I spend 90% of Violet’s waking hours holding her. If I should dare to put her down for more than 5 minutes, she screams bloody murder. Such transgressions are unacceptable. Daddy holding her? Perhaps 25% better than no one holding her, but still pretty unacceptable.
Considering she wants ME and only me most of the time, you’d think that I’d be the one to make her smile and laugh the most.
Nope. Why should I get rewarded for all that holding? My reward is shoulder and neck pain (plus a healthy baby and less crying and all that jazz). Here are the things that earn Violet’s smiles and laughs more than anything I do.
*Her carseat toys. Sure, she’ll cry like it’s the end of the world for most of every car trip, but when she’s first put in her carseat? Those dangling toys win her true devotion. Good job being a hanging lion, lion! Good job being a hungry caterpillar, caterpillar! Considering this is the only toy I’ve actually purchased for her myself, I suppose I should take this as a compliment? But still. The lion and caterpillar get more love than I do.
*Her swing mobile. What could be more exciting than butterflies, birds and a mirror? Nothing, that’s what. But only for five minutes. Longer than five minutes means I haven’t held her for five minutes and that’s against the laws of nature! BAD MOMMY!
*Any random grandmas. Random grandmas are HILARIOUS. Should we encounter one, Violet will laugh and laugh and laugh at everything one says. I can say the exact same things they say to her in the exact same tones and she’ll just look at me like I’m an idiot. Actual grandmas that are related to her aren’t as funny as stranger grandmas either.
*Lily. I am not bitter about this one. It’s nice that she thinks her big sister is more smile-worthy than I am.
*My boobs. Sure, my boobs are part of me, but I don’t know that she cares for me beyond the food production thing.
*Her stroller. It moves, so it makes her smile. Until it’s been 15 minutes (slightly longer than usual, an ode to how awesome the stroller is). Then she screams again.
*The Ergo. Babywearing always keeps her slightly happy presumably because I’m holding her or maybe because she just wants to make my shoulders hurt. The Ergo does its best to keep me comfortable, but it’s not a magic show. I’m still lugging a 15 pound baby around in it for at least an hour at a time and that still takes its toll on me. It’s kind of a draw as to whether wearing the baby or carrying the baby without a baby wrap hurts more.
*Being around my friends. If we are out with friends, she acts like an absolute angel for much of it. She smiles for 80% of our playdates with friends at every friend she sees. This is to make people think I’m a liar that she cries a lot. She just wants everyone to think she’s the cutest baby in the world and I don’t know how good I have it. Touche, baby. You win at being right. But seriously, let me put you down for more than 5 minutes. Sometimes I get hungry or need to pay attention to your sisters or type with two hands, but who cares about my needs? HOLD THE NON-SMILING BABY!