Baby books are such sweet things . . . in theory. But, you actually have to record the special moments within them to make them, well, special. We’ve heard about mothers who diligently fill them in, but we think they are more the stuff of urban legends — like Sasquatch and clear skin after 20. We don’t truly believe they exist.
Maybe it’s because they are so boring: first tooth, first haircut, blah, blah, blah. We guess that’s where blogging comes in, to record those childhood moments that aren’t quite up to Hallmark standards, but become the stuff of family history. Well, we weren’t blogging when our offspring were babies, so we are filling in the archives now.
The 10 Firsts That Did Not Make The Baby Book But Should Have
1. First Epic Spit-Up– Are you wondering who can remember a spit-up since they are as common as political rants on Facebook? Well, Ellen can. It’s all about timing . . . and volume. Ellen had settled down on the couch with her hubby to watch a movie — what was to pass for their date night in their new life with a newborn. A spontaneous date night because they didn’t expect the baby to sleep. Hooray! There was no time to go to the video store and no, streaming was not an option. Did you not notice video stores were mentioned?
So at the mercy of HBO, they settled in to watch Dante’s Peak, a purely cheesy movie about a volcano erupting . . . when the baby awoke with a wail. Newbies that they were, they didn’t see that coming. So Ellen, desperate to watch the movie grabbed the baby and started nursing, and nursing, and nursing. At the EXACT moment the volcano erupted on their television, the baby erupted on herself, on Ellen, on Frank, on the couch, on the wall . . . are you getting that it was epic?
2. First Epic Diaper Blow-Out– Everyone has a great blow-out story, but Erin’s, like Ellen’s above, has the added bonus of uncanny timing. The scene: one sweet baby in a beautiful heirloom white christening gown, in the front row in Erin’s hometown church, with 300 witnesses present. As the strains of the first hymn floated out over the congregation, the sweet baby at the center of the scene let loose with a diaper blow-out that seemed completely at odds with the size of said child and necessitated not one, but TWO, wardrobe changes (for mom AND baby).
Unfortunately for Erin, as she checked the diaper bag, she realized that the only option for clothing was big brother’s dinosaur t-shirt. Seeing as how she was in church, it seemed like an awkward time to take the Lord’s name in vain, but she was thinking it. And if an expletive did leave her lips, well, God probably forgave her. Long story short: Kid was baptized in brother’s growling dinosaur t-shirt. Come to think of it, this one was immortalized in photographs and probably doesn’t need a mention in the baby book.
3. First Time Baby Bites You– Nursing moms recognize this as the moment where you fully realize pain on a whole new level, the level being apocalyptic-holy-crap-that-hurts. It is also the moment when you realize that you could imagine putting a “Baby For Sale: Cheap” sign around his neck, if you could just get his clenched teeth off your nipple.
4. First Time Traveling with Kids Alone– Traveling with two mobile kids under the age of three on an airplane with a connecting flight was almost her undoing. Natural disasters pale in comparison to the maelstrom Erin’s kids whipped up in the Bangor Airport circa 2000. Things began unraveling the second she checked in. Erin was so worried that her little girl who was faster than Speedy Gonzales was actually going to vault her way onto the baggage carousel that she left her son’s jacket at the front desk—Casualty #1.
When she finally wrestled the kiddos to the holding pen — ahem, the waiting area — things went from kinda crappy to Defcon 5. Erin hadn’t done the mental math earlier so she was unaware that trying to keep a hand on two active toddlers, their carseats, their carry-ons, and their stroller was an equation she was sure to fail. With kids intent on running in two equal but opposite directions, their belongings unattended and exposed to the whims of terrorists and thieves, and public opinion of her mothering skills tanking, Erin snapped like a twig. She stood in the middle of the airport waiting area and said, “Somebody is gonna have to help me. NOW.” Erin’s sanity—Casualty #2.
Someone half-heartedly collared one of her two little n’er-do-wells long enough for Erin to kind of nudge the kids in the direction of the boarding area as she attempted to carry two carseats while pushing the stroller and shouldering the bags. This memory is a little lost to the elements of time and Post Traumatic Stress, but a second jacket and the stroller were lost during the boarding process—Casualties #3 & #4.
5. First Time Offered Unsolicited Parenting Advice By A Stranger– Erin survived the above scene without so much as a whisper of advice; Ellen was not so lucky in the grocery store. Her gaffe? Using big words with her toddler. In reprimanding her little bundle of fire, she may have used “unacceptable” and “deplorable.” A nice man actually turned his cart around to come back and tell her that her problem was that she used “big, fancy words.” Yeah, the country would just go down the toilet if more children had enriched vocabularies.
6. First Time Being Scolded By a Professional For Your Parenting– Ellen apparently gets all of the
hate attention. The scene is now the dentist office where she was upbraided by the hygienist for the condition of her daughter’s teeth. “So did you manage to keep the two teeth she has left without fillings clean this time?”
Ellen was outraged but managed to calmly reply, “That’s not my daughter.”
The hygienist points at the chart, “Well, that’s her name.”
“But, that’s not her birth date, so I’d appreciate OUR chart so we can go to another dentist. One that takes malpractice a little more seriously.”
You should definitely double-check your facts before scolding Ellen.
7. First Time Getting Kicked Out of Story Time– Erin is part of a tribe of moms who all bear silent scars but should be wearing t-shirts that declare “I survived a Toddler from Hell.” Her wonderful, beautiful, spirited child could scale any surface (gravity be damned), escape any restraining device, and hurl herself to the precipice of disaster at any moment. It took great resolve for Erin to take this child into civilization AT ALL to spend time with other children. Therefore, it cut pretty deep when the sweet, lovely lady running the library’s story time took Erin aside and didn’t ask or imply or suggest, but practically begged her not to bring her child back. For the foreseeable future. Ouch.
8. First Time Getting Kicked Out of Church–See above. But add a level of humiliation. In fact, the priest said, “God will understand if you just take a little break for a while.”
9. First “I Hate You”– Ellen swears this has never happened to her. But it happened to Erin FIVE times and lots of other moms she knows, so yeah, there should be a space in the good ol’ baby book for it. It should read: “First time my child ripped my heart out.” Motherhood is full of sh*t, but it’s not all giggles.
10. First Time Your Kid Makes You Laugh Out Loud– We couldn’t leave you on a sour note. We love that moment when the kids cross over from baby to little person. One of Erin’s favorite moments like this was when her then three year old was riding in the back seat with his friend whose dad is a hunter. His friend was explaining that you can tell how big a deer is by the number of points on his antlers. Her son thinks about it for a minute, grabs his ears, and then says, “I guess that makes me a two-pointer.”
This post was inspired by Bridget at Twinisms. She suggested the topic “10 Firsts” for Monday Listicles. Click on over to see her list and lots of others, too.
By Ellen Williams Erin Dymowski