Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Intro to Beginning Motherhood-Class One

Hello Class! Welcome to our first session of Intro to Beginning Motherhood. This will be the simplest class you will have. As the class progresses, we will be adding more responsibilities to make it more realistic. I will inform you of these at the end of the class.

To begin, I will magically transform you into a fly on the wall so you will not get in the way as you observe during our one-hour session. This is perfectly acceptable since mothers can do magic.

Ok. You have just returned from the grocery store. It is precisely noon. You enter the house. You have to go to the bathroom, you are very thirsty from forgetting your water bottle, and you have a baby in your arms who is hungry and needs her shoes and coat removed before being set down so you can remove your shoes and coat. There are also two dogs you are tripping over and a trunk full of groceries that need to come in. Pull off baby's clothing with one hand, set baby down, remove shoes, step over dogs, go to the bathroom (bring a toy in to keep baby entertained since she will probably follow you in), and then get a drink. Groceries need to be brought in. Tell baby not to touch anything, run out to car, bring in grocery bags, step over baby and dogs each time, repeat three times (remembering to unlock, open, relock gate and latch door each time, with hands full of groceries, so that neither dogs nor baby can escape). Ok, baby is still safe. Put away groceries. Baby is helping by emptying out one of the bags all over the floor and is pushing both milk jugs around. Ignore. Not too dangerous.

Put food in fridge. While staring inside, deciding the best layout for food and wondering how old the leftovers are that need to be removed before new food fits in, try not to temporarily forget about baby. Put one bag of food in. Turn around. Scold dog for sniffing in bag. Put second and third bags of food away. You forgot about baby for too long. She has pulled out all the towels from the drawer, two of the plastic lids from a different cabinet, and is now dumping the dogs' water dish into a puddle on the floor and is swishing her fingers in it and putting them in her mouth. Yuck.

Scoop up baby, who screams. Wash her hands. She is still yelling. Put her in her high chair. Dig up some food that carries a low choking risk and hand it to her. Finish putting away groceries , pick up towels and lids, and wipe up puddle. Do this in order of most importance to you. Check to be sure baby isn't choking or hasn't dropped her food to the salivating dog under the high chair waiting for just such luck.

Since your stomach is growling, replenish baby's food supply, get her milk, and hurriedly assemble a sandwich for yourself. Go to sit with baby. Share parts of sandwich with baby while eating. Catch milk bottle before it hits the floor multiple times. Wipe up dropped food on new carpet. Don't forget to eat. Spoon feed baby yogurt since she won't eat what you gave her. Add peanut butter to her banana. Don't forget to eat. Catch food as it falls. Too late. Dog got it. Shut dog in other room. Come back. Baby is suddenly afflicted with an acute itch in the eye. Watch as she smears peanut butter all over her hair while itching her eye. Finish eating. Baby wants to get up. Pick her up. Remember to brush crumbs from front of clothes onto high chair tray so they don't fall on the floor. Wash her hands. Wash as much peanut butter out of hair as possible. Set her down. Scold dog who is trying to eat crumbs from high chair tray. Clean tray. Oops. Forgot to return gate used for corralling dog to the bottom of the stairs. Rescue baby from stairs just in time. Set up gate.

Return to kitchen to clean up from lunch. Hear a funny noise behind you. Yuck. Dog just threw up right behind you on the kitchen rug. How did you not hear that coming? What on earth did he eat anyway? Put dog outside in rain. Clean up mess. Keep baby out of kitchen while cleaning. Baby turns and whacks head on door frame. Comfort baby. Don't forget to wash your hands first! Dog is scratching at the door. Let dog in. Don't forget to dry him off first. Return to baby and read her a book to finish comforting her from her injury.

Ok. Class, you are now allowed to become human again, unless you would prefer to remain flies on the wall. Remember that this class was just an Introduction to Beginner Mothering, which is why it was so short and simple. As we progress through the class, we will be making it more realistic. Remember that this one hour is a sample of the what your job will be like for approximately 12 hours a day. In that 12 hours, you will have a two hour break (approximately), while baby naps. You can use this time at your discretion, but remember that you will also be required to prepare 3 meals each day, clean the house (including bathrooms and kitchen floors on a regular basis) and do several loads of laundry per week (when that time comes, remember that the laundry room is in the basement and you must learn to carry the baskets down two flights of stairs, over a gate, and open and close the basement door with the baskets in hand so that baby can't fall down the stairs behind you).

You will also be on call for the other 12 hours a night, every night. For the first several months of the job, perhaps much longer, you will indeed be called upon during that 12 hours, at least 3 to 6 times, depending on the child in your care. Each time, you will be required to nurse the child, burp it, and change its diaper. However, we will get to that later. Much further along in the course, after you have mastered some of these basics, you will have another child added to the mix, and then another.

Remember that in every case, you must maintain a happy and pleasant attitude, educate and play with your child, and be cheerful and romantic with your husband on a daily basis.

Homework: go home and practice being patient and kind, doing multiple tasks at once, and praying hard. If you can, practice doing this on minimal sleep so that you will be adequately prepared once your job begins.

I will see you tomorrow at the same time. You are dismissed.

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