As a new Momma, there are a few things you expect – little sleep, the occasional poop where it’s not supposed to be, etc. But, there are some things that you just can’t find in what to expect books. If you had asked me where I’d be today a year ago, I’m sure I would have said I wanted a baby, but I had no idea what was coming. If you don’t have children, consider this your warning. These are 6 things I’ve learned in the first 6 months.
1. Babies are sticky. I mean, I expected dirty diapers and spit up. But, did you know that poop and spit up change colors to match the veggies babies eat? Woah. I. Did. Not. I can clean baby girl’s diaper, leave her clean in the Pack n’ Play for approximately 60 seconds to wash my hands, and when I come back there would inevitably be snot running down her face, wiped with her hands, and then smeared through her hair. Then, when I finish wiping it off, I find orange sweet potato spit up all down her onsie. Where did it come from? There’s no spit up on her face. She ate sweet potatoes 2 days ago… how did this happen? Babies are basically tiny sticky magicians. It’s actually quite amazing.
2. Speaking of sticky. Babies cause YOU to be sticky. I remember thinking it was funny when people had spit up on their shirt and somehow ended up in public without realizing it. Yeah, that happens. Most of the time, it happens more because I don’t care than because I didn’t realize. There isn’t enough Tide in the world to change clothes every time that happens. I’ve learned, though, that matching Baby Girl’s veggies for the day is the best stroke of genius I will ever have. Baby Girl is not very good at eating. You know that “blowing raspberries” thing that parents do on their babies’ bellies? Well, Baby Girl is good at doing that too, but only when a spoon full of peas is somewhere near her mouth. Now, high fashion is finding just the right shade of green – so that the peas will just blend in. Take note, future mommies, invest in green (green beans and peas) and orange (sweet potatoes, squash, carrots). It’s amazing how successful you feel when the veggie spit up matches your outfit.
3. Babies are heavy. They come into this world at a sweet 7 lbs. 7 lbs is no big deal until they are wailing and flailing around at 4 am because they are so hungry, but don’t want to have a bottle in their mouths, while you’re half asleep, or, occasionally, just kind of sleep walking. Just wait until you put them in a car seat. That sweet 7 lbs just became a not so sweet 27 lbs. That you carry with one arm. While digging through a diaper bag with the other hand, trying to find your credit card and your sanity tucked somewhere inside. After a while, you get really good at the baby shuffle and find one arm that can handle the heaviness. Luckily, your strength grows with the baby. Unfortunately, if you aren’t careful, you basically become The Hulk on one side and a little closer to Tobey McGuire’s Spider Man on the other. Try to switch arms now and again, mommies. The daddies will appreciate it when you’re in a tank top this summer.
4. Babies are noisy. I don’t mean crying all night noisy. Babies are noisy at really inconvenient times. Like during the church prayers. It’s not even a cry that escapes during the silence at church, it’s a joyful burst that is unexpected and ear piercing. Wonderful and Joyful, yes. But noisy, none the less. At restaurants, Baby Girl was nice enough to let us gain some confidence. She slept through the first few outings. I remember wondering what people were complaining about – it was easy. Ha! That was cute, wasn’t it? We recently went on a Valentine’s date that went like this.
Take 2 bites. Bounce baby on left knee, switch knees, and give two cheek kisses. Take another bite and then pass baby awkwardly over the table to her dad. Shovel in 8 bites and two drinks of soda. Make faces at the baby, dig for a toy in the diaper bag, and successfully make the awkward baby pass back across the table. Repeat.
We were out of the restaurant 15 minutes after starting our meal. She was happy and adorable the whole time. Happy, adorable, and noisy. She wanted the entire restaurant to know. But, the people around us didn’t seem happy, nor adorable.
5. Babies are vampire-like time suckers. I remember the days of staying up past midnight. I think. Actually, I feel like they existed, but I’m not sure. These days, when I’m home from school for a day, I can’t exactly tell you what it is that I do. I usually get some laundry done and try to do some dishes, but I have no idea what else happens. I know that baby girl plays in the Baby Einstein, gets tummy time, eats, and poops, but the rest of the day disappears. When the husband comes home and inevitably asks me what I did all day, I find my self stuttering and trying to figure out why it is that I haven’t really done anything. It goes something like this,
“Hi, honey, how was your day?”
“Yeah? What’d you do?”
“I…duhhhh…umm….I, uh… tummy time and…yeah.”
The only thing I know for sure is that by 9 o’clock I am exhausted. I’ve got crazy eyes and I’m slurring my words. Somehow, my school days (days of making sense of math to teenagers with a 20 minute lunch and hourly 6 minute breaks) are less exhausting. Riddle me that.
6. Babies are amazing. Ah – ma – zing. Don’t get me wrong, I liked babies well enough. I knew I wanted one. But, oh, I had no idea. Having your own child is amazing. Amazing. It’s the only word that closely enough resembles how I feel about Baby Girl. Everyone tells you, but you don’t know until you know. Get ready.
Ok, those are 6 of the 4,761,832 things I’ve learned in the past 6 months. What have you learned that you didn’t quite expect? Did you have any of these funny moments that I dealt with? Tell me about it!