Listening to Grandma

As a new mom, I would like to think I have it all figured out; I don’t need anyone’s help. It doesn’t matter that I’ve never done this before. I know my son. I understand him. Every single time he makes a peep realize exactly what he wants. I never crack under pressure while he’s crying his head off. Can you tell I’m being facetious?

Let’s face it. There are times when I have no idea what my son wants. He’s crying, so I try to feed him. Oh wait! He’s not hungry, maybe he’s tired? So I nurse him. But he doesn’t want to nurse. Perhaps he has a dirty diaper? Nope, all clear. Okay, no problem, maybe he’s bored. I’ll play with him. Nope, he doesn’t want to play. What is it?! What does my son want?!

The point is, at these crucial times its okay to accept help from those who have been there before; the grandmas.

Recently, my son had a terrible virus. He had a fever and was horribly congested. He was so congested, in fact, that he could hardly nurse and could wake himself up in the middle of the night coughing. Once again, I adopted my “I can do anything I’m Super Mom” attitude. I tried everything:

  • I aspirated his nose
  • I gave him saline drops
  • I steamed him in the bathroom
  • I put books underneath his mattress to elevate his head so he could breathe easier
  • I went took him to see the pediatrician three times in two days.

Nothing worked!

My mom saw how exasperated I was becoming. She popped her grandma head into the picture and announced

“Can I make a suggestion?”

Normally when my mom says this it is not a suggestion at all but a “you really need to do this.” I all but rolled my eyes. Through clenched teeth I replied

“What, mom?”

She smiled and said

“You should get him a humidifier. You guys used to sleep with a humidifier when you were sick and it really saved you. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH humidifier…”

Needless to say I ignored her suggestion and kept trying things that didn’t work. Until I got a call from my mom at 7:30pm at night after spending the entire day with a miserably sick baby.

“I have something for you. Can I come up to your apartment?” She asked.

“Sure.” I said totally exhausted.

The door opened. There was my mom standing there with a Vicks Cool Moisture humidifier.

I gave in.

Even though my son was already asleep we managed to covertly place the humidifier in his room without waking him.

Guess what? She was right. It was the best night he, my boyfriend and I had had in three days. My son didn’t wake up once during the night. Thanks to the humidifier.

Grandmas can be annoying. They think they know what’s best for their grandchildren and no one can tell them otherwise. But sometimes, they are absolutely right. So the next time your mom tells you

“Put some socks on him! Its cold in here.” Even though it may be 75 degrees, indulge her. She may save your life someday. (Or at least your sanity).

To Cloth or Not to Cloth That is the Question

When I was pregnant, I thought a lot about diapers; how extraordinarily expensive they are, how I barely had money to clothe myself let alone waste money on a perpetually disposable item that unfortunately was a necessity.

I thought about cloth diapers. I really did. I considered the option. But then I thought about the prospect of washing excess poop in the bath tub. Yuck. So I vetoed the cloth option.

Now that I have nearly a one year old son, I am thinking about diapers, again. I spend $34/month on them. That’s $408/year. Considering my household income, that is a lot of money.

So now I am thinking about cloth diapers again. My best friend recently told me that her parents used cloth diapers on her. This was nearly 30 years ago. They, like my boyfriend and I, had very little money. So they never touched disposable diapers.

This brings to the forefront an interesting issue; if disposable diapers are so expensive, why do the majority of the parental population use them? Convenience? Less mess? What did people do before disposable diapers? They used what was available to them; cloth diapers.

I’ve decided that I cannot live in ignorance of the cloth diaper any longer. I need to sample this animal and see what it is all about. Perhaps I will even save myself a little money in the process.

Complaining About/Praising Products

I’m the sort of person that gets excited about a product that I really like. On the on the other hand I am also the kind of individual that gets upset when I feel a product has let me down. I recently rediscovered the concept of calling various companies to let them know what I thought about their products. I used to do this often before I had my son, and now that I have a child I have acquired a new found fervor in contacting corporations to let them know what I think.

For example, I recently was making a box of Annie’s Home Grown Macaroni and Cheese for my son. I really like Annie’s Home Grown products because a lot of them are certified organic, they are delicious and (most importantly) my son loves them. I went to open the cheese packet and found that it already been slit open a crack. Being a nervous mom, I called Annie’s Home Grown to inquire about this open package. The representative was so pleasant and helpful on the phone. He apologized immediately and offered to send me coupons for Annie’s Home Grown products.

And it’s not just Annie’s Home Grown. I’ve found that many companies I have contacted have granted me coupons for my trouble. When I called Stoneyfield Farm Organic to tell them about a puncture in the safety seal of one of their smoothies, they sent me nearly 20 coupons for my trouble.

Companies respond not only to criticism, but also to praise. I wrote to Entenmann’s to tell them how much I enjoyed their 8 Rich Frosted Donuts. They sent me two one dollar off coupons in the mail in exchange for my praise. A similar situation occurred when I called Laura’s Lean Beef to tell them about how much I enjoyed their lean steaks. I recevied coupons in the mail from them as well.

The moral of the story is, when you like a product, tell the company. When you have a problem with a product, tell the company. Chances are you will be rewarded for your efforts.

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