Friday, December 17, 2010

Matthew Austin Lennon

When you had a baby, did you really have any idea what you were doing? It's sort of a thing you have to jump in to and learn as you go.
I had my first baby when I had just turned 18 so let's just say, I had a lot of shit figured out. I read a pamphlet in the doctors office and it was filled with helpful 'mommy tips'. I read it, didn't even take the pamphlet with me, just read it in the office. I say that because if I would have at least taken the literature with me I could have referred to it when I ran in to a situation.
The first situation came when I got my baby home to my parents house. What do you do with the baby? So, I showed her around the house, "This is the living room. This is the kitchen. Out that window there is a cow."
When I had my first daughter, my baby's daddy's mom, Nana, said that if I pulled the bottle straight out of her mouth and she made that suction noise, that could collapse her soft spot and suck it right in to her head. So the proper way was to lean the bottle out sideways until she stopped sucking the bottle. The fact is, I never believed that to be true because if it were, where are the people that this happened to? I have never seen a person with the top of their heads completely dented in like a meteor crater. I have never said to someone, "What happened to the top of your head? Oh. Collapsed soft spot. Your mom didn't know? So sad."
So if me and Nana were having a disagreement about something and she would be saying something to me that I didn't like, while I'm feeding my baby her bottle, I would look right at her and intentionally pull the bottle straight out of the baby's mouth. It would make this loud 'THUP'. Nana would immediately react, "Oh my god! No! The soft spot!! You could kill the baby!" For the record, I loved Nana. She was amazing to me and my daughters and I think we may have had a total of two disagreements in the many years we knew one another. There may have been more, but everyone knows that you don't argue with Nana. I think that is a worldwide 'Nana' deal. To argue with a Nana is a loose, loose. 'Grandma', you may get away with some shit. 'Nana'? You'll start confessing shit from six years ago.
These days young parents are just crazy. My oldest daughter, the one that I used for the soft spot bit with Nana, she is going to have a baby in the next week or so. (Her head is completely round, by the way.) She's putting the headset on the belly with music for the unborn baby. Reading to the belly. Singing to the belly. Are you kidding with me? You are going to be a parent for the rest of your life! Take this time to just let the belly do it's own thing.
The hospital room where my grandson will be born is called a 'family room'. That means that your entire family can come and have the baby with you. Beds, accommodations, I think they may serve drinks or opiates. And this is for however many people you want? When I had my daughters, I was in a delivery room that the hospital also used to deliver office supplies. I'm having a baby and they are rolling boxes up a loading dock and chatting, "Hey Bob! Did you ever get that tranny replaced? Can you sign for this?" The doctor puts down the jaws of life he's using to pull the baby out with. He's signing the paper, "I just don't know if it's worth it to put a new one in that old truck." Hey! Medicine man! Focus!
My daughter has the best health insurance in the country. I was, there is no other way to say it, a welfare mom. When you have a baby on the state money, they cut out all the frills. Like water. And air. They deliver the baby, spray the baby off, hand it to you and say, "You are free to go. Good luck with that." They may cut the cord, they may not. You may be able to pull the baby around Wal Mart by their cord for as long as need be. I mean, yeah I get it. I actually didn't expect more. But now that I see how it is when normal people have a baby, wow! It really is a beautiful day! I'll have a sandwich and an Ambien!
What I find is that every single parent has some sort of terrifying tip for you. "Make sure you burp her or the gass will build up and her liver could explode. That happened to a friends baby."
Everyone has something. Too many blankets may kill the baby. Not enough blankets, bye-bye baby. Cold formula has bacteria. Sianara' baby. Hot formula? You can have more children. Holding the baby wrong could kill the baby. The fabric of the babies clothing could be a silent killer. Dog hair, silent killer. Lead base paint? It could not only kill the baby, it could kill every single person in the house and possibly a couple of neighbors. Also, a silent killer. Adios' bambino. And why? It's because of that total fucking I don't give a shit attitude that parents have. (That last line was a joke and I wish I didn't have to include this information but sometimes people take me seriously and I have no idea how to process that in my brain.)
This is what I know for sure. If the baby is crying, pick up the baby. I know that you can hug and kiss a baby as much as you want. They are helpless to stop you. Do it now because when they are about seven, that crap will stop especially with little boys. Hugs and kisses interfere with their activities. When you tell them you love them and they are only one week old, they know what that means. When a small baby smiles at you, thats the first way they express that they love you. When they spit up on your clothes, your couch, your bed, whatever. It's what they do. When they do not want you to sleep, you are not going to sleep. They come in to the world and it is their world. As it should be. The best case scenario is that when a baby gets here, he or she has a circle of people waiting for them and already loving them before they even get here. Isn't it grand to be a baby? Having a baby around just makes everything better. It's like having a flat screen TV or an IPAD. I am very excited to meet my grandson Matthew Austin Lennon. The thing is that it is hard to be a parent and we all do the best we can. It's like the old saying about parenting. "Don't let the time do you. You do the time."

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