February 2010


There is a certain baby-care related book, the title of which I am withholding, that two friends told me not to get. We got it anyway because we liked its predecessor so much. When Madeline was still resting comfortably under my rib cage and giving me heartburn, I began to read this book as I soaked in a warm bubble bath before bed. I posted here about the fear the book created, convincing me that I would be better off staying pregnant than giving birth to the sickly, screeching howler monkey that I was sure to spew forth.

I took the same course as Sheryl and Jakki, and told another friend not to get this book.

Now, since I didn’t have a howler monkey but did have a precious baby girl who loves to snuggle and giggle, I thought it would be safe to revisit this book in search of some wisdom I might have overlooked while wringing my hands in mortal dread the last time I read it.

I will say that the milestone charts have been quite helpful. Really.

I would also like to share with you some of the sage wisdom I discovered. (And, yes, I will be using an in-text citation so as to avoid plagiarism.)

According to the author, American parents are either, “totally sedentary, getting all their exercise by turning on the TV and reaching for a beer, or they embark on an overly rigorous jogging program that lands them injured in the sports specialist’s office within a week. And either they confine their babies to a stationary life in high chairs, strollers, and play yards or they rush out and enroll them in exercise classes the moment the can lift their heads in hopes of creating a fit-for-life infant athlete.” (Murkoff, 305)

Personally, I’m not much of a beer-drinker so I think I’ll go with the second choice. I mean, anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT an athlete in any way, but that doesn’t mean my kid can’t be, right?

The book also suggests that since the baby will end up being obese and ADHD if she sees a TV before age two, that we shouldn’t watch TV for our own entertainment during her waking hours, either.

What about you, dear reader? Are you the beer-drinker with the kid in the high chair or did you have your young ‘uns in Pilates classes before their first birthdays? Surely there’s no in-between, or the book would say so.

I have to go now. I have Madeline velcroed to the refrigerator and it’s almost time for her to go to gymnastics. 😉

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I used to have a secret desire to be Mary Poppins. Well, I at least wanted to be Julie Andrews so I could pretend to be Mary Poppins before flitting off to put on a habit and use my incredible voice to bring seven children back to childhood before wooing their military father.

But, now that I have my own child and have no need to raise someone else’s, I’ve decided I’d like to try my hand at being Claire Huxtable. I know, Claire Huxtable and Mary Poppins are worlds apart but hear me out.

Who didn’t watch The Cosby Show every Thursday and absolutely love Claire? OK, Rudy won our hearts first, but we had affection for the mom, as well.  (“A wife of noble character, who can find?” Proverbs 31:10)

Claire was married to her best friend, a man who made her laugh and completely respected her. He trusted her and treated her as his absolute equal in everything even when she was talking to the ceiling as if it were a kid in the first episode. (“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:11,12)

She was not only a great mom in the home, but a great mom who provided for her family. Claire had a career she loved and she was good at it. She set an example for her daughters that there was nothing that they could not achieve, and encouraged them to pursue their own educational and career goals. But, she balanced the two. She didn’t give so much attention to her career that she ignored her children. (“She selects wool and flax and works with her eager hands…She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family…She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard…She sees that her trading is profitable and her lamp does not go out at night…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.” Proverbs 31:13, 15, 16, 18, 24)

Did I mention that Claire Huxtable was beautiful and always looked great? She was always prefectly coiffed and stylishly and appropriately dressed.  She was smart and witty. She made sure her kids had good manners and knew the value of education. She never worried out loud because she knew everything was going to be OK as long as she was good to her family and raised her children the best way she knew how. (“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she laughs at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:25-27)

Because she was such an awesome wife and mother, her husband and children had nothing but respect and admiration for her. It didn’t come from fear or obligation, but from genuine love for the strong woman who was Claire Huxtable. (“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:28)

Yes, I am well aware that Claire Huxtable, and Cliff, and Theo, and all people who participated in the little Harvey Weewax skit are fictional. But wouldn’t it be great to aspire to that? To use all the gifts and talents God has given you, to set a good example for your kids, to earn the respect of your husband and children by making good decisions and having strength of character – AND teaching your kids to do the same? Wouldn’t it be great to do that without expecting perfection from yourself or anyone else in your house, and by figuring out the best solution when things go wrong instead of panicking, screaming, or having a pity party?

June Cleaver was mousy. Roseanne was ill-mannered and obnoxious. Claire Huxtable? Now that’s a mom!

…but sometimes Miss Madeline does nap for a couple of hours. Yesterday, the closest she came to napping was a five-minute catnap while her great-aunt Janice held her. (This, of course, resulted in Crabby Patty baby last night.)

Today, however, she fell asleep right after her lunchtime feeding. I kept waiting for her to wake up so we could go grocery shopping, but it didn’t happen. That drowsy little diva slept right through a diaper change, being strapped into her car seat, the entire grocery store excursion and all the way home.

Maybe she has some of my genes, after all.

Nap on, baby. Nap on.

And she couldn’t look more like her daddy if she tried. 🙂

I’m a napper. I love naps. I have always loved naps. My mother was so baffled by my affinity for naps when I was a child, she used to check to make sure I was still breathing when I was indulging in one of my marathon sleep sessions. Sunday after church naps are the best ever!

My husband, however, is not a napper. No matter how tired he is or how little sleep he had the night before, the man will not nap. His mother recalls his non-napping childhood days quite well.

Guess whose nap genes Madeline got?

I thought all two-month-old babies slept a lot. I was mistaken. There is one ten-week-old diva who lives in my house and only takes 10- 20 minute cat naps whenever she feels like it. Oh, it’s not that she’s not tired. She is tired. She just doesn’t want to miss anything. She can have red-rimmed eyes that look as if they could slam shut at any moment, wailing to beat the band because she’s so tired, but she is not going to sleep longer than 20 minutes lest she miss a moment of what’s going on. UNLESS she’s meeting someone new or someone wants to play with her. Then, she sleeps like she’s had Ny-Quil.

Now, there are these wonderful inventions called pacifiers.  Perhaps you’re familiar with them. Their purpose is to satisfy babies’ sucking reflex, thereby comforting them enough to at least stop crying and possibly to go to SLEEP. I wish Madeline liked her paci as much as I do. She’s sort of like The Little Girl With the Curl about her paci. When she likes it, she really REALLY likes it, but when she doesn’t want it she cries even louder. I do know that when she does take it, she is ever so quiet and content – and almost always takes a nap.

We’ve tried three different kinds, two of which she gave the thumbs up and one that she hated. I gave the icky one to my mother to take home for her Shih Tzu, who apparently takes a paci. She also has bows put in his hair but we love her so we try not to make it an issue. Sorry. I got a little sidetracked there.

So, what’s the point of this little rant? Well, to be honest with you, I’m not sure. I just wish she would take the paci Santa was kind enough to bring her and the reasons are threefold. 1. When she remembers how much she likes it, it really makes her happy, 2. She might actually take a real nap, and 3. Although I know some people disapprove of the use of pacifiers, Madeline is a thumb-sucker and has been since she was in the womb. Later on, I can take a paci away and leave it for the Paci Fairy. I can’t exactly remove her thumbs to keep her from sucking them. I fear this will be a hard habit to break.

What about you? What experiences have you had with naps & pacis? Any advice or anecdotes to share?

Has it really been nine weeks? Really? I can’t believe how much Madeline has grown in the past two  months. She’s already wearing 3-6 month clothes, mostly because she’s so stinkin’ tall. Speaking of baby clothes, am I the only one who has noticed that the sizes make no sense? If the average 8-week-old baby weighs roughly 11 pounds, why are 3 month clothes made for babies who weigh up to 12 pounds? Where’s Scooby Doo with the Mystery Mobile when you need him?

Remember when you were a little kid and all the old folks said you were “growing like a weed,” or some other simile that made it seem as if you went from infant to kindergartener over night? Remember thinking that these old people must be crazy because it had taken what seemed like decades just to get from Christmas to Easter? I’m sure Madeline doesn’t feel that way yet, but she will. And, I have already joined the ranks of the old geezers who wonder how in the world this kid went from being a heartbeat and a flutter inside my belly, to being a cooing, giggling diva in such a short time.

Sigh. I suppose I should get back to life before Madeline wakes up from her nap, but I’ll leave you with this picture to gush over.