Your First Pet Peeves–In Which Your Personality Blossoms

Dear Lily June,

The other day, your dad and I were discussing you. “I’m worried,” I said, knowing you’d turn eight months old yesterday. “She doesn’t seem to be doing anything new.”

You’ve got crawling down (when you ever let us set you down). You can say “Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog” with the best of them. You sit upright, hold your neck up like the world’s most adorable live-action bobble head, and you’ve even been known to wiggle your sitting hips in response to a song you like. You giggle until it makes you hiccup until it makes you burp, and your bowel movements have taken on their own distinctive, decidedly un-rose-like odor. You, my daughter, have arrived.

But the thing is, you’ve been doing all this for awhile. I watch you like a maternal hawk, so closely for instance that when you put on weight, I feel like I can actually see the transition from Buddha-style belly paunch to actual, measurable ounce. (Warning: These may be delusions of mommy grandeur).

But you haven’t yet taken your first steps. You haven’t said your “real” first word, although you can stumble across “Dada” and shout “Hey” like a taxi-hailing New Yorker. Once, I swear when I was coming out of the shower, I said something to you (I don’t remember what) and you replied, impressively condescendingly, “Actually…” [I swear it’s true. Your tone even had italics in it, Lily.]

I’m not a milestone junkie. You will develop in your own due time, and if you end up missing milestones or crawling to the beat of your own adorably tiny drum, so be it. Your dad and I will help you in whatever ways you need to develop into the best human being you can be, no ifs, ands, or ableism about it.

But here’s the thing: I’m kind of desperate to know who you will be. So when your dad said, in response to my ridiculous claim of you not doing anything new, that you are, too– that you’re “growing a personality”–I had to take stock again to realize he was right.

Just as at four months, when you started really showing us what makes you happy, you now have developed a whole new collection of things you don’t like. I firmly believe that, as much as anything else, it’s a person’s quirks and pet peeves that make them who they are. So here, Lily, at this stage of your life, were the things you loved to hate:

Lily June’s (at Eight Months Old) Top Ten Pet Peeves:

Credit where credit is due; this post idea was inspired by LittleMissFazed.

10) Being Forced to Eat Bananas

We’ve tried to trick you. We’ve hidden them in oatmeal, cut them with rice cereal, watered them down in formula. Lily June, you will not be deceived. You seem to dislike all fruit to some degree (not taking to pears or apples, for instance, unless they were mixed with meat), but the yellow devil incites your tongue-out pout (it’s a real face, believe it) like no other, to the point where your dad and I just started calling them “bye-nanas.” Good thing we bought three days worth of jars there when you first started taking solids.

9) Being Set Down

You could crawl, sure. I mean, you have the ability. But who would crawl when they can be carried around instead like a lap dog in a mink-lined Birkin Bag? Not you, that’s who. You prefer to be in your dad’s or my arms pretty much 110% of the time. It’s a struggle to watch you wince and listen to you, at best, whine and, at worst, wail when we set you down in your playpen with all of your toys. Apparently the Parent Robots are better than any block or keyboard or stuffed Godzilla. And we serve as a transportation device.

8) Especially Being Set Down on Your Back

They have a nickname for you at the pediatrician’s office, Lily: “Abs of Steel.” That’s because the second anyone tries to lay you on your back–for an examination, a shot, etc.–you do crunches that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger jealous. (You do not get this from your mother. I break a sweat just spelling “Ah-nulled’s” name.)

img-3
References you’re WAY too young for, Volume 1.

7) Not Getting to Stick Your Hand in Coffee

I don’t much believe in past life regression, but I’m positive it would reveal that, in their previous avatars or iterations on this planet, your hands were actually donuts. It’s the only possible explanation for why you seem to want, so desperately, to dunk them into your dad’s and my coffee. Every cup. Every day.

6) Hearing Loud Noises

When you were first born, you were so unresponsive to sounds, doctors thought you were stone cold Beethoven deaf. We had to take you to an audiologist and everything. Those doctors couldn’t have been more wrong. Now that you’re eight months old, we can’t sneeze or cough or close a cabinet door around you. You startle like a chihuahua on amphetamines whose just heard his first engine back fire as a result of being hit with a sawed-off shot gun bullet. It’s alarming. Also, pretty cute.

5) Having Hands Placed on Your Cheeks

At the start of our relationship, your dad used to try to caress my face as we’d fall asleep. And such a light sleeper am I that his gentle, loving touches woke me faster than if he had the fingers of Edward Scissorhands.

Edwardscissorhandsposter
References you’re WAY too young for, Volume 2.

Turns out, THAT you did get from me. You’re all for being held and cuddled, but having your cheeks lightly stroked as you try to drift off to slumberland? Fugetaboutit.

4) Sleeping on Your Back

In 1994, the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development rolled out its “Back to Sleep” campaign, encouraging parents to always lay their babies on their backs in order to prevent SIDS. In 2016, you rolled out your “I don’t give a crap, I’m going to scare my parents to death campaign” by sleeping so flat on your belly, you look like you face-planted into the concrete of a Hollywood celebrity sidewalk star and stayed there. No matter how many times we wake in the night to roll you back over, you promptly, within 3.25 seconds, have returned your face to its mattress-eating position. You can’t be stopped, but you test, when you take a deep breath in the night, whether my heart can.

3) Being Given Kitchen Toys

You have an awesome suction-cup monkey that sticks to your high chair that your dad got you for Christmas. You have blocks and dollies and stuffed animals and rubber duckies and a slew of other toys we try to give you when we sit you in your kitchen high chair so we can do lame adult things like cook dinner or do the dishes. You barely give a lick about any of these. What do you prefer? Sucking on the canvas straps holding you into your high chair seat, savoring their succulent flavors until they’re more slobber and drool than fabric fiber.

Similarly, you have great taste in literature. After we finish reading you any book, about whose plot you couldn’t care less, you take the tome into your hands and carefully insert into your mouth its spine. Only by running your tongue over its text long enough for you to absorb the soul of its moral do you feel you’ve truly taken the story in. Literally and figuratively.

2) Dealing with Gravity

When you DO pay attention to your toys, it’s only to toss them straight to the ground. But then, quandary of quandaries, you find you can’t reach them, and thus, you’re upset. And so, loving and devoted parents that you have, we bend our bad backs over again and again to fetch them. So that you may promptly throw them down again. But then you can’t reach them, and thus, you’re upset…

1) Not Being Given the Winnings of the 1.6 Billion Dollar Powerball

I’ve tried explaining to you that you have to “be in it to win it.” That you have to actually purchase a ticket. And yet, nothing irks you like the winners of the largest lottery in history not “making it rain” all over your crib and changing table. In all fairness, you get this from both sides of the family. You’re part of a long line of people who get fairly annoyed when we’re not randomly showered in money from strangers. I mean, have they seen how cute you look at 8 months old? Come on, lottery winners. Come on.

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Pictured: Suction monkey to the left and block to the right before their inevitable toss-down by the Queen of All Cute-itude (pictured center). Also rarely captured: a moment where your high chair straps are alarmingly DRY.

***

Picture Credits:

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22 thoughts on “Your First Pet Peeves–In Which Your Personality Blossoms

  1. Patricia says:

    You knew that mouth of the south here had to comment on that little baby that I fell in love with even before I saw here. So here goes:

    Domani was in the NICU for about a week I think because he swallowed meconium, in other words he swallowed his own first poop. When he got out, he screamed bloody murder if he was placed on his back. This went on for many months. My take on it was that he somehow internalized what it felt like to be in that NICU bassinet with all those wires etc. Who knows?

    You have some daughter there who prefers that nasty orange meat to yummy bananas. Even teens eat them.

    Danny and I used to give this cradle like thing made out of foam that holds the baby in place so they couldn’t turn over for gifts when a friend or family member had a baby. He was a stickler for telling new parents to raise the head of the baby’s crib. They mostly listened to him because he is their go-to telephone doctor. Pharmacists know a lot about medical shit so someone is always calling him for advice. He also used to be “Mr. Yuck”. “Mr. Yuck” is the name on poison labels to let kids know a product is poisonous. Its round and green with a tongue sticking out. In other words he was a poison specialist at the Regional Poison Center located in the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. So there’s that too.

    Talked to my youngest daughter today and she said the doctor was concerned because her 8 month old baby is lazy. The doctor tested her by pushing her to see if she would push back but she just let the doctor push her over.😂 The doctor told Ashley to stop carrying her around and put her in her walker so she will develop her muscles.

    So that, “I dropped Daddy Ba” in the car really gets on my nerves. If we don’t pick it up, he will cry annoyingly and he is 4.

    Your crib is so clean. My daughter’s cribs were are are so nasty. When we used their car seats if we forgot ours, I hated to put them in my car. They always ended up leaving nasty food behind in my car. Now, I am not a picky, petty grandmother but I don’t like people messin up my shit. However, I don’t mind cleanin up baby shit or scooping litter boxes.

    Finally, just about an hour and a half ago, Danny told me that we should stop and get the mail because the lottery commission is sending us a letter notifying us that we won. Coincidentally, I told him that you have to enter to win.

    You are right, this is like having a conversation with a friend. Wait a minute, I am having a conversation with a friend. Do you suppose other readers shake their head and say “Poor Patricia”, can’t keep her mouth shut? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dearlilyjune says:

      Wow, that must have really been something to have a baby in the NICU. My heart goes out to any mother who isn’t able to take her precious bundle of joy home immediately, especially after we were all stuck in the hospital for a week! It’s strange; Lily did NOT want to be born when she was (I had to be induced because of preeclampsia) but once she was out, she did NOT want to be bundled up like she was back in the womb (she fought swaddling tooth & nail because she HAD to have her hands free). Maybe it’s that same fierce sense of independence that won’t let her be on her back? Who knows; that’s just what I like to think as her proud mama!

      I can’t BELIEVE she doesn’t like fruit. What kind of kid doesn’t like the sugary stuff? Apparently my kid, that’s who. 😉

      They now say you’re not supposed to use those foam things, as they, too, create a SIDS risk. (Just as EVERYTHING seems to cause cancer for an adult, EVERYTHING seems to threaten SIDS for a baby.) I’m hoping that once she turns one, I’ll be able to breathe a little more easily knowing her risks go WAY down. But as her mother, I’ll just find the next thing to worry obsessively over! For what it’s worth, I remember the Mr. Yuk stickers! They were actually created by the University of Pittsburgh hospital, and that’s the city I’m originally from. I love that that’s the image I now have of your husband in my mind. 🙂

      The last time Lily went in to get shots, she tried to slap the needle out of the hand of the nurse. So I don’t know if she’d be called lazy. She just aggressively wants what she wants in the way that she wants it. She’s Sally from When Harry Met Sally. But I know I need to put her down more. I will try, Patricia, I will try! You and my mother both have told me!

      As to things being clean, that’s the one benefit of being poor enough to own very little. It doesn’t take as long to care for your things when you don’t own much! Maybe I’ll try and sell that logic to my daughter as she gets older. Think it’ll work? Ha!

      And yes, you ARE having a conversation with a friend, Patricia! And if anyone shakes their head at you, I’ll shake my head at them! That’s what friends do. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Patricia says:

        😆😆😆 So the very thing that we bought to prevent SIDS, actually causes SIDS! O.K. not funny but who knew?

        I would loved to have seen Lily trying to slap the needle out of the nurse’s hand. Feisty little thing, oh she is going to be you! Be prepared, what goes around comes around. It will be interesting to see how mild mannered Ryan deals. But then, he married you so he has experience.😉

        So honestly, you and Ryan are to be admired for making paying off your school loans a priority. Danny graduated in 1982 and we are still paying for his school loan. Just since we have been married, we have gotten several deferments. We will be paying until our dying day. When Danny and I married, I went into culture shock. I hated his house (but so did the kids) and we had both created a lot of debt. I ran up my credit cards by spending money on the kids, clothes, gifts etc. I’ve told you our date night would sometimes be to go to Taco Bell and hang out at Barnes and Noble. We didn’t care because we were getting out of the house. I was making decent money and he was making good money but it seems that once you are in debt, you just keep piling on. He had gotten into the stock market and did well until our honeymoon and then wham, we had nothing. When we came home from our honeymoon, Danny went on to a Poison Center Convention. The water, electricity and phone got shut off one at a time. I was furious! Now, I pay the bills and utilities are a priority. When credit card companies filed suit against me (credit cards in my name), we filed bankruptcy. Best thing we ever did. It was difficult but it was a decision we made together and went through together. My mother had told me it would be hard but she said it would be worth it. My family motto was “You do what you gotta do.” There is a certain amount of shame that goes with it even though we protected some of our creditors like his school loan but what a weight off our shoulders. We kept it a secret until one of nosy daughters found the paperwork. It can be helpful because you have to keep your nose clean for 7 years which gives you a chance to learn to manage differently. I wish I could tell you that we didn’t take on credit card debt after the 7 years but we have and are now working to pay it off especially since we have retired. The best attitude is “If you can’t afford it, you don’t need it.” Immediate gratification can be a killer. Debt can destroy marriages and puts so much pressure on a person. Back then, creditors could call you anytime, anywhere and they were nasty. They threatened to call my employer so I called HR in tears. I was told that creditors can’t do anything to affect my job. I was so naive, perfect target. So Alyssa, you and Ryan made the decisions to go into low paying professions but you each did what you loved. Embrace that and be glad you won’t answer the door and have a sheriff serving you lawsuit papers. I was mortified. Its really crazy but the same companies that sued us, offered us credit cards. They figure you can’t file bankruptcy for another 7 years. We had a really big, really nice house that we bought while we were in bankruptcy. Danny is grandiose and it was our dream house but I didn’t want a big house. It was beautiful but we had some pretty shabby furniture. We eventually bought good furniture, paying cash but we didn’t decorate for 3 years. We thought it had to cost money to decorate but I found out about Hobby Lobby and Garden Ridge. I cherish what we have but I know I don’t needs it. I told you that I told Danny that I would gladly live in a one bedroom apartment if it meant he could get out of pharmacy. We have enough retirement from UTMB and our social security but we have to concentrate on paying off credit cards. You have so much, a beautiful sassy daughter and a lovely husband, your life is simple but so full.😍

        Liked by 1 person

      2. dearlilyjune says:

        I doubt those foam pads *caused* SIDS; they just claim now that they contribute to the risk. In 10 years, they’ll be recommending them again to prevent it! (I can never keep up with whether eggs are good or bad again!)

        But yeah, our pediatrician said that Lily was likely to be a “high-performing Type A personality.” So Ryan and I are both in for some fun! And because she’ll likely be our only child (because of my health issues), she may be spoiled rotten. We have to keep ourselves out of the mindset that it’s Lily’s World, and we’re just living in it!

        Thank you, Patricia, for giving me new perspective and insight into our financial situation, too. You’re like my Family Life Guru. We are paying off our debts slowly but surely–the student loans, the doctor’s bills, the car, etc. Because we owe six figures on Ryan’s, we likely won’t ever dig ourselves out of that hole. But on mine, I’m making small dents at least. And I can see the day in the future where we’ll “pay off Lily.”

        What really pains me, though, is to know that means she’ll start HER life off in the hole. She won’t be able to go to college with any help from her parents; like us, she’ll have to work hard to earn her tuition money. I wish we didn’t live in a society that worshipped the almighty degree, as I think some of the smartest and most sensible people DON’T have formalized educations. But it will be up to her to make her own way. And if we hit serious trouble–if, for instance, she needed an operation or something–at least I know Ryan & I would take on second, or even third, jobs to make the money.

        That’s what we did, after all, when we got married. There was a summer where we each worked three jobs. It almost killed us, but we started off our marriage debt-free. (Or at least the debt we had wasn’t because of our wedding to one another!)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Patricia says:

        About the foam pads, Danny said it just everyone jumping on the bandwagon. It’s like, in my day, tampons were considered to cause some dreaded condition. When I talked to my doctor about it he basically told me that I should not use tampons because he was covering his ass as he should. Then he found a way of telling me the truth about tampons. He said his wife and daughter still used them but they didn’t use the super absorbent ones. Women were using ones that were too absorbent for their flow so they were basically sticking to their insides because conditions were too dry. Also, women were leaving them in too long because they were so absorbent that they didn’t see a need to change them. I have seen so many of these scares.A lot of the time, they are started by competing companies like the Tylenol scare where someone poisoned Tylenol. Makes sense, get rid of the leading competition. Money grubbing Assholes!

        Lily will have a stronger constitution having paid for her own education (as if she will need it, ha). Yeah, I know School Loans but she will be able to get a better deal because of your financial situation. With you and Ryan as parents, she is starting out armed with guts and heart and that is no bullshit. Feel good that you can provide her with help on her school work and that you won’t be those parents who never spend quality time with their kids because they are so busy being selfish socialites. I probably told you that my parents were not concerned with our education and it hurt me in the short and long run. Would have been nice if they had recognized that we all had a learning disability. Would have been nice if they could have helped us to learn. Giving credit where credit is due, at least my Dad graduated from high school when so many didn’t of his era. My mother was tutored by a friend and got her GED. She retired from a community college where she was manager of the Postal Services and Central Supply. She held all offices of the Business and Professional Women’s Assn. in her area. I am proud she was able to accomplish these things through her drive and determination.

        You are right about college degrees. I only have an Associates and I don’t regret the time I spent in school. However, there is very little I actually remember. I was so busy trying to get through that I didn’t absorb. My ADD didn’t help but at the end, I got on medication. I loved going to school where in my early years, I hated it. My inability to focus and retain probably had a lot to do with it.

        When I got my Associates, my employer promoted me because I made a big splash by shadowing our immediate VP and sent a copy to the President of the company to show what an effective leader he was. Gutsy move but it accomplished much more than I intended. The VP told me it was a good move. The thing is, I was the same person with the same skills. I was great at part of the job and I had proven myself but unprepared for the accounting part. When the decision was made to reorganize, my 9 years with the company didn’t save me. Supposedly, every option was looked at to save my job but they knew I would be O.K. because Danny had become the owner of a pharmacy. An attempt was made to help me find another position within the company or without but I took the unemployment route because it was my money and if I didn’t use it, I would never benefit from it. That is something a lot of people overlook when they judge someone for filing. While I was on unemployment, we bought the new house and Danny and Kevin needed someone to do bookkeeping for the pharmacy and Kevin added his pharmacies. I didn’t get paid hardly anything but it kept me busy along with getting the new house set up. The rest is history.

        So I took my one comment and made it into my life’s history. Only me… at least I can laugh at myself.😂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. dearlilyjune says:

        Hey, considering how interesting your life’s history is, I just count myself lucky that you share so much! Your life’s plot is as rich as any book’s I’ve read, friend.

        And thank you, truly, for your encouragement when it comes to Lily. I know that having to earn her own way will give her character and strength. I just can’t help wishing she’d have it easier than her parents did. And though she may not financially, it’s my solid hope that she will, emotionally!

        And if nothing else, I’ll know what kind of tampons to steer her away from now. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Patricia says:

        😂 I think I am just a story teller. People in my life get so frustrated when i tell about something because of all the details. I just responded to one of your comments and it was so long, you should be very happy that our internet is so slow because my connection timed out and it didn’t go. Lots of good info. and the story of my 8 hours of waiting for Danny to come home. Now I will just have to tell you again.😆

        Liked by 1 person

  2. copperchick says:

    I enjoy your blog, there is no greater gift in the world than being a mother, it is the most important jobs of our lives and I am so happy for everyone who gets to know how the love of a child feels, it truly changes people. I love when my son stumbles upon milestones, we will be celebrating his first birthday a week from today. Children are just so beautiful, congratulations on your beautiful daughter and I like your writing style, it’s ingenious.

    Liked by 2 people

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