Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fat Baby Clothes

I'd like to start a clothing line called Fat Baby.

A sister tells me Chunky Monkey would be more appealing, particularly in this society where being fat is such an anathema. But perhaps being more honest and accepting in the label will help society get over its skinny-ass self.

I have a fat baby. Max's weight gain is approved by our pediatrician, he eats normal amounts, and everyone stops in their tracks to marvel at how cute he is, so he isn't "fat" in an unhealthy way. But yes, he has several arm rolls, and his drumstick legs nearly got eaten on Thanksgiving.

My in-laws always call Max "fat baby." I bristled at first, especially because Mom weighs about 90 pounds soaking wet, but I eventually relaxed into it as a term of endearment.

What is frustrating is how tightly most of his clothes fit. Six months old, Max is wearing outfits labeled 12 and 18 months. He didn't fit into hardly any of the cute 3- or 6-month clothing that I got at my shower or on one of my own hormonal shopping sprees.

I know those labels mean next to nothing, but 6 to 18 seems a big jump. Depending on the material, the clothes sometimes are too long in the sleeve or leg, but at least they have generous enough inseams to fit around those chubby arms and legs.

I can't believe how tight some of the clothing is. Who are these scrawny babies who fit into these things?

The above sister theorizes that since much of our textiles come from areas of the world where children are indeed longer and thinner, there is an inherent design or manufacturing standard that doesn't accommodate western babies.

I got pretty mad at Heidi Klum about it. I love watching "Project Runway," and they're always talking about how "real women" look and dress, so I was expressly disappointed to by a long-sleeved onesie and a cardigan from her baby clothes line only to have Max scream in protest as I tried to shove him into them. The items looked OK on the hanger but I didn't realize how tight the arm holes were before purchasing them. At least I got to keep the cute felted hangers.

So, it's up to me to start a clothing line that has fabric allowances in the clothes where they should be. And fercrissakes, maybe some socks that are snug on the foot but big enough to go over the moo-juice-fed calves.

Maybe I won't call it Fat Baby. Rockin' the Rolls? Thunder Tots? Ewes Not Fat, Ewes Just Fluffy?

Just Fluffy, for short.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Daddy Ashore

Daddy takes Max for a little motorcycle ride in the village park.
After four long months, my husband has returned from sea.

One hundred and twenty-eight days have gone by since he last saw his infant son. His jaw-dropping, eye-widening smile when he came down the escalator at the airport and saw us standing there was worth every minute.

Max got a lot bigger since he was 2 months old. He wasn't ever a scrawny thing, but he has plumped up into a chubby chunk of absolute cuteness and several arm rolls. And he can sit up on his own and stand on your lap and babble away, which are amazing to a man who remembers him only crying, eating and pooping.

Baby and daddy adjusted to each other quite well. I'd like to think Max actually remembers him, but it's hard to tell and really doesn't matter.

It probably helps that every night I played for Max a voice mail Dan left for him and that I showed him one of our wedding pictures in which Dan is kissing me, saying, "That's Daddy! See Daddy? That's your daddy!"

Max is a happy, interactive baby, and he had Daddy enamored pretty quickly. He must have said, "Look at that smile!" a dozen times the first night home.

The next day, we put the baby in the stroller and did our village rounds, including the post office, hardware, bakery, and dollar mart. This time we added the park, and we both delighted in Max's little feet clapping away as Daddy pushed him in the baby swing.

We still have some things to work out. A minor one is that Dan isn't used to how baby things multiply like baby rabbits and spread all over the house. If he has a better solution, he can knock himself out. But most parents accept a certain level of it and deal with it.

A major one is that Max was still co-sleeping with me in our bed. I had made significant progress in Max sleeping in his crib for his naps, but we never got around to a different nighttime routine. He is still nursing a few times a night, and he rests best when he's cuddled up next to me.

But since Dan has been working aboard a ship for 128 straight days, standing a midwatch that gives him only a few hours of sleep here and there, his first night home was going to be spent in his own bed.

Max slept contentedly the first few hours in his own crib -- some pretty vital hours for a husband and wife to be alone in their bed after being parted for four months -- but protested mightily when I tried to put him back in there after a nursing session.

I gave it a good hour, and then gave up and took him into the guest bed and spent the rest of the night with him in there. I didn't sleep well at all.

But there's always a transition period, no matter the time away. This time is special because it's the first one coming back to a son who is older and bigger and different, but there will be more of those times to come.

For now, we'll all just sleep when and where we can. I'm the only one awake, keyed up after seeing the new James Bond movie for our date night. Max is still asleep in his downstairs playpen where my mother laid him, and Dan is curled up in the big chair asleep with his dog.

My plan is to wait until Max rusltes, take him upstairs, nurse him back to sleep, and conk out with him in his bed. Shh ... don't wake Dan.