So, as I was saying…wait, what was I saying?

Do you know what it’s like to be a mother on maternity leave with nothing but time on her hands? You should listen in on my string of consciousness. Ok, maybe you shouldn’t. I’m too snarky and you’d probably just end up hating me. Plus, I just go from thought to thought to thought without much rhyme or reason. Actually, there usually is a link, but it’s tiny. Like, I could start talking about sausages right now because I just used the word “link,” get it? (We ate some last night, by the way.)

Anyway, having a baby is such a racket. That cute baby store down on the corner? They’ll squeeze every last cent out of you. Just watch them. You know how? By making you believe that if you don’t buy their mind-bending, complex, intergalactically intelligent toys your child will end up dragging her knuckles to school, leap years behind her peers. No wonder kids suffer from anxiety these days. Why don’t you just let them play in the dirt? It’s free. Well, except for the laundry detergent (probably without dyes and perfumes) you’ll use to get the mud off. Or let them actually run. Like, run! Not in the street, of course, but that’s what the park’s for. They’re bound to fall one day. Scrapes, scratches, gouges and scabs are the badges of childhood honor. How else are they supposed to learn what they’re bodies and minds are capable of doing if you don’t give them the opportunity to explore them in a free play setting? Plus, I’d put money down that your kid will sleep better at night. Ok, maybe not, but…maybe. Makes sense, no? I mean, with the expenditure of energy and such…

Meh. What the hell do I know? I’m a first-time mom, or FTM if you participate on any online parenting forum. Oh, and that’s another thing. The access to so much information will be the death of me. Want to know whether the nasal congestion Nugget has means she has a cold? Well, if you decide to research it online you’ll find that, no, Nugget may not just have a cold, but BAM! She actually may have Bronchitis, Pneumonia, allergies, or some unknown lung disease that’s spreadable only through contact with a Maloumian rug. Have you sat on a Maloumian rug lately? I have no idea! Damn it. It’s just a cold. I wasn’t even going to call the doctor. No, but seriously, I wasn’t even going to call the doctor. Does that make me a bad mother? I finally gave in to my conscience and called and I sounded like an idiot. “Uh, yeah, I’m pretty sure Nugget has a cold, but I really wasn’t calling to bring her in, but I just wanted to, uh, check, I guess, to make sure that because it’s her first cold that I didn’t have to bring her in.” (What the hell am I saying? This nurse must think I’m too dumb to have offspring.) “So, anyway, I was calling because even though she doesn’t have a fever, isn’t acting fussy, eating normally and only has nasal congestion that it’s fine to just wait it out.” Turns out, it is, but I had to sit through a conversation where the nurse provided all of her knowledge and tips that I’d already read about when I Googled it. It’s good to know my instincts were right at least. This time. So off I go to wrestle with a squirmy baby in attempts to suck the snot of her nose with an aspirator while trying to avoid accidentally shoving the whole thing up with one wrong head jerk. Good times.

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