It amazes me how the women are treated so differently than the men at the US Open's Grand Slam Tennis Tournament. In no other tournament are the women so coddled and protected while the men are left standing in the breeze - or the sun in this case. Here's what I'm talking about:
Inequality #1: The number of sets that have to be played. For women it is the best out of 3 sets. For men it's the best out of 5. This rule is across the board at all of the major tournaments, but why? Are men that more strapping and fit than women that they could possibly be forced to play 2 more sets and countless extra hours on the court? It can become more a test of stamina rather than skill. (Side note: Don't get me started on Wimbledon's rules of no tie breaks in the 5th set. In case you didn't hear, there was a record breaking 10 HOUR MATCH this past June, and it was a first round match!!!) This difference is just an annoyance mainly because when watching the matches on TV I'm always missing a part of a match. Either the women play first, and then the men's match takes so long that I have to go to bed, or the men play first and take so long that I don't get to see all of the women's match.
Inequality #2: This is the new rule that became effective this year and was put into practice earlier today. It was extremely hot in New York at the Billy Jean tennis facility in Flushing Meadows. Brutally hot. Not only was the temperature a steamy 96 degrees, it was a registered 110 degrees on Center Court. The last I checked, the heat isn't prejudice and affects everyone. Why is it, then, do only the women have the option to take a 10 minute break between the 2nd and 3rd set to change clothing, take a shower, and just get out of the sun? The men are playing a minimum of 3 sets and could potentially go to 5 sets, yet they aren't given this luxury. That's just ridiculous! Is there some secret male hormone that keeps them cooler in extreme temperatures?!
Even though this doesn't affect me personally, it really bothers me.
That's been Simon's nickname this week. One moment he'd be quietly playing, the next he was screaming at the top of his lungs. On Wednesday I took him to the doctor because he'd been tugging on his ears and feared an ear infection as a result of flying over the weekend. Luckily, there wasn't any infection, but he had some clear congestion.
I've heard both sides of the story when it comes to teething - that it can cause a runny nose, diaper rash, and diarrhea. And that it can't cause any of those things. The only thing that doctors tend to agree on is that teething should NOT cause a fever. To be on the safe side, the doctor recommended that we treat his symptoms as though he had a summer cold so I raised the head of his bed to a 30 degree angle and fired up the humidifier. These things seemed to help some, but Simon's meltdowns were increasing. By Thursday, there was no question that he was experiencing all sorts of mouth pain so before bedtime we gave him a dose of tylenol.
Friday morning he woke up a little after 7am (which is late for him) and the crankiness was already beginning. Shortly after his first morning nap, I tried to take a good peak into his mouth and much to my surprise a tooth had appeared on his upper gums. We'd been watching a spot on his lower gums which had been trying to surface for over a week now. Had no idea about the upper right one. And right next to it was another tooth that I expect to break through the surface this weekend. Once I saw that he was really working on 3 teeth at the same time, I broke out the Tylenol right away.
In the blink of an eye (or rather the span of his afternoon nap) Simon was a giggly, smiley baby once again. Jeff came home to us rolling on the floor having a good ol' time. Here's hoping that Simon's "Mr. Hyde" side is gone for a few months.
I follow the knitting blog of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. She's an amazing artisan and a great writer, whose sense of humor and wit make her blog worth reading. Her posts run the gamut of topics, not just knitting & yarn. Today she had quite an insightful post about the roles of men and women in the workplace & home. She was able to articulate things that I've felt and thought about since becoming a mom. We've come a long way as a society but stereotypical gender roles are still out there - they're just more subtle with a passive aggressive flair.
When Jeff and I first moved here and were living in temporary housing I went to the local grocery store, Safeway, and picked up their savings card along with groceries for our first week here. My first impression of Safeway was EXPENSIVE. Despite their savings card, I felt that their groceries were ridiculously over-priced. The price of the milk still stands out - it was something like $4/gallon unless you bought 2. After that, I never went back and had been shopping at Fred Meyer ever since.
Fred Meyer also had a savings card - but instead of receiving discounts on items in the store, you were supposed to earn 1 point for every dollar spent, after which you'd receive a rebate check. But here's the catch - you have to earn 500 points within a 13 week period. That's $500 in approximately 3 months. Not an easy thing to do for us since we get our chicken breasts & frozen foods from Schwann's, our red meats from Fischer's Meat Market, and a lot of the fresh produce from the local farmer's market. After shopping there for 8 months now, I haven't seen a thing from Fred's so it didn't seem like a very good deal.
A few weeks ago I was in a Safeway in order to pick up a baby carrier that I bought on Craig's List. The woman that I bought it from worked in their pharmacy. While walking through the store I kept noticing good prices all throughout the store. So I decided to give Safeway another try. Needless to say, the prices were better, the produce was fresher, and the people were friendlier than at Fred Meyer. My guess is that the first Safeway I shopped at was in Redmond, which is more expensive than in Issaquah. And to top off the deal, Safeway has a great bakery and had some very tasty & warm sourdough bread for $1.99! Plus One for Safeway!
Now when I go shopping, I can't help but hear Smoky Robinson singin' in my head.... "My mama told me, you better shop around!"
After 40 years of wearing them, you'd think I'd know a thing or two about socks. Heck, I've even knitted a few pairs! But when it comes to baby socks all bets are off. I realize that it's a guessing game for the manufacturers to categorize "newborn" vs. "6 months" but I've seen some that are WAY off. I received a 4 piece outfit for Simon that i was for a 9 month old, but the socks were the same size as all the newborn socks that I had. They barely fit on Simon's big toe.
Now there aren't pediatric statistics for foot size (not that I'm aware of) so I can't say whether or not he's in the 90th percentile but his feet look average to me. They seem proportionate to the rest of his body. Yet, none of his socks fit. This weekend I was on a hunt to find ones that fit and I finally did! They are for 18-24 month old babies. Go figure.
This is Simon's interpretation of a sleeping baby...
It's a modern interpretation...
This past Saturday we've stopped swaddling Simon when he sleeps. We've done this for a few reasons. #1 - the doctor recommended it at his 4 month checkup because the movements that babies make while sleeping help them to develop. #2 - Freeing up Simon's arms will allow him to learn how to self-soothe if/when his pacifier falls out of his mouth. #3 - Eventually, once he gains enough hand coordination, Simon will be able to put the pacifier back in by himself when it falls out making Mommy really happy since she won't have to get up at night to do it.
These are all good reasons to stop swaddling him, but I'm starting to notice a bad side effect as a result of this new-found arm freedom. Simon is starting to cry whenever we go into his bedroom for anything. It could be for a diaper change or just to get a book or toy. He thinks he's going to be put into his crib without the comfort of his swaddling. It just breaks my heart.
Even though he would wriggle his little hands out of the blanket, there was obviously some sort of security & comfort that he got out of it. Naps and bedtime were pretty painless before but now he cries every time. I've also noticed that he rarely wakes up happy & cooing.
My baby seems unhappy when it comes to sleep and panics whenever he goes into his room. Doing the right thing sure feels crappy.