Food Obsession

food redacted

I’m starting to worry about Punkie and his apparent obsession with getting solid food.  The older babies at day care sit down for solid food three times a day – morning, noon, and late afternoon.  Punkie gets finger food one time per day – usually fruit, Cheerios, and/or puffs.

Some of the older babies are mature enough to sit at a short baby-sized table, rather than in high chairs.  Punkie is not one of the babies at the table – he’s only 8 1/2 months old and not ready for that.  The “older” babies are closer to 12 months old.

But I’m told that he now crawls over, pulls himself up into a standing position next to the table, and STEALS FOOD from the other babies.

Really?  I honestly don’t know how to work through this one.  I can’t talk to Punkie about it, obviously – he’s 8 1/2 months old.  Day care is pressuring me to allow them to feed him solid food three times a day, but our pediatrician advised that we shouldn’t increase solid food until he’s 9 months old because an increase in solid food means a decrease in milk and milk should be his main source of nutrition at this age.

At home, he isn’t ravenous and he doesn’t try to steal food.  He doesn’t even complain when we’re a little bit late with his bottle.

And I’m wondering – does this mean that he’s overly susceptible to peer pressure?

I guess we’ll just have to work through it until I can talk to his pediatrician about his diet.



First Halloween

halloween 3

This coming Halloween will be Punkie’s first . . . and I’ve been really looking forward to it.  I mean, I’ve been looking forward to it A LOT.  I already have two costumes picked out for him, both of which we now own – a R2D2 outfit for day care (without embellishments that will impede his movement or the teachers’ schedule) and an adorable plush monkey outfit for trick-or-treating.

However.  The key word here is “however.”

However, I cannot take Punkie trick-or-treating this year.  And I’m feeling angry and disappointed about it.

My anger is so selfish because my sister and her fiance have set their wedding date for October 31 at 3PM (in a cemetery), and I should be happy for them.  And I really am.  But I’m so disappointed.  And I feel angry about it.

My sister has had zero interest in her nephew.  She’s seen him 3 times in the EIGHT MONTHS since he was born, and two of those times were at family gatherings she would have gone to regardless.  The first time was at the hospital.  The facts that (A) this is her one and only nephew/niece, (B) she doesn’t have kids of her own yet, and (C) she waited in the lobby for his birth with the rest of the family all led me to assume that she was excited about her nephew.  But it’s clear now that she doesn’t give a shit about him.  Or me.  Or my husband.

I never did tell her how excited I was about Punkie’s first Halloween.  I rarely see her and it never came up.  And then she scheduled her wedding for that day.  I guess it didn’t occur to her.

It’s her day and I am happy for her.  But I’m going to miss Punkie’s first Halloween.  I don’t know if I’ll even be able to spend the evening with Punkie at all – we don’t know if kids are invited and it’s not like she has a special affinity for this particular kid.

At least I have the day care costume, even though I won’t be with him while he’s celebrating.


Day Care is a Cesspool of Germs and Viruses Part II

The past two weeks have not been pretty.

First, Punkie got a cold from day care.  Then I got the cold.  Then my husband got the cold.  We were a collective mess.  Then Punkie and my husband got better, and I got so much worse.  Mine became a sinus infection and ear infection.  I was a singular disaster.

Three visits to the doctor later, I have started and stopped different antibiotics, my hearing has come and gone at regular intervals, and am just now starting to feel better.  I’m way behind on my work and my co-workers think I’m moonlighting as a germ incubator.

Also, we’ve blown through the entire stash of emergency frozen milk because I was on an antibiotic that was not safe for breastfeeding.  I have so much more room in the freezer and a billion extra bottles now, but no emergency cushion.  I wonder if we’ll need a cushion anymore – Punkie is 8 1/2 months old and I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be able to keep up with pumping and breastfeeding.  When we made it to 6 months, I told myself I would shoot for 9 months and then re-evaluate.

This is eerily similar to last month, when Punkie came home with a cold from day care and then I got a sinus infection.  If we keep this pattern going, we’re going to have a really tough rest of the year!

Finger Food

Punkie is officially a finger food kind of guy now.  We had practiced at home over the past week and he was doing pretty well getting the food from his tray into his mouth, although the pincer grip is still a challenge.  Mainly, he puts a food item into his hand, grips it with his fist, and then mashes it into his mouth.  It’s insanely cute.  And he works very hard when he’s eating his finger food – his little forehead crinkles and he sucks in his bottom lip as he picks up the food.

I thought I would give him some more time to practice at home before sending finger food to day care.  He’s 8 months old and our pediatrician advised that, if we increase his solid food too much, he might not get as much milk and it’s too soon to cut down on the milk.  In fact, my husband and I disagreed about this for the past several days – he thought I should send finger food to day care and I wanted to wait a few more weeks.  Why rush him, I thought.

But Punkie had become a food scrounger.  He was waiting for the older babies at day care to start eating their solid food and then he’d crawl over and eat the food they dropped.  When the teacher in his room told me this yesterday, it broke my heart.  The poor little punk is so excited about eating solid food, he’s willing to sit under chairs and take what falls.  She said they had to put him in the exer-saucer to keep him from crawling over to scrounge for food, and he would cry.

So I sent some finger food to day care today – bananas.  I stopped by to visit him this morning (I was hoping to catch him napping – the teachers keep swaddling him and I don’t want him swaddled anymore) and found him in a high chair (next to a couple of other babies in high chairs), wiggling and grunting with happiness, and shoving chunks of banana into his mouth.  He was so happy.

I really didn’t expect the peer pressure to begin this early.  He can’t even talk yet, but he wants the same Cheerios or whatever else the other babies get.

My heart gushed when I saw him so happy.  And my brain reminded me that I now have to produce a care package of finger food every morning.

Helmet Head?

redacted ouchiePunkie is going to need a helmet.  Now that he’s crawling and pulling himself up on tables and whatever else is nearby, he is banging his head continuously.  He’s top-heavy too, so it seems like a foregone conclusion that he’ll careen around the house head-first for a while.

As a child of the 70s and 80s, I’ve done my fair share of scoffing at the bike helmet law and what seems to be a general desire to wrap kids in bubble wrap.  I totally get it now.

Here’s a photo of his first injury.  It scared the stuffing out of my husband and me.  We think he was trying to reach up to grab the curtain to pull himself up and missed.  Instead, he slammed his forehead into the wall.

He let me put some ice on it for a while and there is just a small mark now.

I hate to break the news to him, but the wall might be the least of his worries.  I installed that curtain rod myself and I’m not entirely convinced it will survive Punkie’s toddlerhood.

Diaper Changing in Public

redacted pubMy husband and I took Punkie to a restaurant yesterday.  It’s a pub with a restaurant area.  I changed Punkie’s diaper in the restaurant because there was no changing table in either restroom and neither had a place to put a child for a diaper change except for the floor.  I wasn’t feeling great about changing a diaper in a restaurant because I know diapers are gross, but my husband and I felt like we didn’t have another option.

Today, I viewed this video from about a woman who brought her three young children to a pizza joint and was promptly kicked out for changing a diaper in the restaurant.  She took her baby into the ladies’ room and there was no changing table or any other place where one could put a child down to change a diaper.  So, rather than putting her kid on the floor or packing her three kids back up and dragging them out to the car, she changed the diaper quietly and quickly on a chair in the restaurant.  The restaurant kicked her out.

Wow.  I’ve only had a kid for 8 months and maybe I just never noticed before, but I watch the news and society seems pretty intolerant of moms in public.  I don’t accept a world where we expect moms to sit at home until their kids are 18.

If the dumpy little pizza place does not clearly and conspicuously notify customers that children are not welcome and it does not offer any place to change a diaper, then diapers will be changed in the restaurant.

Also, it seemed like they kicked her out just to punish her – the diaper was already changed at that point.  Here’s an idea: maybe the employees could have had some compassion and suggested some other place for her to change a diaper, like in the office or another area not used for food prep.

To kick a woman and her three small children out for a discreet diaper change is a whole level of assholedom that I can’t believe we all tolerate.

Don’t tolerate how these people treated this mom.  Don’t tolerate malls who proudly display signage of women baring their breasts for commercialism, but who treat breastfeeding mothers like felons (worse than felons, actually, since neither the pizza joint nor a mall would kick someone out for being a felon).

I started to type “Moms should be tolerated in public,” but that’s so absurd to me.  Don’t you dare “tolerate” me.  I belong in public, same as you.


Spilled Milk

Whomever coined the phrase about not crying over spilled* milk was an idiot.

And he obviously never pumped breast milk 3 to 4 times per day for 7 1/2 months.  I say “he” because I have to assume this particular idiot was a man.

I just spilled a lot of milk – all over my pants, all over my desk, all over the carpeting in my office.

Setting aside the fact that it stains so I’ll be branded with it all day and my floor will never look quite the same, that’s several ounces of milk that Punkie doesn’t get . . . even though I took 20 minutes of my work day to attach a milking machine to myself to get it.


*I’m too annoyed to look up whether “spilt” or “spilled” is correct.


pull upI’m impressed by how hard Punkie works to develop new skills.  This week, he learned how to pull himself up onto his knees.

The week before, he figured out how to put himself into a sitting position AND how to hold his own bottle

Only a short time before that, he taught himself to crawl.

I feel like he changes every day – that his progress is out of control fast.  We are just now putting up some baby gates around the house and lowering his crib mattress in case he figures out how to pull himself into a stand when I’m not there (he’s still pretty top-heavy).

I’m worried about how I’m going to keep him safe now that he can pull things off the coffee table (onto his head) . . . and I’m extremely proud of him.  He’s such an adorable work-a-holic.

Sandwich Generation?

This week, my mother had surgery.  The surgery itself went well, but the hospital stay has been difficult all around.  I also had a deadline over this weekend and had to work at the office quite a bit.

The most disappointing thing from my standpoint is that I saw Punkie very little this weekend.  On Saturday and Sunday both, I woke up early, went to work, went to the hospital, and ran home to nurse Punkie and put him immediately to bed.  My long-suffering husband had 99% of the responsibility this weekend for caring for the kid.  And he did a wonderful job, but I felt sad, disappointed, and guilty for not spending time with Punkie this weekend – weekends are our quality time.

But the hospital stay has been difficult.  Considering that I didn’t have Punkie until I was 40, his grandparents are older.  The stress of watching out for my mother at the hospital is wearing on my father.  I can see that he’s at his limit for stress and worry, and he’s hard on the hospital staff.  My mother is in pain – she’s not at her best and she’s also been difficult for the hospital staff.  During my visits to the hospital, I saw my sister for the first time since very shortly after Punkie was born and seeing her rekindled a lot of emotions I have around our relationship and the fact that she has shown zero interest in her only nephew, my son.

This experience has me wondering how things will evolve as my parents continue to age.  They’re not easy to help or care for to begin with, and last year they made the decision to move farther away from me and my husband (knowing that we were trying very hard to have Punkie).*

*They’ve said they want to be more involved with Punkie and watch him all day instead of sending him to daycare and, as a result, I’ve put a lot of thought into what it means to commute to their house each day.  Setting aside the fact that they won’t be able to keep up with him physically, I know I just can’t keep the schedule that would be needed to make that happen.  I would have to wake up early, care for Punkie, leave the house by 7:00, drive 40 minutes to their house, leave Punkie, drive 50 minutes to work, work a full day, leave work at 5:30-6, drive 50 minutes to their house, drive 40 minutes home.  The earliest I’d be home at night is 7:20 – I’d never have time to spend with Punkie and I would be even more exhausted.  If I had a deadline or a long day at work, I wouldn’t get home until even later.

If they needed care, we would have to care for them ourselves – I don’t think they can afford a nurse or caretaker (I know I cannot).  And that means I would have almost zero time with Punkie during the week.  If I were to go there after work, I’d leave work at 5:30 (if it’s a slow day, but I often have to leave work later), drive to their house and arrive at 6ish, and then I’d have to leave at 6:30 to be home in time to nurse Punkie.  I know they’ll expect me to keep this schedule at some point in the foreseeable future — this makes me feel (1) angry that they chose to move farther away from me, knowing they were aging and that they would have a grandchild soon, and (2) worried that I won’t be able to physically keep this schedule over time.

I would have to move them closer to me.  And that is a nightmare.  They wouldn’t do it willingly and they named my sister in their power of attorney, so I have no actual control or influence over them.  All I have is a pocket full of their expectations.

The alternative is that I disappoint them.  When push comes to shove, I wonder if I would choose Punkie over my parents.  And I wonder if I can do it all . . . I’m already exhausted.