Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I've Gain-ed some Guilt.

My mother is big on sayings. I cannot express to you how often she says “God works in mysterious ways” and “What goes around comes around.” Obviously, her choice of saying differs depending on whether she is riled up or not.

I have decided to join her and take up a new mantra. Really, it should also have been my old mantra. I have chosen to now live by these wise words: “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

 See, I am rapidly learning about the wide world of parenting fails. For example, Henning turned 8 weeks old last Friday and I just realized I have yet to sit him beside a stuffed animal and track his growth for a scrapbook. I even bought this ginormous stuffed dragon shortly after finding out I was pregnant for this express purpose and now we are screwed. I guess I could start him off at three months, but that just seems like advertising my own idiocy.

He also drinks cold formula. MADE USING TAP WATER. I can’t figure out if I am the cool, laid back Mom or the ridiculously lazy Mom. I know I am not the only person who does these things. I know that because I stole both these ideas from other Moms, and if you don’t think I bless them every day when I am standing in the kitchen after midnight running cold tap water into my formula, you are sadly mistaken. But I still feel guilty about it.

As it turns out, there’s a lot of guilt that comes with motherhood. Maybe this is why mothers are notorious for laying guilt trips on their children. Maybe there is just so much guilt that it has to be spread around. The fact that Henning and I miserably failed at breastfeeding has happily become less of a worrying factor just in time for me to find out that I could be making my own floor cleaner. And detergent. And using cloth diapers.

 Truthfully, I would totally use cloth diapers if Pete would let me. I think those new covers are suuuuper cute. But even if we used cloth diapers, they would still be washed in Gain detergent because I am wholly indoctrinated to the chemical-laden world and I love that fresh, clean scent. We don't even buy Dreft for the baby clothes. Did I just choose a fragrance over the well-being of my child and planet?

 Yes, yes I did. And I feel TERRIBLE about it, but not terrible enough to wear clothes-scented clothes. Maybe I just feel terrible that I don't really feel terrible about it? Henning also has a used crib AND carseat, both of which I’m pretty sure are illegal in the state of Georgia.

 However, the thing that makes me feel most terrible is when I am busted mid-fail. My Dad, Big Daddy Lee, kept Henning for a while one afternoon last week. We were running through the list of things packed in the diaper bag and I was feeling mighty superior. Extra clothes? Check. Wipes? Check. Bottles? Check – I even packed one wet and one dry in case of emergency. Socks? FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, CHECK!!!!! (My parents are nuts about the socks. They don’t care if it’s 75 degrees outside. I can’t decide if they are old or I am uncaring.) Baby powder?

 Baby powder? Baby powder. Baaaaaaaby powder. Huh.

I look at Pete. Pete looks at me. Dad looks at us both like we are completely and totally inept.

 Do people still use baby powder? Is that still a thing? Did that not go away with Mad Men? We haven’t used any for over 8 weeks now and Henning has no sign of any rash or swamp-butt of any kind.

 Several people gave us bags of baby supplies at my showers. We have desitin. We have wipes for both sets of cheeks, and the face ones smell like grape kool-aid. We have gripe water and gas drops. We have creams and lotions, washes and soaps, medicines and remedies of all kinds. I could be mistaken, but I don’t remember any baby powder. Surely the diaper industry has become so advanced that baby powder has gone the way of Brylcreem.

 Apparently not.

 So there you go. Judge not, lest ye be judged. I’m not going to watch you, and you promise not to watch me, while my Gain-scented kid sits over here probably not properly buckled into a borrowed swing, while his gums are chattering from the cold formula and lack of socks.
I think he's onto us already.