Mommy Chronicles

A funny look at motherhood and the mayhem it causes.

May 04, 2006

Why Babies Do That: Baffling Baby Behavior Explained

This is a big week: Not only did Adam and I celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary on Tuesday, I’m supposed to be getting a new niece today.

I think it says a lot about the relative importance of wedding anniversaries and new babies that Adam and I hung out at home and watched "Veronica Mars" on our anniversary, but we’re planning to be there in full force when baby Charlotte is born. I’ve already chosen her birth slide-show theme song, for crying out loud.

So how do you prepare for a first-time baby? By reading my book of course. But since my sister had already done that, I gave her Why Babies Do That: Baffling Baby Behavior Explained, a handy and adorable book by my friend Jennifer Margulis. (And I’m writing today, because I’m part of her blog book tour. Hello, Jennifer!)

Here is my attempt to pick up where Jennifer left off. She took care of merely baffling; I'll focus on the really, really baffling things babies do.

Q. Why do babies poop just when you’re walking out the door with them?

A. Because it took you an hour to feed them, burp them, wipe their chins and neck folds, dress them in warm clothes, and snap them into the car seat. You’ve gotta get faster! Then, they’ll poop just as you arrive at your destination.

Q. Why do babies start to cry when you’re talking on the phone?

A. Because of that one time you tried to multitask and pick up baby when you were talking on the phone. The phone squirted out from between your ear and shoulder and bonked baby on the head. Now, your child will have phone-o-phobia for the rest of her life. Don’t fret: This will come in handy for you when she’s a teenager.

Q. How can babies sleep through the wailing of a fire engine, but wake up because you accidentally creaked the stairs?

A. Because they have tiny bat ears. Very small sounds fit inside perfectly.

Q. When my baby is sleeping, I find myself gazing down at her face, wondering if this beautiful child can possibly be mine. Is this normal?

As normal as you’ll ever be, from here on out. In a related vein, you don't have long before your kids tell you your singing and dancing suck.

Q. When my baby scrunches up her face and sort of smiles, but sort of looks uncomfortable, is she gassy? Or is it a real smile?

Neither. She’s just looking you thinking, “I can’t believe this is my mother. She has this weird look on her face, sort of like she’s smiling, but also like she’s maybe in pain. I wonder if it’s normal, or if I should be worried she's got gas. Also: Her singing and dancing? They suck."


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