Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Perfect Baby

I know I must be Ben's mother when I see only perfection in him. Other's smell his giant expulsions of gas and want to clear the room... I smell only sweet wind. Other's see cradle cap and dried head skin... I see flakes of perfection that should be bottled. Other's see bald patches on his little head where his newborn hair is coming out... I see a smoother kissing surface. Apparently this tunnel vision affects his grandmother too because when I asked her why his eyes aren't focusing on me as he always looks into the distance (J has very poor eyesight and cannot see anything up close) she said "oh there's nothing wrong with him, he's just looking at the angels over your shoulder..." I accepted this answer as perfect logic at the time but upon further thought imagined his eye appointment at one year when the Doctor says he needs glasses and asks when I first noticed a problem- "oh at about three weeks" I would say. "And why didn't you do something about it sooner?" "uhhhh because my mother said he was looking at the angels...." Okay so maybe my super biased thinking is not particularly good for him if I ignore or excuse anything that is not flawless...This is how you get an out of control two year old whose mother marvels at his strength and the sub human pitch of his voice as he thrashes about in the grocery store.... for now though I really cannot see anything but a miraculous example of blissful perfection- although I admit he really can clear a room when he lets one rip, but he gets that from his father! :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

My Spoiled Baby

" Follow your heart, that's what I do" - Napoleon Dynamite

People have begun to say things like "you have to let him learn to be alone", "He needs to learn to be independent", "crying is good for the lungs" and my favorite "you'll spoil him"... these comments have resulted from the fact that Ben hates to be away from me or put down. The moment his little bum touches a surface that is not my arm he wails like he's lost a limb. I am growing biceps and patience each day. The thing is I refuse to let Ben cry, I can't do it... I don't even go to the bathroom all day because I know it will cause the little prince to cry (now he uses tears as well and they roll heartbreakingly down his cheeks!). My response to the comments I have heard is this: my tiny one month old baby is telling me in the only way he knows how " I am scared, confused and lonely- I need you to hold me because I feel safe with you". I am suppose to say in return "no little tiny brand new boy who is so new to this big scary world, I will not jump to your rescue at every whimper to teach you that you will always be able to find comfort in me? Never. So I will spoil him (although I am sure this is not the case...) if that is what is takes to show him his mother will never walk away when he needs her... I wish people would not say these things to new mothers who are trusting their instincts and who know their babies best. One day he will not want to hold my hand, he won't want to be seen at the mall with me and will want to do it all himself. He will push me away when he is ready and clearly he is telling me at one month old, he is not.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Some new developments...

So Ben acted like a newborn for all of two weeks. He has now grown out of all his clothes and is in 3-6 months... he rolled over at 3 weeks from front to back and is now awake and alert for much of the day. No one believes he is 4 weeks old! He also has developed an aversion to sleeping and jolts himself awake even though his eyes are rolling back in his exhausted little head- he just doesn't want to miss anything! He is sleeping okay at night but I did expect some more daytime sleeping.

The first cold....

As I sit here typing this he is in his sling (oh I forgot to mention he won't be put down- he screams like a wild banshee!) making the most pathetic little sniffling sounds because his nose is so plugged (although I do strangely find sucking the mucus from his nose with the bulb syringe entertaining). He gives a mini sneeze and cough occasionally as well. This of course called for an early morning visit to the dreaded store I dare not speak of (starts with a W ends with mart...) for a humidifier and saline drops.

Other then that he really does change everyday and a little more of his personality comes out. I can't wait for his first purposeful smile! It should be coming any day now!

***Jon would like to know why his "big boy" 3-6 month old pants have pockets... should we get him a wallet?!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

If you don't like it, put a blanket over your head!

Because i have been having milk supply issues Ben still must be supplemented a few times each day with formula. He fortunately switches back and forth between breastfeeding and bottle feeding effortlessly. My only problem thus far has been the two sides of the issue judging me. I get dirty looks when I am bottle feeding him in public. Men and woman alike glaring at me for not doing what everyone knows is best for baby. The alternative of course is breastfeeding in public which brings out the other side. I get looks of disgust as I try to discreetly feed Benjamin (who likes to be fed in the washroom just about as much as you would!). So basically you can't win... I would just like to feed my baby in peace!

Revisal/ Disclaimer to "SUPERWOMAN SYNDROME"

Dear faithful reader (s?) namely "Jing Jing",

Please remember that this blog is for entertainment purposes only. It is not a forum for a cry for help... In writing Superwoman syndrome I was merely trying to prove a point. I think our society does not support woman in their most important role. I found myself caught in this trap of guilty parenting and fully plan on rectifying it now that I have acknowledged it (the laundry is still in the washing machine...and I am not going to get it!) To make it clear I am doing only what I feel up to doing and I personally have never been happier in my whole life...tired? YES but never happier- I was suggesting that every woman unfortunately does feel as good about the amount of responsibility leaving the workforce and staying home with a small baby entails. I was very fortunate in having a very easy pregnancy, delivery and baby. So Jing Jing rest assured that I am FINE! No need to move in!!!! Molly Maid? Maybe....

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Superwoman Syndrome

I was watching a show yesterday that was talking about coping with bringing home a newborn. The experts said that basically the only expectation is you survive the first three months. Whatever it is that gets you through it go for it. Expect to be up all hours of the night, pacing, rocking and generally losing your mind and make sure to sleep during the day... HUH?! No one told me this... I seem to have developed a raging case of the superwoman syndrome. For some reason I feel the need to wake up this morning (after 4 hours of sleep of course) and host a play date, while taking care of my three week old and the twelve month old I look after (for fun because one is not enough to prove my superwomanness...???!!!). Then I give them lunch, feed Ben, take Bayley out, put a load of laundry in, clean up the mess from the playdate while reading a recipe for the spaghetti sauce from scratch I plan to make when the boys nap (should I be napping then too? That would not be very super womanly of me!!) Then I get Ben up to play (I say play lightly it basically consists of my kissing his face over and over and singing dumb songs since I haven't had much one on one with him today). I check my email and now here I am blogging... hmm I still have 2 bathrooms to clean and dinner to make, followed by my nightly break down where I usually end up in tears because I am SO TIRED and SO HORMONAL and I just don't think I can do it.. .only to feel guilty for cracking under the pressure so I get up again the next day and try to prove myself all over again. Of course asking for help is absolutely out of the question for some reason... The expert on this show though clarified that I am not alone in burning myself out. This is the our cultural expectation, because I am a "stay at home mom" and not really WORKING I have to make up for that in so many ways and will likely never feel like I am good enough or doing enough. Just about every other culture in the world recognizes motherhood and homemaking as the most important role in a woman's life and the community rallies around to support her. In Asia the grandmother moves in with her daughter and assumes all household duties for six weeks while the daughter recuperates and does nothing but feed and bond with her new baby. I can only dream .... (to her credit my mother stayed with us for three days after Ben came home and called herself Jing Jing the Asian grandmother and was a huge help... but in our culture those three days were three days I had not lived up to my responsibilities so I had to refuse all help after that point (???) I think we need a cultural shift in attitude where this is concerned. No wonder there is such a high rate of post pardum depression and "baby blues" I don't know anyone who can function happily under these conditions...although we will put a smile on and assume the role of Holly Housewife. If only I was in Japan I would be curled up in bed with my little bundle of joy soaking up the wonder that is him. Unfortunately I live in North America and so I must slap on my cape and my smile and go make some cookies, wash the floor and vacuum the van...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Grunts and Farts

According to my weekly email from Babycenter.com Ben should start "cooing" around now. Jon wanted to know exactly what a "coo" was so he didn't miss it. I think the best way to describe it is a happy sound that he repeats. Well Ben doesn't really coo... he groans and grunts most of the time. We know what his groans mean as he has one when he is satisfied after eating, one he makes WHILE he eats, a special grunt for when he is moved into a new position or transferred arms and one when he fills his diaper... When Ben is not groaning and grunting he is filling the noise vacancy with his other end...whew the boy is gassy! I often hear Jon mutter with quiet awe and pride "that's my boy!" He sure is quite a boy, I don't think our boy will ever be called delicate or make the babycenter proud with his "cooing" but we sure are fans of his grunting...

Friday, September 7, 2007

Our Happy baby!

I am not sure why the idea that baby's first smiles are really gas didn't get thrown out with equally ridicules notions like newborns don't feel pain, or should not be spoken to or held too often in order not to spoil them. Of course Ben is smiling, he is happy and he is displaying the natural reaction to contentment, just as he screams his head off when he's hungry. I wouldn't ignore his cries of hunger as "exercising his lungs" just as I won't write off his adorable little grins as "gas." Of course babies are born with all their emotions available to them... happiness doesn't "develop" over time, he started displaying it hours after being born. Who gets to decide which smile is the first "real one"? I think as his mother I do... and it was four hours after birth, he looked right up at his dad and released a small, deliberate flicker of a grin...we were hooked!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Overalls and little feet

When I found out we were having a son these are two things I was looking forward to... Ben wore his overalls for the first time today and made his mommy very happy! You may have noticed my multiple references to his feet as well, as they continue to be an ongoing obsession! I don't know what I will do when the weather forces me to put socks on him...

The Many Faces of Ben

Many people, as I was, are under the impression that newborns are boring... this is not so. Ben is actually very entertaining... especially when he is practicing all his expressions.

The Most Beautiful Baby

I am waiting in line at a store I don't care to name because I hate going there (it starts with a W and ends with Mart...) and as I was leaving a woman stopped me and said "I just have to tell you- you have the most beautiful baby" I smiled and before I could think said "I know- I mean thank you!" Ha... the problem is I do know.. he's the best thing I've ever done by far- I want to just put him over my head, parade him around and yell "LOOK WHAT I DID!!!"

6 hours of sleep!!!

Knock on wood...

After a night of waking every hour and a half and a mother who was about to lose her mind...Ben has decided to give his mum a break! Last night he slept...count em- 6 straight hours! Now that he's over 10 Ibs we don't have to wake him every 2.5 hours to feed him (we have had to for the last 2 weeks because he lost too much of his birth weight as a result of my poor milk supply). Today I feel like a brand new person! Thanks Ben! (he;s sleeping again as I right this...) What did I do to deserve such a great baby! As my dad said this is NOT the baby they wished on me- who cried 20 out of 24 hours a day as an infant... Since Ben looks just like me he said "ah so this is what you WOULD have looked like with your mouth shut...HA!

Monday, September 3, 2007

An Elvis/Daddy Fan

Ben loves music. He will immediately calm right down if he hears music so we try to play it for him at night when he is sleeping. During the day I *try* singing to him... he doesn't seem to mind my voice at the moment...only Jon complains. What he REALLY likes though is when his dad sings Elvis too him. It is awfully sweet and is making a fan out of me as well! He is definatly a daddy's boy as he gets very alert when he hears Jon talking. I am lucky I have the food source otherwise I would never get to hold him! I do love watching them together though. I forget that I have had nine (almost 10!) months to get to know him but Jon is really just starting his relationship with him.

Bubble Baby

I am trying not to be the kind of mother who fusses and worries and keeps a blanket over the baby's head at all times. I do however constantly fight the urge to do these very things. I would really like to put him in bubble wrap when we leave the house and put a FRAGILE sticker over his forehead. He has been going out of the house on various outings since he was a couple of days old and is a great little traveler. We went out for lunch today with a few friends and he was wonderful, he has also been to a BBQ, baby shower and had his pictures taken professionally. He is always very well behaved and never cries. My concern is for the people around him. I know tiny babies are irresistible but PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH! At the grocery store the woman behind the meat counter came out and touched his cheek before I could stop her... with her gross meaty hands!!! we went home immediately so I could scrub the E. Coli off of him. It was during this scrubbing that the bubble wrap idea came to me. I have a sling now to counteract the people who can't keep their dirty, diseased hands off my new baby. He loves the sling and people can't get too close.

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