My mom called to check on us the other night. I was crying. So was Bruiser, Birdie, and Matou. It was a particularly tough weekend in our household. We were all tired, all hungry. The day hadn’t started out that way. Yes, Bruiser was very fussy, but he didn’t seem inconsolable. Birdie mostly slept and ate. So, as a special treat to ourselves, I called in an order of Chang’s Spicy Chicken and Combination Fried Rice from P.F. Changs as our Pat On The Back. And if rookie parenting does just one thing, that thing is HUMBLES YOU to pieces. Falling apart at times pieces. No sooner than The Beloved brought it home that everything started to come unhinged. Hungry baby who didn’t want to eat. Screaming. Arching back. Inconsolable. Other baby screaming, hungry, spitting up, needing to be held.

If parenting does a second thing, it’s that it confuses the hell out of you. Take any sign or symptom and ask 5 people and read 3 books and you’ll get 15 different answers/responses, most of the time conflicting. I posted a desperate plea on three parenting boards I belong to (thank goodness for copy/paste!) and I spoke with my mother. My mom said “are you sure it’s not something in the house?” which is her way of asking THOSE SHEDDING DOGS ARE STILL AROUND MY GRANDCHILDREN? Some mom’s told me I wasn’t holding him enough. Another person told me she didn’t understand why I couldn’t carry both babies all day long because she knew someone who did. Someone told me I wasn’t feeding him enough. Someone else said I was feeding him too much. And a heck of a lot of people said “sounds exactly like my kid at that age and it was reflux.” That seemed like a good target for me.

A third thing of parenting? Addressing issues is like roulette. Try one thing once, and it might not work, try it again and it will, try it again and it won’t, but it might on the other kid. Which leads to the fourth thing of parenting and that is that you end up doing what works no matter what you read or hear. There’s a dirty little secret of parenting: people bend the rules or break them altogether. Which makes me feel better, because we were bending them already. Example? We put Bruiser on his belly to sleep. Yep. SUE ME. But it made him feel better and he actually slept for the first time after a 12 hour stretch of discomfort, pain, crying, and irritability. And in the process of posting to those boards, I learned that a heck of a lot of parents do it, too.

I followed up with a phone call to the pediatrician last Monday morning and he agreed with our assessment and in fact wanted to go “full court press” in getting him better. So he’s on Prevacid and we also had to switch his formula to one that costs as much per month as a Texan’s summer electricity bill. But whatever makes him feel better, you know? He definitely seems to be feeling better, thanks be to God.

It was some time during that very difficult three days that I started seeing a mirage when I looked at the pacifier that soothed Bruiser so much. Have you noticed a lot of paci’s have two holes? I’m sure the Real reason is to provide circulation so the piece doesn’t suction to the baby’s face. BUT, I’m sure if we ever pass the Newborn Initiation Period, we’ll learn a parenting version of the Secret Handshake and that’s that maybe you can attach soft elastic through the holes in the paci and just have them wear it like a surgical mask.

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I get how Happiest Baby On The Block purports that swaddling and shhhhing and sucking the paci helps sooth a baby, but there was no Extra Chapter on keeping the paci IN their mouths. Anyone have any ideas to keep a paci in from afar without landing ourselves a visit from Child Protective Services?

What with all the blissful busy-ness at our home, I don’t have a whole lot of time to look like a decent human being. I mean: blog? or makeup? Easy. I was on my way home from the store the other day and actually caught myself at a stoplight plotting out when in the next five days I would shave my legs before my doctor’s appointment next week. Seasoned parents are probably snickering at how discombobulated I convey to be, but I’m an admitted amateur.

I had most recently taken to wearing a do-rag because I’d much rather love on the RaJenBabies than spend any time on my hair. Which is fine for while I’m at home, but when I go back to work, that won’t be o.k. So I decided I needed a haircut, something easy but sassy. And unfortunately, with fine, flat hair, that meant I had to cut my ‘long’ hair off. So I went about breaking another rule: I wore a do-rag to get a haircut. All the people at the salon stopped and stared at me. I felt like I should be on Ten Years Younger. Have you seen that show? I hope to get nominated for it, even though the nomination would be crushing. I mean, really, does your friend THANK YOU for nominating them to be on What Not To Wear? Yes, it would help, but how is getting on the show a compliment? I’d get over it, though, just for the clothes, the boob lift, and the lipo.

Anyway, naptime is just about over. So I best get to preparing bottles. I’d try to stay ahead of these two lovies, but that’s a fifth thing of parenting: just when you think you’ve figured something out, the kids go about changing it all around. Which is why we can confidently say that this is the most difficult fun we’ve ever had.

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