Anyway, as much as everyone says I am exactly like my mother, I have more than a lot in common with my aunt. And although there couldn't be two more strikingly different individuals on the planet, despite the fact that they shared the same womb, I like to think that I couldn't have two stronger female role models in my life. (Well, they're only trumped by their mother, my amazing, can't-capture-her-awesomeness-here-if-I-tried grandma. And I know they will both nod in agreement when they read this.)
Well, my aunt and I have been corresponding through e-mail the past few days, mostly her commiserating in my complete lack of knowledge and, therefore, absolute terror at the thought of having the task of not killing our baby with simple incompetence. And the e-mail I received this morning came with the perfect reassurance. It's a story I hadn't heard before about bringing my cousin Dietrich home from the hospital. And the reassuring part is that I know he survived. I see him at family gatherings and holidays.
I wrote back and asked her if I could share the e-mail, but I'm incredibly impatient and I want to share it NOW. So I'm just assuming that she'll be okay with it. So, without further explanation, here is the e-mail. Not only did I laugh out loud, but I can easily picture this being me in a few months.
Thanks Glrr. I needed that.
When I see the Hummer-like baby strollers in the mall now, I think back to the flimsy little umbrella-style stroller that your mother used for you. That was all there was in those days!
You will always worry that you are "doing it wrong," because that's part of being a parent, but the kids will tell you, in one way or another, if you need to change tactics.
Be prepared for triumphant laughter from your mother when you tell your daughter she can't put posters on the wall of her bedroom.
Anyway, here's a little story from my first weeks as a mom. You were living across the street from us on Lake Road, and you called Dietrich "Baby Glrr."
The first day that Dietrich came home from the hospital, the furnace went out. Just what you want when you have a 3-day old baby. We got that fixed pretty fast -- amazing what people will do for a new baby.
Maybe two weeks later, I put some bottles on the stove to boil/sterilize (I was breast-feeding but also using some bottles to get him used to it). It suddenly became apparent that Dietrich needed changing, big-time. I took him upstairs to change and when I was just about done, I smelled something odd. I thought, "Damn it, the furnace is acting up again!" After another minute or so, I realized that the smell could _not_ be the furnace. I basically tossed Dietrich into his crib and ran down the stairs.
The pot I had been boiling, the bottles in it had boiled dry and was RED HOT. I mean GLOWING! This was a Pyrex dish -- and I know you have experience with them! I grabbed some oven mitts, planning to put the dish in the sink, but the minute the oven mitts touched the dish, they both burst into flames. Then I had no choice but to run out the back door and toss both the mitts and the dish in the snow bank, wherein the dish exploded!
So there I was standing behind the house, looking at a smoking hole in the snow as Dietrich is screaming his lungs out upstairs, and I thought, "Mom was right! I _AM_ going to manage to kill him before he's even a year old!"
But, as you know, he still lives. And I haven't set anything on fire or blown anything up since. Yet.
Take heart. You've got the most natural Mom in the world (yours) to model, and you've got me to tell you what NOT to do!