I won’t say much because my Grampy wasn’t exactly what you would call loquacious but I do need to document here on this blog that my grandfather read every day- that my Grampy, Francis M. Skomro passed away last week.
He was 95 and lived a full and fascinating life. My Grampy and Mimi were married for 72 years. They would read my blog daily and complain when I took too much time off or wrote too short of a post. They were my biggest fans and my most honest critics. I would think of them each time I wrote, hoping they wouldn’t mind my cursing or complaining about first world problems. After all, Grampy grew up in the Depression and didn’t have the easiest life in the beginning. I look at Eli now, belly full of milk and cozy in his softest jammies, and wish that Grampy could have been loved and cared for like this little guy. But then I smile knowing that this is his legacy.
Grampy was a foster care child who went on to become a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, marry my Mimi, have six children, 11 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. He was an extremely kind and generous man. Thank you for all you’ve done for this family Grampy. We love you dearly and will miss you.
I understand that every baby is different. And after last week’s rant on parenting advice, I’m surely not about to dish out hard and fast facts on what babies need. But I will share what we needed. These are the top 7 essential items that got us through the first four weeks with baby.
If you had a friend that woke you up every three hours demanding to be fed, leaked bodily fluids from every orifice of their body on to you and you still turned around and kissed his cheeks and tickled his belly- well then I’d say you have one sick and twisted co-dependent relationship on your hands. But when that friend is your child, it’s just Tuesday.
Yeah, having a baby is hilarious.
But let’s forget all that and pretend that my little man is as angelic as these photos suggest all the time… which, he really mostly is. Baby’s first photo shoot was a big success. He was a total professional… up until the very last photo where Momma and Dad stepped in to get just one family photo.
He snuggled into Momma’s arms, our photographer stepped back to shoot, and…
There’s something warm dripping down my arm and onto my foot below. Little man had held it long enough. It’s OK buddy, Momma doesn’t mind a little pee.
But then the photographer stepped back again, framed her shot, and…
Squirt. Yes, Eli spared our photographer, her lovely blankets and furry rugs, and saved it all for Momma.
So this photo is very photoshopped. Notice the clean arms. But the smiles on our faces are 100% genuine.
So great job my little supermodel. I will be sure to remind you of this photoshoot and your grand finale when you’re a teenager. Momma loves you.
And I put it there. Because enough. Seriously, enough! I have come to two very important conclusions over the past 17 days…
Number One: There are a lot of opinions on how to take care of a newborn.
And Number Two: Take all opinions with a grain of salt and make up your own damn mind because I am the f-ing parent and I’ll do what’s best for my family just as women have done for millions of years without lactation consultants, mommy Facebook groups, and parenting books galore. We started potty training and I got a bedwetting alarm that alerts me when my child has an accident.
There. I’ve said it. I mean, I’m not going rogue entirely. I trust a healthcare professional’s opinion. But I’m so sick of the impossible advice and the contradictions. Oh the contradictions!
“Feed your baby every two hours even if it takes two hours to feed them. You don’t need to shower or empty your bladder, right? But be sure to take care of yourself with nutricious meals and plenty of water. If you don’t, your milk supply will diminish. To keep your supply up, feed the baby often but not too often or that could diminish your supply. And don’t forget to pump. Yes, something should be hanging off your nipples at all times. Formula? I suppose, since your milk isn’t coming in fast enough (you imperfect woman) and your baby is starving. But you should really breastfeed (you selfish mother who refuses to spend every waking moment feeding, pumping, downing lactation cookies and fenugreek for the sake of your child!) because breast is best!”
“Don’t take your baby out of the house for the first month because germs! So many germs. But be sure to bring him into a germ-infested hospital several times in the first week of life to get him looked at up and down and be told he’s underweight and then a day later overweight. And please be sure to get in to see your OBGYN so she can see if you’ve showered and don’t want to kill yourself. Are you sure the weepies aren’t postpartum depression? If so, we’ll give you drugs but that could diminish your milk supply which will probably thrust you into a deeper depression.”
“How’s baby sleeping? He should sleep up to 17 hours a day but be sure to wake him to feed. And put him on his back or he’ll surely die of SIDS. Unless of course you don’t want him to have reflux or choke on spit up or have a flat head- then you should put a rolled blanket in the crib and place him at a 45 degree angle. And sleep when the baby sleeps but of course you probably will just stare at him since (do I really have to mention it again?) SIDS. And during the day, try to hold him or wear him rather than put him in a bassinet or car seat because using the facilities with an infant strapped to you is just a delight. Quality Mommy & Me time right there. And when he’s not eating, on you, or sleeping, be sure to do tummy time or you’re a terrible mother. Yes, he’ll hate it and wail but it’s somehow critical to his development to lay on the floor struggling to turn his 7-day-old neck.”
Yes, I’m exaggerating but not by much! It’s impossible to follow every bit of advice. So call me crazy or irresponsible but don’t you dare call me a bad Momma. My main rule of thumb is now- if Eli’s happy and healthy and Momma and Dada are happy and healthy, then we’re doing absolutely fabulous!