August 17, 2007


Mr. Mom, vol. 1

Fear not dear readers, this will be an infrequent series.

As my first week of daddy day care comes to a close, I ruminate upon the experience with eyes and ears wide open. Wouldn’t you know it, Max just started cutting his first two little teeth, and to say it’s changing his sleeping/eating pattern, not to mention his disposition in general, would be an understatement. He’s still the lovable, adorable little sunshine boy, but man if the clouds don’t sometimes move in like thunderheads over a western mountain ridge. And from what I’ve heard and read, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Still, we have a huge time every day. We’re working on solid foods and practicing with the sippy cup, and I have just about mastered both. Meanwhile Max has got holding and putting the cup to his mouth down pretty well but has yet to learn the concept of tilting the head back to facilitate drinkage. He is very curious about what the gr’ups are eating and drinking.

I expect he will be crawling before long, and when that time comes it’s literally “Katy bar the door!” We have many of the child-proofing accoutrements like cabinet stoppers and outlet covers left over from the folks who previously owned the house. We definitely need one of the super boffo top-of-the-stairs gates as it would be a treacherous tumble from the hall to the front door. What else? I’m curious how his ambulation will affect the dogs, who have been pretty stand-offish toward the little guy. Of course the 16-year old male is nearly blind and deaf, so he may just think we’ve got another pal for him to lick and sniff. And depending on baby's bath schedule and/or diaper contents, what a gustatory and olfactory delight that could be! But I’m not so sure about the usually needy baby girl, whose horrible love mileage often causes her to be incapable of getting close enough to you. We surmise that she thinks she is a cat. She has sneaked a precious lick or two of the boy's toes and has even tolerated a few posed pettings, so maybe she’s mellowing in her older age, though it could be a ruse for special treats since she is on a diet (sneaky little bitch).

Have I bored you to beers yet? There is a reason for my droning post – I’ve got a deadline! More on that later...

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"I childproofed my house, but it didn't work!"

"Oh, no. What happened?"

"The kids are still getting in."

For the teething, letting them gnaw on a frozen bagel sometimes helps. If not, there's always a few drops of whiskey rubbed on the gums. Not that WE did that, of course!
I hate to tell you this o'husband of mine, but when we moved in I got so aggravated with the child-proof drawer locks that I broke them all (insert sheepish grin here).
Congratulations on surviving your first week!!

I suggest letting him gnaw on warm wash clothes. I did that with both my girls. Lil'lady was a little harder that Lil' Miss, but it wasn't as bad as other people told me it would be. Also, seeded, smooshed orange peels sometimes worked for my girls. But use those in moderation because it can cause diaper rash. Oh! And don't let him chew on your nose. FIL did that and then when the tooth came in... LOL.

I'm an expert, dammit. And I WILL shove my advice down your throat. You've been warned. :)

*Just kidding. I miss those months, dontcha know. And instead of birthing another one I'll just live vicariously through you.*
Maybe a Simpspon's solution is in order. Lots of bubble wrap and duct tape.
Miz UV - There's this stuff called Ora-jel where, as opposed to the Wild Turkey, you can relieve teething pain without fear of Child Protective Services riding your ass.

Sweet Baboo - Man, is that ever gonna bust the budget!

JJ - Thanks for the advice. You could experirence the ultimate in vicarious living by moving down here and being our nanny. It doesn't pay, but I'd let you in the computer now and then and you're welcome to all the strained pears you can eat.

Mathman - The Simpsons and duct tape: American problem solving at its zenith!
You know I never get tired of the Mr. Mom posts.

No matter what you let him gnaw on, he won't enjoy it nearly as much as your finger.

Spongy things for corners of coffee tables and edge of brick fireplace hearth (wait, y'all probly don't have fireplaces down South, do ya?).

Door stoppers to keep Mr. Max from pinching his fingers (both sides of door).

Gate for the bottom of the stairs, too, because all babies want to climb up.

Put the dog food and water somewhere Max can't get at them!

A/V stuff -- Anything with a button, Max will want to push it. He'll also want to stick at best his fingers, and at worst yogurt, in the VCR.

More later...
I have no advice on teething. I kind of blocked a lot of that stuff out.

We got the spongy things for the tables and a few outlet covers but that's it for babyproofing. Well, not true, when she was around two we got that thingie that stops the cupboard from opening, and she figured out how to work it the first day, so no more of those, we just put the really dangerous stuff in cupboards that're too high for her to reach. We never even had a gate.

Thing was, when she was young enough to hurt herself on such things, she wasn't left unattended anyway (luxury of an only child), and by the time she was old enough to leave unattended, she could dismantle baby proofing devices at the drop of a hat. So I found it easier to teach her what "dangerous" means (and make sure certain things were entirely out of reach anyway) rather than rely on plastic gadgets. That wouldn't work for everyone, but her personality is such that once she could understand the concept, she was more concerned about what the chemicals in that soap might do to her than what they might taste like.
Put the dog food and water somewhere Max can't get at them!

Heh, I never did this either. AFAIK she's never eaten any, but for one thing the dogfood I buy is probably healthier than most of the food I eat myself, and for another, it's so disgusting (judging by the smell) that it would be a self-correcting problem after the first lick anyway. One of those things I like to call a "teaching moment." Cause Mommy's word is no substitute for cold, hard experience, ya know?
Ha! I have a great "baby gate" that I got at BabiesRus forever ago. It's netting and boy did it frustrate the shat out of the kiddo!
I don't know a damned thing about babies, but I enjoyed reading about yours.

For teething, I suggest you let him bite you. Even if it doesn't help, it will make for a good story.
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