Dear Tiny Baby…

Letters to Ethan. Which he can't read yet. We'll get there eventually.

Productivity

Dear Tiny Baby,

It’s Daylight Savings Time today, which means I have a whole extra hour to accomplish all sorts of things today! I think I’ll start by checking on all my bills, seeing if I can order my Pampered Chef starter kit, going through some boxes of junk, gathering some clothes to sell, and cooking something really good for lunch!

Oh…wait…you just want to strongly object to the fact that Percy threw up? I mean, I sympathize, but isn’t this amount of nausea a little bit excessive? No?

Fiiiiiine.

Love,
Mommy

You do NOT need more sugar, kid.

Dear Tiny Baby,

You keep this up and Mommy will have to see if they manufacture gummy insulin chews along with her prenatal gummies. I get that it’s just after Halloween and all that waxy, corn syrup-y candy is on sale and is somehow more delicious now. But stop it. Can’t you crave some kale and bananas or something nutritious?

I’m making fajitas for dinner and you will like it.

Love,
Mommy

Why Mommy is a little insane

Dear Tiny Baby,

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Mommy and Daddy are actors. That means we’re a little crazy by default. Actors are people who make a living (well, maybe not a living, but a really, really, really intense lifelong hobby-but-we-get-mad-when-you-call-it-a-hobby) by spending months at a time learning to say words that aren’t ours, pretending to be people we aren’t, and debating punctuation in Shakespeare’s works over bottles of wine at 1:30 AM after a show. We have no problem trying to come up with forty different ways to say the same four words. We can often be found mumbling to ourselves, which is a common side effect to a syndrome known as Offbookitis.

Tonight, Mommy is proving her insanity by staying up all night long (it’s good training for when you come along) in order to write a play. That play will be performed tomorrow night by actors who have to memorize their lines and blocking in just 10ish hours. It’s a crazy undertaking. I have acted in this project twice before, as has Daddy, but this is my first time writing.

So if you notice Mommy getting a little more pregnancy madness tonight than usual, please don’t get upset. It’s nothing too serious – all just a part of living in the world of theatre!

Love,
Mommy

You have good taste in music.

Dear Tiny Baby,

Last night, I took you to go see Daddy perform in Troilus and Cressida. In the middle of the show, there was a dance break to “Beat It”. You started kicking like a maniac. Daddy is thrilled that you have such good taste in music. I thought it might just be a fluke, so just now, I went on YouTube and played the song again. Sure enough, you started dancing around in there.

We’ll move on to “Smooth Criminal” tomorrow.

Love,
Mommy

Supermom.

Dear Tiny Baby,

Mommy is being a bad employee and is updating this blog from her desk at work. This is because pregnancy madness has caused me to completely forget what task I was about to do and has caused me to fail to come up with anything to do in the meantime. Even my lighter workload lately has been causing my brain to occasionally short-circuit because I wind up stressing over the pile of cleaning tasks that needs to be taken care of at home, or the fact that you still don’t have a crib, or I can’t remember for the life of me whether I refilled Percy’s water bowl before leaving the house.

I’m already starting to see that the whole anti-feminist stay-at-home mom thing has a lot of perks. The feminist movement has mostly been to push for equal rights for men and women in the workplace, but also has been to encourage women to get into the workplace in the first place. Which is great – I have never once thought I wouldn’t have a chance at getting a job just because of my gender. It’s usually my general dorkiness that prevents employment, which knows no gender. However, I have lately been reconsidering whether or not I really desire to have a “legitimate” career. My feminist sisters may find themselves up in arms over this – in fact, I can practically hear my 19-year-old self winding up for a good slap – but I am really starting to see the value of having one person to bring home the bacon and one person to stay home and cook it. It just makes life easier. That way, Mommy and Daddy aren’t both running around like crazy, trying to figure out childcare and keeping the house organized and trying to synch up work schedules long enough to have twenty minutes to spend together.

A lot of people might think that I’m being unrealistic to want to stay at home with you, and they’re probably right. In this day and age, with our finances the way they are, I probably won’t be able to be a full-time mom unless something dramatic happens really soon. And maybe it will. Maybe some publisher will read this blog and think I’m brilliant and offer me a book deal. That’s pretty much what happens these days.

Would I like to be one of those women who can hold down a six-figure salary and still find time to spend with her husband and children, all the while maintaining a high school body and getting her hair styled on a regular basis? Well, yes. But am I more likely to be one of those women than the kind of woman I already am (that is, the woman who just makes her bills each month and barely sees her husband, keeps forgetting to do her prenatal yoga more than twice a week and hasn’t had a haircut in months)? Definitely the latter. Tigers don’t change their stripes, and people can’t magically change their financial situations without a lot of hard work and luck.

The supermom thing is highly appealing. A supermom can put a gourmet meal on the table after closing a huge deal at work and her house is still spotless. I think these women do exist. I know a few who could qualify. But the dirty little secret of the supermom? She (usually) has help. There’s no way she’s doing all of this by herself. She has plenty of money and doesn’t have to work overtime or pick up extra shifts in order to make rent. She may be able to hire a gardener or even just a kid from the neighborhood to take care of the yardwork. She can probably afford a babysitter without it being much of an issue, which allows her to go to the gym and indulge in some “me” time at the salon. And she can probably afford to buy the best ingredients at the grocery store, so even a whipped-together dinner looks and tastes like expensive restaurant fare.

I don’t begrudge those supermoms any of that. Most of them have worked hard and have earned all of their luxuries. Their husbands work like crazy to help provide for everyone, and the fact that they have all been able to accomplish that much while maintaining a good family relationship is really impressive. Of course, for every awesome supermom, there is one of those entitled, obnoxious women who sees her children as fashion accessories and doesn’t lift a finger to actually take care of them. But the supermoms I know are the cool ones.

The supermoms we tend to forget about are the ones who are still working. They’re the ones who don’t have any choice but to take the extra shift at work and do their best to spend time with their kids. They’re the ones whose hearts ache every time they have to miss out on something because they can’t afford to take the time off. But they still manage to raise their families, and their families still know how much love they all share. That is what makes a real supermom. More than anything else, more than how much money you have or how you choose to spend it, if your children go to bed each night knowing that you love them and feeling happy, you are a supermom.

So no matter which kind of supermom I end up being, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that you go to bed every night knowing just how much I love you. And I may or may not be wearing a cape when I do it.

Hungry Hungry Hippo?

Dear Tiny Baby,

I have eaten more food than most small countries get to enjoy in an entire day. How are you still hungry?

Love,
Mommy

Television

Dear Tiny Baby,

Just wait until you’re old enough to focus your eyes properly and comprehend what words mean. We have a magic box that will blow your tiny mind. It’s called a television, and even though I grew up with one, it still sort of amazes me whenever I watch something on it.

Now, while I am a big fan of introducing kids to television shows and movies – after all, they are a huge part of our culture and a lot of them are really great – I am not a fan of parking a kid in front of a television for hours at a time.

I heard something about a boy whose mom let him watch TV for six hours a day. Six hours! Mommy watches about an hour of television at a time, and definitely not every day. Mommy and Daddy generally prefer movies. The only time six hours of TV a day is acceptable is when you are completely taken apart by a bad case of the flu and need to be distracted. Apart from that, there is just no reason to watch that much.

I guarantee that little boy uses the phrase “I’m bored” at least once a day. You know why he’s bored? Because he has no idea how to entertain himself. He’s going to be that kid who can’t focus in school because the information isn’t coming from a box. He’ll be miserable when he isn’t parked in front of the computer or TV. It just isn’t healthy. I’m not saying you can’t indulge every now and then – if there is a really good show on, I’m sure I’ll let you watch a little extra sometimes. But you have to allow yourself to get up and move, to look around, and to do things that don’t require electricity once in a while.

To the best of my recollection, I hardly ever said “I’m bored” when I was a kid. That’s because I knew I had books, toys, and games to enjoy when the TV wasn’t on. I hope you’ll be the same way. I’ll do my best to make sure you are!

Love,
Mommy

Brrrr…

Dear Tiny Baby,

I was told you’d make me overwhelmingly warm. If you wouldn’t mind making that happen right about now, that would be nice. Quite chilly at the moment.

Love,
Mommy

Apologies ahead of time.

Dear Tiny Baby,

Some of the people in our lives are absolutely insane. Usually this is in a good way – after all, Mommy and Daddy are total nutcases, but people seem to like us – but occasionally it can be a little…odd. This isn’t to say that we don’t love the insane-in-an-odd-way people in our lives, too, but we have learned that they will occasionally…well, be a little overwhelmingly insane.

Having a baby is super-exciting. You are the most exciting thing I have ever had to look forward to, and I’m a girl who flips out around Christmastime, so you can only imagine (side note: just wait until your first Christmas. It. Is. ON.)…however, I am also a firm believer in accomplishing one gigantic thing at a time. For example, while I was planning my wedding to your daddy, I wasn’t also sitting there trying to plan buying a house and having kids (don’t take that the wrong way, please) and a career change or anything. I was just planning a wedding. Sure, the other stuff crossed my mind, and I did what I call “pretend planning”, where I daydream and come up with elaborate plans, but none of it was serious.

Upon finding out that I was getting married, the reaction of most people was to congratulate me and then ask how the plans were going. The reaction of the insane-in-an-odd-way people was to ask if we were planning to have babies. I hadn’t even decided what color I wanted my shoes to be on my wedding day. There was no way I had thought seriously about kids at that point. Sure, I always knew I wanted to be a mother (which is why I had such a stunned-but-YAY! reaction to you). Daddy knew he wanted kids eventually. But we were trying to take it all one step at a time.

I bring this up because of something I have been asked several times by various folks in my life of the insane-in-an-odd-way persuasion. That question tends to almost immediately follow my mentioning of my pregnancy with you. That question is this:

“Are you going to have more than one?”

Let me ask your opinion, Tomato, and since you can’t see/hear/speak/comprehend this issue in full just yet, it’s totally hypothetical: does that seem like an appropriate question to you? To put it into baby context, it’s a little like you announcing that you finally got the hang of rolling over and I immediately asked your plans for running track. One thing at a time.

I know people are just curious and that they have only the best intentions, but still…the pressure Mommy and Daddy are feeling right now is intense. We have to figure out things like future housing, financials, whether Daddy wants to go back to school or not…all of that on top of the usual stuff that comes with planning for a baby. The idea of even thinking about having another baby right now just makes my head spin! Don’t think that I’m more upset about this than I am. I’m actually not upset at all, just a little taken aback that I’ve been asked this as often as I have. And please don’t blame yourself  for any of the stress that we are feeling – believe me, it isn’t your fault. Stress is there whether or not you are, and I’d much rather have you than not have you!

Did that last sentence make any sense at all? Was it even proper English? I kind of doubt it. I have a little pregnancy madness today and have been watching Hudson spin in circles for about ten minutes.

Anyway.

Just wanted to give you a heads-up and a quick apology ahead of time. I want you to be aware that people will ask you questions with good intentions that will add a little stress to your life, and I want to apologize ahead of time because I’m almost positive I’ll do it at least twenty times in your lifetime. I promise I only mean well.

Love,
Mommy

Being realistic

Dear Tiny Baby,

Mommy posted on a message board for pregnant women today and asked how other mommies are able to take care of everything while they are pregnant. I just wanted some tips about scheduling housework, maybe some ideas for quicker and easier ways to keep the apartment clean and organized, etc. What I got was a big bowl of Honey Bunches of Solutions Rich People Give Out.

Check out a response that I got:

“Oh, I was a wreck during my second trimester. I’m a professor and my husband is a lawyer so we are of course very busy during the week, but we do make an effort to take our weekends off entirely. The way we took care of all the housework was to get a housekeeper to come in once a week while I was pregnant, then three times a week after our daughter was born. We also had a full-time nanny starting from the day we brought her home from the hospital. It was a huge help since I was able to get rest during the day, go to the gym, go see friends, etc. and was able to enjoy the fun times with my daughter, but not have to do the exhausting stuff all the time. It was fantastic – I highly recommend that system.”

…did she also hire someone to grade her papers for her?

I’m not opposed to hired help. I’m really not. But there’s a fine line between having someone come in to assist you and having someone come in to replace you. Most parents I know do it the “right” way. If they have hired help, they’re still spending time with their kids and even doing some of the exhausting stuff. It’s part of the deal. You pay the dues and do the hard stuff because you get to be a parent. The fun stuff is the reward for changing the diapers and the 3:00 AM feedings.

Of course we all wish we could live in a fantasy world where babies don’t poop and a personal chef makes dinner for us every night. But here’s the thing. Mommy’s bank account is just depressing, Daddy works so hard that he practically passes out upon crossing the threshold, and Uncle Jonathan has the weirdest sleep schedule known to man. All of that stuff is going to get a lot harder in about six months. But don’t feel bad about it…because we get to have you in our lives. You are going to be the reward for all of the times I spend crying while trying to reorganize the closet or yell at someone for not buying toilet paper. You are going to be the reward for all of the times I spent puking at work and having dizzy spells in the kitchen. You are going to be the reward for all of the crummy stuff I put up with.

That said, this is not necessarily permission to pee on me or decide that nighttime is evil and must be wailed out of existence. The whole “trials-reward” thing is a delicate balance. Please don’t throw it too far out of whack and I’ll do my best to reciprocate.

Love,
Mommy

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.