MC Baby DJ

My daughter loves music. She jubilantly shouts requests at me from the backseat of the car, or the tub, or her crib –

– “Jumpin’!” = See How I’m Jumping Jumping Jumping (A fave from her music class)

– “Come!” = She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain

– “Be Back!” = Bring Back My Bonny to Me

She’s literally never once asked me what I feel like listening to. Unbelievable.

BabyMusicImage from http://www.3rtherapies.co.uk/music.htm

It brings me an incredible amount of joy to hear her sing, see her smile and bop…but guys, I’m living in a black hole of kid’s music. I didn’t fully realize this until this past week. I found an artist that I love. Someone I hadn’t listened to before, and whose songs are not familiar to me. His lyrics are dark and hopeful and human and twisty. Songs about sex and religion and longing and sweetness and desperation. They took root in my soul and inspired me.

It was kind of a revelation: “Oh my god, I love music.”

I realized that most of what I read, watch, and listen to right now all speaks to the “Mom” piece of my identity. I LOVE that piece of my identity. It’s awesome and bright and strong – but it’s not the whole thing. I actually lived a bunch of years before having a kid and those years were filled with really compelling music and poetry and books and movies.

It got me thinking about making space for the other stuff, and how I should go about doing that. It’s important for me to be as whole a person as I can be, and I think feeding the creative soul is a piece of that.

Lately I’ve been reading a few articles about people who are at war with the term “Mommy”. I agree that it’s jarring to be so completely categorized all the time – but on the other hand, being a mom is a huge deal that’s awesome and takes over your life. I don’t mind it at all. I’m such a mom. All that, in my opinion, is great as long as you nurture the whole person – it’s not an either or as far as I can tell.

I’m going to try (try is all I can do) to make the time to put on headphones and read books that feature story elements other than the alphabet and puppies – at least sometimes.

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The Grow Clinic: You can help!

Hi you guys!
We’re collecting baby supplies for The Grow Clinic!
Why?
Operating out of Boston Medical Center, the clinic does a lot of outreach, and is able to serve the members of our community who need help the most. With a focus on infants who have been diagnosed with Failure to Thrive – approx 10% of their patients are homeless according to the webiste, and 85% rely on federal health insurance.

We started a baby supplies drive to help. This was inspired by panic related to the government shutdown. I was thinking about families who need help from WIC and what would happen if the funds dried up while congress continues to…well you know.

How can I help?
Here is an UPDATED LIST OF PRIORITY SUPPLIES for The Grow Clinc!
– Hypoallergenic formula
– Baby food (stages 1 and 2 – sweeter foods are preferred)
– Sippy cups
– Plastic baby spoons
– Flintstones Complete chewable vitamins or equivalent
– Diapers in size 3 and up
[They will also take new board books, boots, tons of stuff – and I’ll bring whatever is donated over to them. I just wanted to focus the effort on the high priority supplies that the representative said they needed most.]
Where?
Bring’em on down to:

* THE WINTHROP PUBLIC LIBRARY CHILDREN’S ROOM: 2 Metcalf Square, Winthrop, MA 02152
The library hours are: Tuesday 1-7pm, Wed 1-6pm, Thurs 1-6pm, Fri 1:30-5pm, Sat 10-5pm

* IMPROVBOSTON in Central Square:  40 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (617) 576-1253

tgc box library

What if I just want to donate some money and you can go shopping?

That’s great! I set up a Paypal account for those of you that might want to help but are either far away, or unable to stop by a drop location.

You can look me up on Paypal at erin.m.petti@gmail.com to donate a few dollars for a Costco run. If you do this, please also send me an email so that I can confirm that your donation went through. This is my first time trying any of this and I want to make sure that we open up every opportunity to donate and help.

***

PHASE 1: Complete

Superwoman Maile Shoul has already completed phase one of this project by collecting donations via Paypal and making a trip to Target. She and the wonderful Harry Gordon picked up:

– Three containers of hypoallergenic formula

– Ten containers of baby food

Harry Gordon being incredible on Saturday.

Harry Gordon being incredible on Saturday.

These supplies were dropped off at The Grow Clinic this morning and will go right to helping families in need.

YEAH!

This has been a wonderful experience so far and I thank you all so much for your support.

Lots of love. Seriously, lots.
Erin

The Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center: http://www.bmc.org/pediatrics-growclinic/services.htm

6 Weeks: It Gets Better (Awesome)

Now that we’re here at week six, it’s a good time to look back at the past month and a half of motherhood. Why? Because it’s really getting cool.

At this point, Emmie is starting to see things and interact. We got a solid half-smile out of her and she is teetering on the edge of full happy-face. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to see your baby see you after weeks and weeks of just hoping she’s having an OK time. Babies master ‘skeptical, who are you?’ face way before happy face. But today, when I was singing a medley of Lionel Richie’s hits to her, she looked…amused! I’m an improviser, and man do I need readable positive feedback, so this is humongous for me.

This is just one of the many fronts on which things are getting more enjoyable, lighter, and easier. Going back to the beginning though, there’s some honest observations I’d like to share.

Like this: I really wish that I didn’t have the expectation that having the baby would be a physical relief.

It was once-in-a-lifetime-thrilling to deliver my little girl, but life was not physically easier after she was born. Week 41 of pregnancy was a whole lot breezier than weeks 1,2,3,4 and 5 of motherhood.

I know it’s not everyone’s experience but lordy lordy lord-ay. I could write a book called, From Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to Hot Flashes: Your guide to the unsung heroes of postpartum life or Life After Epidural: Why can’t the epidural come home with me? Seriously guys. Why? Or My Baby is Precious and Perfect, But OUUUCCHHHDAMMIT”.

This is not intended to scare moms-to-be – but rather maybe to shift expectations. I know a lot of ladies have an easy-going time after baby is born, but some don’t. Nursing can most especially be a challenge as it’s been for me. Feeding your baby is supposed to be the most natural thing in the world, so if you have trouble you might feel bad. You might feel as if your body doesn’t want to naturally do this completely wonderful thing for your kid. That’s a bad feeling. I had pain at first that made life rather challenging (wild understatement), but that’s just one of myriad, super normal difficulties new mothers can face.

But here’s the thing, it’s OK! I know this, not only from my personal experience, but also from talking to other amazingly helpful  (and tough…mothers are so ridiculously tough) people who’ve gone through the same thing. I think experienced moms should be making “It Gets Better” videos for newer ones. Only they should be called “It Gets Awesome”, because it does.

Sleep deprivation is a THING, guys. It can make you dizzy and sad and confused. I lost a half can of cat food somewhere in this house. That is a true story. But that gets better too as the weeks go on and before you know it, your baby starts snoozing for more than 1-2 hours at a time at night and getting a twinkle in her eye that makes you fall even deeper in love with her than you could ever imagine.

THEN you think you figure out that “You Are The Sun, You Are The Rain” just might be her favorite jam. That’s the stage I’m at right now, and very very happy to be here.

Motherhood and LOST: Pushing that button

She’s currently weighing in at a formidable 8lbs 15oz, and a measuring an alpine 22 inches long. She has a handful of needs:

– To eat

– To be warm

– To sleep

– To poop and/or pee

Why, then, one might ask, does it look like a tornado hit my house and I don’t know what day it is? It’s incredible. Emmie is a bundle of cute and love and squishes – and she’s the center of my universe in more ways than one. I think that I respected moms before my little boss came to town, but now I’m in awe. It’s the most important thing I’ve ever done – and without question the hardest.

You know in LOST, how Desmond was tasked with pushing the button in the hatch every 108 minutes? And if he didn’t do it, WHO KNOWS what was going to happen?

He really does love you, Penny…

Nursing feels like that. So much so, that I think maybe a new mom wrote that whole story element. The difference is that I do get 120 minutes instead of 108. That’s the toughest part – that she’s relying on me for such a fundamental thing: food.

Moms have been doing this for eons, ya’ll! What? They were doing this before Advil, before breast pumps, before disposable diapers, before epidurals, before any of it. Again, what? Between my two grandmothers, they had 11 kids. I have one. Uno. And she’s the ultimate shot-caller. She owns my days and my nights and all my thoughts.

I think of myself, and of  my generation as very fancy and intellectual and empowered, but there is some righteous power in women’s history. They did all this while taking too much crap from a society that didn’t fully recognize their value and rights.

Women, moms through history, you are amazing. You are inspirational. I’m proud and humble to join your ranks.

Gotta go, I’m on the clock.

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