Infant Insights

Hey guys. Arbor here. Haven’t really got a lot of time to write, nor have I been on the planet that long, but I figured with all the craziness in this world, folks could use some sound advice for life from an objective third party perspective, and I’ve made some observations over the last ten months:

  • I prefer a cold stale pancake to ANY VEGETABLE.
  • Car seats exist for the sole purpose of making me so mad in the realest way. I’m serious: I can literally reach out and touch my brother and sister; I can smell my mom’s coffee breath, so why exactly am I strapped in this uncomfortable chair facing backwards and NO ONE is making any attempt to hold me?
  • I have yet to meet a human who shares my affinity for dog culture. Truth be told I’d rather be living the life of a canine and chewing on ALL THE THINGS but instead I’m stuck hanging out with my fun-sponge mom and all her rules. Specifically I am, like, obsessed with dog water rn. Oh and nothing makes me feel more chill than lying in a dog bed. If you haven’t tried it, you are missing out, my friends.
  • Boobs are a comfort. Like, literally so comforting. Even if the gravy train has stopped flowing and your mom has given up on nursing, there’s no reason you can’t still enjoy a good boob. Stick your hands down her shirt and grab on tight! Great soothing technique that you can do any time, any place: in the rocking chair, vacuuming, standing in a crowded hallway at church in front of God’s own face and all your friends. Moms don’t care especially if you smile while going for it, and anyway she lives to flash people in public places.
  • People seem to respond well to sounds, so the more you make, the more attention you get. For instance, if it’s smiles you want, try a soft cooing noise combined with the slight cock of your head and a coy smile. For all other things, like if your mom won’t let you eat a styrofoam plate, or it’s “bedtime” but you’ve already taken a twenty minute catnap since you woke up twelve hours ago, I find that a throaty and meaningful “AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH” conveys a range of emotion no parent can ignore.  A well-timed scream might even bring a mom to tears which is always interesting to watch and buys you at least another hour of playtime.
  • I have the unfortunate disadvantage of having a mom who is past her prime and who is therefore always dragging her butt at getting to me when I am ready for a diaper change (jk haha, this is never!) or when I want to be lifted and carried to wherever it is I want to go. But I find that if you pull up on her legs and grab at her skirt, it will fall down and she will pick you up at that point, albeit with one limpy left arm. She may complain of burning muscles and an aching back from lifting all thirty-hundred pounds of you but BE RELENTLESS as this is the only thing keeping her in any kind of shape at this point, because let’s face it: she’s so very old. Don’t forget to thrash around a lot in her arms to prevent those dreaded “bingo wings” from settling in before you’re even in kindergarten for crying out loud.
  • Speaking of diaper changes, if you must have one, scream for a few minutes and then take the opportunity, while you’re on your back, to practice your flipping. This brings an overall enhancement to the diaper-changing experience only because the parent will often try to speed up the process, leaving them flustered and uncoordinated, giving you a better chance of escape–a game that is both enjoyable to you and forces your parent to clean, excercise, and BONUS! Even sometimes cry.
  • The world is full of things to put in your mouth–don’t limit yourself to the “toys” designed for babies. I find them to be quite lame tbh, and have developed a keen eye for alternative items that are totally taste-able if not completely edible: feathers, rocks, crayons, barrettes, hammers, furniture, ANYTHING plastic, brooms, bugs, dirt, books; and of course dog food, dog hair, dog poop if you can find it. Also don’t forget your mother! Moms often wear things on their necks or ears for your nibbling pleasure; don’t be afraid to go for her hair or bite her face if you’re in the mood–just bite it!
  • Moms are always getting out the phone, buy how do you know when they’re taking a picture of you or merely wasting time on Pinterest? A mom in photography mode has one dead giveaway so listen up and take advantage of this: you will never see her act more ridiculous. Do not immediately pose for that first shot–move! Shake! Frown a little bit but smile sporadically to keep her thinking there’s a chance of capturing a precious moment somewhere in all your physical chaos. There’s an untapped entertainment treasure trove in these picture taking sessions that most babies won’t appreciate but if you explore your potential as a model-on-the-go, you will see your mother make all the animal sounds–and faces to go along with them–before logging back onto Pinterest, leaving you alone to track down something small and plastic to put in your mouth.
  • If you’re like most babies, you’ve got a wicked sweet plush nursery complete with a mobile above your crib and your name in at least three places along your walls. My mom? Hasn’t so much as bought a single wooden letter, and I sleep in a neutral-colored pack’n’play. A PACK’N’PLAY, PEOPLE. If there are perks to having a worn-out, 35+ years old mommy, I haven’t discovered them. My room is as bare as it was the day we moved in, so nap times and bedtimes are beyond boring to me and I have no advice for this: fight for a little while and then just go to sleep. If your parents are nice, you’re still being rocked and cradled and probably living the co-sleeping dream; my folks are practically geriatric and sleep like the dead, so any hopes of them getting up at night to change me or feed me went out the window, right along them not wearing diapers before I get out of high school. I don’t let it get me down though; having time to sleep at night gives me energy I need during the day to pursue my many interests, including, but not limited to, eating dog food.

  

Here’s a picture of me snapped by my mom in secret and completely without my permission. PARENTS, oy. But they mean well.

   
 Here’s some shots of me in my high chair,  where my mom will often put me when we’ve worked out her upper body to the extreme that day, which is everyday, according to her. But if you play your cards right, you’ll score some kewl jewelry like this necklace, or even the sunglasses off your mom’s own face!

  
Me again, testing the temperature of the dog water.

  
Magnets: one of the many things I sample during the day.

  
My mom at the end of the day.

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About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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