Monday, May 10, 2010

Subversive Texas Nanny Speaks

If you've been following along you'll know that my brother and his wife found themselves parents - very suddenly - (think OMG! C-section, stat!) for the first time, about 11 days ago. The Wee Nutkin is, as I type, about to be sprung from the hospital where he has been so that he could bulk up to five pounds. He was a month or more ahead of schedule and all the female realtions, excepting your corresponent, were otherwise engaged and not able to assist with bringing home baby. I was summoned from our mountain home to these Dallas low flat lands to help.

Of course I am happy to try to make myself useful and the baby is a lovely little perfect nugget of a person. But I just had to stop in here, to share a bit of, what? levity? and to assume the know-it-all posture I have been dying to take since I got here two days ago. I can't do it while my brother and sister in law are around. Levity and parenting superiority would be as welcome here at the moment as a septic system back up. My sister-in-law, a career woman in her late 30s, is. naturally, especially fraught. The other day at the hospital she didn't want to let my brother fill an empty bottle that had fallen on the hospital floor. I made a quip about how "sterlizing" is what you do to your baby's first bottle by boiling it and to his last bottle by blowing on it. She managed a polite smile but was clearly not amused. I have been biting my tongue so hard it has teeth marks, but I am safe with you, aren't I? (My kids are the only one in the family that ever stop in here and if by chance some other relation came by they would probably forgive me).

Exhibit 1: See the photo above of baby goods that have fallen in an avalanche on the household. This is only a partial display of the baby merchandise. It's enough to send the CEOs of Evenflo and Toy-R-US and Costco into a swoon. I am trying to do something with the bags and boxes and to put the three things this little family will actually need in the days and weeks ahead in a place where they will be handy - but I am overwhelmed. A lot of this stuff is six months or a year away of being any use but, as I say, I am not saying.

Feeding new babies can be a nightmare of anxiety and we are in that just now. I have been saying (and really meaning) how well sis in law is doing with the breast feeding but I can tell she is not persuaded. (Nephew seems a bit loathe to do the work and he is very little and needs to put on some weight). Yesterday at the hospital the baby started yowling at the breast and, silent type that she is, she almost yelled "Get the Formula!" (Believe me, all you nbreast feeding advocates I am with you and I am pushing as hard as I dare). I am dismayed that these new parents haven't checked in with the doctor who's going to be the regular pediatrician to say "baby's coming home, doctor. Perhaps you'd like to meet him now" They're not so sure they still want that pediatrician.

Oy.

I haven't yet given then my "nights of barf" speech, the one that I am fond of sharing with other parents. (Those of us with children will never forget those nights, and the calls to the pediatrician). Fortunately, I am sure the first long night of barf is at least a month or three away. I am going to give that speech before I get back on the plane for Vermont at the end of the week.

Really, I am so thrilled for my brother. And I am sure that they will both figure out in the weeks and months ahead that this little boy is the best thing that ever happened to either of them. I hope they will also discover that he isn't made of glass. Just at the moment I can tell, even if they would never say it out loud, that they are both thinking, as new parents (almost always) do, that maybe this whole baby thing wasn't such a great idea?

OK - gotta go fold laundry and vacuum and build up a little stamina for what's next.

3 comments:

uphilldowndale said...

Your franksness made me laugh out loud!!
We here in the UK, take for granted, the daily visits from the community midwife for the couple of week after the babies birth or when it comes home from hospital. This is followed up by the pragmatic (but not precious) support of the health visitor, who gives as much or as little support as is needed, with weekly drop in clinics for parent and babe;some form of support is available right through to school age.
It is I think particularly hard for mums who are used to being in control of their world, knowing where they are at and what's what. To find everything rail-roaded by a little nutkin of humanity!

R. Sherman said...

Too many memories inspired by this post, especially given that I'm graduating one from high school next week.

Cheers.

KSV Woolfoot said...

Uphilldowndale- Thanks for that comment. It was eye-opening. I knew you all had a bit more built in support over there for new arrivals but not the extent. I am headed home tomorrow and I can see my sis-in-law would really benefit from a "health visitor" or something of that ilk. She's too new to the game to have linked up with any mother's support groups and while she's doing just great with the little guy I think she's going to need a bit of propping up. I am reminded of a comment made to me by a friend when I brought home our little girl: "the days last forever but the years fly by."

R - On that note... Being around this little guy is a bit of a time warp. How did we move at such speed from little bundle to high school graduate? It chokes a person up, doesn't it?