Monday, November 17, 2008

I started it

It was a Saturday evening and I put Amelia down at seven o'clock. She went out like a light but he was just starting. By he, I mean my neighbors dog. He has two: one old, one young. It was the young one. The one he introduced to Amelia face to face so he could smell her and not bark "because these are our neighbors." This was said to the four legged animal in that tone of voice reserved for babies.

I guess his Mommy and Daddy went out for the night and the dog sat at the door and barked for 5 hours. He only stopped to swallow I assume since his little throat must have gotten dry on account of the barking.

Amelia slept through the whole thing but I almost couldn't so when my baby woke up at 5:30AM, we put her by the door so she could cry her ass off and wake up the dog. I know it's childish but it made us feel better.

But that wasn't enough. Later that week I saw the neighbor and told him. He was out to walk his four legged babies and I said

"Did you go out Saturday night?"
"Oh, one of your dogs really missed you. He barked a lot that night."
"Don't worry, he didn't wake up the baby but I felt bad for him."

Bull crap. I felt bad for me and my neighbor knew it so he didn't even say the obligatory "sorry". He just said good bye as I left the elevator.

Fast forward to last Thursday. He got on the elevator with Amelia and I. He takes a look at my child and says

"You weren't the one crying this morning, were you?"

Touche my friend. I had it coming. Ay Mama!

I know that look

It was 5:50 AM and I was on my way to the car in our indoor garage. I immediately recognized the look. He was pushing the stroller in his pajamas up and down the garage. I took one look inside the stroller and gave him the good news "He's out". That poor man's reply was "Really??", his voice cracking in exhausted disbelief. He didn't even say thanks or good bye. He didn't have to. I felt his pain.

I shudder every time I think about it. Amelia fighting sleep and screaming her head off at 2 months old. I would get her in the stroller and the battle would begin. I went up and down the hallway staring down at my newborn who would in turn, stare up at me. She would be quiet but holding her eyes wide open with every lap. I went faster and faster covering my bare sholders with one of her blankets. I din't have the energy to put a robe on. The fight ensued for 20 minutes and I always won.

I think we have all done it. My friend Sylvia found herself roaming her building's lobby at 4AM with her restless twins. My friend Veronica would just leave the baby sleeping in the stroller, afraid to wake her after a marathon stroll off. I can picture all of us looking like "La llorona", the ghost of that crazy woman who lost her baby and would cry at night while she looked for her child.

Whoever that Dad was on Friday morning, I hope he made it upstairs with a sleeping baby. Lord knows I waited to turn on my car. I hope both him and his child got some rest. Ay Mama!

S.O.S. Holiday Travel

I need help. I'm taking a flight to spend Christmas week with my family in Puerto Rico. The flight is almost 5 hours long and we don't have a ticket for the baby. I shouldn't call her a baby. She's a 13 month old todler that weighs 25 pounds and measures 30.1 inches. Hence my fear of five hours with my adorable, friendly and very active Amelia jumping from her father's lap to mine, and screaming with delight at strangers.

We bought the tickets around May so we thought we could totally handle the lap ride. She was seven months then and had already traveled to PR twice, sleeping most of the flight. I know, rooky mistake on our part. The baby was bound to grow...a lot. It took a 2 hour flight to Florida at 9 months old to get us to buy a ticket for her on our next trip to the island in October. But December was booked already. It is what it is.

So I need suggestions. Amelia will be 15 months old in December and probably walking by then. She will watch a video on the DVD player but that's maybe 30 minutes. Plus she's too small to understand what the earphones are for, so we have to put the volume up for her. She's not used to sleeping on us anymore. She loves to just slide down from our laps to crawl all over the place. Confined spaces are not her thing. I know, you're happy you won't be sitting next to us.
My husband suggested we practice sitting on the couch for 4 and half hours with her and toys, dvd player and food. Funny, right? But we are desperate. Her pediatrician doesn't want us to go the Benadryl route which we would also have to practice since a lot of kids end up more excited than sleepy.

I'm hopping the plane is full of my fellow Puerto Rican families with little kids like mine and not evil people like the one traveler I encountered on my way back from Florida.
Your suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Ay Mama!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A weekend full of fluids

We were going to a wedding Saturday evening, so Operation Stealth Departure started around 6PM. My girlfriend Sandy was babysitting and for her sake I wanted to leave Amelia bathed and sleeping. So I had my hair and make up done but stayed in my shorts and tshirt so the baby had no idea what we were up to. Or so we thought.

Sandy showed up and Amelia embraced her presence without reservations. I followed the bed time routine as usual. Some milk and then bath time. On our way to the bath, Steve and I sang the Rocky themeto her as usual. Yes, it's riduculous but it's part of the plan. But this time, when we took the diaper off, she proceeded to pee on her Dad. Thankfully, it fell on his shorts so he didn't have to take another shower, but we think the kid was on to us and decided to pee on our plans.

Anyway, we bathed her and put her down. She was out like a light and we were on our way out. I went to clean the bathroom floor before I got dressed but the floor didn't get wet. I had left my slippers in there so I slipped into them. That's when I figured out where Amelia's fluids had fallen. So I went to this very chic wedding with my daughter's urine on my tights since they were the only pair of dark black tights I had. Lesson learned.

Then yesterday we are ready to go to brunch with our friends when I decided to take pictures of the girl in a cute outfit my aunt Marilu sent from Florida. Right after the third picture, she spits up on the outfit, hers and mine. So we change her but I loved the sweater I was wearing and notice that I was able to clean it up well. Or so I thought.

On our way to the restaurant, my perfume stopped masking that rotten milk smell of baby spit up. So there I was, a fashion statement who smelled like baby spit up. Ay Mama!

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's over

We tried it, but it's over. We stayed in the city thinking we could make it work, but even a trip to Target doesn't work. You just can't go shopping with a toddler. I don't mean the must do shopping when you run out of milk, I mean the "let's checkout what's new out there" kind of shopping.

Before Amelia was born and for her first 10 months of life, we lived around the corner from the Magnificent Mile of Chicago. We literally had the GAP flagship store 3 blocks down the street from us. So getting a fashionable scarf for the summer, paired perfectly with Amelia's afternoon stroll. If we needed a bitrthday gift, make up supplies or a new attachment for the computer, we could just put her in the stroller and run those errands in about half an hour. By the time she got restless, we would abort the mission and go home.

Last summer, we moved away from Michicagan Ave into the trendy but more residential South Loop. There's not one flagship store in sight. Nice restaurants, small boutiques which in many cases mean expensive. But according to everyone, the Magnificent Mile is a bus ride away.

So we stood at the bus stop for about fifteen minutes. Eventhough the kid had take two naps, she was immediatley restless. She's almost walking now so she hates being strapped to any seat. The bus that would take us shopping never came. Well. "let's take the car". So much for reducing our carbon footprint.

Naiively I thought we could find a parking spot downtown and if not, I would just drive Amelia around while Steve purchased a frying pan to make German pancakes. I told you it was leisure shopping. But as stated before, Amelia hates seatbelts and she complained all the way downton.

Next obstacle, parking. We found two spots but both were taken from under our noses. One guy was saving a spot for a friend, while another spot was open behind him, so he blocked two parking spots for us.

My husband was ready for a throw down, which was the next problem. You can't really fight with a baby in the car. I begged him and reminded him about his child in the car seat. He obliged but then got angrier because I didn't let him curse someone out. So he drove like a mad man, honking the horn at old ladies slowly crossing the street (just kidding, but there was a lot of horn honking). Picture this, Amelia whining, Steve honking and I'm getting dissy thanks to the reckless driving.

He finally says "let's go home". To what I answered, "It's over. Let's go home and shop on the Internet like every other parent we know". Ay Mama!