass. They just want a nice, warm, soft place to vomit on.
  7. Children will think it is absolutely hilarious for you to gently throw a big rubber ball at their face for exactly six times in a row. The seventh time they will give you a look that says “Mommy, why would you hurt me?” and immediately start crying hysterically.
  8. You’re only as good as your last game of peek-a-boo. Babies know when you’re phoning it in.
  9. Cheerios taste better when they’ve been hiding under the couch for eight days and have a nice dust bunny coating on them.
  10. Babies spelled backwards is Seibab. There really is no point in me telling you that other than to demonstrate how child-induced sleep deprivation makes you very, very stupid.
  11. The only thing more joyous and wonderful than looking deep into your baby’s beautiful eyes is looking deep into your baby’s beautiful eyes while the babysitter is holding them and you are halfway out the door already.
  12. It’s never going to be about you again. And you wouldn’t want it any other way.
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33 Things I’ve learned in 33 years*

*(New Parent Edition)

1. A baby’s cry has the magical ability to make time stop. For instance, 45 seconds of crying feels like three hours. And three hours of crying feels like you can’t remember life before the crying started and will probably die before it ends.

2. There are a lot of perks to having a baby. Using them as an excuse to stop cleaning your house is the best one.

3. How much a baby wants to vomit is directly proportional to how much you like the outfit you are currently wearing.

4. Never get mad when someone gets the gender of your baby wrong. Only get mad when they get your gender wrong.

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5. Watching your kid get a shot at the doctor really does hurt you more than it hurts them. But then you remember how much the first six weeks of breastfeeding hurt and suddenly you don’t feel nearly as bad for them anymore.

6. Babies are born with two very strong instincts: To suckle and to headbutt you right on the nose. They will want to do both of these things often.

7. Ironically, babies themselves are the best form of birth control.

8. You will love your baby more than anything else in the world. Except for sleep.

9. Always assume a pregnant woman is hungry. Because she is.

10. You cannot fathom how much you will talk about poop once you have a baby. How much, how often, consistency, color, smell, whether or not it exploded out of their cute, little tushie like an erupting volcano. It will sneak into every conversation you have.

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11. Apparently, there is such a thing as a stupid question. Or at least that’s what my son’s pediatrician told me when I called him at 3 a.m. last night.

12. Dogs love babies. And they show this love by licking them directly in the mouth every chance they get.

13. Hearing your baby laugh is the best sound in the world. I don’t have a follow-up joke for this. It just really is.

14. You will often find yourself oversharing incredibly personal information to your other mom friends, such as how your C-section scar is healing and why you need to use a nipple shield while breastfeeding. And you will do this loudly. While in public places.

15. Never tell a pregnant woman that cheeseburgers are not an acceptable breakfast food. She will stab you.

16. Babies use sleep deprivation as a mind control device. You will quite literally be willing to do anything for them if it means you can just take a five minute nap.

17. No matter how clearly you explain it to them, babies will never understand the correlation between them shoving their finger in their eye and why they are currently in pain and crying.

18. Never ask a pregnant woman if you think she should be eating that. She will stab you.

19. You will completely forget how much you hated people who constantly posted photos of their kids all over Facebook and Instagram while you’re busy uploading 56 photos to your album “Baby’s First Tuesday!”

20. Never eat off a pregnant woman’s plate. She will stab you.

21. If there was an Olympic sport called “Who can pee the farthest?”, a baby would win.

22. If there was an Olympic sport called “Who can spit the binkie out the farthest?”, a baby would win.

23. If there was an Olympic sport called “How many times can I make this idiot pick up the binkie off the floor?”, a baby would win.

24. I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure maternity ward nurses are angels. Angels handing out magical painkillers made of rainbows and unicorns and the happy tears of a teacup pig.

25. The second you brag about how well your baby sleeps through the night is the second he decides to wake up every 15 minutes every single night for the next six months.

26. Never ask a pregnant woman if she ate that entire cake. She did. And she will stab you.

27. Grandparents are the only people on this earth who will not immediately hand back to you your screaming child.

28. Screw sliced bread. Disinfectant wipes are the best invention since forever.

29. Once you have a baby, eating a meal becomes a luxury. One you can no longer afford.

30. For some reason, babies hate any entertainment that isn’t jiggling keys. Hence, you will never watch a full TV episode or a movie in its entirety ever again.

31. Never tell a pregnant woman you think she’s gained too much weight. She will cry. And then she will stab you.

32. There are a lot of things wrong with the world. But it’s hard to think of any of them when you have a sleeping baby on your chest.

33. It’s likely at some point in your life you will be stabbed by a pregnant woman.

The Tail of the Bald Puppy

This is a story of how a puppy ruined my life. And not just any puppy. An ugly, wrinkled, bald puppy. An ugly, wrinkled, bald puppy who doesn’t even know proper butt sniffing etiquette.

But I get ahead of myself. First allow me to introduce myself. Or re-introduce, as the case may be. You may remember me from the last time I took over Aprill’s blog. I’m Buffy, her long-suffering male dog.

Oh yes, you read that right…MALE dog. Apparently being a Joss Whedon fan means you no longer have to acknowledge gender when coming up with a pet name to impress your stupid, geeky friends. Never mind the psychological damage you inflict on said poor animal when the Duke’s and Princess’s of the world get wind of the name. Dogs may be man’s best friend but they can be complete assholes to their own kind (butt sniffing is not nearly as innocent an act as you guys assume). You’d think taking my manhood when I was a puppy (a PUPPY, for canine’s sake!) would be enough emasculation for any creature but oh, oh no. Let’s also add a frilly name from an obsolete 90’s show that only people with extensive knowledge of their parent’s basement watched.

Not that I’m bitter or anything.

But back to the bigger issue.

Now, when they first brought the bald puppy home, I thought it was great. My very own interactive chew toy! Complete with neverending battery! And super gross smells!

Unfortunately, within the first 30 seconds of our initial meeting, it was made clear to me, in no uncertain terms, that this was not the case. I swear, that stupid crying lump’s first words are going to be “Buffy” followed by “No” followed by “I said ‘no,’ dammit!”

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And things only went downhill from there. For instance, every time the bald puppy cried (which was A LOT, by the way), I would growl and bark. In my mind, the only reason for any creature to make that much noise is when there is an imminent threat to all of our very lives, such as the neighbor from three houses down had closed a door or the wind blew through a tree in Delaware. So I was simply trying to help the bald puppy alert our owners that there was obviously an emergency on hand, such as the mailman was on our porch and was probably going to pee on all the spots in the yard I had peed on.

Incredibly courteous of me, right?

Alas, Loud One and Spiky Head (my not-so-affectionate nicknames for my owners) didn’t see it this way. I was told, rather rudely, to shut the hell up and then threatened with not just a rolled up magazine but a rolled up September Vogue magazine (the leading cause of concussions in dogs).

Meanwhile, the bald puppy, who was making just as much noise as I was (if not more) was cuddled and actually rewarded for his whiny bark with food!

FOOD!

My very favorite thing in the entire world besides BALL and ROLLING AROUND IN DEAD THINGS!

Can you believe it?

And as if all that wasn’t bad enough, when I wasn’t getting yelled at, I was being completely ignored. Judging by the smell, the bald puppy was going potty every hour or something insane like that. Inside the freaking house! Which is something I’ve never been allowed to do if I don’t want to see the business end of the Sunday Times. They even put a wonderful poo catcher on his butt so he could do it whenever he wanted. And I’m all just over here, like, hey, I haven’t gone outside in 14 hours. But don’t mind me. I’ll just slunk off to the corner and eat my dog food…oh wait, my bowl is empty.

Again.

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It was getting ridiculous.

So then, deciding to make nice with the bald puppy, who was obviously here to stay, I began licking his face (mainly aiming for directly into the mouth, of course) whenever he happened to be within tongue’s reach. And I tell you what, I would get no more than six licks in when Loud One would suddenly push me away.

Knock it off, she said.

Buff, that’s gross, she said.

Well, let me tell you something, lady. You’re gross. Not to mention a hypocrite. I’ve seen you stick your tongue down Spiky Head’s throat many a time so you can just get off your high horse.

But before you go thinking that my owners are just absolutely horrible people, I should mention that they are trying to make it up to me. I get extra treats all the time now and during those brief moments when the bald puppy is asleep in his giant crate, they shower me with love.

And in their defense, they do look horrible these days.

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I’m starting to think they’re being punished by the bald puppy just as much as I am. Apparently he is the new Alpha and we all exist merely to satisfy his every whim (even if that whim is to walk him in a giant counterclockwise circle for three hours while singing “Close To You” by the Carpenters at 3 a.m.).

But let this be a lesson to all you other dogs out there. If your female owner starts to look like she has a giant ball hidden underneath her shirt, RUN.

Run away as fast as you can.

And hide out in the neighbor’s yard until the bald puppy is old enough to start dropping food on the floor.

Top 8 Parenting Myths Debunked

I know what you’re thinking.

What the hell does a first-time mom who is only six months pregnant know about parenting?

And the answer is, of course, nothing. Well, almost nothing. I do know that the first poop the baby takes once it’s outside the uterus is apparently a mix of dark matter and pure evil, but I only know that because I read too far in my pregnancy book last week.

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But after extensive and thorough research where I asked friends who were new parents scientific stuff like “so, does parenthood blow or what?” and “when do babies stop sucking?” and “how much Red Bull and vodka can I chug while simultaneously breastfeeding?” I have gathered enough evidence to debunk the most common myths surrounding this major life change.

Myth No.1: As soon as your baby is born, it’s love at first sight.

Chances are you will not immediately fall in love with your baby. Chances are you’ll look at it and wonder “who the hell is this wrinkled old man who came out of my vagina and what the hell is he covered with?” OK, maybe that’s exaggerating slightly. You could also be thinking “wrinkled old woman.” But the point is, it’s perfectly natural not to feel bonded to your child right away. So don’t worry. You will bond eventually. Possibly even before they go off to college.

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Myth No. 2: Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world.

Breastfeeding is NOT the most natural thing in the world. Far from it. In fact, Joan Rivers’ face is more natural than breastfeeding. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean feeding a child from your boob is unnatural (despite what those squeamish arseholes in restaurants that just HAVE to complain whenever a woman dares to use her boob in public for anything other than sexual arousal would have you believe). I mean that in no way does this natural act come to you or to your kid naturally. It’s a daily battle the first few weeks, sometimes months, to get you, the baby and your ginormous boobs all on the same page at the same time.

Myth No. 3: Having a baby will bring you and your partner closer than you’ve ever been.

Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation. Or the ass-numbingly dull tedium of changing diapers every two hours. Or perhaps it’s the immense crushing responsibility of having to keep a small human alive. But you and your significant other will hate each other for awhile and argue about stupid crap such as why lil’ Kayleighanna isn’t wearing socks outside when it’s OBVIOUSLY FREEZING OUT THERE AND WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO, KILL OUR DAUGHTER!?! But never fear. This is why God invented grandparents, so that just when your marriage is about to implode, they can take the demon seed for a night and let you two drink until you can’t feel feelings anymore.

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Myth No. 4: Babies are sweet little angels.

Babies, by nature, are not sweet and nice and innocent. They are terrorists. Tiny, tiny terrorists who refuse to let you sleep or eat a warm meal or sit down or shower or pee or talk on the phone or have a beer or leave the house or wear a clean shirt not covered in vomit. But at least they’re your tiny, tiny terrorist.

Myth No. 5: Babies are expensive.

Babies aren’t expensive. Babies are ridiculously, mind-blowingly expensive.  Whatever crap you bought for your baby, it’s not enough. Because apparently babies die if they are not surrounded at all times by educational toys, soggy baby books, slightly less educational toys that play music, no less than five chairs that all move or vibrate or swing in different directions and 76 blankets.

Myth No. 6: Putting your baby into yoga/music/sign language class will give them a jumpstart in life.

Babies think key rings are the height of civilization’s achievements. It’s OK to wait until they aren’t floppy headed drooling machines to sign them up for Infant Interpretive Dancing. Stop stressing out about their future at Harvard when they’re only three-months-old.

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Myth No. 7: Babies cry for a reason.

As it turns out, sometimes there is no reason. Sometimes they’re just crying because they’re a butthead. For reasons why they do this, see Myth No. 4.

Myth No. 8: Religiously reading parenting magazines and websites and blogs will help keep you informed and up-to-date.

Religiously reading parenting magazines and websites and blogs* will help turn you into a competitive and paranoid control freak who lectures other parents about how they really shouldn’t let lil’ Pyke play with their iPhone because the latest studies show that children who are exposed to screens within the first two years of life end up being serial killers who work at Wal-Mart.

And everyone will hate you.

*That is, except for this blog. You should always read this blog.