Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don't sweat the small stuff

THEY say patience is a virtue. Not for me! Exercising any sort of patience has always been extremely torturous for me. Standing in line for too long has always made me feel like my head was about to explode! And you know those people who stand in front of you in line at the coffee shop or the restaurant and wait till they get to the cashier to look at the menu? ARRRGGGHHH!!! Torturous, I tell you!

I'm here to testify today, however, that the best possible cure for impatience is becoming a parent. Why? Because you have no choice! I remember those days when I could just get ready and get out of the house in a short period of time. Now, going out takes careful planning and preparation. Packing the Prince's bag of necessities; getting him fed and dressed; allowing time for naps (because a cranky, tired tot is no fun whatsoever when you're out and about) and last-minute diaper mishaps. Then there have been times when he was a little younger when I've rocked and rocked and rocked him to sleep. He's out cold, so I ease myself up off the chair and ever so geeeeently place him in his bed, only to have his bright eyes fly open less than a minute later and his ear-piercing hollering follow. What can I do, but start the process all over again. But it's all good. 

Parenthood is also a cure for obsessive neatness. Admittedly, I have never been a compulsive neat freak, however, I do consider myself averagely neat and like to see things in their place. So, of course, it has been quite a shock to my system to have toys, books, dvds, newspapers--and anything else my son happens to get his hands on during the course of the day--strewn about whatever room he's been cavorting in. I used to go about each room every night after his bedtime, putting things back in place. Now, I do it once every couple of days. And I'm not nearly as appalled as I used to be. It comes with the territory. 

My new train of thought is this: So the laundry doesn't get done as regularly as before. Big deal! It'll get done in plenty of time. The Prince makes a mess while trying to feed himself. Sure, I'm cringing, but hey, it's part of his growth and development process. So I let him do his thing and resign myself to having quite the clean up job afterwards. Thank heavens for the steam mop and Lysol wipes! So what if I get drenched while giving him his bath? At least the kid loves bath time. Let's hope that remains true. So what if I've been hit by projectile pee more times than I can count. Hey, it builds character!

One of our less messy mealtime events. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The best advice

OF course, the advice flows quickly and furiously during pregnancy. Some of it makes you want to pull your hair out, but sometimes you actually receive some really useful and valuable tips.

One of the gems I received from a good many people was "Sleep when baby sleeps". Alas, I admit, I have rarely followed this and I've paid for it. But the thing is, there is always something that needs doing, and nap time or bed time on many occasions affords me the perfect opportunity to maybe do some laundry, clean something, or heck, have a real meal! Sitting down!!

Another useful piece of advice I received was to sign up on as many baby or parent-oriented websites as possible for great parenting resources. I've signed up on sites like www.similac.com/strongmoms, gerber.com and pampers.com, among others, and get helpful advice from pregnancy to preschool via email newsletters in addition to coupon savings and even great freebies (because we all know, babies ain't cheap!).

Then there was this: "Whatever you do, DO NOT allow your baby to sleep in your bed and your room for too long. You'll never get him out!" I definitely took that one seriously! The day the Prince turned three months old, we moved him from the co-sleeper in our room to the crib in his own room; he's been happy there ever since...and so have we! (thanks, Jami!)

But the truly most wonderful bit of advice I've received has been to take as many photographs and as much video of baby as possible. That, as far as I'm concerned, is golden! I now know first hand how incredibly quickly babies change and grow. So it's very wise to chronicle their progress so that you can look back and marvel. What I would add is that it's very important to date the photos and videos, because it's easy to forget just when they were taken when you have scores and scores of photos.


Looking back on cute photos like this one
really makes me smile. 


Personally, I'm not a fan of the date stamp on photographs. I've tried it and find that nothing ruins a perfectly good photograph more than an obnoxious date stamp along the side! But thank heavens digital cameras have a feature where you can set the date and time and once it's correctly set, that information is available when you click "properties" on an image on your computer. The date and time also appear on the backs of printed photos.

Another good idea is to have camera(s), videocam(s) phone(s) at easy reach. Perhaps one in a different part of the house, because you just never know when you'll get that perfect candid shot. Those little tykes are so unpredictable!


I LOVE baby feet! So naturally, I had to take scores of 'footsie' pics.