Parenting: The Things I Know


Living is learning and as you’d expect I have added many new “tips and tid bits” to my arsenal of knowledge since my third baby arrived 5 months ago. It is amazing that parenting never ceases to present us with opportunities to learn, grow, and gape in awe at the sheer wonder of it all. Being a mother to a boy is quite different than being a mother to a girl – I expected it but not this much in such a short amount of time. Here is what I have learned so far.

This I know…

Boy “parts” are very different than girls parts! On his second day of life this little man was circumcised and holy smokes was that I sight to see. I got over the shock and awe of what a winky looks like post-cut only to find that the healing process required quite a lot of attention. I sadly wasn’t quite as attentive to the situation as I needed to be and that meant a trip to the pediatrician at 14 weeks to have the skin that had fused to the head unattached by our fabulously talented pediatrician. No tears were shed (I promise it’s not as bad as it sounds) and now I am being more careful to “push down” the skin every day so his circumcision heals properly. I know this is when some people will say, “Why are you sharing this on the blog?” My answer is that I share it for any other new mother of a son who is reading and needs to know. As wise women Salt n Pepa once said, “Push it. Push it real good.” I promise it’ll help to avoid future issues.

And on the penis note – another thing I’ve learned is that baby boys have much more power to propel pee. I mean come on! The first day home my sweet little son nailed me in the face when I foolishly opened his diaper to change it. And then he got his sister on day 2, his other sister on day 4, and me again on day 5. And don’t ask why I didn’t try those cute little Pee Pee Tee Pees to protect myself. Those cotton cones that they tell you to put on top of the penis while you change diapers do not work at all. They are just too small and they are knocked off too easily by a newborn’s flailing legs. So – word to the wise – be prepared to open a baby boy’s diaper very quickly at changing time and put another clean one over the bum bum immediately lest you get hit by a sailing stream of baby urine in the face. Cool air makes ’em go. True that.

Magic ain’t just for magicians any more. When my babe was a few week old a friend with another newbie mentioned the Magic Merlin Sleepsuit and I must admit I was kind of skeptical. And then I tried it and now I am sold. It’s not made for teeny tiny little newborns but it’s ideal for a baby that is 8-10 weeks old until about 5 months (they say you can wear it longer but 5 months felt like the right quitting age for us). This suit not only keeps them warm (not sure how it would work for a summer baby) but it is nice and thick so it prevents them from twitching and flailing their arms and legs throughout the night. That means less wake ups. It’s a great in-between piece for when they no longer need a full swaddle but aren’t quite turning over on their own and sleeping soundly. We decided to take it away at 5 months when JT was a little heftier and able to roll onto his side – helping him to sleep more soundly.

Varicose veins go away. You may feel like the Hulk while pregnant but I can assure you that once that baby is out most bulging veins will subside. It gets better. It takes time but it does get better. That’s not to say that the dermatologist and I don’t have a serious date next fall to do some touch-up work, but thankfully it is nowhere near as bad or a painful as it was when I was pregnant. Breathe easy ladies with veins.

Hormones and sleep deprivation are a recipe for forgetfulness. I must admit that twice since the baby arrived I have panicked midday when realizing that I have a school pick up 15 minutes from where I am and I am due to be there in 10 minutes. I also can never seem to remember which side I have fed the baby from when breastfeeding. Thankfully my little man gave me a teeny tiny gold ring for my birthday just weeks after he was born. (Amazing that he has such good taste!) I now pass it back and forth between my left and right ring fingers when I breast feed. Whichever side the ring is on is where I feed from next. Brilliant right? Now if I could only remember to change it from hand to hand…

The heart is one fantastically flexible organ. I never imagined that it had the ability to keep growing. After I had Emma I was pretty sure there wasn’t enough room in my already full heart to love another child as much. And then the moment my second came out I loved her just as much. Fast forward 4 years and this little man owns me. It is almost too much for words.

So there you have it. This is what I’ve learned in 5 months. And still there is so much to come…

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