Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Because They Don't Come With Instructions...

Last week, we attended a "Baby Care Basics" class. This helped to boost our confidence that we are capable of caring for a baby, and it also fulfills Item #3 on my List of 101 Things.

Steve and I haven't spent much time around other expectant parents, and this colorful cast of characters did not disappoint. One couple we nicknamed "Ben Franklin and Dad Jeans" because the dad, who looked like Ira Shalowitz from City Slickers, wore loose jeans up high (presumably secured with a woven belt) resulting in saggy old man butt. He had so many questions for me about how to fill out the sign-in sheet (which only required our initials), and he was so socially awkward, it lead me to ask Steve how in the hell this guy managed to impregnate a woman.
His wife, who is expecting twins in a month, looked like a less glamorous Yeardley Smith (the voice of Lisa Simpson). She made the brave choice to wear compression stockings with capri pants. This made her look like Ben Franklin in his stockings and knickers (with gout). She kicked off her Dr. Scholl's sandals and propped her feet up on a chair. Her stocking feet sticking out from under the table reminded me of the Wicked Witch of the East (you know, the bitchy one who got the house dropped on her).

We had this exercise where each couple was handed household items and had to share with the group whether our items were safe or unsafe for a baby. Ben Franklin and Dad Jeans had a handful of small items that were found between some couch cushions. Her voice was like an angel's...or Bobbi Mohan-Culp from Saturday Night Live...
As soon as she starts talking, I am fighting back the giggles. I hope that she shuts up in a hurry, but of course she goes on, and on..."Well this here is a button, and I guess that could go right down the hatch. And this is a penny, and that could go right down the hatch...this is a paper clip, and that could go right down the hatch...this is a...battery...and that could go right down the hatch...this is an acorn, and that could...well, he could just chew that up into bits and bits! This is a plastic soldier, and that could go...

Steve and I are both hiding our faces and shaking with silent laughter. The kind where you occasionally gasp for air and hope you don't let out a scream. Tears are streaming down my face. I am certain this is one of those "ya had to be there" situations, but it bears repeating. I can't believe we didn't get kicked out for being disruptive. But hey, I paid $75 for the class, and Shaylee, our instructor, couldn't even get the frickin' Power Point presentation to work. The least the hospital owes me is some entertainment.
Steve and I have to compose ourselves, because it's our turn to share whether the item on our table represents safety or danger for our baby. Sounds easy, but our item was...a straw hat. "What the hell are we supposed to say about Blossom's hat? Steve asks, throwing the fashion "don't" down on the table with disgust.
"You could plop a newborn in it for a picture. Like Anne Geddes does." Steve gives me one of his "don't even start with me" looks. Yeah, that's probably not what Shaylee had in mind...
"Umm, I guess babies can smother on anything...a baby could suffocate on this straw hat..." Uh huh, that's exactly what I said to the entire class. Baby Safety FAIL. The hat is to protect baby from sunburn; since he can't wear sunblock til he's six months, he needs a hat to block the UV rays.

"What a load of sh*t," Steve whispers, picking up the hat and tossing it on the table again. "It doesn't even have a wide brim, how's it supposed to keep him from getting burned?" "Yeah, for real," I replied. "The only thing this hat would protect him from is looking cool." We both snicker at my joke; I may have snorted.

The highlight of the class, by far, was Chanel. This is not pseudonym I cleverly chose. This is her legit name. Chanel looks like Kobe Bryant's wife, Vanessa...if Vanessa was cast in The Real Housewives of New Jersey. This quote by Teresa from Housewives has zero to do with Chanel. Chanel is a delicate flower. I just can't get enough of Teresa and her meltdown. It always brings the LOL's.
Chanel announces that she has twin girls at home...and that she is six weeks from delivering triplet she'll have five girls under two. The parents in the room collectively gasp as if we're in a screening of "The Hills Have Eyes". Chanel brought her nanny, a young, overweight, sloppily-dressed African American woman. I wonder why the nanny is in need of a class called "Baby Care Basics". She seems nervous, even with the baby doll we're supposed to practice swaddling. I hear the nanny tell Chanel that she can't swim. She's bursting at the seams with qualifications. I don't think the nanny is gonna make it.

"I knew that was the nanny as soon as they walked in together," Steve says, shaking his head with a smug expression. "Did you pick up on that? Because I picked up on it instantly."

"Nah, I was too busy checking out Chanel's six inch heels and poofed hair," I said with sincere admiration. "It's amazing, really. I will say, she made a wise choice of nanny."

"What do you mean?" Steve asked, genuinely puzzled.

"She chose a nanny her husband won't run off with," I replied. Steve's jaw drops like I just said something provocative.

"Are you serious?" 

"Of course, and I guaran-damn-tee you that's what every woman in the room is thinking." 

As it turns out, I may be right on the mark here, because as the class went on it became more and more apparant that the nanny truly had no experience caring for a baby--let alone three babies. Then again, Chanel's parenting skills were subject to question as well. We had another exercise where we had to pass around a baby doll--that represents our crying baby--and each of the 14 couples in the class has to offer a different way to soothe the baby. Chanel went last since she was the only one in the class who has children already. Her suggestion? "Give the baby some Mylicon and take her out by the pool." All of us were perplexed by this answer, because most of us were not familiar with the baby gas medication, Mylicon...or the baby-sedating powers of the swimming pool. 

"What good does she think a swimming pool is gonna do?" Steve whispered to me, through suppressed laughter.

"I know, right? Why does she think the baby is crying, because she is distraught over having pasty white skin?"

And, another fit of giggles. Luckily the class was almost over, and Steve and I escaped to our cars, so we could laugh as loudly as we wanted. And maybe gloat over the fact that we are The Coolest Parents-To-Be in Collin County.

No comments:

Post a Comment