Their Bad Mother

The Husband was a total prince this morning – as he always is, but especially so whenever schedule and circumstance allow him to linger around home at high-baby-traffic times – and took over breakfast duty with Baby so as to allow me to steal some much-needed sleep. He brought her downstairs, changed her, played with her and then brought her back up, re-swaddled her, and put her down for her mid-morning nap. Then he went to work, late.

Some time later, after she wakes up, I go to unpeel her from her swaddle and I find her dressed very nattily – tho’ suprisingly – in a dressy blouse-style onesie (the kind with puffy sleeves and a scalloped princess collar), purple pants with satin trim, and ducky rattle socks. All dressed up, she was, with nowhere to go. The swaddling blanket, needless to say, did not go with the outfit.

So why do I love my husband?

1) Because he let me get more sleep. Duh.

2) Because he dressed his daughter up in what amounts to baby party clothes (excepting the socks, although I grant that there would be something wrong with him if he’d swaddled her in shoes) at 8am on a Wednesday morning, and then put her to bed in those clothes.

3) Because I know, without having to ask, that it took him at least two attempts to get those clothes on. That blouse would have gone on backward the first time.

4) Because I know that he was pleased to be letting me rest, and that he was happy to be changing and dressing his daughter, and that he thought to himself that his daughter looked pretty ridiculous but goddamned CUTE in that outfit.

5) Because he’s a prince among men. No, really.

Originally posted at Her Bad Mother, 2006. Copyright Catherine Connors 2006 – 2009.

Further to yesterday’s post…

1) Why Notorious C.O.W.? Because, hell, look at him. Just one big rockin’ head. He’s clearly the heavy of the bunch.

And because Notorious P.I.G. would just have been too obvious, you know?

2) Yes, that is a FISHER-PRICE infant-toddler rocker that the barnyard posse hangs out on and that Baby visits frequently. And yes, my home is becoming over-run with garish baby toys. My well-laid plan to have only sleek, design-friendly baby stuff in my home lasted about 5 minutes. ‘Cause it’s all about what Baby wants. And Baby’s finely-tuned aesthetic sensibilities have not yet been honed (assuming that they have not been and will not be corrupted by the current stock of gear) – Baby likes bright colours (have another gander at the Whoozit) and a variety of textures, among which (gah!), plastic. (And not cool look-what-I-got-at-the-MOMA-giftshop plastic, either pink plastic. And blue. With rattles.)

But bright colours and varied textures are good for Baby’s brain development – or so all of the toy propagandists tell me – and her IQ takes the front seat here. So, for the betterment of Baby’s precious, precious brain, the garish gear is tolerated. That, and a) FP is cheaper than Oeuf, which she would just reject anyway (she rejected a wide variety of bouncers, baby papasans and swings before deciding that the FP rocker would be her throne), b) the rejection factor that applies to bouncer chairs also applies to playmats, mobiles, and all manner of ‘developmental’ toys (thank god for hand-me-downs and generous return policies or I’d be more broke than can be tolerated) and c) I’m going for anything – anything – that buys me 15 more minutes of time to brush my teeth/pee/eat/sleep/blog (not necessarily in that order.) Which means that, yes, there is going to be an Exersaucer – and probably the biggest, most pimped-out Exersaucer I can find.

3) Whoozit came off yesterday like the mac-daddy of all the toys, and Number One Deputy of Her Royal Highness the Baby of Poopsalot. This is mostly true. Whoozit is the mac-daddy of toys. But he’s only head of security on the toy detail. Chief of military security is this person…

… Georgie, aka Doob (don’t ask, not because it’s bad, but because we can’t remember. Insert pot joke here), now self-designated Security Chief in the court of Poopsalot and going by the name NanaDoob. The NanaDoob holds court beside the bassinet for the duration of Baby’s naps, and assists in the putting down of Baby for naps, which consists of monitoring the procedure to ensure that Baby does not cry and to bite me on the knee if she does.

The NanaDoob does not police the toys. Perhaps because she figures that they pose no real threat; more probably because she hangs with them when Baby isn’t around.

4) The Bumbo. The Bumbo rocks. It lets Baby really see what’s going on around her feet. But what most rocks about the Bumbo is that it has revealed to Baby the choicest toys of all…

… her feet.

Originally posted at Her Bad Mother, 2006. Copyright Catherine Connors 2006 – 2009.

Baby’s got a new best friend.

Ok, well, she’s got a lot of best friends, all in a rotating cycle of preference. The top dog best friend of the moment, however, is Whoozit.

Whoozit is like this reject from the Muppet factory. Or Animal’s alien cousin from the planet Zork. Or how I would have seen Animal had my pre-pubescent self been on acid while watching the Muppets. (I of course would never take acid while watching the Muppets as an adult – which, by the way, I am totally up for. The Muppets, that is. Not the acid. You don’t need acid with the Muppets. Besides, it would just corrupt the purity of the Rainbow Connection.)

Anyway. Baby LOVES Whoozit. Or, at least, is fascinated by him. (Someday she’ll need to learn to distinguish between these two emotional experiences. But for now it’s fine.) Which is exactly what the Whoozit’s publicist promised – on the propaganda that comes attached to Whoozit’s arm – “Nothing engages babies quite like Whoozit.” It also informs that Whoozit is “Baby’s favourite friend,” and that “When you’re discovering the world, it’s good to have friends like Whoozit along.”

I’ll say. ‘Cause that world has got some rough ‘hoods and bad crowds.

For example…

This is the barnyard posse. These dudes are bad, yo.

They lurk near – OK, on – Baby’s rocker-bouncer chair. Every time, it starts out nicely – they’re all like, “Hey, Baby, whazzup?” and Notorious C.O.W. riffs on Old MacDonald and everybody’s down. But before long it gets real ugly – they start giving her the stare-down stink-eye and, I think, mocking her outfits – and it ends in tears.

So that’s where Whoozit comes in. Pull crying Baby away from the Barn Gang and sit her down next to Whoozit and everything’s fine. I think it’s a My Bodyguard kind of thing. Whoozit is way bigger and scarier looking than C.O.W., Lil’ Pig and Sheepie, but that’s the point. Whoozit could so take them.

So Baby says,”… and then they came at me like this!” And Whoozit goes and kicks some barnyard ass.

“Baby’s favourite friend.” Don’t leave the nursery without him.

Originally posted at Her Bad Mother, 2006. Copyright Catherine Connors 2006 – 2009.

So she bust out of the swaddle twice last night. I wasn’t going to start the blog this way again, but couldn’t help myself. It’s driving me crazy.

I’ve seriously got to let this issue go. ‘Cause if I was following this blog, I’d be like, “dude, set your baby free or get over it.”

So I’ll shut up about the swaddling. For the moment. It’s not like there aren’t, oh, ten thousand other things about Baby and her universe and my role in it to obsess about.


That was a short moment. That is, two baby-cycles (eat-awake-sleep) of a moment.

Nap attempt Number One: put sleepy Baby in bassinet unswaddled. Disaster. She looks at me with a look of utter shock and betrayal. Like I’m about to pitch her afloat down the River Nile (this simile would work better if I were putting her down in a Moses basket. But whatever.) Then the SCREAM.

Backtrack! One-two-three speed swaddle; a couple of gasping sobs, quickly corked with a soother, and we’re back on track.

40 minutes down. Not a long nap, but beggars can’t be choosers (napping is not, let’s say, her preferred way to spend her time.)

Nap attempt Number Two: partial swaddle; screaming. Loose swaddle; better. Baby goes down, reluctantly. But 30 minutes later, she’s out and yelling.

So I give up. Nap Number Three is currently in progress (20 minutes in and counting). Yep, she’s swaddled. Good and tight.


This has been one of those days during which I feel, for a moment or two, here and there (or maybe more) that motherhood is going to defeat me entirely.

But would I turn back the clock, have things any different? No way. This is super-tough, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

(Okay I would maybe have it with a full-time housekeeper and a baby expert on retainer. But that’s it!)

What’s crazy about all this is that I’ve called the Husband twice trying to lure him home from work early to spot me off on baby duty, but the minute he gets here and says “OK let me take her” I just know that I will turn away, cuddle her closer to me and say, “just give me one more minute…”

Because when you’ve got this…

… how can you not just cling on?

Still, the Husband is bringing me some wine. And I will – after one more good cuddle – hand her off in exchange for a glass of it.

Originally posted at Her Bad Mother, 2006. Copyright Catherine Connors 2006 – 2009.