Monday, July 14, 2014

Parenthood: Week 59: Top 5 Things I Suck At As A Parent

Parenting involves a myriad of different skills. There are things as simple as carrying a baby and wiping her mouth and more complicated things like installing a car seat and forcing molded plastic together to form some kind of baby toy.

There’s a lot of these things I’m great at and there are some of these things that continue to be a challenge for me. Because everyone love lists on the internet, I’m going to lay out the "Top 5 Things I Suck At As A Parent."

5. Finding the Right Size Outfit
I never seem to pick out the outfit that is the right size for Ollie. Why is this an issue?

Well, Baby clothing is sized by age. As you can guess there’s a wide variety of height and weight across babies of the same age. This wouldn’t be so much of an issue if baby clothing were categorized the same way.

At first I thought it was simple: “NB” for new born, 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and so on. The problem is that baby clothing companies have completely different sizing systems. Some companies give a range of months and size like 3-6 months and 6-9 months. And even within companies that use ranges you find differences (e.g. 1-6 months, and 6-12 months). Don’t get me started about Hanna Anderson sizes . . .

Diana picks out Ollie's clothing most of the time, but she never objects when I want to pick out an outfit. Every time something is the wrong size she kindly says “oh, he’s growing so fast, this is going to be the last time he wears that shirt,” or she simply changes Ollie a couple hours later and doesn’t mention my inability to simply find a onesie that fits.

4. Socks and Shoes
Baby socks and shoes are the cutest article of baby clothing and the hardest to put on. Baby feet are adorable but something about their shape and the size of the socks make it impossible for me to get them on without a struggle. Ollie does this thing where he curves his toes and as soon as I get one sock on, he pulls the other one off. It’s neigh impossible to find a pair of socks that fit because they are sized with ridiculous ranges of ages like 1 month to 2 years.  I’m not much better with his shoes. Usually I have to pin him down, there’s a struggle involved, there’s tears and crying and sometimes Ollie gets upset in the process.

3. Getting a stroller through a door
We have a great stroller. It’s a Britax B-Agile. It’s easy to fold up, it’s light and it handles great. But I can’t get this thing through a door without help, or a comical amounts of maneuvering. “Oh, it’s easy, just turn the stroller around backwards and pull him through the door that way.”  This approach results in the Ollie’s stroller getting slammed by the door as I can’t manage to keep it open long enough to get the whole stroller through. Pushing the stroller forward through the door is slightly better but I always end up with the front of the stroller at an angle causing the one of the back wheels to get caught in the door post.

When I’m pushing the stroller in the mall Diana always runs ahead and manages to push two doors open at the same time so I can make it through with some level of grace and dignity. When I’m all by myself and there’s no handicap button to press so that door automatically opens, I do the best I can and inevitably a passer by or sales person runs to my aid. Oh, the kindness of strangers.

2. Poo sensor
"Oh man, Ollie has a poopy diaper."

"Yeah, I know he’s been working on that for the past five minutes."
Diana has the uncanny ability to know when Ollie is pooping. She says that he pulls himself up and stands a certain way with a thoughtful and sometimes tense look on his face. I’ve only caught him in this moment once.  I can usually smell it when he’s done, but unlike Diana, I can’t sense when he’s in the process. Does this make me feel like I’m a horrible dad? No, but it would be a nice thing to be able to detect so that I can make myself “busy” when there’s a poopy diaper that will soon need changing.

1. Breastfeeding 
Ollie has tried to breastfeed from me a handful of times as I’ve rocked him to bed.  A couple times this was an incredibly accurate bite through my shirt right around my areola. Other times it’s a open-mouthed wet kiss on my chest as Ollie tries to latch onto nothing.

These attempts leave Ollie confused and frustrated and they leave me traumatized.

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