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December 26, 2010

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We’ve moved!

December 20, 2010

The blog is now at – hope you’ll join me over there!

Teacher to toddler: “Seth, please get your hands out of your pants. That’s icky.”*

*Name has been changed to protect the icky.

This was the notation on one of Lorelei’s sheets from daycare last week – the ones on which they record bottles (inputs), diapers (outputs), and naps (kaputs). Incidentally, she just finished out her very first notebook of these sheets, which they gave us for posterity – they even pasted in a few candid photos of her here and there. It’s fantastic, our very own personal copy of Lorelei: A Retrospective.

I have to say, the question of nipple size never occurred to me. I didn’t know they – the rubber ones, that is – came in different sizes. This is the sort of maternal detail my sister-in-law is totally on top of and I am completely oblivious to, until I look over and compare Matthew (happily drinking his bottle) with Lorelei (pounding the side of her bottle with her fist and sucking so hard she’s practically turning it inside out).

At the drugstore I found a package of “fast flow” nipples for the 7+ month old. Lorelei is just now hitting 6 months, but I figured she could handle a more high-performance model than the 3-pinholer she’s been using since she was born. This one has an x-shaped cutout and is, according to the packaging, “ideal for thicker liquids.” I know they’re not talking about milkshakes, but I must confess that that’s where my mind immediately went.

We tried out the new nipples yesterday, and all went well. Bring on the milkshakes.

Who Says Print is Dead?

December 10, 2010

Baby Vesuvius

December 7, 2010

One of the sleep-training books I read noted that some babies get so worked up about being left in their cribs to cry that they will vomit all over themselves. The book downplayed this as a potential problem, saying something to the effect of, “Many babies actually enjoy vomiting.”

This struck me as ridiculous until this past weekend. Eric and Lorelei and I were on a car trip, and I heard what I thought was a minor bit of spit-up from the back seat. When we arrived at our destination, it was clear that there was nothing minor about it.

Lorelei had managed to splatter herself, her car seat, and the back seat of Eric’s car with a veritable torrent of partially digested formula from a few hours before. I remember almost nothing of my physics classes back in high school, but terms like “acceleration” and “velocity” flashed into my mind as I surveyed the widespread damage in the back seat.

But the real kicker, in addition to the relative silence of the onslaught, was just how utterly pleased with herself Lorelei was. She was smiling and giggling – almost giddy, really – as if to say, “Hey Ma, look what I did! Let’s do it again!” Her clothes and car seat may have been saying “poor sick baby,” but her face was clearly registering “delighted Space Mountain patron.”

In the short time I have been dressing a baby, I have discovered some truths I believe are universal:

1. The cuter the outfit, the less practical it is (I include here garments with interesting snap patterns that are difficult to maneuver baby’s spaghetti-like limbs in and out of). And the frequent inclusion of pockets, while not problematic, is nonetheless puzzling.

2. Gender stereotyping starts early – I’m thinking here of Lorelei’s “born to shop” onesie. At the time it fit her, she did not yet even have independent control over her head. Born to nurse and burp, maybe, but that was about it.

3. There is no such thing as remotely standard sizing (can you picture one of those dressmaker’s dummies in a standard 3-month-old size? It would look like a little potato on a stick). There were some things Lorelei, a skinny 7-pounder at birth, was sized out of almost immediately. But there are 3-month onesies she still wears now, as a nearly 6-month-old. I think there are probably some back-to-school outfits out there that are too small for her.

4. Baby clothes come bound to their packaging with a ridiculous number of those nearly invisible plastic thingies that need to be snipped off, at which point half of the plastic thingie – invariably, I’ve found, the sharper half – vanishes inside the garment.

The good news is that you locate it again when you strip your baby down to find out why she’s screaming – it’s usually lodged somewhere in her underarm region. (There are also, of course, at least one or two plastic thingies your sleep-deprived self misses entirely, until your baby is half-naked on the changing table, when you discover that the left sleeve of the pajamas is intractably pinned to the right leg.)

5. Anything with supplemental ears: Extremely cute. I don’t know who first thought to do this, but I’m a fan.

6. Overthinking the design of baby clothes can get a little trippy. Example: Lorelei has a pink bear snowsuit (with ears, natch) whose feet are little bear heads. The world would be a very different place if adult clothes – or bears, for that matter – were designed this way.

7. Whatever it is, or whatever part of the baby it’s meant to cover, it all, without exception, eventually winds up covered in drool, poop, pee, half-digested milk, or all of the above.