Confessions of a Failed Minimalist Mommy

>> Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I was under the impression that I would be a minimalist mom. A "less is more" mom. A "I don't feed my kid junk food or buy toys that light up and play music" mom. You should see my living room right now. This is clearly Baboo's house, and he's just allowing me and the Hubs to live here. In my living room alone I have those interlocking foam mats on the floor, a playmat,  a bouncy seat, a boppy (which I bought instead of a bumbo, because who can afford that) and yesterday we bought an exersaucer. I am hanging my head in shame right now.

Everything is plastic and polyester. Everything is BRIGHT blue and BRIGHT green. In my defense. . .

In my defense.

The bouncy seat was a gift. Okay, we did register for it, but hear me out. This is the bouncy seat:

We chose to register for this one, quite frankly, because the other ones were too expensive. We felt uncomfortable asking our family members to shell out $60 for something that they could just as easily get for $25. Even though it is so BRIGHT. I would have picked this one

but the bottom line is the bottom line.

We were told a bouncy seat is an absolute MUST--that its the only way that other moms get anything done around the house. So we registered for it. We were dismayed to find that it takes batteries in order to vibrate and play music, and that the batteries were NOT included. We didn't get the batteries. We figured he didn't need them, and would never know that his bouncy seat was supposed to vibrate and sing him to sleep.

My kid does not like his bouncy seat. He will sit in it for five minutes, tops. He will bat at the little turtle, then spend the rest of the time looking at me with his huge saucer eyes, waiting for me to pick him up. We thought if we bought the batteries that allowed it to vibrate and sing, then maybe I'd be able to put him in it during the day when I need to take a break. We we hauled ass to the store and picked up some batteries. With great anticipation we watched the thing vibrate and listened to the tinny "music" emanate from the little plastic box. We put our son in it, praying he would like it. He lasted 7 to 10 minutes, before he pleaded with us to rescue him from this strange, vibrating chair. We obliged.

I have another confession. We were told by our home visitor that exersaucers are harmful to baby's hips.  I never planned on getting an exersaucer in the first place. Not because they're bad for his hips, but because they're ugly. Plastic and ugly and unecessary in my opinion.

Its just that Baboo likes to stand. He LOVES to stand, in fact. He loves to stand on my lap when I'm trying to type, making it impossible for me to do so because of course to stand he needs to hold my hands. He loves to dig his freakishly large feet into my legs, and his toenails grow at such a rate that he's often digging those into me too. It's hard on the shoulders to hold him up like that. And he will fuss until he gets his way. He will fuss and fuss and fuss until he's allowed to stand. A couple mornings ago the Hubbs turned to me and said "Was Baboo fussing to stand last night?" (Last night being 4 am, after his feeding.)
"Yup," I replied. Nope, it wasn't just a bad dream. This kid even wants to stand when he shouldn't even be awake.
So we caved. We didn't want to, but the flier made us. I'm sure you know by now that I can't pass up a good bargain. Exersaucers were on sale! NOT the one that would have been my first choice (of course) with the real pictures of nature and a hand puppet for mom or dad to stick their hand in so that they can interact with their kid.

But it was an exersaucer nonetheless, and I really just needed a place where my kid could stand. So I bought it.
PsychoMama: Does it seem like he likes it?
The Hubbs: He doesn't seem upset by it. . .

He lasted about two minutes before he started to cry yesterday. And today he lasted about ten. He seemed to enjoy it more today. I even took a video of him playing in there and sent it to both my mom (who was with me when I bought it) and The Hubbs at school.

My next confession of a failed minimalist mommy, is that my only regret in regards to his playmat is that I live in Canada where the bigger one isn't available. That one lights up! That's right, folks.

As for Baboo's swing, we wouldn't have bought one because we were simply too poor when we were expecting him. A lovely mom from our local early years centre gave me her swing because she had two. I was thrilled thinking that it would be the magic fix for crying and overtiredness, but Baboo is not a huge fan of it. I admit that I may not have tried him in it enough (I can probably count on one hand the number of times he's been in that swing.) Part of the reason is that its in his nursery, which hasn't been completed and is being used as a partial storage room for the suitcases we STILL haven't unpacked (yes, we have THAT much stuff--how's that for minimalism?) The other reason is that the week we brought him home from the hospital, he was absolutely miserable at night between the hours of 7 and 9. I tried putting him in his swing when we were both crying inconsolably, and after a minute, it did the trick. Then The Hubbs said this to me:

"He looks really sad."

And that broke my heart. Yes, he was no longer crying, but I was his mother and I deposited him into a swing so that I could take a break. He really did look sad. His eyes looked large and weary, and his lip was in a full, turned down pout. So I have barely put him in his swing since then. Whenever I'm about to I remember the words "He looks really sad", and it turns me off. I'm glad we didn't pay for it. And while it is ugly and not something we'd ever pick out for ourselves, and least its not BRIGHT green or BRIGHT blue. It's that lovely dark blue plaid, circa all 1990s baby gear.

What's even sadder than all the brightly coloured plastic in my home is that fact that my son has barely any wooden toys. I know that isn't really fair, since its hard to find "gear" that's wooden and he's not at an age where he'll be playing with toys that aren't tethered to things yet. I know we'll be buying him wooden toys like train sets and building blocks and a wooden kitchen when he's older, but still.

You know there's a problem when your mom comes to visit and the first words out of her mouth are "When did you guys decide to buy a Toys R Us?"



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