Tuesday

Vacation recap

We survived our first vacation as a family, and much was learned along the way. Lesson number one: CeCe is terrified of the ocean.

Since she is a total water-bug in the swimming pool and bath tub, I hoped she would love the salt water as well. But every time I started to lower her sausage legs into the waves she would shriek like I was dropping her into an active volcano. "I promise child, I am not sacrificing you to Poseidon, I just want to see you giggle with glee as you splash in the waves."

By the last day, my dad managed to coax CeCe into sitting in the sand and she did not have a meltdown. I consider that to be a success.

What was not a success was keeping her routine the same when away from home. I did everything the book said- brought familiar toys and blankies, tried to keep feeding times on schedule and regular napping hours. That book will now be used as a coaster.

CeCe's 7 a.m. wake up call turned into 5:30 a.m. She refused to eat her solid food and wanted to nurse constantly. We reverted back four months in time, and it was not as nearly as cute the second go-round.

As I mentioned in my post  about partying as a parent, having baby is like having a hangover every morning without any of the drinking the night before. That applies to vacation as well. It's meant to be a time to rest, right? False.

Vacation used to mean sleeping in. It meant reading on the beach and throwing back a margarita before 5 o'clock without judgement. Family vacation means waking up at the same time you normally would and just not going to work. It means trying to keep an 8-month-old from eating too much sand and sipping half a margarita before falling asleep on the couch at 8:30 p.m.

As much as I enjoyed family vacation, I'm looking forward to a Mama-and-Daddy-Only trip. Whenever that may be.

Monday

Out of Office

We are enjoying CeCe's first trip to the beach, and I plan to update later this week about how incredibly taxing traveling with a baby can be (and just maybe some more pictures of my chunky girl in her baby swim suit.)

Sunday

Move it or Lose it.

CeCe is on the move. Almost.

Her attempts at crawling seem to be at a standstill. While it may sound odd, I am fine with this delay. The longer she waits to crawl, the longer I get to put off installing baby gates, cabinet locks and electric socket plugs. As long as she stays immobile we can keep our house as the baby-death trap it is.

Watching a baby teach themselves new skills is a treat. When Cece tries to crawl, it goes something like this:

We begin with her on her back, kicking her feet like a wild stallion and doing something that resembles a half-backbend. When she finally flips onto her stomach, she rests for a moment because that kicking is exhausting to just watch, let alone do.

When Ce gets her second wind, she puts her hands flat on the ground and pushes up on her toes into what I believe is called downward facing dog. It takes a few minutes of this baby yoga for CeCe to realize her error, so she eventually works her way back to an all-fours position.

After rocking back and forth a few times, revving her engine, CeCe will either collapse in defeat and wail face-down into the carpet, or do some break dancing move that swings her legs under her rotund little body and end up in a sitting position.

We go through this dance at least 47 times each day, but this routine has become the norm as of the last two weeks. I continue to be her cheerleading, but my "Rah! Rah!"'s are not entirely sincere. I'm content that my baby is a big blob of cuteness who needs to be carried everywhere.

I've already set up the play yard (a.k.a the baby cage) in the living room in anticipation of that mobility milestone. Because once she figures out that complex alternating-hand-knee combo, my peace of mind in done for.

** Also folks, my new column ran in the July issue of Lexington Family Magazine. Check it out! I'll be writing monthly motherly rants, so if you have a topic that you are dying to scream about, let me know.

Thursday

Are rules made to be broken?

I had the privilege of taking my nephew and the baby girl on a play date this week while my mother was visiting us from Ashland. And I quickly realized that the lack of responsible parents in this world is astonishing.

Seated at the mall with my baby bouncing away in my lap, I sat and watched James run and jump and play in an area designed to resemble a giant's nursery. I sat and watched him because there was a big sign that told me I had to. Apparently, that sign was more of a suggestion.

One mother dropped her two children in the play area, made sure they took off their shoes, then promptly strolled off in the direction of Macy's. When she returned I intended on telling her I normally charge $10 an hour for baby sitting.

Another woman sat and ate her Cinnabon sticks while her pre-teen child, as tall as me, ran right past the 42" height limit sign and jumped on an oversized rubber ducky that sank under her weight. If your daughter is wearing a training bra, it might not be appropriate for her to be on play equipment designed for 5-year-olds.

All around us, children were jumping on booths that were labeled "No standing," they were leaving tread marks in areas labeled "No shoes," and were sipping from Starbucks cups by the "No food or drink" sign.

My dilemma is this: how am I supposed to teach my child to follow the rules when all around them they witness those rules being broken?

How do you enforce rules for your children when they are surrounded by children playing with no restrictions. Do you speak up to the other parents?

"Excuse me- there is a no climbing rule. I'm afraid my child will want to follow yours and then a terrible domino effect will ensue and result in a massive pile up of wounded children in that corner."

I feel that my request would not be taken well. So what do we do, Mamas? How do we teach our children to follow the rules in a world where others defy them openly?