Saturday, April 28, 2007

April Showers Bring...Babies.

I love a good party. So when Catherine, Kristen, Julie and Nancy invited me to my very first virtual Baby Shower for Liz (Mom-101), Christina (A Mommy Story) and Tammie (Soul Gardening) - I immediately RSVP'd 'yes.' But then I started thinking about the finger-sandwich platter I wouldn't get to attack, and the rum-spiked punch I wouldn't be able to chug and then pass out from. And what about the chip and dip platter I wouldn't be able to stuff my face with while I pretended to be interested in the conversation taking place between the two ponytailed ├╝bermoms sipping their Coke Zeros nearby?

But then I realized that even though I wouldn't be able to overindulge on party food, I wouldn't have to down all those Tums when I got home either. Or have to eat pureed pees in that tortuous "Name That Food" game that was all the rage a few years ago. In fact, I could stay at home and eat whatever the hell I wanted. Why, I could even do it without having to put on any makeup, while wearing my pajamas and sitting on my butt in front of the computer.

What a brilliant idea. Only virtual showers from now on!

I'd been asked to do a post sharing the very best and very worst advice I'd gotten when I was pregnant. Being that my first pregnancy was eleven years ago, I'm having a hard time remembering any of the advice I got, but I can think of advice that I wish I'd gotten. Things that, if someone had told me back then would certainly have saved me alot of anguish, time and threats to Rigel that I was going to run off and have the baby in a hut in Belize. And here they are:

1. No one's going to give a rat's ass about the fabric pattern on the stroller.
Buying our first stroller was traumatic, and I'm pretty sure that the scientists at NASA didn't even put this much thought into their first space launch. We combed through Consumers Reports, visited five-thousand baby stores and stopped strangers on the street to ask them for stroller advice. When we finally decided on one and went to the store to buy it - the horror - they didn't have the exact fabric I wanted. Rigel had the nerve to suggest we buy what they had, but I insisted on getting the muted blue plaid, and who's going to argue with a pregnant woman who's the size of a barn?

And so we drove to another city, fifty miles away, to get our stroller. And wouldn't you know, not one damn person commented on the stunning fabric pattern. Commoners!

2. If friends ask if you need help, or would like a backrub, or should they bring anything over, your only answers should be, "Yes," "God, Yes," and "A Macho Taco combo from Chevy's."
I don't know about the rest of you, but I was always reluctant to accept help or favors, even when it was offered. I had family here to help and they were lifesavers, but sometimes friends can bring that extra something outside of the daily routine. My mom, my sister and sister-in-law were pretty tapped out helping me with diapers, feedings and nail clippings and probably would have kicked my ungrateful ass if I had asked them to run out and get me a tall-half-caf-percent-semi-dry-cappuccino and a brownie.

3. Really, spending five hours boiling nipples and sterilizing bottles is a bit much.
I distinctly remember the first time I used a baby bottle and the paranoid frenzy that preceded it. I believe I not only made sure my kitchen counter was spotless, but I vaguely recall insisting that the whole house and that of any neighbor's within a two-mile radius be scrubbed and disinfected with industrial bleach as well. I think I boiled those suckers for days, and then put on a hazmat suit to fill them with frozen breastmilk. But come to think of it, I believe it was the last time my kitchen was clean.

4. No one's going to give a rat's ass if the crib doesn't exactly match the nightstand.
See #1.

5. Babies don't need nightstands.
Need I say more.

Liz, Christine and Tammie - I'm wishing you the best as you get ready to welcome your new babies into the world. Enjoy it - and I'll check and see when I can send over that taco combo.

(Thanks to Catherine, Kristen, Julie and Nancy for putting this on. And for saving me a trip to Babies R Us.)

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  1. I would've noticed the fabric pattern. I check out strollers they way others check out sports cars. Maybe it's not something I should admit to... :-)

  2. Great minds think alike, girl. I titled my shower post the same thing. LOL!

  3. My poor 4th child will get hand-me-down for everything. So when we started out with the first kid, it was "neutral" this and "neutral" that to get the mileage out of them.

  4. I was 11th of 12 kids. I'm lucky I even got a name.

    I think Erma Bombeck wrote once about her three children, how the first child's baby book documented every breath, every minute milestone, with photos and all. By child three, the baby book contained just a newspaper clipping that had a recipe for apple brown betty.

  5. "Babies don't need nightstands" is too funny!

    Great advice, especially the part about accepting every ounce of help you get - so true!

  6. #6. Sleep when the baby sleeps or you'll be dragging your ass around for the next 18 years ...

  7. so true about the stroller fabric. i also totally FREAKED out about mine...for absolutely no reason.

  8. Too true--I don't think color combos and patterns are of much significance when you're up at 2 am either.

  9. *7. "He helped conceive it. So get his ass up at 3:00am too."

    I've missed you. *snorts*

  10. "Babies don't need nightstands."


  11. Thank you Marcia! I knew you'd have wonderful words of wisdom for us.

    For what it's worth, we have no baby nightstand, you can now use those microwave sterilizer bags intead of boiling things, and you know, I also spent forever picking out the infant seat cover I wanted. And hate it.

  12. You're so wise, SPM.

    If I had only known my crib didn't have to match my nightstand, I could have saved myself from birthing my baby on the beach in Belize...

  13. Very savvy mom advice. If yu don't have a nightstand in the babies room, where do you put your wine?

  14. your blog button is up on my mother's day blogroll!

    please enter my mother's day giveaways + spread the word :)

  15. i was an obessive sterilizer with the first baby and with the second, i just licked the nipples to make sure they didn't have carpet fuzz on them.

    as for nightstands in the room, unless the baby is able to slam the alarm clock off with their tiny fist, the stands are so needless. another pet-peeve, tiny little trinket shit on these stands. just something else you have to worry about finding in the toliet.

  16. I love the nipple sterilizing one. I actually GOT a sterilizer for the first one and did it EVERY. WASH.

    This guy will be lucky if I run it under soapy water instead of licking it clean.

  17. It's so funny looking back, isn't it? All the matchy matchy and trendy and must-have you-know-whats meant nothing once the Real Live Baby appeared. Great advice!

  18. I would add to #5: babies don't really even need a nursery. I don't know why anyone spends hours on end painting a room and getting matching curtains when they could be going to the movies they'll no longer be able to attend for awhile after their baby is born, or reading their last few books for a couple of years. I say that a cool, color-cordinated room should be an incentive for potty training. You want your own room? Earn it by making those diapers obsolete. And then they can help you pick out the colors.


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