Category Archives: O

Joy in bathtime and other amazing minutiae

J usually gives O his bath. This week J is working evenings, so I’m on bath duty. I think I’d like to be on bath duty more often. It was delightful. O is big enough now that he can sit up in the tub on his own without me worrying that he’s going to nose-dive and swallow half the bath-water. So I can spend more energy on playing and washing and less energy on baby-wrestling.

O is really into splashing – he loves to slap his little hands on the water and watch the drops fly around. He doesn’t seem to mind getting water in his face, it’s part of the fun. Sometimes he gets a very serious look on his face and slowly moves his hand through the water. He’s working hard to figure out how it all works! Once we’ve had our fill, we wave ‘bye-bye’ to the bath water and I wrap him up in his froggie towel. This is also great fun. He laughs giant belly laughs as I wipe his face and dry under his arms.

I’m enjoying being a parent these days. Getting a decent amount of sleep helps SO MUCH. I did have fun with O before, but my patience was so short, and my energy was so low, that most often I was just going through motions, getting through each step and then the next. I had forgotten what it was like to feel normal. Throughout my months of sleep-deprivation, I had a vague feeling that if I could just get a better night’s sleep, everything would be easier to handle. I was right. Even though I’m still only getting three hours stretches, I get several a night, and then a few hours or two snatches in the morning. It’s making all the difference.

Now I am relishing my son. He really is the most amazing little creature. He is nearly nine months now, so he’s really figuring out the world. He listens carefully to J and I when we talk to him. He thinks so hard sometimes! His brow gets all furrowed and he concentrates on whatever it is that has caught his attention.I’d love to get inside his brain. I want to know what the world looks like through his eyes. I often get down on the floor and follow him around, to try and get his perspective on things. There are more Cheerios down there, for one thing, and much more carpet lint.

I’m reading a wonderful book called The Baby in the Mirror by Charles Fernyhough. It’s a great read if you get a chance. He chronicled nearly every detail of his daughters first few years in journals and videos and has then interwoven a recounting of her babyhood with information on cognitive science and brain devlopment. I learned that very young babies have synesthesia. They see sounds and hear colours. The world must be so mixed up and confusing for them! The sensory connections in their brains sort themselves out by around six weeks. I haven’t gotten far anough into the book to read yet about what Owen’s world is like, but I’m really looking forward to finding out.

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The case of the pink pants

So I bought O a new pair of pants yesterday. They are striped, and some of the stripes are pink. Some of the stripes are also blue and yellow and red. I did get them in the girls’ section. The first thing J said when he saw them was “There is pink in those pants”. I really like these pants – they’re cute. Of course, O could care less. He would prefer to wear no pants at all.

I realized a little while ago that I am falling into something I said I wouldn’t do. O is surrounded in ‘boy’ things. Maybe it’s all the clothes and toys he got for Christmas, but it’s bugging me. I want him to be exposed to a whole range of things to wear and play with and do and be. I know little boys are different from little girls, and they often gravitate to the ‘boy’ things on their own, but I wonder how much of that is influenced by their environment, and how much of it is innate.

Hence – the pants. I want to raise a feminist. I know pink pants aren’t going to do it, but it’s a start. I don’t really mind if I get a few “oh – what a cute little girl” comments, or if people think it’s a bit weird. It might get them thinking about gender stereotypes, and that’s always a good thing.  We’ll see how I feel when he wants to wear a tutu to kindergarten*.

Any advice on how to raise a feminist boy? What are you doing with your own kids to try to counteract all the stereotypical crap that is bombarding them all the time?

*for the record – I’d let him, but then I would have to work on my own preconceptions and worrying about what others might think.

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He’s just not a stroller baby

Or maybe I’m just not a stroller mom.

I’ve been taking O out in his stroller a bit over the past week. We want him to get a bit more used to it, so that his grandparents can take him for walks. It’s gone alright, I guess. He hasn’t screamed – which is what he used to do.

It’s been months since we hauled it out – for a while he didn’t have a snowsuit, so it wasn’t even possible to take him out in it in this cold weather. Then he got a snowsuit for Xmas, so no more excuses.

I’m a stroller newbie. I don’t know how to dress him for it, I’m not very good at negotiating the snowy sidewalks – it’s just not comfortable. I tend to bump into people by accident, and I’m always afraid I’ll lose my grip on the handle going down a hill. I did find myself enjoying the ‘shopping cart ‘ thing, though. You can really stuff that basket full of stuff!

By the time we got home yesterday, I found myself longing for some babywearing cuddlies from my little guy. I popped him in the ringsling and did some tidying. It felt good. O is not a very cuddly baby – there’s too much to see and do to waste time snuggling with mama. So pretty much the only time I get my cuddles in are when he’s in the carrier.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those moms who think strollers are like rolling ‘neglect-o-mobiles’ or anything. Babywearing is what works for us, most of the time. I’m glad we have the stroller option, and I really like the stroller we chose (Baby Jogger brand – CityMini, if anyone’s interested!). I can see that we may use it more as O gets bigger, and the weather gets nicer. I’m a babywearer at heart, though, and I plan on strapping him in as long as he’ll let me!

What about you? Are you a stroller mom/dad? What kind of stroller/babycarrier to you have? A friend once said to me that she did more research on what stroller to get than she did on what car to buy. I can beleive it.

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