Friday, June 7, 2013

How to Panic like a Veteran Mom

For a while now, I've been wanting to design a knitted baby mobile for Millie. Recently, I began looking for ideas and information about baby mobiles on the internet, and learned two very important things:

1. Baby mobiles are great! They help your baby build neck strength, and can reduce the risk of SIDS. If you love your baby, you will make sure there is a baby mobile over her crib.
2. Baby mobiles are death traps. If you have one in your nursery your baby will almost certainly die of strangulation. If you love your baby, not only should you remove all mobiles from your home, but you should knock on your neighbors' doors and ask permission to remove their baby mobiles as well.

PANIC TIME! As a new Mom, I've been exposed to a long list of things that will kill/maim my baby-- a list to which baby mobiles must apparently now be added. Even though I try to be reasonable and listen to that tiny voice in the back on my head that says---Katie, most of these things are items or activities that you yourself survived as infant, the truth of it is that I'm terrified of the "yes, but what if...?"

So, new moms, I've put together a handy "Panicking Toolkit" for you, which includes a list of items to be terrified of, as well as a readiness quiz to make sure you're really taking your panicking seriously.

Items/Activities to Fear
Blankets, pillows, crib bumpers, a baby sleeping on his/her stomach, a baby sleeping in bed with you, stuffed animals, older cribs featuring drop-side edges, new cribs featuring formaldehyde based glues, anything made of plastic, and any item that may provide stimulation for your baby, such as a mobile, a rattle, or a live pony.  As a good rule of thumb, ask yourself, "does this item provide comfort or enjoyment to my baby?" If the answer is yes, chances are that item causes SIDS, and you should dispose of it discreetly before someone calls child protective services on you.  

Readiness Quiz

1. Which of these items are most dangerous to have in the crib with your baby?
a.)  a blanket
b.)  a chainsaw
c.)  a bottle of percoset
answer: a blanket, because--unlike chainsaws and pill bottles--- blankets have no built-in safety features.

2. Which of these locations is the most appropriate for your baby to sleep?
a.) a soft, comfortable bed
b.) a tank full of piranhas 
c.) a prison-style bare mattress with bed-rails
answer:  your child's bed should feature the most bare, firm, inhospitable mattress you can find. Don't worry, your child will never sleep there anyways. She will demand instead to sleep while being held in your arms, most often during mealtimes when you are trying to use cutlery. 

3. Which of the following items in a baby's crib can help reduce the risk of SIDS?
a.) a teddy bear
b.) a fan
c.) a paperback copy of "The Art of War"
answer: The Art of War will engross your baby to the point that she will forget to suffocate on her pillow, but be warned-- she will emerge an even stronger adversary in the psychological battle that is bedtime. 

How did you do? Did  you pass? If not, I'd recommend that you PANIC.  Just kidding. I'd actually recommend that you get your hands on a copy of "the Art of War," because I've just given one to your baby. As for me and Millie, in the end I decided to go ahead and make her the mobile.  She loves it-- probably because it is so dangerous and unsafe. Right now it hangs over her crib, but my plan is too move it as soon as she gets old enough to swipe. In the meantime, I'll continue to protect her from the many, many threats she faces,  such as plush, snuggly blankets, and marauding gangs of formaldehyde-based nursery furniture.

(Knitters: Click this link for instructions on how to make this deathtrap)

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