Editor’s note: This week one year ago – Flutie to Phelan – It Begins.
A few months ago I was chatting with a couple of my fellow inmates at the hospital about our brief experiences at home. Learned some, shared some, and got a lot of great ideas.
That’s when it hit me!
If it wasn’t for Yelp, no one would know where to eat. If it wasn’t for Tripadvisor, no one would know where to stay. And if it wasn’t for Amazon, no one would know what to buy.
Trulia: where to live. Metracritic: what to watch. US Weekly: whether to wear the leopard print onsie with pumps or heels.
If you’re gonna do something, you might as well make informed choices based on other people’s experiences. Am I right?
Not every baby, however, has had the advantages that I’ve had. (You’re all jealous of my advantages, I know, but I can’t do anything about that.) Being able to live in the hospital and meet so many other diverse babies has taught me much. Thus I’ve been able to guide my parents quietly and unobtrusively – a parenting Sherpa, if you will – to make the best choices on what to do with me, what to get me, and how to raise me up right.
And so, to enrich the lives of babies, to strengthen the fibers of our communities, and ensure future of our society I bring you a revolutionary innovation in the child rearing market.
That’s right, a site for babies, by babies, where babies can:
- Post about their experiences at their home
- Share notes about their favorite and not so favorite components of their lives
- Exchange ideas for the betterment of baby life for all
For the last month or so, I’ve been living at home in Stow, supposedly just enjoying life and whiling away the time.
During that time, I’ve secretly been analyzing many facets of the experience and will soon be writing the inaugural parent review at RateTheRents.com. I share this all with you to get feedback on the concept before launching. Please share what you will at the end of this post.
First, the rating scale. After testing and dismissing many options, here it is:
– Diaper: Seal this one up tight before throwing in the trash.
– 2 Binkies: Parenting classes available at a location near you.
– 3 Binkies: T. Berry Brazelton approved.
– 4 Binkies: Contentment guaranteed.
– 5 Binkies: A veritable party in your onesie.
Without further ado…
Review of Hotel Stowcation
The nursing staff – Mommy and Daddy, or so they call themselves – is relatively stable. These 2 people share most of the shifts.
They’re good but they seem unsure of themselves sometimes and will talk about options and possibilities right there in front of me and the other two hairy little guests. A bit amateurish, yes, but eventually they get on top of things.
While they seem mostly competent, missteps are common. For example, Daddy didn’t attach the pump connector to my feeding tube the right way one night. Ended up feeding the bed for a good 3 hours. Sticky.
The mid-week staffers are floaters. Grammie and Zayde are more experienced than the full time staff, but they’re a little shady. They constantly tell me not to tell Mommy and Daddy about this or that, especially the mini-raids on the potato chips and candy bars in the pantry.
Minor gaffes here and there, but good recoveries, effort, and dedication.
It’s a quaint place. Not too big. Typical country cottage on a lake. The view is nice, but my admin must have booked the cheap room because the staff has a great view, and I can barely see the water from my window. Binky deduction.
Security checkpoint is pretty tight. Anyone who tries to get near me gets a pretty good pat down and hose off. Everyone must take off their shoes, belt, and body piercings on the way through the scanner.
I was curious to see just how good they are so I had one of my undercover guys try to sneak in a fingernail file. He’s doing 15 to 20 in Sing Sing. Sorry dude.
I have to admit something, too. I used to be a pretty heavy narcotics user. Haven’t seen my methadone or lorazepam suppliers in weeks, and my clonidine guy keeps bringing less and less. I fear I’ll be all out in a week and that’ll be that. Roll with the changes, I guess.
One last thing. Not sure why, but I feel like, especially at night, they’re watching and listening to me. Creepy.
Overall, pretty good.
Here’s where they need a little help. Back in the old days, they’d make milk right there in front of me. Now it’s all frozen. Did the farm to table movement fall out of favor when I wasn’t looking?
At least they’ve been experimenting with other options. Mixed bag, for sure. Binkies on the peaches and pears. Diapers on the sweet peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash.
Over the past two weeks I think the food’s gone downhill. I’ve been…ahem…sending it back, sometimes a little, but more often a lot, after almost every meal. I think they’re getting the picture that something isn’t working because they talk about it constantly.
A few weeks ago, when it was better, I was polishing everything off and packing on some chubs, but for the last two weeks I’ve been protesting. Virtually no weight gain. I hear we’ll be talking to the doctors about this very soon.
Overall OK, but needs work.
Nothing much to say here. Around 7 it’s bath time (diapers all the way), and then reading and playing (all binks). Then it’s like they roll the sidewalks up around 7:30 p.m. There’s nothing to do until they roll ‘em back out when the sun comes up.
I get up 4, 5, 6 times a night to see if there’s any action at all – try to stir up the troops to see who wants to rock – but it’s always back to the crib for more ZZZs.
At least that’s what they try. There’s this philosophical debate about whether infant schedules should be “baby driven” or “parent driven.” When I get up during the night I usually ask them to put me in the swing. I like sleeping there.
They start by saying no, but I keep getting up and asking. They try crib, but I’m persistent. Eventually they cave.
One plus is that they keep snacks out every night. I eat constantly – 42 milliliters an hour – from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m.
Here’s where things get good. It’s a constant party here at Stowcation. It’s all fun all the time, so much so that I have to take 3, sometimes 4 naps a day just to keep the old batteries charged.
Seriously, this place is 2 Legit when it comes to fun.
Reading time is the best. It’s 4 binks when we read and look and say “WOW!” at almost every page (you could learn a new word, you know), but it’s 5 bink Festivus when Mommy acts out the whole Barnyard Dance.
She’s especially impressive with “Bounce with the bunny” and “Strut with the duck,” but nothing beats her “Spin with the chickens now Cluck Cluck Cluck!” Then again her Hippos Go Berserk! is pretty good, too. Now I see what all her college buddies keep talking about when they’re half in the bag. Fun mommy.
Home shines over hospital when it comes to excursions. Spend much of your first six months locked down CICU and you can get a pretty good case of the shack nasties.
Sometimes, however, it’s more good effort than good outcomes. On Saturday, the permanent staff took me out for a walk in “The Desert” nature area and forest. (Strange name for a forest, right? Good one, City of Marlborough.)
We get there, set up, and start a-walkin’. About 10 minutes in it starts to rain. Bad planning, so I show my disapproval by reversing the engines and sending back my whole lunch.
We get back to the car, pack up quick, and head off. When we get home, we learn Mommy dropped her iPhone and had to go back for it. She found it right after she ran over it with her SUV.
Several hours later we had a new excursion on the schedule: Apple store at Natick Collection!
As we all know, iPhone 5s are on back order for a month. Everyone welcome Mommy to Samsung land…
We’ve also had several trips back to the old ‘hood at Children’s. A few for planned visits. Nothing of note except it was nice to see all my downtown peeps. Once we went back through the ER because I was breathing too heavy and the whole “slow weight gain” thing. We adjusted my diuretics up, and headed back home.
Sometime soon we’ll be back for an echo, but nothing on the sched yet.
Other excursions I’d recommend offered by this facility: Topsfield Fair. Kennebunkport. Perkins Cove. Collings Foundation “Battle for the Airfield.” Music class at the library. Apple picking at Honey Pot. BJs. (The store, not the activity. Shame on you.)
All in all it’s been a great few months. The staff loves the work and loves their guests. Which, by the way, seems to only be me and the two little fuzzy guys, so they really focus that love and attention to us, which is nice. And the feeling is mutual.
I’m hoping to stay here for a long time. That’s the plan, though we have to get these food, weight gain, heavy breathing things under control or the plan can change rapidamente. Maybe it’s just a blip and maybe it’s something more serious. Here’s hoping a little more reflux meds and diuretics do the trick because, flaws and all, life at Stowcation…