4011 and other random mom-knowledge

01/24/2011 at 10:29 am | Posted in Motherhood | 28 Comments
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Yesterday at the grocery store I was going through the motions at the self-check-out when I plopped down my bananas and without giving it any thought, punched in “4011.” Then I loaded up the bags and the child into the car, flipped the CD back to the song I knew Small Fry would request (All the Single Ladies, FTW) and assured her before she even asked that no, we would not be going through the car wash. Which is near the grocery store. Which terrifies her.

As we rounded the corner out of the parking lot, I got to thinking. I sure know a lot. About nothing.


Since I became a mother three(!) years ago, my brain has stashed away all sorts of little nuggets that I otherwise would have no reason to know. Like the code number for bananas. And the price on a four-pack of Yo Toddler yogurt.

And these things:

– the best places to buy diapers/wipes/formula/jar food/undershirts/bunny crackers/EVERYTHING

– the exact price of a gallon of organic skim milk

– how to fold a crib sheet (and change said crib sheet in the dark with one eye open)

– what toddler toothpaste tastes like

– just how full I can stuff the washing machine/dishwasher so that they still function

– what butt paste is and how to use it

– what croup sounds like and what to do (steamy bathroom, stat)

– my child’s voice in the middle of a playground teeming with other kids

– how to clean up juice/Mylecon (never buy the pink!)/ground-in play doh stains from the carpet

– the exact temperature she has to reach before we go to the ER in the middle of the night

– the last time she pooped

– what it’s like to be at the mall before any of the stores are even open

– the words to “The Wheels on the Bus” and eleventy hundred other songs I’d forgotten

– just how fun the Target clearance rack can be (hello $2 toddler pants)

– how to clean someone else’s ears, butt, teeth and everything in between

– how awesome and empowering it feels to be a mom with a superhero-brain that can hold all this stuff. And more.

Tell me … what would you add to this list? What’s taking up space in your mom-brain?



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  1. I’m scared. What is butt paste????

    • Oh, my friend! When you come to visit after lil’ bacon’s brother or sister is born, I will show you all the glories of butt paste. And how to apply it. šŸ™‚

  2. I know why it’s important to keep a strainer near the bathtub. Which is more than I EVER wanted to know.

    • Brilliant. That’s all I can say. Except also: I will now be purchasing a strainer to keep in the bathroom (potty training = lots of poop “events”)

  3. Ok, I love this. I know too many produce codes because I worked at a grocery store and every time the cashier goes to look up a code I just want to tell it to them so it will be quicker šŸ™‚

    • You are too funny! I can imagine that check-out time can be torture. Especially with kid in tow. Hope your pregnancy is going well! Been enjoying following along!!

  4. nasal aspirator techniques (we even invented our own that involved a syringe! hee!)
    how to get a baby to fart
    how to hide vegetables in food
    the perfect ratio of juice to water in a sippy

    love this!

    • “how to get a baby to fart” …. we did A LOT of that after Small Fry was born. How quickly I forget! Better brush off my technique for May … šŸ™‚

  5. Symptoms of a concussion vs. just a really bad boo boo

    The mommy-rock (you know, that back and forth bounce you get every time you hold a baby?)

    How much blood a tiny mouth injury can produce

    What Hand, Foot and Mouth disease is (and it’s not really as bad as it sounds)

    • So true about the mommy-rock! I found myself doing it inadvertently while holding a friend’s baby last weekend. It just comes out of nowhere!

  6. I know I am a good sleep-walker. I “get up” at night (when Bresho wakes up) and do things in auto-pilot.
    I understand (speak, I cannot) a foreign baby language that no one else gets.
    I know that Sesame Street is on at 4:00 on weekdays.
    I know what a brest-pump is (I am no longer scared by it), how to use it and how to store breastmilk.

    • How could I forget about Sesame Street? And breast pumps? Love your list. Also: it reminds me that I’m still a little scared of my breast pump (which I’ll be dusting off pretty soon). šŸ™‚

  7. I would have to agree with Suzanne on the strainer. Not fun.

    And also with Wendy on the Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. Oh, the joys of public daycare.

    I also know how to sleep walk into my daughter’s room if she has made the slightest sound to make sure she is ok.

    And also sleep walk into her room if she’s being too quite and I have a “bad feeling”.

    That silence is not golden, but very, very scary. It means she is either up to no good, has gotten into something she shouldn’t have, or is not breathing. (just kidding on the last one).

    I’ve learned how to somewhat manage tantrums in the middle of shopping, and how to gracefully set everything down (even if we have been shopping for over an hour) and walk out of the store, dragging a screaming, kicking toddler. And how to smile at the strangers who are giving me dirty looks like I can’t control my child, even though I am sending them really mean thoughts.

    I’ve learned how to measure medicine without even using the numbers on the cup, and then looking and seeing that I am exactly right.

    I know that children will test your limits and they can only pee, be thirsty, be scared and hungry so many times during the night before it is stalling.

    I’ve learned that the clearance section is my best friend. I totally agree on the Target clothing. I rarely shop in the “non” clearance section anymore.

    Garage sales are a great way to earn back a fraction of the money that we spend on baby clothes. “Yes, I paid $20 for that outfit. No, you can’t have it for a quarter. Yes, I will take a dollar.” SIGH.

    Beaudreaux’s Butt Paste – God Send.

    Kids will completely and totally embarrass you in public. Just get used to it. They will say things that you wish that they wouldn’t have, and do things that you want to crawl under a table and die.

    They will also run away from you in stores, or hide inside the clothes. The key is not to panic, but go along with their evil little game, hiding the fear that overcomes you.

    I’ve learned that going to work with pee, poop, puke, snot or food on my clothes is “no biggie”.

    That after children, it is “normal” to pee your pants when you cough, sneeze, or run. Just a little. lol But not me. haha

    How to use coupons, even it if only saves me a dollar. Hey, that dollar can buy me something in the above-referenced clearance section.

    That you now have to “monitor” what you watch on TV or listen to on the radio. “No, honey, that’s not real blood. It’s just ketchup.” or “Honey, we do not say “this sh*t is bananas” in public.”

    That no matter how angry you get at your child, even if they break your brand-new Christmas snow globe that you spent $X on and shatter it all over the living room floor, sending water, glass and glitter everywhere, or when they throw a tantrum and throw their plate of food across the kitchen (i swear, my kid really isn’t a devil child), you will still love them more than life itself. You now know the meaning of “unconditional love” and how very true it is.

    I could go on and on…

    Great post, Suzanne!! šŸ™‚

    • Oh, girl. I totally hear you on the pee-when-coughing/sneezing thing. Especially while pregnant. LOVE your list!

  8. you know this is so funny because Big D just asked yesterday is there anything i know a lot about? sure: how to take care of my family when they are sick, keep them from getting sick, gardening, how to work as efficiently as possible(this pretty much encompasses many of the other things i have stuffed in my head)…..

    • She cracks me up! I can totally see her asking you that question. Because kids know everything, right? šŸ™‚

      • of course i probably should have inquired why she was asking this question—-we haven’t been on the ‘best’ of terms lately so maybe she was questioning my validity as a parent (since she does like to threaten to runaway—-yes, i have a six year old teenager!)

  9. When my son was a baby, one of my (then) child-free friends marveled at how much I knew about him — it struck me as funny then because I still felt like such a new mom, but she was right. And now that she’s a mom of two, she totally understands.

    Loved your list. I also know…
    – how many books we can get at the library and still be able to carry the bag
    – how to tell the difference between a skin bump and MRSA
    – how to tell the difference between dry skin and eczema
    – how to find a pacie in a crib full of stuffed animals without during on the light
    – how to dress a Polly Pocket doll in impossibly tiny plastic clothes
    – the perfect time to get in and out of the restaurant before the regular dinner crowd and before our pre-bedtime meltdown

    • Love your list! Especially the restaurant thing. I always wondered how people could possibly eat dinner so early. And now I know. šŸ™‚

  10. I love this. I can’t wait until I’m able to add my own mom knowledge to the list. For now, I’ll just try to sponge off yall & then come back once we have a child to get even more!

    • You’ll surprise yourself with ALL that you know already. So much of it is simple instinct. And developing coping strategies for poop/vomit/snot. šŸ™‚

  11. Great post. I don’t even know where to begin…

  12. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Suzanne, Suzanne. Suzanne said: 4011 and other random mom-knowledge: http://bit.ly/fvnEVa […]

  13. Oh my mommy mush brain feels so much better after your post and all the comments. I really am a genius! Even if I forget to snap the onsie before I put the pants on.

    I know all the Star Wars characters
    I know how to read Lego directions
    I know how to pin a child down until their nails are cut (big thighs are good for something!)
    I know opening a snack at the grocery store pre-register isn’t frowned upon and saves my sanity
    And most importantly, I know how good I have it that my husband always handles the trash-including diaper pail

  14. What is butt paste? Im scared and curious.

  15. this is so great!

    i know the difference between my daughter’s hungry cry (HEEeee…HEEeee…), the hurt cry – physical or feelings – (meu-WAHhh, meu-WAHhh), and the just generally pissed off cry (aaaAAAHHH, aaaAAAHHH, also known as “the siren”)

    i know that she can wait 5 more minutes for me to finish eating, showering, or while i go to the bathroom.

    i know how to lay down a sleeping baby and then combat-crawl out of the room undetected.

    i also know how to re-enter the sleeping baby’s room after hearing the Big Sigh on the monitor (you know, the one that indicates the comatose level of sleep) and put away folded laundry with stealth.

    i *now* know to buy a strainer for the tub. haven’t needed one yet, but you won’t catch me off guard

  16. I’ve learned that:

    Not all sippy cups are created equal…and many lie about being leak-proof.

    That most major toy companies have online sites devoted to ordering missing toy parts (and valves for leaky sippy cups)

    Not all diapers and wipes are equal. And it’s worth the extra money for the good ones.

  17. What a fun post Sis!
    I know:
    -when my kid is fake crying (i had years of training!)
    -it’s all about my reaction…if i call it “kisses” instead of bites from our cat, everyone stays happy (except maybe the cat!)
    -if i don’t take care of myself i will have no patience for her
    -how to dislodge her chubby thighs from between crib slats in absolute dark (happened again this morning)
    -what to do when she’s vomitting (step 1: remove bathroom rug!)
    -how much snack she’ll eat before she needs water
    -when we need a game changer (and i’ve got an arsenal of ideas at the ready)
    -how to use a toothbrush to fight cradle cap
    -and what’s going on with her based on her poops!

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