When I found out I was pregnant and we began planning the baby's room, I knew I wanted something clean, simple, and definitely not blue. We didn't want stark modern, but we are not cluttery people. At least we try not to be (this usually results in throwing a lot of shit out every 3 months in the attempt not to be cluttery people). I did not want a house full of baby toys and baby stuff that baby wasn't ever going to use (by the way, that picture above IS NOT my house).
Ah, the plans of the ignorant.
I also planned to be the cool, slim, super chic mom. My pregnancy wasn't an excuse to gain 50 lbs or eat everything I ever wanted, any time I wanted to. What I found (not) amusing was how every one wanted to tell me my pregnancy was the excuse to simply live in excess for 9 months - eat what you want! Sleep the day away, don't keep the house clean or do errands or keep up any semblance of order or hygiene, you're pregnant! Oh no, I was not going to be that pregnant lady or that mom. After the baby was born, I planned to do the unthinkable: get a shower everyday (that included washing my hair), put on make-up when dealing with the outside world, lose the baby weight, keep my house clean, check email and most importantly - leave my house.
I managed to do most of that. I made a Target run (sans bebe) 3 days after we came home from the hospital. I lost the baby weight in 3 weeks (kudos to the gestational diabetes), even though the remaining weight seems to have, um... redistributed itself differently. I learned to shower super quick when he went down for his morning nap, and then at 15 weeks I learned that he was not going to die if I could hear him crying in his crib when I shut the shower water off. I took him out into the world 3 weeks after he was born and we both survived.
What I did not manage to do was keep out the invading baby stuff. I guess I should have known, when we had a dog it had 3 dog beds in the house, two in the living room and one in the bedroom. I was thinking about this today as I brought home and put together one of those Play and Lay mats (or whatever they're called, I threw the box out), one with the arch and the dangly things. Its cheesy but I was looking for something that would amuse him while he is on his back and looking up, and hopefully something that would encourage him to start to roll over (this one has fabric sides with pictures of animals). He has a Boppy frog play mat, but when on his back, the only thing to look at is me, and I think he is getting tired of that. So now my living room consists of 2 play mats, a rocker chair (with vibration and sound), and a swing chair (also with mobile and sound) in case, you know, he wants different movement. In his room is the foam mat on the floor to also encourage tummy time and rolling over, in addition to the Bumbo chair we got from a friend (what? he doesn't know its pink) so he can learn to sit up. Oh, and of course, there is the pack n play in our bedroom (aka the baby cage), which he no longer sleeps in, but which we have yet to pack up or play in.
You see, much as I miss my old uncluttered living room, the truth is, I need someplace to put this child when I simply can't hold him anymore. When he doesn't want to be held by me anymore, which contrary to all to mommy websites, happens. All those people who say, "Oh, your baby will never get tired of you holding him!" can bite me. In our house, it happens at least twice a day. There comes a point when he is fussing and half screaming/crying, when I know what he is saying is, "For God's sake put me down! Stop touching me!" He wants you to play with him, but while you sit across from him, not while he sweats in your arms and drools on your shoulder. But there is now a point of fussing when I sit in the usual chair, or the usual spot on the sofa, or when I sit him on my lap in front of the computer while I try to check my email or blog or Facebook or research for my future website. This is fussing that knows it has been here before and is tired of it. And these days, it happens faster and faster, so more and more during the day I play shuffle the baby. And live with the stuff.
We made a trip to Macy's this morning with the pretext of returning some clothes that were gifts (football/sports is SO not our style). The truth is, we had cabin fever and Mommy needed to distract baby somehow, so we were going to Macy's and then we were going to have lunch in an actual sit-down restaurant by ourselves. I will admit, I'm proud when we go out. I'm quick and efficient with the stroller and I'm working on being quicker and smoother with the Baby Bjorn. I wear heels and do my hair and put on a little natural make-up. I just need a little half-caf latte in the stroller cup holder and I'm the LA mom with her newest accessory, a cute baby.
At least that's what I thought. I passed two other LA moms pushing strollers, more chic than mine, with children who could sit up and hold up their own heads. They wore tight jeans and tank tops and tans and perky boobs, their long hair held back by designer sunglasses. Meanwhile, my hair was pinned to the side by a barrette like a 10-year old, I was wearing flip flops, and my kid started to cry.