So I’m in the store, wandering the aisles as I do since it’s the only thing open at 8am, and out of the corner of my eye I spy a stand up display for HUGGIES diapers JEANS limited edition. We are talking about disposable diapers with a denim print on them instead of white. They are designed to look like jeans with pockets and stitching. However, because they are diapers they only scream one look, Daisy Duke. I’m all for creativity and trying something new, but I think the powers that be can come up with something a little more baby appropriate than jean shorts. I will admit that I was tempted to get them for LTD if only to take a really nice picture of him in them to show the world when he is at his Supreme Court nomination hearing. Hey, don’t judge me he should have wrecked the car 16 years from now.
Thanks to the DVR I don’t watch a lot of commercials, but I did catch one the other day for a product that truly makes me fear for western civilization. I give you Cupcake Pebbles. I’ll skip over the lectures on America’s obesity and diabetes problems and get right to the ridiculousness of eating cupcakes for breakfast and trust me if you are going to eat a cupcake for breakfast man up and eat a real one. I salute Post for blowing right past Cookie Crisp and anxiously await the arrival of brownie cereal. In addition to waiting for ice cream flavored cereal, I will also enjoy waiting for the day when LTD begs me to buy him a bag of sugar to eat for breakfast and the tantrum that will result when I decline.
As long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know, one of the only places open after I drop off The Mommy at her carpool is the grocery store. I like the market because I can put LTD in the shopping cart and thus save my back from having to carry him around. However, as nice as the Stop N Shop is, they still suffer from the same affliction I have noticed befalls any store that uses shopping carts. The safety straps are always broken. I don’t know what people are doing to these things, but the condition of the cart straps is just brutal. They are either frayed, missing or warped. I know that straps spend a lot of time outside yet their destruction seems like a growth industry. I would suspect a plot of I didn’t think the real simple truth was that some people are just rotten and like rotten apples they ruin it for the rest of the bunch. However, I would like to commend my local Stop N Shop for recently replacing many destroyed straps with brand new one. Now if only they could do something about the one cart with the broken wheel it seems I always get.
With Spring in the air and in my step, I have begun taking LTD to the playground at least once a week. While he can’t really do anything yet, he does enjoy the baby swing and the equipment you sit on and bounce. However, I have begun to notice a small bit of awkwardness in the playground vibe when other people are present. Specifically, when mothers are present. Sometimes I get the polite pity nod or a curt hello, but usually I get iced out. We are talking way past dagger stares and into the cruelest realm, the shun. The cool moms talk about what is going on in their baby universes ignoring me the whole time. They talk about day camps and Gymboree classes and mine as well be invisible.
I know that local playgrounds have there clicks and I’m not looking to intrude or join any gossip gang, but you could at least be civil. Even in 2010 the stigma of seeing dad as fulltime caregiver freaks people out. The playground moms can’t just let it go rather they give looks of ‘I wonder what the deal with that guy is?’ Perhaps over time some of the moms will loosen up and see me as an equal. I guess I should consider myself lucky that I’m not 6’2”, 300 lbs and covered in tattoos.
Before we had a baby I can’t remember the last time I used a thermometer at home. I can tell you it was glass and had some tasty mercury inside. Not anymore, it turns out mercury is dangerous (thank you Jeremy Piven). All the new thermometers are digital and guess what, they stink. They aren’t very expensive, so after I couldn’t get the first one to work, I bought two different brands. The good news is that you have to use them rectally and who doesn’t enjoy that? Another good thing is that they only take a few seconds to read the temperature. Now the less good news, they all read different temperatures and no of them has ever been 98.6 degrees.
I shared my frustration with our doctor who explained that we don’t really stay at 98.6 and that it is a rough guideline. He suggested that not only we take the temperature a few times, but that we would basically be able to tell when if he was sick and had signs of a fever. So far, we think, LTD has never had a fever so we shall see if I can get the thermometer to work by the time I really need it.
Again, having a five month old I really thought I would not have to deal with certain things until years from now, but like everything else I thought I knew about parenting I was wrong. Turns out that almost everything LTD uses takes batteries. I figured that when he was older his toys would need them; I just had no idea that they don’t make baby products that don’t take them as well. LTD’s swing, bouncer, papa san, sleep sheep, glowworm and diapers all take them. Okay, I lied about the diapers, but you get the idea. Also, the electronics I have been using for the last twenty years use AA or AAA batteries, but most of the baby’s things take C, I mean I haven’t used a C battery since Reagan was president. In case any of you doubt batteries aren’t expensive than you have never purchased them. In a misguided attempt to save money I purchased a ton of Rayovacs on sale. Well, you get what you pay for, they last half as long the big boys Duracell and Energizer. The only bright spot is that since they didn’t last long they are now all gone.
Another battery related pain is the battery cover on all the baby stuff. Unlike normal products all of the baby battery covers are screwed in place with tiny screws. I trust you all know what unscrews a tiny screw, that’s right, a tiny screwdriver. Can anyone guess what keeps happening to my tiny screwdriver? Correct, I keep losing it. To sum up, batteries are expensive, you need a lot of them and they should sell them with tiny screwdrivers.
Cell phone etiquette debates are nothing new. There are the cell phone drivers, the cell phone moviegoers, the cell phone shoppers, the loud restaurant cell phone eaters, but I think I may have noticed something new and equally annoying. I give you cell phone caregivers. Talk about being distracted, this new breed of yappers chatter away on their mobiles oblivious to what their babies or toddlers are doing. And don’t get me started on the strollers; I mean people’s ankles are the real silent victims of this cruel practice.
The stroller talkers aren’t nearly as bad as the playground or supermarket cell phone parents. Sadly, this problem is only get to worse with texting and phone Internet searches. Oh, look, little Johnny is playing in traffic, where are his parents? I’ll tell you where. One is talking to his buddy about Transformers 2 on his iphone, while the other is using her crackberry to email her sister tips on baby safety. Time for Congress to act and for you to action; let our representatives know that someone must think of the children.
Once your baby is born you quickly learn what size clothing will fit him or her correctly. LTD was a fairly average sized baby, so he was able to wear age appropriate attire from day one. He moved from Newborn to 0-3 months and now he is rocking 3-6 months gear. Of course nothing is ever easy because it feels like all the companies that make baby clothes got together and held a secret meeting the outcome of which was an agreement that all their clothes actually be different sizes but all their labels would say the same size. If they didn’t have a meeting how does one explain the size differences between clothes that claim to be the same? For instance, we bought a shirt the other day that says it is for the 3-6 month age group, but it was the same size as the 9 month shirt I bought way early cause it had Batman on it. I understand that every clothing manufacture does things their own way and we don’t want to live in a soul crushing 1984-like world where all things are the same, but I think we can all agree that all size 6 months should be universally alike. I have enough on my plate without having to measure baby clothes.
It seems that justice can indeed be swift when the issue is truly important. The Mommy and I took LTD to the doctor’s office today for his two-month check up. As I pulled in to my usual space I notice that someone has heeded my call to balance the scales. Now, I know what you’re thinking, it was I who donned the mantle of the Masked Avenger and took pen to sign, but alas I can only serve as an innocent and proud bystander. While I do not condone the defacement of private property I still cheer inside with the knowledge that I am not alone. On a separate note, LTD got shots in both legs (sorry Jenny McCarthy, we believe in science) and took them like a champ. He is doing really well and doesn’t seem to have a fever, nor is he sleeping more than usual.
The other day I went to pick up The Mommy and LTD from her new mother’s group. The group meets at our pediatrician’s office and the parking is tight. I spied a space in front, but as I pulled in I saw a sign indicating that the space was reserved for mothers with young children. I had a brief debate with myself, the outcome of which was that since I was picking up The Mommy and LTD it would be cool to park in the space. As I waited for their group to let out I got a little angry thinking about the sign. Now, I know what you’re thinking, that I am only angry it says “Mothers” instead of “Parents”. Yeah, okay I was. Then I found out they make signs that say this:
After seeing this sign, my anger subsided a bit. However, when I realized it still wasn’t fair, I got angry again. What about grandparents, aunts, uncles, nannies and sitters? The goal of the reserved space is to make it easier for a person trying to set up a car seat or a stroller with a screaming kid while trying not to get hit by a car. Why can’t the sign simply say Reserved for Caregivers of Young Children? Looks like it is time to write your member of Congress.