I’m over this diaper thing

Aside from sleeping or not sleeping like she’s out for revenge, Baby Bop is in a delightful stage. She’s chill. Or at least compared to Baby Bop of 6 months ago. She’ll let me out of her eyesight without assuming I’ve abandoned her forever.

She’s often happy to play by herself and even understands when I tell her to. She still has her clingy moments, but the minute she has a dirty diaper she is hard to find. I smell her across the room and I say,

“Do I smell poopies?”

Yes, these are the quality conversations we have. Baby Bop looks at me in consternation. She does not want to leave her toys to go change her diaper. I’d be happy to let her keep playing in her poop if it weren’t for diaper rashes.

I say,

“Diappie time!”

Baby Bop looks at me and declares,

“Mommy wash dishes. Baby Bop play.”

In other words she just asked me to leave her alone. And boy do I wish I could!

A few days later I smell poop and she tries again. She points at my computer,

“Mommy work. Baby bop play.”

She hasn’t learned the word “blog” yet.

And best/worst of all is she has turned into a parrot. I heard and smelled something funny, so I tell her,

“I need to check your diaper.”

“A peek?”

“Yup, going to take a peek.” There’s a small streak and without thinking I say,

“Just a juicy fart.”

Baby Bop prances off singing,

“Juicy fart, juicy fart!”

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When you’re waiting for the doctor, but you really want to wear your new shoes.

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We’re Weaned

Baby Bop and I are weaned. Freedom! And a week of weeping and the most painful breasts I’ve ever had. I sob on Captain’s shoulder,

“She’s all grown up!”

She’s 20 months old. If I can still say her age in months, I know she’s not grown up, BUT STILL.

Captain rubs my back and asks,

“What’s going to happen when she leaves for college?”

I sob some more.

I never had any idea how long I’d nurse for. When Baby Bop was born I was hoping it would work. It worked for a couple months. Then around the third month I had to stand and bounce her in a sling to nurse or do all nursing in the middle of the night. It was so intense I was sure I was going crazy.

I stopped the bouncing and night nursing at 12 months. Either she figures it out or we’re done because if I bounce her one more time I might throw her out the window.

She figured it out. Lying in bed, nursing my baby felt so easy, why stop now? So on we went. Then around 17 months I felt like it would be nice to stop, but was terrified of screwing up her beautiful sleeping.

At 18 months she screwed it up all by herself. So at 20 months with her still not sleeping well and nothing to lose, I went for the wean.

She never asks to nurse unless we’re near a bed, so avoiding beds works for most of the day.

We went from 3 feeds a day, to 2 and then our nap time feeding was the last one. I was terrified. Her nap is what helps me survive the day. Faced with not napping you could probably convince me to nurse her until she’s 5.

I gave it a go. First nap without nursing I didn’t whip a boob out and she didn’t ask. Next few naps she asked, cried a little, sighed and drank milk from a sippy cup. Two weeks later, she seems like she’s forgotten she ever nursed. Then without thinking, I slip out of my jammies to get dressed. Baby Bop declares,

“Mommy! Tummy! Milkies!”

Shoot! I hide in my closet.

“Mommy milkies!”

“All gone.”

“A taste?”

Is she bargaining with me? Now we’re three weeks weaned and almost ready for college.

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How many bunnies do we need to get some sleep?

Baby Bop’s sleeping has gone off the rails and is a big ol’ train wreck. I have no idea why it was so good for so long and now I have no idea why it’s bad again. Captain’s theory is that we never should’ve talked about how good it was.

At 7am, after waking up at 5am, Baby Bop says,

“Mommy, sleepy.”

Tell me about it.

We’ve been screwed up for 6 weeks. For the past 3 weeks we just maintained status quo, i.e. bed sharing so we could save our sanity because we knew going away would negate any progress.

We went skiing in Killington. Skiing was awesome. We all got the Norovirus. So that was the worst. But if I have to have a puking toddler, being in a hotel room that I’ll never smell again is not a terrible idea.

Now we’re home, feeling better and still not sleeping great. Except now Baby Bop is used to sleeping with both of us and not just one. She woke up screaming even though I was right next to her and kept saying,

“Dada? Dada?”

I settle her down and she reaches her arm out for where Captain was when we were on vacation. We were in a queen bed, so we were on top of each other.

At any given moment Baby Bop’s head was on Captain and her feet were on me. Or vice versa. Feet sound preferable because they don’t weigh as much as her head, but you’d rethink that when there’s a foot doing leg presses against your jaw.

Captain says,

“I think we should wash her bunnies.”

Agreed.

The only reason I wasn’t washing them, was because she was sleeping through the night. No point in keeping vomit-scented bunnies now.

I wash one at a time. She’s attached to two. There’s a third, untouched, entirely new back-up bunny on the shelf. While one is in the wash Baby Bop asks for her bunnies. I hand her one of her usual ones. She tells me,

“Two.”

“Yes. We only have one right now.”

She points to the brand new one on the shelf.

“Two.”

Hard to argue with that. I hand it to her. She looks at it. Looks at me. Takes a big sniff and wrinkles her forehead in consternation. It smells way too clean. She says,

“Bunny?”

“Yup, bunny.”

She gives me a look like she wants me to know I’m not pulling one over on her and gives the new bunny a hug.

Now both bunnies are washed and the new one is stored out of sight. She tried to have three. When I emerge from her room with the new bunny, Captain says,

“You got it away.”

“I’m not having her attached to 3 bunnies.” Then I’d have to buy 3 more bunnies to have back-ups and that would run us up another $120. Sleep may be out of control, but I’m standing my ground with the bunnies.

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Glasses? No problem. Haircut? NO THANK YOU

So after all that, Baby Bop’s glasses are a non-issue. She wears them 90% of the time. What I didn’t anticipate is how often I’d have to wash them. When she’s tired, instead of rubbing her eyes, she rubs her glasses. She loves a big ol’ slobber from Booker and he sees no reason to avoid her glasses.

Food on her fingers? Rub it on the glasses. Singing “Head, shoulders, knees and toes?” Smear fingers all over glasses. Demand that Mommy and Dadda wear their glasses? Inspect her glasses. And I knew I was cleaning them constantly when on the second day of wearing them, Baby Bop was “washing” them in her sink.

Now the best part is that Captain doesn’t want to wear his $8 fashion pair, but Baby Bop isn’t going to stand for that. She sees him without them and she declares,

“Dadda! Gasses!” (The “L”  and in Baby Bop’s version is silent.)

And really how can he argue with that?

I’m tired of wearing mine too. Baby Bop seems to be the only one who’s NOT struggling with glasses. Her and Cookie Monster.

So really all my anticipation about how Baby Bop was going to manage, should’ve been directed toward how Captain and I are going to manage. And it’s a new aesthetic to get used to too. The full head strap that keeps her glasses on her head is very necessary, but not great for her baby mullet.

Her hair could use a trim from someone besides me, despite how much I’ve tried to learn from YouTube.

Captain watches a YouTube video on changing our dryer vent from the back to the side and he does it in the tiny bathroom, in a few hours, on the first try.

I watch a YouTube video on trimming bangs, and after 5 or 6 separate attempts over the past year, I’ve yet to be happy with the outcome. It’s always a case of,

Oops, a little uneven, I’ll take some more from this side.

Baby Bop moves.

Gah! I need more from the other side.

She moves again.

I give up. I have to stop or else there won’t be any bangs left. A couple months go by and I get to try again. We’re at the point of me trying again or paying $20 for the pleasure of torturing her at a salon and hoping I can immobilize her long enough for them to do it.

I’m leaning toward the torture.

But yay for seeing! And Baby Bop likes what she sees. The first time she looked in the mirror with her glasses she stared at herself for a long time and kept turning from side to side. Then she gave a big smile and said,

“Gasses!”

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Potty or extra large cup holder? Who’s to say?

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You get a pair! You get a pair! Everybody gets glasses!

Happy New Year! We’re all starting the year off with glasses. Cookie Monster has a pair. Baby doll has a pair. The giant stuffed panda has a pair and Captain, who doesn’t need glasses, has an $8 fashion pair from Amazon. All because Baby Bop needs glasses.

For months I’ve wondered if Baby Bop’s left eye was doing its own thing. Sometimes it looked like it was focusing and then sometimes it looked like it was on vacation. It didn’t always seem wonky, so maybe I was imagining things.

Then a teacher of one of our classes pulled me aside and asked if I’d noticed that Baby Bop has a lazy eye. SIGH. I guess so.

We make an eye doctor appointment. I’m nervous. Baby Bop screams like we’re trying to kill her when all we want is her length measurement.

Captain takes the day off work. We’ll both be there. When I make the appointment I ask,

“How do you do it? We just had to abort a haircut because she was in a panic.”

“Oh we’re used to it.”

Used to the screaming and being able to examine a screaming toddler’s eyesight seem like two very different things. We show up and there are several other toddlers in the waiting room. One goes before us and we can hear the screaming. This is not encouraging.

And now Baby Bop does sympathy screaming. We were in a restaurant the other night and she was perfectly happy coloring away. A kid, not even in eyesight, started screaming. So Baby Bop screamed. He stopped and she went back to coloring. He screamed again, so she screamed. This continued for our entire meal.

Baby Bop’s motto seems to be: “when in doubt, scream.”

We head into the exam room. A Disney movie is playing, there’s a stack of books, puzzles and a cash register. Baby Bop ditches us the minute we walk in. This is off to a better start than expected.

A mechanical dog pops out of a doghouse on the wall and starts yapping away. Baby Bop lets out a big laugh and all the while the doctor is examining her eyes. Then Baby Bop starts hacking. She hacks like an old man who’s got a golf ball of phlegm in his throat. The doctor looks concerned. I can’t believe I have to explain this. I tell her,

“She’s imitating our dog. He has an obsession with licking his feet, then gets hair in his throat and hacks it all up. So if you ask her what a dog says she hacks.”

“It sounds like your dog has a problem.”

Yes and now it sounds like my daughter does too.

I ask Baby Bop,

“What does a doggy say?” In the hopes that I can prove she knows that dogs say “woof” and Booker hacks. She looks at the mechanical yapping dog and lets out a throaty hack.

The doctor tells us,

“She’s getting glasses!”

In theory I’m all for it. The reality of it is perplexing. I ask the doctor,

“How do you get toddlers to keep them on?”

“Once a kid realizes that they see better with them than without them, they’ll often want to wear them. But that’s not the case with Baby Bop, because she sees fine with her right eye.”

Huh. She adds,

“It’s like how we always wear our clothes. We always wear our glasses.”

So we don’t always wear our clothes.

Baby Bop’s glasses should arrive this week. Stay tuned.

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My sippy cup collection. It’s not Baby Bop’s unless she decides to reimburse me

I never thought I’d own this many sippy cups. When I was pregnant, someone told me that I’d go through a lot. I just nodded. Kinda like when everyone talks about new-mom sleep deprivation. I understood, but not really, not until I was up at 3am for 11 months in a row. Then I understood.

Now I open the kitchen cabinet dedicated to Baby Bop and sippy cups fall on my head. It was a slow accumulation starting a year ago. It’s 11 sippy cups of 7 different varieties. Which doesn’t sound super crazy considering people own table settings for 8 or more, but today all the sippy cups ended up on the counter and it really looks like I have a problem.

Two weeks ago, our music teacher started class with a cough, a runny nose, a hoarse voice and a promise that he wasn’t contagious anymore. We took the tambourines he offered and now Baby Bop is producing enough snot to smear on all the furniture in our home. In an effort to get a dehydrated Baby Bop to drink more. I pulled out our sippy cup arsenal.

Some can be drunk without tipping; some need a little tipping. Some need a lot of tipping, but can be drunk from any side. Some leak a little; some leak a lot. Some don’t leak at all until Baby Bop flings it on the tile floor for the millionth time and it cracks so I rush onto Amazon and order another one. Because the one that doesn’t leak is my favorite. The one with mermaids that leaks everywhere is Baby Bop’s favorite. Although her most favorite of all is a real cup. No lid.

This works if she’s strapped into her high chair and I want to monitor her every move. It’s that, or accept that I will be cleaning up milk flung to the far reaches of the kitchen. I have a hard time accepting that.

As it is Baby Bop likes to wave her silverware around. The other day a spoonful of applesauce went flying and splattered on a chair. The next day Baby Bop finds it and points it out to Captain. He asks,

“What’s that?”

“Applesauce she flung.” It’s on my list of things I might clean someday.

And you know what we got Baby Bop for Hanukkah? Another sippy cup. It’s a matching plate, bowl and silverware set. She loves it. The cup has Peter Rabbit on it. She spends a good portion of her meals taking large spoonfuls of food and dumping it on the side of her cup. She’s feeding Peter Rabbit.

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We don’t have this one… yet.

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TV Time for Hanukkah

Baby Bop and I haven’t watched much TV. In part because our TV wasn’t hooked up until a week ago. Hanukkah has changed that.

If we’re home in the late afternoon, Baby Bop has very strong opinions about what I should be doing. She wants me holding her, playing with her or watching her play. If I even think about going in the other room, the crying and clinging is almost unbearable.

I’ve resorted to making dinner at lunch time. I’m not a strong cook and I can’t begin to make anything edible and keep the moaning at bay.

For Hanukkah I had my heart set on frying up some latkes. I did not want to make them at lunch time. I wanted them hot and crispy at 6pm. And if you’re thinking, what about Captain? Baby Bop would happily spend all day with him, but if she can see me and it’s after 3pm, I can’t escape.

Sometimes I make food with her scaling my lower legs, but latkes, even on the back burner, are splattering hot oil.  And the last thing I want right now is a crying, clinging baby who’s also been burned by latke oil. I need a solution.

I turn on the TV. Baby Bop lets go of my leg, raises her arms to the TV and doesn’t bother to watch me leave for the kitchen.

I’m not sure why we didn’t hook up the TV sooner.

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Can’t go wrong with matching Hanukkah jammies!

Things are going as smoothly as my legs on a week that I’ve shaved

Baby Bop and I have a good flow going. We have just the right amount of classes, playdates and naps to occupy our time. There are still the moments in the afternoon when it’s next to impossible to do anything.

I try to put Baby Bop down and she clings with the strength of her gorilla baby ancestors. I manage to distract her. I put her down. Success! I think about making dinner. WAIT! Don’t jump off the back of the couch!

Captain puts her to bed and I relax with Baby Bop videos. Not every night, but more nights than I would think is reasonable if you had asked me before I had Baby Bop.

We’re taking a few classes like music, and a development class with a good dose of music, but not swimming. I can take Baby Bop to the pool and we can have the same amount of fun for a hundred dollars less. The only problem with this is that paying the hundred dollars motivated me to get my legs shaved and my butt in a bathing suit.

The other motivating factor is that Baby Bop LOVES the water. After a long bath, she will hunker down in the empty tub with no water because she doesn’t want to get out. And maybe if she can’t see us, we can’t see her? Who knows? She doesn’t explain herself well.

I try to go to the pool on Mondays. Last week was busier than usual and Friday ended up being the only day for the pool. I had an epiphany: if I shave for the pool Friday, then I’m shaved up for the weekend. Which is not a necessity, but nice. That and a clean shirt and it’s a special occasion.

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Those hormones have a mind of their own

Working at the bar was an amazing way to have crazy conversations with strangers. The other day at the doctor’s office gave me a little taste of what I’ve been missing.

Baby Bop’s doctor tells me,

“I’ve called in some labs. You can come in anytime. You can go to Weymouth or Braintree.”

“We’ll go to Weymouth, that’s closer.”

“Ok. Weymouth has one phlebotomist and Braintree has several.”

“We don’t mind waiting.”

“Well Braintree is great with kids and shouldn’t be too traumatizing.”

Ok. I get it. Baby Bop’s doctor is telling me in the most diplomatic way: DO NOT get Baby Bop’s blood drawn by the phlebotomist in Weymouth because whoever it is will stab her multiple times and scar her for life.

We head to Braintree. We toddle around the waiting room splitting our time between tapping on the fish tank and trying to tear up Golf Magazine. A woman with curly hair approaches us, points at Baby Bop and asks,

“Is her hair naturally curly or do you curl it?”

Who has time to curl a toddler’s hair? And what toddler would stand for that? “It’s natural.”

“She’s so lucky.”

“Your curls look great.”

“No. They’re not soft like hers.”

“She’s a baby.”

“I didn’t always have curly hair.”

“Me neither.”

“It started growing in curly when my period stopped a few years ago.”

What? Considering the social taboo about talking about periods in a normal voice, in public, with a stranger, I’m caught off guard. I’m about tell her my hair was straight until I got my period. She continues,

“All of a sudden it grew in short and curly. I got a few more periods, but then they stopped. You must still be getting yours.”

“So far.”

“It’s no good when it stops.”

I’ve sat through enough Winter car rides with my mom and the windows open to know it’s not comfortable for anyone.

The woman’s name is called or else we’d still be talking about her menopause transition.

A few minutes later Baby Bop is called. We walk past our new friend getting her blood drawn. Her moans are so loud that Baby Bop starts to whimper before the basket of stickers has a chance to emerge.

Baby Bop’s stranger anxiety is at its peak and she reaches full-throttle screaming long before the needle is inserted. The phlebotomist is great and we’re done before Baby Bop can catch her breath to resume screaming. I recommend going to Braintree.

On our way to the car two older women are taking tiny steps across the parking lot. One says to us,

“We’ll get there eventually.”

The other chimes in,

“Don’t get old!”

“I don’t like the alternative!” If only so I can see what happens to my hair when I stop getting my period.

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Nothing says “I’m ready to play in the dirt or go dancing” like overalls and a tutu.