The first challenge: the Baby Bjorn carrier. Purchased by my mom. Who spent about an hour walking around BuyBuyBaby calling it the Baby B-Jorn until I told her they don’t have f-jords in Norway, they are fjords and so it is Bjorn.
Turns out the carrier is as complicated as pronouncing the name. Anything that requires reading and following directions, I immediately defer to Chris. He has a savant skill for understanding directions. Some call it “patience.” I call it years of putting things together and taking them apart. He straps the carrier to himself and in a few pulls, clicks and tugs – he is walking around with Boss attached to his body by way of Baby Bjorn.
Boss – not so thrj-illed.
The next challenge was the vibrating chair. Sounds sexy, eh? Get your mind out of the gutter! We’re talking about baby here which is – from what I’ve heard – the anti-sex. The vibrating chair is a comfort chair that vibrates and plays music. We passed on the swing because those damn swings take up the same amount of space as a bike. And if we have to choose bike vs. swing…sorry, kid, no swing. The chair barfed out of the box in a dozen pieces and zip ties. Yet another job for Chris. He quickly assembled the chair like he was born to put vibrating chairs together.
I wanted to put Boss in the chair to see how it worked but unfortunately, we do not have the 200 double A batteries that it requires to operate.
We also need to figure out how the baby monitor works. Not surprisingly, this was a gift from Popo. No, not the “popo” but the Popo, his grandmother. A most fitting gift. Popo might be approaching 90 but she is vigilant, tenacious and obsessed with safety. Wash the clothes before the baby wears them. Did you wash the clothes yet? You need to wash the clothes. What is it with old people and washing things? She also asks 100 times before you eat the fruit if you washed the fruit and if you washed your hands. Anyhow, something that involves safety, watching and spying….sounded like the perfect gift from her.
Baby monitors can get pretty high tech. We chose the Summer monitor with a small portable monitor. Popo suggested (demanded) the one that came with a 12 inch screen too. I don’t even watch our large screen television in the living room. What are the odds that I’m going to stare at a screen where the programming is even less exciting? The hand-held monitor will do. Besides, you know I’m going to be checking in on that kid 100 times a day just to be sure he’s breathing.
Like every first mom.
I still need to figure out how to fold and unfold the stroller. I’m a little scared, fearing that the stroller will become like a man trap on wheels. The man trap was on Ragbrai one year. It was a lawn chair that literally folded up while you were still sitting on it, become a man-eating chair or … the man trap. My biggest fear is that the stroller will be like a little man trap, with one wrong press of a button or tug on a handle that results in the stroller consuming Max whole. Gone, lost in the bowels of the stroller forever.
With me to blame.
I am even more scared of the breast pump. Knowing that I will have no time to learn how to use it after birth, I opened it up on Monday night. Chris was sitting in the baby glider, rocking himself to sleep, when I told him it was time to learn how to use the breast pump. I gave him fair warning, get out or you might see something that will forever change the way you view the breast.
My mother-in-law gave me a Medela Pump In Style Advanced breast pump. I read and heard a lot of great feedback about this pump. It’s like the 2010 Cervelo P2 SL with Dura Ace…top of the line.
Top of the line except….no instructions.
I looked at it – a sporty looking bag with some hoses, plugs, bottles and two things that look like bull horns. I press one and half expect it to make that obnoxious horn sound that you hear when the Blackhawks score a goal. I try putting a hose into the pump but I fail. Though he doesn’t have functional breasts and will never need to pump, Chris takes one look at all of the accessories and knows exactly what to do.
It’s assembled but now what? Should I really do this – like a dress rehearshal, attach the horn to my boob and pump away? What if it hurts. What if it sucks my boob right into the bottle. They’re still not that big! It could happen! What if….what if I start lactating!?!?
For whatever reason (devotion, love, speed goggles), Chris is (usually) willing to do anything for me. If I say I want ice cream, he drives out to the store and buys me ice cream. If I say I don’t want to walk the dog, he walks Boss. If I say I don’t know how to do it, he helps me figure it out.
Give me the pump, says Chris from the glider.
He takes the pump and then does something that qualifies as either the most hilarious or most disturbing thing I have ever seen:
He attempts to milk himself.
(entire silence as I am, for once, utterly speechless)
Look at this, he says.
I look, and I see nothing. Then, I look closer and realize the pump is actually milking Chris as it pulses on minimum speed.
OH MY GOD!
And so I did what any wife would do….I turned that pump up to maximum speed!
The good news is that Chris did not start expressing any milk. The even better news is that he used the pump on the appropriate body part. The bad news is that my brand new pump has been violated by Chris’ man boob.
I, being the competitive I can do anything you can do better little wife, take the pump and decide to give it a whirl. After all, it’s now or never. I am going to have to do this eventually. I will spare you the details but as I sat there with a pulsing bull horn on my boob I said, at least I now know what it will feel like.
Speaking of the chest (sorry, guys), when Molly saw me a few weeks ago she admitted that she was just not that impressed. I agree. You have these visions of voluptuous 38Es residing on your body for 40 weeks and realize all you got was a set of floppy Bs. Yay. Someone blow a freakin' party horn for me. I was starting to lose hope for 38E until the other day at masters practice.
If you recall, I use to swim in a lane with another pregnant woman. Together we would sometimes accept a man into our lane who arrived late, warning him there was a good chance our collective estrogen might impregnate him. She left and then it was just me with half my estrogen charged power. Well, she gave birth about 7 weeks ago. Me, still pregnant and swimming in the wall lane (which is like saying: bowling in the lane with bumpers), looked up on Saturday to notice a woman. Maybe it was her rainbow swimsuit but more likely it was her tiny waist with what had to be the most giant out of place boobs I have ever seen.
It was the once pregnant woman.
HOLY CRAP, I said to her, you look great! She really did. I’m not just saying that as a bunch of I’ve heard it so many times I just say it randomly people to now bullshit. This was her second child, yet she still had time to walk and swim her way through pregnancy which obviously paid off. She had a teeny tiny flat stomach and looked like her old self. The crazy part – she had a C-section so she has only been back to swimming for the past week.
HOPE IS ALIVE! I will one day look like myself again!
She smiled a little and then must have noticed my eyes on her boobs.
This is what you have to look forward too, she said pointing to them.
HUGE. They are HUGE! As excited as I am about finally having the boobs that some women (really?) pay for, I think to myself – I have a feeling pumping those is going to be a whole different ballgame.
I'll admit, I feel a little more prepared after all of these preparations. Which means right now I feel roughly…33 percent prepared. A big part of the missing preparation is from the baby’s room. I would call it finished except that would actually require the furniture store to finish delivering our furniture. So much for ordering it back in February. The last I called, I got a story about how New Jersey was detaining our dresser and nightstand at their port.
Hey, New Jersey, would you let my furniture go already?
Allegedly, it will be here next week. That is what they said two weeks ago. And that is after it was supposed to be here in April. Lesson learned for moms-to-be: it is never too early to order your baby’s furniture.
Until it arrives, I’m putting the baby’s room on lockdown. The last thing I need is my husband trying to milk the dog while holding it in the Baby Bjorn carrier. Or running around the house naked wearing my breast-feeding cape (he's already told me that when Max is old enough to run naked laps, he's joining him).
I probably shouldn’t give him ideas like that.