Things I don’t know

Jane, my sister (in-law),  had a baby shower this weekend. (Baby Ottenhoff’s cousin and future best buddy will be born late May/early June.) It made me realize several things that I don’t know as of today. (It reminded me of the Friends episode where Rachel has a baby shower, opens something, and says, “Now wait, that can’t be right. Is this a bong for a baby?”)

And I’ve thought of more things since. In fact, my main thought the past few days has been, “Hmmm…I really don’t know that yet.” We’ve already established that I don’t know how to hold a baby. Here are a few other things I just don’t know:

  • What the heck is a receiving blanket?
  • When the baby is a little lump of a thing that can’t hold its head up, do I dress it in outfits every day? If so, how exactly would one go about that? If not, what does he wear, PJs? Onesies? And do I have to get dressed every day, or can I stay in my PJs and onesies?
  • How often does a baby need a bath? And when he’s a lump and can’t hold his head up, is bathing a two man job? One to hold the lump in place, one to wipe him down?
  • How often will the little guy eat? And what is formula? My theory right now is, formula means Wally can get up at night when the baby’s hungry. If that’s right, I’m good with that.
  • Can you hug a newborn? My hunch is that you can’t. You just hold it.
  • When does he start to get teeth, stop being a lump of a thing and hold his own head up, crawl, walk, make vowel sounds, make sounds that could be swear words, say mommy, and start doing chores like scooping the dog’s doo doo?

You don’t even want to know some of the other things I thought of that I am too embarrassed to put in print. But I do have a confession to make. I realized this the other day: I have never changed a diaper. Really. I was trying to think back to any baby I’ve been around, let alone been in charge of for any period of time. And I can’t think of one. I’m hoping this diaper thing is a trick I will pick up on very quickly, though. I’m sure all it will take is a few leaks before I make myself learn it well enough that I could teach a class on it.

This baby is in for a real treat!

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6 Responses to “Things I don’t know”


  1. 1 Danielle Mayberry April 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Mollie you crack me up! I cannot believe you have never changed a diaper….I bet I know a few moms who would be willing to let you try. By the way, I think you should start buying lots of PJ’s, as I think it is totally ok for you to live in them (along with the baby) when it arrives.

  2. 2 Mama D April 22, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Don’t worry, Mollie. I’ll be there whenever you want!! I remember the bath thing. Mama May came and gave Joe his first bath in the kitchen sink while I watched. Maybe I can carry the tradition on for your first???

  3. 3 mhb April 22, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I’m reminded of what my Ma always tells me: when my folks brought their first baby, my sister, home from the hospital, they were constantly worried they were going to break her. The baby’s first bath was an hours-long project: run some water, test the temperature on a wrist. Too hot? Too cold? Too hot. Add cold. Now it’s too cold! Don’t freeze the baby! Aaack!

    Somehow, my sister managed to survive to adulthood.

    By the time they brought ME home, their third baby, there was nothing that surprised them. Mom said my first bath was probably administered via garden hose in the backyard while they were watering the tomatoes. I, also, have survived to adulthood.

    Oooh – but I do know this: receiving blankets are very snuggly. I think this is why babies like them, and why people like wrapping babies up in them. Perhaps it helps solve the “I want to hug my baby, but he’s so tiny I can only hold him” problem? Because they’re snuggly? This is my scientific hypothesis.

  4. 4 Aunt Sara April 22, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Mollie, I remember those questions when I was first pregnant. One in particular was, “When do I ever run the vacuum cleaner? I mean, really! I can’t do it when the baby is sleeping because it will wake him up. I can’t do it when the baby is awake because I need to be holding him. So how does that all work anyway?” So I completely understand the crazy little questions that pop up when you think about what your new lifestyle will be like. (Although after reading your note about how you turn the lights down so you don’t see the need to vacuum, maybe you won’t have the same silly question that I did!)

  5. 5 Kendra April 29, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    You are too funny for words. I was the exact opposite. I thought I knew everything. I’d changed too many diapers to count. I’d read every important book on raising children. Babysat so much I had to pay taxes. I was a self-proclaimed expert. And then I had a baby. Man, I found out pretty quick that I knew nothing. Ethan and I survived, and once Nora came around it was a breeze. Actually experiencing raising a child was the only way to learn how to do it. And don’t worry, baths aren’t that hard, my babies rarely got dressed up in actual outfits for the first two months, they eat A LOT, and 2 1/2 is old enough to start giving them jobs (chores) to do….like putting the cans and boxes in the recycle bin or setting the table, as for doggy doo doo I think I started having to clean that up around 6 years old.


  1. 1 My own pre-baby questions answered: Part 1 of 2 | Meet The Otts Trackback on March 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm

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