Old Wives Tales

oldwivesAngel has this competition, with prizes going on right now. (A set of five autographed “No-Cry” books by Elizabeth Pantley and a mystery gift)

Her instructions?

Anyone can enter, and to enter I would like you to write a blog post about an old-wives tale that has to do with raising a child, and whether or not you think it has any relevance today (you can find some here if you’re stuck for ideas).

Link to this post so I can find the posts of course and spread the word. I’ll post the books to the winner no matter where in the world they are.

And I will send something special- and not necessarily parenting related- to the person who refers the most people here, so be sure others know to tell me where they came from ;). Competition closes a week from today on October 29th.”

So here’s my entry. And I have a few things I’d like to talk about:

1. Heartburn means your baby will have lots of hair. I’d say this one’s pretty much true. I had heartburn (not bad either) maybe twice in my pregnancy. My Kid was born practically bald and it took him about two years to grow a full head of hair. He has very fine, blond hair, like me.

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2. If you crave sweets while you’re pregnant it’s going to be a girl. Absolute trollop. At least for me, mother to a boy. I had another reason for craving sweets. Because my morning sickness was SO bad nothing would stay in my stomach for longer than 2 minutes.

Eventually I discovered that I could stomach wine gums and jelly babies and it was all I craved. Why? Because they were digested so quickly, there was nothing that my body could push the eject button on, and I was getting some nutrients and sugar from the sweets, so they stayed.

3. Breastfeeding is easy, simple and natural. I dont know how many times I heard/read that while pregnant. What breastfeeding actually turned out to be was a whole other difficult and time-consuming mess.

Feeds could sometimes take up to an hour. I was always thirsty, tired and hungry and cranky. Bottle-feeding turned out to be so much easier, and so much less traumatic than I’d expected.

4. If your new baby is constantly crying and seems hungry your milk is too weak. I have only one word for this, and I wish I’d remembered it when people were telling me this: “Bullshit”. It means your baby is going through a growth spurt and is demanding more milk, and that your milk supply will soon adjust, if you’re patient enough. Drink as much liquids as you can, and try persist, if breastfeeding is your thing.

5. A baby should learn to soothe itself without a pacifier/dummy. I say nay, and say . Better to be a dummy sucker than a thumb sucker, I say. I know some grown ups who still suck their thumbs, but I dont know any grown ups who still suck a dummy, do you?

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Now, at the ripe old age of nearly two, we’re firmly on our way to ditching the dummy successfully. We reached a point where he accepted that dummies were only for sleeping. Then we reached a point where he no longer asked for his dummy during the day at all. And now, we’re on our way to not needing the dummy at night either.

Despite old wives tales, despite having not followed the rules, and despite having been a rather bad mommy, I don’t think I’ve done a bad job thus far. Why? Because I listened to the most important wives tale of all.

Trust your maternal instinct. If it feels wrong, don’t do it. If it feels right, do it.

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Photo Credit: ‘Old Wives Tales’: CafeMama on Flickr.

I Love

dscn0541….watching The Kid eat.

It’s a completely new experience for him, and he enjoys every second of it. He squelches food in his hands, mashes it onto his feeding tray and experiences every different texture.

He has not yet learnt about manners, and how to eat with his mouth closed, so when he eats, he focuses completely on enjoyment. He doesn’t worry about getting food on his face, in his hair, down his front or in his ears. He just focuses on the taste and smell.

He’s completely willing to experiment, and will eat anything I put in front of him. Even celery. Although if he doesn’t like something, or has had enough, he’s quick to spit it out, or remove it from his mouth with his hands.

He loves fruit and vegetables. Fresh fruit. As much of it as he can get. I admire his total lack of interest in a spoon or a fork, as well. His fingers and hands serve him perfectly in this regard, and it’s easiest to get the food into his mouth this way.

I think we as adults and so-called ‘civilised people’ worry too much about things like plates and cutlery. Serviettes, and staying clean.

A reminder of where we once were, and how we once ate, as babies, could serve to bring much enjoyment back to meal-times!

A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

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Well, this picture doesn’t have that many words, but here’s some to go with it. I was tagged by Jenty, in the ‘4×4 meme‘. Here are the rules:

Here are the rules…

1. Go to your pictures file.
2. Go to the 4th file.
3. Go to the 4th picture.
4. Post it and tell the story.
5. Tag 4 more people.

So, up there somewhere is my fourth picture in my pictures folder. The story from that picture?

I remember that day very clearly. It was probably two or three after The Kid was born. I still had one assignment outstanding for a broadcasting law course I was doing as part of my masters’ degree. A 5000 word assignment. I was breastfeeding, and battling with it. It seemed like my baby always wanted a tit in his mouth. Constantly hungry, constantly crying. It was hot, and we were both miserable.

I had to do the assignment, nonetheless. Picture trying to research and read up and type out a 5000 word essay on broadcasting law, while you have a kid latched on your sore nipple. It was tough. I typed with one hand while my other hand supported my breast-attachment. In between feeds, I would put The Kid down for short naps on the couch in my office. And every now and again I would take a break from the furious typing, and gaze lovingly at my sleeping newborn. Still to this day, I think I love my kid the most when he’s asleep. When he’s beautiful and quiet.

One particular time that I gazed over at him, I saw him sleeping like this, and just had to take a picture. Even though he had a sticky-eye, and it wasn’t very pretty, this is still one of my favourite pictures.

Okay, story time over, I tag:

1. Jen R – because she’ll have fun with this one, I just know.
2. Dobeman – I’ve never tagged a daddy before, this should be cool.
3. Sweet on the Outside – I’m new to her blog, and would like to see more of her mommy stuff.
4. The Jackson Files – tagged her once, tagged her twice, and now here’s a third one for ya, doll.

And any one else who loves a meme too, is welcome to meme-ify!

And….just in the spirit of all things ‘four’ – here’s three more pics from that same day to bring the total up to 4!

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More sleeping on the couch…dscn0100Sleeping on my lap, while I work on my assignment.

dscn0104sleeping on a pillow next to my desk.

About A Mommy

A meme, about being a mommy, ripped from Mama Mia.

1. How long have you been a Mom? 2 days short of 11 months.

2. How many children call you Mommy? just the one.

3. Girl? Boy? or both?: 1 boy.

4. Did you know what you were having? We’ve had this discussion before.  I couldn’t wait to find out whether it was a boy or girl. The Boyfriend’s Parents were thrilled at the idea of a boy, and The Boyfriend’s Father kept saying ‘when my grandson arrives….’ even before we’d found out. None of the doctors could tell me conclusively it was a boy/girl. Eventually I went to a sangoma. She told me it was a boy. She also told me I would have to have an emergency c-section because there would be a problem with the umbilical cord. She was totally right.

5. How old were you when you became a Mom? 22, and turned 23 the following month.

6. How long were you in labor? 12 hours or so. But it was very mild. My labour never progressed past the 1st stage. I was induced twice, but labour failed both times, because the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s shoulders, preventing him from descending into the birth canal, so there was no way he was coming out naturally. Eventually had an emergency c-section. Read the story and see the pics here.

7. What’s your favorite thing about being a Mom?When the day is done, The Kid has been fed and bathed, and we’re both lying on the floor in his room, and I give him a massage while he drinks his bedtime bottle. He goes all sleepy while I rub his little limbs and his forehead and face. He loves being massaged, and the bonding time is great for us too. I also love bathing with him,  and having him lie on my chest while I rub his back.

8. What’s your least favorite thing? The shitty nappies, the crying when he’s tired and cranky. The teething. How early he wakes up.

9. Do you want more kids?I highly doubt it. Everyone keeps telling me I still have to have a girl, but I’m all like ‘this shit’s hard work, yo. One’s enough’.

10. Do you plan on having more soon? Hell no.

11. How many times have you been pee’d on? Once or twice, it’s not really a problem anymore. But I did learn one thing. Pee in the eye is better than pee in the mouth.

12. Barfed on? More than I can count. The occasional projectile as well.

13. Is your child named after anyone?  Not in particular. but there is a bit of a family tradition with the initials being ‘T.R’ – as are mine, as are my father’s and as are my son’s.

14. How did you come up with their name? I was pretty restricted by TR, and The Boyfriend really wanted The Kid to have his surname (we’re unmarried) so I cut a deal that I could choose the first two names, and he could have the last name. Which is just as well because he was coming up with some crazy-ass names like ‘Dutch’ and ‘Stone’. I know,  do you feel my pain?

15. When your child gets in trouble, who is the bad guy? I suspect it will be pretty evenly matched. I’m very strict, and it takes a lot to make me melt. But I guess we’ll find out soon enough. A tiny terror is definitely in the making.

16. What is the longest you have been away from your children? 2 days I think. I missed him occasionally, but it wasn’t unbearable, because I knew he was safe with The Boyfriend’s Parents, and I really needed the time to unwind. Although, I do remember the first time I was parted from him, The Boyfriend’s Parents came to take him off our hands for a few hours one day, so I could get some sleep. I was really excited about getting some shut-eye until I realised I couldn’t, because I was anxious at being separated from my kid.

17. Bedtime routine? Warm bath with bubbles and lavender oil, some splashing and playing with toys. Then a massage, while he has his night-time bottle, I dress him, swaddle him, and place him in his crib. And generally dont hear from him until 6 am the next day.

18. Are your toes painted? Not right now, no.

19. Last movie you saw in the theater? It was The House Bunny. Dont bother.

20. One thing you will not give up just because you’re a mom? My studying and/or career.

21. One thing you did give up now that you’re a mom: Partying every night of the week.

22. Best Mom perk: Seeing my son get so excited when he sees me after waking up from a nap. The fact that he shares his food and dummy with me – he insists I have some – even shoves it in my mouth, no matter how disgusting, I have to share. Sharing is a good quality to learn, and I’m amazed he’s learnt it so young.

23. Snack, you sneak bites from your child? See above.

24. When the kid is napping, you are: Studying/reading blogs/sleeping/having a smoke/showering/tidying up.

25. Where is your child(ren) now? Having a nap.

26. Favorite place to buy maternity clothes? Meteor Rose.

27. If I could do it over…I would have taken more pics of my belly, and The Boyfriend and I interacting with the bump. I would have kept a proper pregnancy journal. I probably wouldn’t have smoked. I would have enjoyed my pregnancy more, instead of trying to pretend it wasn’t happening.

28. Did it turn out the way you expected? Totally not. Being a mother is hard. People always tell me ‘oh, but it’s rewarding, doesn’t that make up for it?‘ Only someone with no children can say that. The fact that mothering is rewarding, doesn’t make it any less difficult, any less hard work, any less emotional and life-changing.

I tag: Angel, Briget, Can’t Hardly Wait, Jodi, Kicking You From The Inside, Neener,JentyCamiKaos, Zoeyjane, Stephanie, Katrina, Pia, Sweets, Cath, Jackson’s Mommy, Lisa, The Mad Momma, Wenchy.

and any other mommy/daddy who wants to do this.

What You’ll Need For A New Baby

FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES:

1. Crib. (either the camping cot, or wooden variety)
2. Crib mattress.
3. Fitted sheets x 2
4. Blankets – 4 thin receiving blankets and 2 polar fleece blankets.
5. Mobile.
6. Compactum or chest of drawers – somewhere to keep the nappies and blankets.
7. Changing mat.
8. Diaper bin.
9. Toy box and other storage items.
10. nightstand
11. lamp.
12. rocking chair – not necessary, but it’s nice to have.
13. Baby clothes hangers.
14. Baby monitor (also, not necessary, but convenient)
Note: bumpers and pillows are not recommended, as baby can suffocate on these.

FEEDING:
1. at least 5 bottles and appropriate teats (even if you’re planning on breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to keep these for an emergency)
2. Microwave Steriliser
3. Bottle brush
4. Bibs
5. Burp cloths
6. Plastic bowls
7. Rubber tipped spoons
8. High chair

BATHING:
1. You can buy a baby bath, but I found it a waste of money. It’s easier to bath baby in the big bath with you.
2. Hooded baby towels.
3. Tub seat. this makes bathing baby in the big bath easier.
4. Slip-resistant mats
5. Baby bath products – bubble bath, body wash, shampoo, creams.

HEALTH AND BABY-CARE:
1 Thermometer ( thermoscan )
1 Box Q-Tips
1 Pack Cotton Balls
1 Bottle Rubbing Alcohol or wipes (for umbilical cord care)
1 Nasal Aspirator
1 Petroleum Jelly
1 Infant Acetaminophen
1 Medicine spoon
1 Medicine dropper
1 Diaper rash ointment
1 Petroleum Jelly
1 Box Q-Tips
1 Pack Cotton Balls
1 First-aid kit
1 Disinfecting hand soap
1 pair of blunt nail scissors
1 Infant nose drops
1 Infant cold drops
2-4 pacifiers
1 Teething gel
1 Pain Reliever / Infant drops
Health and Baby Care Books

CLOTHING:
6-8 undershirts / vests
2-4 receiving blankets
1-2 double receiving blankets
4-6 sleepers
1-2 sweaters
1-2 shawl or cotton blanket
1-2 pairs booties
1-2 caps
4-6 pairs socks
1-2 pairs scratch mittens
1-2 Side-snap tees
1-2 Bodysuits
2-4 Rompers
2-4 Bibs

OTHER:
car seat
pram/stroller
baby sling
baby swing
Jolly Jumper
walking ring

If I’ve left anything out, please add it in the comments section.