The World’s Okayest Mom

okayestmomIt is a documented fact veteran parents like to school those of us who have been active in the field for less than five years on time dilation, and the maximum enjoyability factor of our childrens’ youths. They are mother f’ng scientists in street clothes, my friends. Scientists of time who spend their days haunting the most sugar laden isles and longest checkout lines in grocery stores, waiting for the first sign of a child’s tears and tantrums to appear. They pop out of their labs, which I assume are located by the hemp milk and flax seed, and where I assume they are busy studying how to extract maximum enjoyment from potty training accidents and feeding an infant with cracked nipples, as your child is reaching def-con forty. They appear just long enough to to tell you how much you should be enjoying every day because of how quickly it passes and then poof, they are gone.

They also sometimes tell you about how every day is a miracle, which on that point I really can’t argue. Because yes, at the end of the day it is a damned miracle both of my children are alive after one has jumped from the kitchen counter to give the other a diamond cutter. We aren’t really sure how he gets up there, and can only assume hoover boards really do exist.

It is a miracle I haven’t been hauled out in a straight jacket after being told the same knock-knock joke for the seven-frillion and forty seventh time since lunch. Spoiler Alert: It’s that asshole Interrupting Cow again.

It is a miracle that our house is still standing after I tried to make those homemade, real fruit snack thingys from Pinterest and instead caught the bottom of a saucepan on fire. A general note: if you can cook with gelatin you are a certified witch, and your trickery should not be used to instill false confidence in us lay people via pretty Pinned pictures.

As I haul my children out of the grocery store, listening to my oldest tell me how much I don’t love her because I didn’t buy her the box of breakfast diabetes with the tiger on it, I can’t help but wonder, when I will look back at all this with a wistful look in my eyes? When will it be my turn to pop out of my lab by the milk substitutes and let other parents know how mediocre their parenting is because they aren’t savoring every poopy diaper and epic meltdown?

For now, I suppose I will have to settle for being the World’s Okayest Mom, and find joy in just getting to the end of each day with everyone’s limbs in tact, the house still standing, and not being forcibly removed from my home.

Yours Truly in Mediocrity,

Mrs SmartyPants

I Now Understand The Joy Of Giving Expecting Mommies Advice

A few weeks ago the Meiners clan got some very exciting news. There will be another one of us joining our ranks on or around May 4th. My SIL and BIL are expecting their first little hellion baby on the same day that our little hellion baby was due! I am quite comfortable with the fact that we are completely unqualified for this parenting thing (in fact if you get enough cherry vodka and Diet 7-Up in me I will make sure everyone in the room knows it), but I am quite confident they will make amazing parents.

How, you might be asking dear readers? Well, my SIL is on her game. In what can only prove to be the smart mommy move of the century she sent out an email to all of the moms she knows and got a lot of that expecting mommy advice over and done with in one fell swoop. (Editors note: she was probably just honestly trying to get some answers, but may not fully realize the military like precision with which she headed off a barrage of unsolicited advice). She may get more, but her questionnaire was epic, so I doubt it. It covered everything from what we wish we would have known to what the best registry items are. I now understand the joy with which other moms had lavished me with pointers and epiphanies during my pregnancy, but at the same time am all ‘Well, if she wants to know something she will definitely ask me.’ Epic.

My unsolicited advice for expecting moms? Copy and paste the email below, remove my answers and send this out into the world.

Q: What stroller do you recommend and why? Do you have this stroller?
A: We have the Gracco stroller and car seat combo and I am in love with it. The carseat fits into the stroller part, which makes it super handy for getting out and about, and the double umbrella for the stroller and car seat create a great curtain if Boogie wants to nap while we are out. I believe one type of gracco stroller was recalled recently because babies can slip down through the bottom, so with the ability to use the car seat until she is a little bigger I totally feel safe with it.

Q: What kind of car seat do you recommend and why? Do you have this car seat?
A: I have the Gracco Snugrider (I believe that’s the name of it). I actually registered for it because of the rating in the Baby Bargains book. I am super happy with it.

Q: Are there any baby books your recommend I read? Not pregnancy books – books on what to do when the little critter gets here.
A: I recommend Raising Your Spirited Child and How to Rase An Amazing Child the Montessori Way (I don’t take all of the recs like not putting the baby in a crib, but the basic principles of child independence and respect have served us well with Boogie 🙂 and I am a total Montessori evangelist). Also, I would recommend The Happiest Baby on the Block. It is written for colicky and tough babies and it worked wonders for us, so I would assume that it would be amazing for an non-colicky baby.

Q: What is one thing no one told you about pregnancy/labor/being a mom that you wish you would have known?
A: I wish someone would told me that since nursing was so hard the longer I continued it, the longer I was delaying bonding with Boogie. Everyone kept telling me nursing was the ultimate bonding experience… but it was the opposite for me because of the vitamin B12 deficiency**. I didn’t realize it was probably making things harder on her too.

TOP TEN MUST HAVE REGISTRY ITEMS
1. Baby Bjorn
2. Diaper Caddy basket that you can bring downstairs and use upstairs
3. Boppy Pillow
4. Diaper Bag with straps that attach to the stroller
5. Pack and Play
6. Sleep Sheep
7. Ipod docking station
8. Large blankets (bigger than receiving blankets) with a tight knit for tummy time
9. Swaddle Sacks (the most incredible thing to happen to mothers)
10. Mittens (because you are terrified to cut baby’s nails for a few weeks)

**I hated nursing with every bone in my body because when I would be in the middle of a session joints I didn’t even know existed would start aching like they were all ate up with arthritis. Turns out it wasn’t that I sucked (pun so awesomely intended) at nursing, I have a vitamin B12 deficiency. As much as I had prepared myself to stop nursing in the pre-baby days when it started sucking (pun so awesomely intended, again) I still had this incredible mommy guilt every time I would think about quitting, and continued even through the body wracking pain.

The Mister would be all, ‘I don’t think that’s right’ and I would be like, ‘I am probably just being a baby, because you know having a baby isn’t supposed to be comfortable.’ He would then be all, ‘Whatevs.’ And this conversation continued daily for three months until I finally asked a LLL person (who did not threaten to cut off my nipples if I didn’t use them, btw), and she recommended I ‘fess up to my doctor. My doctor said, “Yeah, your husband is right. That’s not right.” However, I will never repeat this conversation to The Mister because then I would forever be blessed with hearing even more unqualified medical theory from “Doctor Meiners.”  I can handle painful joints, but I don’t think I can handle that.

Also, I should have added items number 11 and 12 to her list: baby orajel and a gallon of wine for when they are teething.