Saturday, March 10, 2012

Never In My Wildest Dreams

In the first months of being a new parent it is with the utmost glee that your already-parent friends look on as, one-by-one, you’re forced to rescind statements that you previously made about childrearing.

“I’ll never co-sleep/bottle-feed/use a soother/be a slave to naps/{insert random comment made by smug people who don’t know better} with MY baby. I don’t want to be like {friend-with-kid’s name} … THEY had SO many problems!”.  And then you pat yourself knowingly on the back because if {friend-with-kid’s name} had only been as conscientious as you planned to be, life would have been so much easier for them.

And then.

And then … this 8 pound lump of moving human flesh with no internal clock, a bottomless pit for a stomach and mood-swings worse than a class full of 14 year-old girls is thrown into your arms, and you realize you were a jackass.

With Mason, Jamie and I were of the “He’ll learn to sleep wherever we go because he’s fitting into our schedule, not the other way around” group. And I’m sure you can guess how well that turned out.

By the time Avery came along we had learned to never say never, and fully expected to have some ups and downs with her in the house. Always happy to oblige, she delivered! As an example, even though we’d never been comfortable with it before, Ave wound up co-sleeping for the first 8 weeks of her life, with 5 of those being with me on the floor of her room as I attempted to teach her how to sleep on her own.

DSC_0786 - Copy Rest assured I took this picture for future use as guilt-trip material. “Oh Avery, you don’t want to help me do dishes? Well, I didn’t want to have to sleep on the floor of your damned nursery when you were a baby! Suck it up, sweetheart, and start unloading … that roasting pan ain’t gonna put itself away.”.


However … there is now something we are doing because of Avery that is so out there, so ridiculous, so oh-my-god-what-has-happened-to-my-life that we’d never even heard of it before, let alone debated whether we would or would not be doing it.


I’ll give you a hint. Here’s a current picture of the inside of my car:

This is what my life has come to. Driving around with an 8x10 headshot of myself taped to the backseat.

In my last post I mentioned how much Avery hates car rides. Well, that was an understatement. She detests them with every ounce of her being, and shows her displeasure by screaming like a banshee from start to finish of almost every ride we go on. We’ve tried everything we can think of to change this, adding and removing blankets, toys, window blinds, mirrors, clothes (and that’s just mine).

A few days ago, out of sheer desperation, we tried the headshot. And surprisingly, car rides have gotten easier. Its not a full 180 degree change, but enough that we’re willing to keep the picture up.

Except now I feel like a total tool anytime I drive anywhere. 

“Oh, hello dear sir in the car next to me. Why yes, yes that is a rather large picture of me taped to the backseat. My daughter loves it. Loves it. She has such wonderful taste. Some say my image is mesmerizing … what do you think sir? Sir, where are you going?”.

And yes I did make sure it was a damned good picture (its the one from my “About Me” page on here, actually). Wouldn’t you? I don’t need to be reminded of what I look like in the mornings every time I shoulder check, thank you very much. 

Its working so well that we’re thinking about expanding this idea to other areas of Avery’s life. Perhaps dangling a picture off the stroller handlebars so she’s ok with riding in it? Or turning the headshot into a mask for Jamie to wear? (that’s for Jamie’s & my personal use, however. *wink wink, nudge nudge*). 

All in all, if it works to lessen the crying we’ll stick with it. Hell, if we thought a picture of me shirtless and nursing a monkey would work we’d try that too, so I guess I should count my blessings.

Dear sweet Avery (who, incidentally, is exactly 4 months old today) … you’ve certainly changed our lives!



  1. That image is quite possibly the most hilarious thing I've ever seen! (today) - Not that you look hilarious, but that it actually works to calm her down.

    Maybe try doing a mixed tape of yourself singing lullabies to her that you can put on repeat throughout the night.

    Yes, I said mixed tape. I just outed myself as old :)

    1. Maybe I could play it for her on my Walkman. ;)

  2. What a clever idea! I kind of wish I'd done that for my kids! I bet it would have worked well for my son. He's a mama's boy ;-)

    I wanted to say thanks for following my blog! And congratulations for having 100 followers in Google Friend Connect!

  3. Happy birthday, Avery! And thank you for reminding me that little A-WOWW just turned four months as well. That kind of got lost in the shuffle. I would not be so absent minded if she would JUST START SLEEPING FOR MORE THAN 3 HOURS AT A TIME.

    1. Oh, sleep. How I miss thee. Yes, we're in the same boat ... I plan on starting sleep training next month. She'll never know what hit her.

  4. Love your blog, Andra! Keep up the great work!

  5. Love your humour in a challenging situation!! In my short time as a mother I have learned never say never!! That photo of you is priceless!! Glad you found something to kind of help Avery's car troubles!


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