Tag Archives: witching hour

Having witch babies & other pregnancy fears

Now that I’m the mother of an almost 2-year-old with another baby on the way, I’m an expert at pretty much everything.

Ha! Kidding. That’s all those other blogs written by smug parents of small children that I can’t stop hate-reading.

I, on the other hand, almost take a kind of perverted pride in just how little I have figured out about life, let alone about parenthood. I mean, I have no less than four light switches in my house that I have no idea what they do and currently my toddler is begging me to throw his giant Mr. Bouncety-Bounce ball directly at his face. Then he laughs hysterically, chases the ball, hands it to me and asks me to throw it directly at his face again.

We’ve been playing this for 45 minutes and I haven’t questioned for a second whether this is a good idea or not.

And it’s only going to get worse. Take this second pregnancy. You’d think by now I’d know what to expect when I’m expecting since I expected not even two years ago. But this pregnancy is different from my first in a lot of ways. For instance, with my first one I was convinced I was pregnant with a ninja-trained dragon. And this pregnancy, I’m convinced I’m pregnant with Satan. (It would definitely explain all the projectile vomiting and all the chasing my husband around the house with a baseball bat because he forgot to get the big wheel of cheese from the super fancy grocery store).

Even my food cravings are different this time. All I wanted with my son, Riker, was cheeseburgers. All day, every day. And with this new baby, all I want are bacon cheeseburgers.

But perhaps the most striking difference is what my biggest fears are this time versus last time. Because now I no longer have the gift of ignorance. I now know what I truly need to be afraid of.

For example, the first time around, I can’t tell you how much sleep I lost over worrying what my son’s nose would look like, all because in his ultrasound it looked like he had the exaggerated nose of a cartoon witch. I had repeated nightmares the doctor would hand me a swaddled bundle and when I moved the blanket off his face, there was Miracle Max’s wife from “The Princess Bride” staring up at me, screaming “Humperdinck!”.

But now I know that having an ugly witch baby is nothing compared to dealing with the witching hour. And let’s be honest, it’s witching HOURS. Hours and hours where nothing else exists except the sun sinking into the horizon, burying your hope with it, and the banshee screaming ceaselessly into your ear.

I also wasted a lot of time the first time worrying about how fragile the baby would be and how likely it was that my giant troll hands would hurt it. And now I know that not only are babies tougher than they look, but they hold all the power. In fact, they’re tiny little dictators and I just pray that this one will be a benevolent ruler, unlike his/her brother who was a ruthless albeit charming despot.

And unlike last time, I’m not wasting any energy being afraid of labor or delivery or even another C-section. Because now I know that no matter how my body is violently ripped open to provide an exit for little junior, the pain pales in comparison to the utter mind-blowing torture that is the first six weeks of breastfeeding. Now, I know I’ve complained about breastfeeding before (here, for example, and here and here). But this time around is so much worse. Because now I know what’s coming. I survived the first time only because I was naïve enough to think “it has to get better” every day. But it doesn’t get better. It doesn’t get better until two weeks past forever. And even then you’re too sleep deprived to notice.

To put it in Hollywood movie terms, it’s like escaping from an angry psychopath’s dungeon and realizing with increasing horror that in less than six months you have to go marching right back in there VOLUNTARILY and undergo the torture all over again. Only this time you can’t scream at the top of your lungs the whole time because your husband says it, quote, “stresses him out.”

Luckily, however, I also know that it will all be worth it. Because no matter how bad things get, no matter how much pain or crying or forgotten wheels of cheese there are, one glance at your sleeping baby’s face makes you forget everything else.

That is, until it’s time to breastfeed again.

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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.

The baby who cried “WAH!”

I don’t want to appear ageist or anything, but there’s probably a good reason why there are no baby CEO’s or babies currently seated in the Senate. And that reason is that babies are horrible communicators.

I know, I know. That’s not a very politically correct thing to think in this day and age. But hey, someone had to say it. And, trust me, I would know. My very own baby just happens to be a baby. And most of the time, I have no bloody idea what he is trying to say.

Wah 1

For instance, just the other morning he was repeatedly trying to lodge a very loud and formal complaint about something. But all I heard was “WAH! WAH!” over and over again. Here is the exact transcript:

“Wah!”

“What’s wrong, little man?”

“Wah! Wah!”

“Are you hungry?”

“Wah! Wah!”

“Does your diaper need changed?”

“WAH! WAH!”

“Are you mad at the ever-increasing wage gap in America that will most likely ensure we’ll never be able to afford college for you?”

“WAAAAAAAAAH!”

“Are you saying you think Mommy should have vodka?”

“WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

“I’m just going to assume you’re saying Mommy should drink some vodka.”

This exchange went on for a good 30 minutes before I ended it like how I end most of our arguments, which is by shoving a boob in his mouth regardless of whether he wants it or not.

(P.S. If you don’t mind getting arrested and/or punched in the face, that method usually works to end pretty much any argument you may be having with someone).

Now I know there are so-called “experts” out there (and by “experts” I mean people who have been parents for exactly 30 seconds longer than I have) who claim that after awhile you should be able to decipher the different cries of your baby, easily discerning which one means hunger and which one means “the monkey on my mobile, which was just making me giggle four milliseconds ago, is now terrifying me.” But I call shenanigans! Because much like how my dog’s bark has the same terror alert level for everything from “I can see a squirrel outside!” to “Hey, you are getting murdered by a serial killer!”, my child has the same soul-shattering cry for every possible situation.

Which means that should the day come, God forbid, that he really is hurt or in distress, I won’t realize it because I’m assuming his cries for “my leg has been chopped off” will sound just like the cries he uses when I suck a booger out of his nose using the baby booger sucker thingy.

Of course, maybe it’s me. Maybe there is a whole subtle but complex language hidden within each individual “WAH!” and I’m just too oblivious or too sleep deprived or too busy trying to find that one lousy damn sock that always falls off to notice. Maybe this whole time he’s been desperately trying to tell me his wants and needs, his hopes and fears, and here I am, all making fun of him and constantly shoving boobs in his face to shut him up. Maybe I’m the problem here.

But hell, since he can’t currently speak for himself (and even if he could it would just sound like “WAH!”) I’m going to put the blame squarely on his tiny shoulders.

So if you guys read a news story about a mom in Boston who didn’t immediately take her infant son to the hospital after his limb was severed, just remember that it wasn’t out of cruelty or neglect.

It was simply because I was probably too busy sucking boogers out his nose and figuring out just how big a glass of vodka he wants me to drink to notice right away.

Wah 2