Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Things Someone Should Have Told Me Before I Had a Baby

1. You will never find the right baby sling, no matter how hard you try.

Baby-wearing devices were invented by either 1) an asshole or 2) a morbidly obese person. I've tried three, and each is a colossal failure of cotton dessign. The Hotsling worked the first time I used it, but now droops sadly when I stuff my poor baby in, who winds up lying flat at the very bottom of the fabric pouch, staring up at me with a look of utter disdain. Then we've got the Terra Cotta or something, which is as ineptly named as it is designed.

And finally, the Moby. Oh, where do I begin with the Moby? Why is the Moby so long? Why, God, why is it so long? One size fits all, in that it is so large that it is big enough for anyone on the planet, including a silverback gorilla.

I loathe the Moby with a violent loathing. I want to kick it in the face, but it is just a 98 foot long pile of cloth, so it doesn't care what I do to it. In fact I think it grows each time I begrudgingly extract it from its tiny cloth bag, just to mock me.

Seriously, who the hell invented this thing? All it is is a strip of fabric so long that if you tried to hang yourself with it, you'd fail, no matter how high your ceilings are. Oh, I should mention it comes with a 50 page instruction manual on how the fuck you use it, since that's how long it takes to explain why anyone needs a 98 foot long strip of fabric. Which leads me to...

2. Immediately dispose of any and all items requiring an instruction manual.

There is nothing so frustrating as scanning an instruction book while simultaneously trying to operate the device you have no clue how to use while your poor, patient baby waves her arms and grunts and begins to cry because it is taking you eons, EONS, to figure out said device, and baby needs snuggling or swaddling or food and there you are, futilely scanning the pictures of smiling moms, searching for the golden shred of knowledge that will TELL YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOAL SO THAT YOU CAN MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE.

If it needs a manual, toss it in the dumpster. Unless it is a car seat. Those really just ought to come with some sort of fairy or elf who magically manipulates baby's arms and legs through the various straps and buckles the various plastic elements properly because adult human hands are incapable of such precise movements without years of prior training.

Lo, the heartbreaking wail of a baby being strapped to a torture device carseat. Bet you didn't know that...

3. ...your heart will be broken, pinched, spit on, and bitch-slapped on a daily basis!

That thin little wail your baby emits when you buckle her into the carseat? Your fault, you sadistic asshole. Her wide-eyed look of alarm accompanied by outstretched flailing arms? Hey, that's because she thinks you're about to drop her! Nice going, idiot. How about when baby stops eating, turns bright red, shrieks, then starts eating again? Oh, that's just because it hurts to eat, people. It just hurts to eat.

Babies can't catch a break, and that shit is sad. Baby used to be all snuggled up cozy inside, sans bright lights or cold air or nurses who drop things on their heads or inept parents. And then they come out and you know what bitches? It's hard out here for a baby. She may not be dodging bullets, but the bathwater temperature can be dicey and her hoes are arguably more trouble than they're worth.


nycphoenix said...

You made me laugh about the babywearing . I don't know where you live but if you are in NEw york and you're committed to doing the babywearing there is a very active group with meetups and instrcuctions and such check out www.slingsinthecity.com or is it org? anyhoo, another good site is www.thebabywearer.com. I did a lot of research for my sis and nephew because he was a preemie and the doc recommended babywearing. she actually got the hang of the moby and bought a gypsymama for the water and a ring sling from sleeping baby productions. she loved that thing i t was a workhorse and made out of that weavy cotton they use for polos. you might like a mei tai, less fabric very easy to put on and pretty

Aunt Becky said...

Like you, I hate slings. I don't get them. And I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person (shut up, gs, shut up).

I just got a killer arm muscle from carrying the baby the old fashioned way.

bleu said...

wrap and Maya pouch were the only things that worked for me.

I think the biggest shock for me was that it would physically hurt ME when my child cried, shocked the hell out of me. And yes it is quite hard to be thrust into the big cold loud world.

More pics dammit!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

*snort* The moby is a bitch. I had somebody show me how to use it and I'm damn good at it now but I still think it takes too long and is too complicated. Plus you're paying how much for a million yards of fabric that you could just cut yourself? I am a fan of Ye Olde Ring Sling, but it took a kid who used his as a transitional object to get me to use one enough to really get comfortable with them. I could do yard work with the kid in one. Very 3rd world. And yes, people pay me to watch their babies and then I do yard work. Then with the older kids, I make them do the yard work. My own yard work. What a scam.

I have to argue that, while being a baby *is* fucking hard, your baby's hoes are arguably pretty great.

amy said...

we have an ergo baby carrier and it's fantastic! we bought it when our daughter was already 4 months old or so so i can't speak to it's comfort for an infant but we intend to use it with our new baby when s/he arrives early next year so i guess we'll see. you can search for it or i found it here:


The Indian said...

This is not in the least bit helpful but we found that we had to change carriers as she grew: we used the Maya wrap when she was really little and needed to be up close and then moved on to the Bjorn and finished up with the Ergo. Unfortunate truth is they all require an advanced degree (and not the ones we all have) so yes, just mutter a lot of curses under your breath as you struggle with the python they call a wrap.

Overall, though, don't beat up on yourself too much. This shit is totally perplexing, especially on two hour snatches of sleep. Hang in there, ladies. You're doing phenomenally well and she won't break. Remember that one of the reasons she cries is because she can't talk yet and it's her only way of communicating. It's not really all that bad in baby land, even if it takes a while to figure out the right temperature for the bath water (don't use the f#*king duck, whatever you do). Love you!

Black Hockey Jesus said...

I've actually smashed a carseat on the ground in a parking lot & my wife was all "How old are you?" but I'm with you on this one. Car seats suck.

clara said...

congratulations on evan - she's beautiful. hopefully you are getting some time off. the didymos is great. comes in different sizes.