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Sifting For Clues

When you’re in the midst of
babyhood, you become an expert on whatever situation is most
present in your life. For example, if your child’s about to
start crawling, you’re a walking Consumer Reports issue of
all the best babyproofing gear. When you introduce solid foods, you
can reel off the list of high-allergy foods and when to introduce
them in your sleep. And during baby’s first bout with
constipation? You’re a virtual medical encyclopedia of home

I remember when Maddie was a baby and my
girlfriend Abby was dealing with her second son. Her
firstborn’s 2 ½ years older than Maddie, and her
youngest is four months younger. So I was right ahead of her on all
the newborn things, but she was a second-time mom. So imagine my
surprise when she’d give me a call and say, “When do
you introduce solid foods again? And what do you start with? When
can they have Cheerios?” The whole time I was thinking,
“Um, didn’t you do this already?”

But the truth is, you remember as long as you need to, then forget.
Frankly, there’s not enough room in the ole noggin for a
Mommy to remember EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING. Call us seasonal

Think of it like your engagement period. For around six months, you
were an expert on diamonds – cut, color, clarity, and so on.
You could calculate a stone’s weight from across the room.
Now you see a ring and think, “Shiny! Pretty!” Or maybe
it’s just me.

Regardless, Brian and I are in the amnesia zone ourselves this time
around. I had to ask our pediatrician when we could try out
pacifiers (right away) and soft carriers (ditto). We’re
frustrated because we feel like we’ve already earned this
information, fought hard to learn the best age to start tummy time,
and can’t remember. So what do we do?

We become archeologists.

Ok, so we’re not digging up our living room. Though I bet
that by studying the age layers of Maddie’s discarded toys in
the storage box, we’d get a pretty accurate timeline. But
we’ve started scrutinizing photos of Madeleine, looking for
signs of activity. Conversations go something like this:
“Honey, I first found evidence of the playmat in a six weeks
photo, but the receipt shows we bought it at a month. So we held
off for a couple weeks.” Or perhaps, “Jackpot! We were
using the bouncy seat at two weeks, but I see in the photo we
rolled swaddling blankets to hold her head upright. That should
work again.” Or even – “Well, it looks from my
blog like the worst of Maddie’s colic was around 5 or 6
weeks, so we should be in the clear.”

Madeleine’s enjoying this, since it means she gets to see
video and photos on the computer of the time LONG AGO when she was
a baby.

And for me, it’s making me realize I’ve got to take
better notes.


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