Expert Parent, in the making

“Babe-eeeee, where are you going?” I say, in an effort to distract my contortionist one-year-old. All I want is to diaper the squirmy creature; so, in the words of my almost-three-year-old, he won’t have a “naked tush.” One hand grapples with legs, another with the body, another with setting a toy between Baby’s fists, and yet another reaches for the clean diaper.

We’re out. At least, we’re out of the handy pile I keep by the bed.

This means it’s time to tear open another oversized box from my home-away-from-home, Costco (seriously, I’m up to daily trips, now). I keep a running tab on how many of the 222 disposable landfill hazards are left, ready to up my trips to twice-daily if the stock’s too low.

I’ve 112, so we’re good -the large pile comforts me. My seeing it also reminds me of when I was expecting my very first baby:

Fifty years ago* and around 30 weeks, I’d had enough with pregnancy. Knowing the only way to extract the male parasite within, however, I crossed my legs and waited for nature to take its course.

And, I accepted the inevitable by accepting gifts from friends and relatives. I have many kind acquaintances who visited and gave us a lot of necessities.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

The weeks sped closer to a supposed due date for Owens Boy #1; I surveyed my blue and green clothing, white burp cloths, pristine car seat, bumpered crib, and -yes- piles of diapers with satisfaction. I was set; I could do this. I would …eventually… get all our moving boxes out of the intended nursery and have it arranged for our offspring’s arrival.

I clearly had everything we needed.

Except, I didn’t.

I’m not sure if I realized my error whilst watching a friend change her baby’s bottom. I’m not certain if I saw the problem whilst shopping and traveling down the baby aisle. I’m not even positive if I was hit by Captain Obvious whilst attending a free class at the hospital on How to Change Your Baby.

Remember kids, we didn’t have YouTube in The Time of the Pager.

See, pregnancy is a funny thing. When sampling it; women may experience stupidity, ignorance, idiocy, and a generalized inability to think. (No, seriously: if someone tells me s/he told me important information in the past that I can’t recall, I’ve learned to ask, “Was I pregnant?”)

At some point that may have been AFTER pushing out Kevin jr.**, I noticed a number written on the boxes of diapers. I’m not referring to that old ‘222’ of how many fit in a box; I’m referring to ‘Size 3.’ Furthermore, I’m referring to a group of numbers under ‘Size 3’ that describe a weight range. While some might consider that to be a diaper’s maximum limit on retaining moisture; it is, in fact, a range in which your baby must fall in order to fit that size.

Up till this revelatory moment, I’d ignored that little range and that little word, ‘Size.’ I’d surveyed my derriere-dressings with pride, smugly confident that I had enough for my means. Unfortunately, I had Size 1, Size 2, and Size 3.

“Unfortunately” because the baby popped out a bit small, necessitating an unknown ‘Newborn’ level of coverage.

Photo by kelvin octa on Pexels.com (Not my baby, but still cute)

So…. did you know they give you diapers in the hospital? They also teach you which end to put it on.

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Did you also know that diapers come in different sizes? What surprising yet simple idea have you learned in life, perhaps from an embarrassing lack of knowledge like my experience?

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Last week, I wrote:
Wednesday, November 9: “You Don’t Have to Read This.” You don’t -nor any other posts you aren’t interested in.

Friday, November 11: Friday Photo. I hope no one eats these things for breakfast.

Sunday, November 13: Announced the Terrible Poetry Contest for November: a clean limerick on lost-and-found.
Also, shared a quote by Seth Godin.

Monday, November 14: Talked about callings in the LDS Church.

Tuesday, November 15: “Geneva Steele,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Wednesday, November 16: Today. Sort-of.

©2022 Chel Owens

*I couldn’t have been pregnant fifty years ago. This is called an exaggeration, or hyperbole.

**None of our children is named after Kevin. The real name was changed to protect the infant.

Baby Blues (Eyes)

Baby blues see
searching seeking
roving room for mother’s eyes.

Baby blues
‘tween flop-eyed wand’rings
stare steadfastly into brown.

Baby blues close
shuffling snoozing
dreaming milkmade happy times.

Baby blues
what are you thinking?
closed-lid dancing; furrowed frown.

Baby blues
so deep and changing
knowing sagely I love you.

brandon-day-b8p8nqFshyY-unsplash.jpg

Photo Credit: Brandon Day

©2020 Chelsea Owens

What Pregnancy is Really Like

I remember my first pregnancy like it was over a decade ago. Mostly, I remember anxiety, confusion, surprise, and trepidation -besides feeling sick all the time, of course. I wrote a journal to my baby. Nearly all of the entries included, “I’m so nervous,” or “I’m not sure what to expect.”

So I picked up a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. From it, I learned that any odd ailment may occur in pregnancy and that my growing fetus was always a type of fruit. If you’ve read it, you know what I mean.

Really, though, for one as curious as I, that book and my laid-back OB/GYN utterly failed to help me know what to expect.

For there is no book that can give you the sensation of pregnancy.

It’s weird.

When you are pregnant, you always know there is something off about yourself. Videos of babies and children and young animals make you cry. Commercials make you cry. Dropping a cup of milk makes you cry. Not being able to think about sex because you are so sick and feel fat and your favorite chocolate bar tastes awful makes you cry.

Then you get some sleep and are sunshine and rainbows.

But… that’s for about two hours. Then you’re exhausted and dropping milk again.

If you make it to a little over halfway, the real fun begins. I referenced the movie Aliens in a previous post; because, at this point, you can feel the growing child inside of you. I explained the sensation to a coworker once: “It’s like you ate something that’s alive and it’s moving around.” If you’re that imaginative, the analogy works.

Now that I’m at hippopotamus size, I can literally watch my stomach surface undulate and jerk. Inside, meanwhile, my organs, lungs, and bladder get kicked, pushed, and butted against.

Pregnancy can bless you with all sorts of side effects like hemorrhoids, diabetes, high blood pressure, changes in saliva pH, swelling, nausea, dizziness, sudden paralysis of legs, hair color or curliness, tender women parts, nail and hair growth changes, spots, skin lines, breast enlargement and tenderness, loss of short-term memory, exhaustion…

It begins to sound like one of those new drug commercials, the kinds where you listen and think, Why in the heck would ANYONE take this medication??

I can’t speak for others out there, but I often wonder that about pregnancy.

Yes, I know this is my fifth impregnation.

Yes, I should have a good reason besides shrugging and saying, “Well, I suppose it was because I wasn’t doing anything else at the time…”

Because -yes, pregnancy sucks. Raising the children produced from pregnancy is difficult. Given my druthers, I’d prefer to selfishly play video games all day while eating a pan of brownies.

However, most employers won’t fund that lifestyle.

And, making kids is actually pretty cool. I remember Bill Cosby dubbing it “erotic arts and crafts.” Really, though, it is. Every time we’ve gotten pregnant, my husband and I have speculated on how the kid will turn out. Will he have my dark hair or my husband’s lighter blond? My brown eyes or his hazel? Will he understand our jokes? Will he be creative? What sorts of dreams will he have? How tall? Cheerful or serious?

Will he like Firefly? What about Starcraft??

Even at almost five, we still have fun guessing.

So, that’s what you can take away from today’s lesson: pregnancy is weird. It’s full of many things you cannot expect. In the end, you get a tiny human that will be like you and your husband.

Yes, that means he or she will be a nerd like you.

Happy crafting.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens