November 23, 2009

Baby Strollers

Saturday night at a retirement party, I talked with a group of women. The subject was exercise.

A pretty, fit, 30-something young woman, who is pregnant with her first child asked the group, all of whom are mothers, “What advice do you have for jogging with the baby? I just learned that you cannot put infants in a jogging stroller for a few months because it’s too jarring on their head?”

I backed up slowly and eased myself into the next party conversation, something I felt more comfortable talking about, re-emergence of Soviet-style leaders among the Kremlin hierarchy.

I am no longer qualified to be in the “advice to new mothers” conversation, and certainly don’t know anything about jogging strollers.

Frankly, if it weren’t for my mother and my husband, our child would not have lived through the first night at home. Suburban mythology tells you that the minute you hold that precious darling in your arms the “mothering” instinct takes over and you know exactly what to do. Ain't necessarily so.

First of all, when our son was born twenty years ago, I was shaking so hard from the exertion of delivery That I couldn't hold the baby, so my husband held him first. I think Mother Earth or Mother Nature stood over Husband with that precious infant in his arms, and waived her magic mothering fairy dust on him. He had nieces and nephews, and knew how to hold a baby. And he's just a natural nurturer.

When I returned to my hospital room from the delivery room, Husband went out for the congratulatory dinner.

The nurse brought this squirming eight pound child to me in a little plastic bed on wheels.

I just looked at them, the nurse and the greasy, soft, little bundle, “What am I supposed to do now?”

The nurse said, “First, put down the phone.”

We worked through those initial issues and I guess we did a pretty good job.

On the issue of the stroller, we were given a stroller at a baby shower weeks before our son arrived. It was a large, wonderful stroller that seated 14, had a mini bar, and baby controls for the Space Shuttle.

We learned quickly to take the $20 umbrella stroller we bought at Target which folded in one piece and traveled easily. As far as exercise goes, I can’t speak to that either. I’m still working on losing the baby weight. Quoth the raven.