Friday, 7 December 2012

“The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself” (And Car Seat Installation)

They say that what people fear more than anything in this world is public speaking (even ahead of death). To those people for whom public speaking is more terrifying than death, I say,

Clearly you have never installed a car seat.

Because if you had, you would know that this is way more frightening than public speaking (although slightly less frightening than death).

This lucky bastard has never had to install a car seat. Or sit in one.
Want a scary Halloween costume for next year? Dress up as a car seat instruction manual. The kids won’t get it, but you’ll scare the crap out of their parents. And let’s face it, Halloween is for the parents anyway, since we’re the ones who get to stuff our faces with candy without anyone to tell us when we’ve had enough. (Well, my husband tries to tell me when I’ve had enough, but he is well aware of the futility of his efforts.)

Where was I?

Oh right. Car seat instruction manual costume.

Step aside ghosts, goblins and ghouls, I’ve got locking clips, tethers, and side impact protection. 

The acronyms alone are enough to give you an ulcer. LATCH, UAS, CRS, FF, RF…..WTF?

When you go to pre-natal classes, they don’t tell you that you’d be well advised to go and get yourself a quick engineering degree before your baby is born.

Oh well, too late for that now.

Despite the many years my husband and I spent in university getting all smart and edumacated, installing car seats causes us to argue, curse, and long for a simpler time when there were no car seats…or cars. But then I remember that back when there were no cars, there was also no internet, and that is even scarier than car seat installation.

PS. Calling all historical types- if I just completely butchered the quotation in the title, could you please tell me so I can change it and avoid looking like a fool for too long? Thanks.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

How To Hide Your Peanut Butter Addiction

Don't you hate it when you buy a big jar of peanut butter, and a week later, you realize it’s gone, and that you’re the only one in your home who eats peanut butter? 

No. That probably doesn’t happen to you.

Because you are probably a normal human being, and normal human beings don’t single-handedly consume entire jars of peanut butter over the course of one week. 

Not that I do that. 

But if I did do that, I would probably wish to conceal the evidence of my gluttony from my husband (that is, if he hadn’t already found evidence of this in the form of my not-so-gradually expanding waistline).

Obviously, I would go buy another jar of peanut butter to replace the empty jar. This way my husband would just assume that the new jar was the old jar, and that his wife wasn’t a big giant pig. 

During the unfortunate time lag between the consumption of the old jar and the purchase of the new jar, I would make sure there was just enough peanut butter in the old jar for it to maintain the appearance of still being full. This would be easily accomplished by making sure that a tiny amount remained and was strategically spread over the entire surface area of the inside of the jar.

If, as a result of absent-mindedness and sheer stupidity, I accidentally left the empty peanut butter jar in the pantry after purchasing the new jar, and my husband were to find both the full and the empty butter jars, he would likely cope with his shock and disgust by proceeding to inform me how many calories are in a jar of peanut butter. 

5680 calories.

The equivalent of almost three days’ worth of calories.

Good thing I didn’t do that. 

Not that I would tell you if I did.

PS. When I read this post to my husband, he noted that it kind of makes him look like a jerk. I assure you that this is most certainly not the case, as evidenced by the following random act of coffee kindness:


Friday, 16 November 2012

It Turns Out I'm Neurotic

I’m a neurotic individual.

I know, big shocker, right?

To be fair, most people are neurotic in some way. But I- always the overachiever- have managed to expand my neurosis to many areas of my life.  

My husband is so lucky.

One of the many manifestations of my neurosis is the food journal I keep for my daughter.  The food journal is a little notebook in which I record every single thing she eats, at every meal, every day.

I started the food journal when she first ate solid food at five months, and now at thirteen months,the insanity continues.

I’m not exactly sure why I feel the need to document every morsel of food that goes into her mouth. The obvious answer is that the cause of any potential allergic reaction will be easily identified.  I have heard of other people writing down the new foods that their babies are introduced to for allergy-related reasons, but this doesn’t explain why I write down every food, at every meal. I guess it’s just one of the many things I do “just in case”. 

Just in case of what? 

Just in case I ever need to know what she ate for breakfast on July 8, 2012?  

Just in case she doesn’t get into Harvard one day, and I need to try to figure out where we went wrong? 

Just in case I need evidence that I am, indeed, insane?

My husband asked me how long I intended to continue journaling my daughter’s food intake. I hadn’t given it that much thought. He envisions this continuing into her adolescent years:

Food Journal Entry 5485: Child’s Age: 16
Observed child from bushes last night with binoculars, drinking a beer. This food has been introduced ahead of schedule- not due to be introduced for another (at least) five years. No allergic reaction noted.

Point taken, Husband.

Possibly the most neurotic thing about this whole food journaling business is that it didn’t occur to me that this was not a normal thing to do until my husband pointed it out to me- of course  I write down every food my daughter eats, at every meal, every day. Doesn’t everybody? 

I guess not.


This begs the question, what else do I do that I think is normal that in actuality….well…. isn’t?

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Parenting And The Moral Superiority Index

The following is a guest post by my husband. He wishes to state for the record that he does not actually “post”, nor does he “blog”, nor does he type (if he doesn’t have to). He is, however, hilarious, and he dictated the following “post”. Any and all typos are attributable to me.

The Moral Superiority Index. Are you not aware of this metric? This is the metric by which all parents are judged (by other parents). As I explain in my seminal work, “Moral Superiority and You: Why I Am Morally Superior To You”, this is a floating index which, through multi-variant analysis, and a variety of other statistical methods to which I am entirely oblivious, I can pretty much do whatever I want, as long as I compare myself to something you did that is worse. I can thus prove myself morally superior to you. 

Kindly do not look at this graph too closely. My husband has informed me it's not entirely accurate. I was just excited that I figured out how to make a graph on Power Point, but I was too lazy to figure out how to make it do exactly what I wanted. Whatever. It makes me feel smart.

For instance, when I dress my child in clothes that are clearly clashing and too small, I feel like I am doing something wrong. But the moral superiority index dictates that when a picture of your child appears on Facebook equally ill-attired, I am morally superior to you because I did not post a picture of my inappropriately attired child on a public forum, and I did not thus ruin their hopes at the 2027 presidential 
election. I retain moral superiority. 

Example 2: I feed my child sweetened applesauce, while you feed your child unsweetened applesauce. My moral superiority numbers decline. But it was an accident in that I thought I had purchased unsweetened applesauce.  Moral superiority numbers increase somewhat however, not knowing what you are feeding your child causes a dip in the index. Fortunately, due to the fact that my applesauce was organic and yours was…well…not, numbers again return to their pre-applesauce incident level. 

The moral superiority index is a convenient method for assessing one’s parenting abilities relative to others. Unfortunately it does not work as an internal quality control by which I can become a better parent. It only serves to decrease my overall parametric guilt levels (I do not know what parametric means.) So, in our modern world of Twitter, Pinterest, and dependence on oil, what does the Moral Superiority Index do for you? 

Saturday, 3 November 2012

I Think I'll Just Stay On Daylight Savings Time

Apparently it’s almost time to switch our clocks back, and I couldn’t be more unprepared.  I realized this after reading this post by fellow blogger, Dani at Cloudy, With A Chance of Wine. Dani describes how
 she has gradually been moving her daughter’s schedule later and later over the past month. Smart thinking.

I, on the other hand have done nothing to prepare my daughter for the adjustment. This experience is completely new to me- at this time last year, my daughter was a newborn, and a “schedule” was the furthest thing from my mind.  Now, my daughter is old enough to have a consistent schedule, but not old enough to understand that 6:00 am “old time” equals  5:00am “new time”  (ie. Way too early to be awake).  

Prior to having a baby, the end of Daylights Savings Time meant an extra hour of sleep. Amazing.  Back in my teenage years, the end of daylight savings time meant an extra hour to party and a later curfew. Equally amazing. 

But things are different now and I’m less than thrilled about starting my day sometime around 5 am tomorrow.  

I really really REALLY don’t want to switch the clocks back.

So I’m thinking I just won’t.

Would boycotting the return to “real time” really be so terrible? Think of the benefits:

I would be an hour early for every appointment. As every parent knows, getting out of the house with a baby can be quite the ordeal, and often causes frenzy, tardiness, and mismatched socks.

But not anymore.

I would get an extra hour of sunlight each afternoon, which in my opinion would do wonders for combating the winter blahs. (It might kind of suck to be in complete darkness every day until lunch time, but I’m choosing to ignore that aspect).

Then, of course, there’s the most obvious benefit which is that when spring rolls around, my daughter and I will already be on Daylight Savings Time, and I won’t have to re-work her sleep schedule.

So, it’s decided.  I’m going to just stay on daylight savings time.

Who’s with me?
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