Friday, May 20, 2011

Attached At The Hip

7:26 PM

So, here's the low-down on the ho-down (I really feel like putting a "w" after "ho," just to make it match, but then it would spell "how" and that wouldn't make any sense).  Apparently I'm sort of an attachment-parenting type.  This is not something I planned on.  I remember discussing birth plans with a friend of mine, waaaaay before Bean was twinkling in my eye, and being completely flummoxed when she asked me what parenting methods I planned to use.  Um, how should I know?  That was, like, light years away.  I had spent years deciding just how I wanted my birth experience to be (sort of like little girls who plan their weddings for decades but fail to consider the realities of a real-life marriage).  Turns out, it was just as important, if not more so, as considering choices like epidural? hypnobirthing? midwife? hospital? and t'ings o' dat sort.

While pregnant, I did start to sort of investigate stuff like that.  One website had a particularly strong impact - Hathor certainly has a forceful way of putting things.  Most certainly an attachment-parenting advocate, she renders all other ideas as essentially ridiculous, at the very least disdainable.  I specifically remember her pointing out all kinds of "detachment-parenting," which included strollers.  Well, when you put it like that, of course I don't want any part of it.  She did get to be a little much for me and I had to unsubscribe to her feed before Bean came on the scene, if only to save us both from the intense scrutiny I felt like it put me under (Sure, sure, it's just a website so the scrutiny was self-inflicted.  No matter, it had to stop).  Still, the phrase "detachment-parenting" has stuck with me.  I didn't start out looking to use a sling to make a statement or to fulfill any hippie fantasy.  It just made more sense to me and fit in with my style and ideals.  And I have loved it.  So has Bean.

Then I got the heat-rash-from-hell and had to reconsider.  After some to-do, we gratefully received a stroller two weeks ago from Wonderman's ever-generous sister.  I thought that I was being so pragmatic and was neatly eating my humble pie, when I realized that I had actually been quite selfish.  I got the stroller just for me and assumed Bean would love it since she used to love the car - same concept, sort of, right?  I honestly barely considered how she would feel about it.  It just seemed like an alternative mode of transport.  No biggie.

Alas, turns out that after six-plus months of this attachment-parenting mumbo-jumbo, it actually works and babies get attached.  Also, it seems that right around six months is when many babies begin to deal with separation anxiety, even babies who have been "detachment" parented all along.  Needless to say, there were many, many tears when we introduced the stroller, only partially abated when Wonderman danced in front of the stroller making silly noises and pulling funny faces (Have I told you what awesome buddies they are?  I love it).

So, my fear of blending in with all the other mommies with strollers?  Not a concern.  I became the mommy wearing my baby in a sling, pushing an empty stroller.  You know how I love to embrace the ridiculous, right?  Yup, nothing like a crazy white woman to make the Dominicans stare.  So, we've tried to break Bean in slowly.  Some trips in the stroller, some in the sling.  Sometimes managing half a trip in the stroller and coming home in the sling (Um, how grateful am I for a sling that packs small?  Uber for sure).  Every day Bean gets a little bit better about the concept of strolling.  Today she did A-MA-ZING.  She was so calm the whole way.  Two trips to campus and back.  Instead of crying, she just made that little extended "uh" sound that so nicely exhibits the bumps in the road (of which there are many around these parts).  When she did get a little tired and hungry (do I have to confess to my negligence here and tell you how I kept her out way longer than I should have and naps weren't really on the radar, nor was nursing for quite a bit of the time we were out [for all my rantings about public nursing, you'd think I'd make it a point to do it when I had the chance!]?), she just whimpered lightly and then fell fast asleep.  It was glorious.  I gave thanks for the relatively quick adjustment period and began to make all kinds of future strolling plans.

And then tonight I realized a few things about heat rash (Well, the realizations have been building, but the final and most important was tonight at bath time).  1 - Mine did not even come close to disappearing with the introduction of the stroller.  2 - Now that Bean can sit up and so I sling her on my hip, instead of belly-to-belly, none of her body-heat is touching where my gross rash even is.  3 - The heat rash that I've been noticing on her back (right above her diaper so it kinda looks like diaper rash but it actually stops where the diaper begins so I've been pretty confused by it), IS CAUSED BY THE GOSH-DARN STROLLER.  Seriously, on what planet is this fair?  She gets warm in there, but I didn't think it was that warm.  But that is the only thing that has changed within the time frame of her rash development.  So, now I'm torn.  Do I sling it despite the heat, except for when I want to go grocery shopping or to the pool?  Or do I just try to pack an ice back wrapped in a blanket behind her and maintain our strolling success?  Will the rash that I have (Which is only dissipating a bit now with loads of steroid cream) re-rear it's horrendous head?  Whose rash takes precedence?

Conclusion:  There is no "Easy-Parenting" style.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

You Never Know

8:01 PM

Last night as I got into bed, I noticed the moon glowing so-brightly-it-was-almost-eery through our window, and I commented on said glowing to Wonderman.  His response:

"Yeah, I was just thinking that tonight we'll find out if Bean is really a werewolf."

A pause of bemused silence lay pregnant between us.

"It would be cute, but terrifying," he said.

It would indeed.

Conclusion:   She's probably not a monster, but she's bound to be funny with genes like his.
It's true, I totally put in a gratuitous Bean-shot.  It's to show off her good genes and to celebrate that we now have a camera and to show that she has enough hair for little clips (they are mine from back in the day right after I was bald, remember?).  Hooray!

The end.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stroller, Take One

5:04 PM

Well, there are probably lots of things to say in some long post that I'll write later, but tonight I am just going to say that right at 6.5 months, when Bean is really starting up on her separation anxiety, is maybe not the best time to switch from a sling to a stroller.  It's been a long day.

The end.