Before Connor made his appearance into the world everyone made sure to tell me to do all sorts of things that would never happen again once I had a squirming miniature human being to contend with. Some of these activities were indeed worth taking one last final breath of, while others were almost cruel because by the time I was told to enjoy them they were no longer feasible. Examples included:
- Going to dinner and a movie without paying the equivalent of an extra $25/movie ticket in babysitting fees
- Sleeping: sleeping in, sleeping at night, sleeping without a baby monitor turning on every time someone in another room breathes enough to alert a monitor. I consider this is a cruel one because by the time everyone told me to “sleep while I could” I was so pregnant that sleeping comfortably was a distant, longing memory
- Taking baths: I took baths while pregnant but seeing as I was never a bath-taker pre-pregnancy I actually just sat in warm water wondering what people tend to do while taking baths. Typically this is how my inner dialogue would go in the bath: “Hm. Okay. So. Relax. Hmm. Do you take a shower after to wash off the human-filth water you’ve been soaking in? How do the movies make such luxurious bubble baths that last indefinitely? Am I too old to make bubble beards while the bubbles are still there? Is the point of the bath that you can make bubble beards on your face without judgment? Does every pregnant woman’s stomach get so chilly because it’s sticking out of the water? No, seriously, everyone takes a shower after sitting in your own human soup, right?” And so on.
Clearly baths are not my forté.
- Reading for fun
This last one is the rumor I’d like to dispel: reading for fun. Who says that you can’t read for pleasure (i.e., not books about parenting styles, food, sleep, or that-thing-they’re-doing-in-Brooklyn-with-babies-now) while having an infant? I personally have read many books of all genres during my time as a new mom. Here’s a quick gander into my reading list*.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
A scientific glimpse into the life cycle of the metamorphosis of the caterpillar while also touching on yo-yo dieting. The caterpillar’s existential moments learning he is, in fact, a beautiful butterfly even after a weekend of eating nothing but junk food is encouragement for us all.
Make Way for Ducklings
Subtitled: “The importance of location in real estate” or “The benefits and potential pitfalls of raising a family in an urban environment.” Come learn how to explore real estate and why the first three rules of real estate truly are: “location, location, location.” While raising a family in the middle of the city might still be considered unusual, the main characters Mr. and Mrs. Mallard certainly do find the benefits outweigh the costs in the upbringing of their young ones.
Llama Llama Red Pajama
An exploration into the complexities of the mother-son relationship. While insightful and ending on an inspiring note, beware of abandoned story lines (e.g., Llama Llama wanting a drink – where does that drink go?!?! We may never know. It’s probably up in The North with Bran and Rickon).
Bear Snores On
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
An action-packed cautionary tale of mob mentality and its dangers. This might especially speak to Millennials: where sometimes after going out on your own you fall back and need help from relatives (thanks, jobless recovery recession!), eventually you’ll branch out on your own again. You go, Glen Coco!
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
A field guide for putting your entire family – including the dog – in very serious peril and being unprepared for weather, hiking, and animal encounters. I especially relate to this as whenever I encounter any sort of inclement weather I never seem to have the right apparatus with me despite owning every apparatus known to mankind to battle inclement weather. Bonus points for accuracy of panic when bear is actually encountered.
*In all seriousness, these are all spectacular books I have memorized and will personally attest to their enjoyability for little ones and their parents, over and over and over again. I seem to have tricked you into reading a list of some of my favorite baby books. The books mentioned are linked below for your purchasing enjoyment if you do not own them already.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Make Way for Ducklings
- Llama Llama Red Pajama
- Bear Snores On
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
Other books currently on the consistent rotation (i.e., I can recite) include but certainly are not limited to:
- Goodnight Moon
- Anything by Sandra Boynton (Doggies, But Not The Hippopotamus, Happy Hippo, Angry Duck, The Going To Bed Book, etc.)
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
- Little Blue Truck
- Giraffes Can’t Dance
- Green Eggs and Ham
- Are You My Mother?