To Vax or Not to Vax

I have to come clean. Previously I have been the outspoken sort when it comes to absolutely, hands down vaccinating your baby. I had heard all the media babble about the MMR being linked to autism. And then that it was not related at all, which decided it for me. I was going to get ‘em all. Why not?

But, turns out before your baby’s first birthday, you don’t really have to think about it very much. I mean, they get vaccines, but those are basic vaccines that all babies should get. And just a few. You don’t have to think about many of them, and when they’ll get them and how many at once, etc. until the 12 month check up.

So, here I sit with that 12 month appointment looming, and three times in two days, random moms at the playground and café have asked me, “what are you doing about vaccines?” I took it as a sign that I was slightly uninformed and really ought to get informed before D Day (V Day?) arrives.

All it took was one 10 second Yahoo search for me to realize I was in trouble. All that shooting off at the mouth that I had done, and it turns out I don’t want to give my son the MMR until 24 months, and I don’t want to give him the Varicella vaccine at all. There’s WAY more to this than just autism. Ooops.

So, this post is two-fold. For starters, I want to apologize for any parent that I have offended on other sites with my very vocal campaign to vaccinate your kid against every known ailment, no matter what. Clearly I was misguided. And secondly, I want to reach out to the parenting community out there on the intertubes: What did you do? Why did you do it? What is your advice for me?

The No-Nanny Diaries

For the past few weeks, whenever I mention to someone that I work at home, their immediate response is, “oh, so you have a nanny come and watch Bowie?” And when I say no, things are working out for us at the moment, I get only one look—perplexed.

Honestly, I’m just very lucky. The type of work I do is such that I can pick it up and put it back down a hundred times an hour if I need to. And I don’t have to keep certain hours. When he’s napping I have a good chunk of time during which I am able to get quite a bit of work done. And then again at night for an hour or so before going to bed. The point is, it gets done. And it gets done well. If I had a big, high-powered, fast-paced kind of job, I’d get a nanny in a second.  But I don’t have that type of job and don’t need help.

I know people mean well, and I appreciate the concern and the advice. But none of them knows of the exact nature of my work, of my working style, of my son’s daily routine or typical behaviors, of my income and whether it’s worth paying for the help or not. What worked for them is not necessarily what will work for us. Heck, what works for a ton of people in this world, in this day and age, still is not necessarily what will work for us.

I enjoy the way things are working right now. I look at my hourly breaks from the work as a bonus, not a pitfall. I’m happy when I’m with him, which I’d like to think improves my job performance. I have had some busy days where I know I won’t get everything done that I want to. Once in a while something’s got to give, but I’d rather it to be the laundry or the trip to the store.  I’m not above asking for help–when I need it.

Orange

At Bowie’s six month check up, I was feeling pretty good about myself because I’d been making my own baby food for the previous month and he was loving it. I followed all of Dr. A’s guidelines about when to start what, and how much milk he should still be drinking.

But, once she saw him without his shirt on, she put her hand up to his chest and I instantly knew what she was looking at: he was really orange. “You’re feeding him too much orange food,” was all she said. I was devastated. Not only because I had turned my baby orange with my cooking, but also because he loved sweet potatoes, carrots and squash and now I was going to have to find something else to give him, something not orange.

We managed. We moved on to things like spinach, corn, broccoli and cauliflower. And eventually he looked less orange to me, but a month later when he was in getting the flu shot he still looked too orange for her taste.

Today I was looking through all the food I have for him in the freezer, and I saw it there. The lonely little bag of sweet potatoes I had made for him. Sometimes his nose still looks orange in pictures, but I said screw it and gave him sweet potatoes for dinner. Afterward I wiped him up thoroughly and joked that we had to “hide the evidence from daddy”. I hope the little bugger appreciated that.