Ep. 44: Rage Against Sleep: Surviving the Four-Month Sleep Regression

May 6, 2019

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This week, Laura marvels at two of her baby’s new accomplishments, while Shanna bemoans her baby’s experience with the four-month sleep regression. Next, the new moms play a hilarious round of “Never Have I Ever: Parenting Edition,” where they find themselves in surprising situations they never would have expected. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is 16 weeks old, and Laura’s baby is 12 weeks old.




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Episode Transcript

Laura Birek 0:02
Hi, welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. This week we have our weekly check ins we get hilariously painful in our special segment. Never Have I Ever and we close up with our BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get to it.

Shanna Micko 0:15
Hey everybody, welcome to the show.

Hello. Hello. So this is Episode 44. And we are going to start off with our weekly check ins. Laura, how old is your baby and what do you guys been up to?

Laura Birek 0:18

My baby is 12 weeks old, which means he actually turned three months this week which is just like I don’t know, it’s weird. He’s like such a big man to me. It’s so funny because he’s so little like he’s actually what he’s like 10th percentile in weight but to me he looks so big. You know?

Shanna Micko 0:47
Well he while he is a lot bigger than he was. Big boy, 3 months old!

Laura Birek 0:52
And this week, the day before he took his three month birthday, if you will MONTH DAY he Not only rolled from front to back for the first time, and he laughed on the exact same day.

Shanna Micko 1:07
Oh my God, what a big day.

Laura Birek 1:09
It was a huge day. Oh my God, I was dying. It was so cute. So first of all the rolling was awesome. Like he was so determined, like we talked about last week, actually, with your baby rolling from back to front, which is a much more advanced thing, like they usually do front to back first. He was just so like, determined to get it. And then he did it like five, six times in a row. And it was great because he did it the first time. I was like, what, whoa, I like pulled my phone out. And then he just went and did it again. He did it like so many more times. I was able to get all these videos of it. So that was awesome. And I was able to send it to Corey because you know, he was at work and then and then later that day, we were just like hanging out on the couch after he fed and he just wasn’t a good mood. And I was just like, telling him how much I loved him in a funny voice and he just started giggling and I was like, shut up.

Shanna Micko 2:01
Shut up, but no seriously keep doing it.

Laura Birek 2:03
I did not actually tell my my child to shut up but yeah, so that was super fun. And that was like the really nice stuff. We’re also on Snoo weaning mode again, remember we talked about how with the Snoo its default setting is to just like, gently rock all night long the Snoo is the robot grab that we both have employed to keep our children sleeping at night. And you had talked about how when you had your power outage way back what was that episode 40 I want to say like a month ago that it turns out, your baby didn’t need the rocking like she was fine. So that inspired me to start weaning mode and we did it and then we chickened out and stopped but now we’re back on it and it’s actually working really well.

Shanna Micko 2:48

Laura Birek 2:49
So those are like the like nice good things this week and then I have like one thing it’s not bad. It’s me. It’s not him. Everything’s great with the baby. But I so we got the baby to bed he’s really great. He goes to bed at about seven o’clock every night and it’s it’s not a struggle I would say but he does get real grumpy right before bed like he just gets real over tired. And like we’ve discussed you have this whole nice bedtime routine with your daughter like with us is just like feed him and then he like he’s like, really sad and crying and I feed him. And then I put him in the swaddled and he like cries just a little bit more and the conks out. There’s just no time for routine.

Shanna Micko 3:28
Thank God for the conk out part.

Laura Birek 3:30
Yeah, I mean, it’s great. It’s like and it doesn’t last that long. Like you’re really he’s just like raging against sleep. So anyway, he has his like Rage Against sleep, and then he passes out and my big plan was to make like a healthy Caesar salad for dinner. And I go out and I realized that we were missing two ingredients for the Caesar. And so I told Corey, I was like, Oh, you know, I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna pop over to Vons and, you know, pick it up and then I’ll come back and we’ll make the salad. So I like get my purse. I Get in the car. And I start driving and it felt so good to be alone. And like encumbered that I literally had a thought where I was like, I could just keep driving.

Shanna Micko 4:14
Oh God, the things our brains come up with.

Laura Birek 4:16
And of course I didn’t, but I was like, but I was really like taken aback by it because I didn’t think I had that thought in me, but I was just like, oh my god, I could just drive and never come back. And I’m like, Whoa, brain. Whoa, there. But I was like, and then I’m like, wandering around. Vons. like totally taking my sweet time, because like, I’m just like, Hi, I don’t have a baby with me. I’m just like, I’m just gonna walk down the aisles like I have not a care in the world. Like, like I was four months ago, you know? But I realized, like, I had this revelation of like the fact that just like, going to the store to get anchovies that could inspire that level of Glee. Like I really need to find A way to make some me time soon like I just I realized I don’t really do very much that’s just for me and even if it is like just for me It always has some other purpose like I went to a yoga class you know? And it was like yeah it’s for me but it’s also like it’s to get healthy again like I don’t just like I haven’t like just I don’t know like done nothing just being me for a while so I need to find some time to like have a breather yes but I don’t know how. I don’t know how or when.

Shanna Micko 5:31
What would you like to do like a pedicure, a massage?

Laura Birek 5:36
I don’t know if you recall I went and got a massage about a month and a half ago that was supposed to be my big like treat day and — did I talk about this on the podcast? I don’t remember the masseuse was giving me a really deep tissue massage and she kind of like went too far and I didn’t advocate for myself and I totally ended up injured. She cricked my neck super weird. So now I’m Super gun shy about getting a massage because like the last time I tried that it made me feel worse. So there’s that problem. I don’t know. I feel like I just want to like take my spinning wheel and my knitting and like go sit somewhere quietly.

Shanna Micko 6:15
That would be wonderful. Yeah.

Laura Birek 6:18
I don’t know what would you do if you were to just like here have some free time?

Shanna Micko 6:24
I also draw a blank. This is really sad. I’m like go to Target

Laura Birek 6:29
Target’s a valid answer.

Shanna Micko 6:30
I mean, I would love to exercise on my own. I did leave CC home one day my girlfriends were going hiking with their babies like we were all gonna bring our babies to the mountain and I was like, would it be weird if I left my baby at home and just came in hiked with you guys. They’re like, No, do it. Oh my god. And so I left the baby home and I went with them. And that was even though I was with other babies and stuff. It was like a break for me. It was nice. I didn’t know a mountain with extra 15 pounds. Yes, I really like exercise. And that’s something Like me time I like going to the gym and stuff and I just haven’t done it in ages and I would love to have that kind of routine back. Yeah.

Laura Birek 7:07
A girl can dream

Shanna Micko 7:09
A girl can dream. I just love that your trip to Vons was like, equivalent to a day at the spa.

Laura Birek 7:16
Oh, I was skipping down the aisles. Look at me free as a bird.

Shanna Micko 7:22
Oh, that’s so fantastic.

Laura Birek 7:26
Yes, anyway, so that was that was my week. What were you up to this week?

Shanna Micko 7:29
So as wonderful as your baby’s week was? Oh, god, it’s actually been the last two weeks and I didn’t talk about it really last week. Maybe I was just too distraught. But it has been a really hard two weeks for us. And it’s a combination of things. So first of all, she’s going through her fourth leap, the Wonder Weeks app which we talked about before, which tracks your child’s development.

Laura Birek 7:58
How many weeks is she now?

Shanna Micko 8:00
Oh yeah, she’s 16 weeks 16 Yeah. And this leap is five weeks long. It’s like from a week to 19

Laura Birek 8:10
How? That’s like their whole lives what?

Shanna Micko 8:14
It is daunting as hell to see like on the little calendar, you see it coming up like little stormy period on the Wonder Weeks calendar and it’s like, oh, no, no. And she of course started early because she that’s how her over to Yes. And it’s like that thing where it’s like God, what is what’s with my baby? Oh, no, no. And for days, it was just like, Oh, it was the anxiety inside of me because what she does is she she’ll scream and cry while nursing on either side. I see when I switch her she screams she pulls off constantly. From my breast. She doesn’t want to sleep well, really short naps. So all this stuff and I’m like, what’s wrong with her and then I’m like, Well check the leap. You know? It’s like, sure enough, there it is. So gave me an explanation which helps But still, the anxiety is so high. So on top of that, she has entered the four month sleep regression.

Laura Birek 9:07
Ooh, I hear that’s rough.

Shanna Micko 9:12
It is so rough and I did not have to really go through this with my first because she was such a great sleeper that

Laura Birek 9:19
Oh, you mean your first baby who slept all the way through the night at eight weeks and was fine? Yeah, that one.

Shanna Micko 9:24
Okay. Yeah, so big surprise, it did not affect her very much. So this is hitting me like a Mack truck. So that that and her learning to roll over. Because when they do a big physical achievement like that, it will disrupt their sleep and their attitude and moods. I learned that that was really my first baby. Yes, every time she learned like to walk to crawl to roll, her sleep would kind of get disrupted because she was excited to try the new thing and they’re just very, very amped up when they are learning a new thing. Okay, that’s good to know. Yeah. So she had All of this going on the last two weeks and it has been really …. And Steve went back to work.

Laura Birek 10:06
Oh yeah, small detail.

Shanna Micko 10:09
Steve went back to work. So I’ve just had so much going on and it makes me when she’s like that I get really worried. Like, like, Oh man, this is my babies like personality. Is this a sign of her personality? Like I’m looking at baby temperaments and reading about the like, different baby temperaments that and personalities that are out there and I’m get all worried though.

Laura Birek 10:31
Oh no, you’re doing like an enneagram. Or like…

Shanna Micko 10:35
Yes, right. Like her numerology her astrology, trying to figure out and usually it really is just that, you know, she’s going through so much and she can’t deal with it and like, deals with it by screaming and crying and fussing

Laura Birek 10:50
She just can’t deal.

Shanna Micko 10:52
Yeah, she just can’t deal so the sleep has been really hard.

Laura Birek 10:58
I want to know what that what is means to go through the four months sleep regression. Like I know, it’s supposed to be hard and I like but what I want to know like, like, actually what does that mean? Like how does what does your night look like?

Shanna Micko 11:08
Well, first of all, for those who might not know, the four months sleep regression happens because they reach a point in their development that they start going through sleep cycles, like we do like the light sleep deep sleep REM sleep, whereas before it was really just deep sleep, like that’s why they could sleep through the dogs barking, the kids running around the house, you know, and now it’s like they’re coming up into lighter sleep patterns in the middle of the night. And so this is all new to them. So when it comes up, and they kind of wake up and rouse they’re not used to that and so it can cause more waking at night. And if they’re not used to putting themselves back to sleep in the middle of the night that can you know, cause a lot of crying and fussing and difficulty for the parents. So specifically for her she was going from waking up once a night to waking up again every like three hours, and that’s hard. I really got used to like having an I stretch of sleep, and only up you know, wake up once and so she’s waking up many times. And then it’s the whole thing of like, what does she need milk? I don’t know. I don’t think so. So I’ll try to like sooth her back to sleep and she’s not good yet at being soothed back to sleep. So she’s screaming and crying and I mean, I just been exhausted.

Laura Birek 12:20
And your adrenaline’s probably like, just coursing, and then you’re totally shot by the end of it, because just like screaming baby. It takes it out of you.

Shanna Micko 12:28
yeah, exactly. You. It really does. And you can really tell like, when everything’s quiet again, I can feel it vibrating in my body, feeling all that adrenaline and anxiety that I’ve been feeling is like still in there. But now I notice it.

Laura Birek 12:40
And then the baby’s asleep. It’s like, okay, you should try to go to sleep.

Like, yeah, I’ll just get right on that once I get all this adrenaline out of my damn system.

Shanna Micko 12:51
That’s just so easy to do. And so then I’m like, well, maybe I shouldn’t have put her back in. Maybe I shouldn’t have moved her to the crib. Maybe I’ll put it back in the Snoo then like That really wasn’t working. I’m like, well then I’ll put it back in the crib. And I’ve like, tried every single like amalgamation of sleep sacks and sleeping positions and places. And really what I’ve learned I searched on my mom’s group and stuff is everyone’s just like it sucks. It’s total shit. The only way around it is through it or something like that. Yeah. Just they’re just going to figure it out. You just got to get through it and support them through it. And I will say after two weeks knock on wood, it’s gotten better

Laura Birek 13:26
Has it? I was going to ask how long it’s supposed to last.

Shanna Micko 13:29
Yeah, I don’t know. So you know, every baby is different. And I was really fearing the worst, but I think she’s getting better with her leap. She’s acting a little calmer and the sleep’s gotten a little bit better. I put her back in the Merlin sleep sack in her crib. And that’s what we’re going with right now. And she’s back to waking up once a night knock on wood, and we’ve had like two good days. So feel better today.

Laura Birek 13:53
Well, that’s good. That’s good. There’s sunshine on the horizon. That’s not a saying that’s not a thing that people say

Shanna Micko 14:01
I don’t know. But I like it

Laura Birek 14:02
Sunshine on the horizon. You heard it here first

Shanna Micko 14:05
and it does feel like sunshine because having your baby smile and be happy and not scream at you after you’ve been like living that for two weeks that really feels like sunshine. It’s wonderful. So if anyone else is going through that, oh my gosh, please share your stories with me. I need commiseration.

Laura Birek 14:20
Yes. And I need to be prepared. I need to know what’s coming.

Shanna Micko 14:25
Yeah, it’s coming. I hope it doesn’t hit you so bad. Your baby seems maybe like a little bit more calm and chill than mine in general. So maybe like he’ll just be like, what’s this four months sleep regression?

Laura Birek 14:37
I hope so. I mean, he’s a chill he is a chill dude for the most part but he does get the witching hour really bad. You know the like time between is basically between four and seven for us.

So it’s like 4 and 7pm

Yeah, it’s like the witching three hours where like, all bets are off like he could want to eat once an hour he’s will could be crying. I mean, it just you just don’t know. So I don’t know. We’ll see. We’ll see.

Shanna Micko 15:04
Well, you’ll keep us updated. I’m sure.

Laura Birek 15:06
I think I have a venue to do that. Shall we? Move on to our special segment? Break?

Shanna Micko 15:14
Let’s do it.

Laura Birek 15:15
So our special segment for this week is Never Have I Ever where we talk about the things we never thought we’d experience ’til we became parents. Shanna, what is your Never have I ever

Shanna Micko 15:26
Alrighty, It is: never have I ever injured myself while imitating a baby.

Laura Birek 15:35
Go on.

Shanna Micko 15:37
So I have marveled at the flexibility of my baby’s and neck is crazy how she lives on her back to sleep and just turns her head completely all the way to the side so that her ear and cheek or just touching the mattress completely flat.

Laura Birek 15:54
Mm hmm. Yeah, mine too, it’s weird. Great Flexibiliy.

Shanna Micko 15:56
Yeah both sides and it just goes back and forth and back and forth. And I’m like, Such great flexibility I’m like I wonder if I can do that, so I’m like turning my head all the way to the right and left and like God I don’t go very far as I’m like pushing it pushing it pushing it and I totally pulled a neck muscle. Such a dork oh my god in it hurt like hell for a week. Yeah, I had to do heating pad I was like, just throwing back ibuprofen

Laura Birek 16:32
It’s not easy to rest pulled muscle when you have to carry a baby around all the time.

Shanna Micko 16:37
No, it isn’t. And yeah, there’s so much like looking down at her while she’s nursing like, yeah.

Laura Birek 16:43
Oh, what a bummer.

Shanna Micko 16:44
You don’t realize what how much activity your neck is involved in until you do something like that.

Laura Birek 16:50
Well, I will say I went to — as I mentioned one yoga class recently, and we were supposed to go into child’s pose and I like realized I can’t really even do Child’s Pose anymore. I don’t know what it is. Like there’s just something about like I’m so I think what it is actually is that my muscles are so tense from carrying the baby around all the time. And we also thought we go into a lot of really long walks, you know, either with him in the carrier or me pushing the stroller. And it’s, it’s, it’s a workout, you know, and I really felt like my thigh muscles and my like hip muscles. They’re all so tight right now. I tried to go into child’s pose. I was like, This is not working. Also, my boobs are in the way now.

Shanna Micko 17:37
So yeah, it is funny when stuff that like was once so easy as like, whoa.

Laura Birek 17:43
Yeah. It’s like, Oh, it’s almost as though my body performed a magical feat of producing another human and now is never going to be the same. Mm hmm. But I’m sorry about your back. So it feels better now though.

Shanna Micko 17:55
Yeah, it finally got better. I was just like Shanna…

Laura Birek 18:00
Shanna, what are you doing?

Shanna Micko 18:02
Anyway, what about you? What’s your Never have I ever?

Laura Birek 18:05
Never have I ever thought I’d help a stranger find a tooth on the ground.

Shanna Micko 18:12

Laura Birek 18:13
Well, so here’s the story. I recently joined a mommy and me class where it’s like, you know, I think there’s 13 moms and 13 kids, I mentioned it before, it’s fine. And they you know, there’s like, a topic every class like tummy time or sleep or whatever. And then afterwards, a lot of the moms get together and have lunch because it’s like an 11 o’clock class that ends at 1230. So, lately, we’ve been having like these long lunches afterwards, because we’re all like, bored to like, shit at home and just be like, let’s have a three hour lunch because what else are we gonna do? So we were at our like, lunch spot, having our three hour lunch, just sitting there chillin and it’s really kind of ridiculous because everyone has a baby with them. So like there’s strollers everywhere, and it’s all very like crowded Trying to figure out how to get everyone like around a table. And so we’re all sitting there and this woman comes up. And she’s she’s older. She’s probably in her 60s, I’m guessing. And she’s like, I am so sorry to have to do this. But I don’t know if you saw me earlier right before you arrived, we were over at this other table and my my granddaughter was running around. And she must have fallen and she cracked her tooth, and it’s lost now. And I and I brought her home. I feel so bad because it was under my watch. And I brought her home to her mother. And her mother has sent me back to find the tooth. So can I look under your table to see if there’s a tooth under there?

Shanna Micko 19:46
That poor woman!

Laura Birek 19:48
It was like a three year old right? So it was like a baby too. And we’re all like, okay, sure, whatever. And I guess it cracked so like it’s part of a tooth. So it’s like we’re looking for a part of a three year olds to Also around all these strollers, right and I like I have like my baby like propped up on the underside of a high chair. Which by the way, if people don’t know about this, this is like one of the best hacks I’ve discovered is that you can like flip most high chairs and put your car seat on top of them. It’s really sturdy.

Shanna Micko 20:19
Yeah, I’ve seen people do that. That’s great.

Laura Birek 20:21
That’s a tip but I so might but but you also don’t want to be like shifting it around too much because it’s not supposed to move right. So she like wants me to move the baby in the high chair to look for this to that like I feel bad for her because clearly, she you know, she’s like, totally in trouble if she goes back without the tooth. And we’re looking around and here’s a complicating factor. So it’s a three year old’s partial tooth so it’s going to be small. We were eating on the patio of a Chinese restaurant. So there were little grains of white rice everywhere. Like fossilized, white rice that you know i’d like the fallen off of the table. You know, week prior or whatever. And so like she’s literally picking up all these pieces of rice being like, is this tooth? Does this look like a tooth and we’re like eating our lunch with our babies and we’re like, Look, lady, we’re gonna help you but like, we’re not getting on our hands and knees looking.

Shanna Micko 21:18
I forget. I forget what you said a couple minutes ago did she originally asked you guys to help her? Or?

Laura Birek 21:23
yeah, well, well, first she Well, here’s what happens. Like first she was just like, Can I look but the problem is there’s all these strollers and like high chairs and stuff. So she like she has to get our … like she can’t just like get it and look. So we all all of us are too nice. We’re like all looking on the ground for this stupid tooth. And then we didn’t find it unfortunately. Like and we’re just like, Look, she probably swallowed it or like spit it out somewhere else like, I’m sorry. And I just I felt so bad for this woman because like she clearly did not want to go home because I could tell she was like, I’m going to be in so much trouble.

Shanna Micko 22:00
That poor woman, and I just cannot stop thinking though Why do this? What are you going to do with a piece of a child’s tooth? Put it back on?

Laura Birek 22:10
Well, she kept sort of saying that she’s like, I don’t know why we need it. I don’t know idea but the mother says we need to get a I need to get it so I think like, she also thought it was kind of a stupid thing but she like got an earful from her daughter and was like, well, I either never see my granddaughter again. Or I come home with this partial tooth

Shanna Micko 22:29
I feel so bad for this lady. I mean, it’s not like when you accidentally chop off the tip of your pinky finger and you like preserve it on ice and take it to the hospital to get it put back on, you know,

Laura Birek 22:40
Yeah, that tooth isn’t coming back.

Shanna Micko 22:43
I guess maybe they wanted it for the tooth fairy. I don’t know.

Laura Birek 22:46
That’s what I thought, I was like, oh, maybe it’s the tooth fairy but I don’t think it was. I don’t know if anyone was really thinking rationally. I think there was a lot of high emotions.

Shanna Micko 22:56
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. This is just bizarre and hilarious and I feel really bad that that lady didn’t find that piece of the tooth amongst the white rice grains

Laura Birek 23:05
Hopefully they have dental insurance and the little girl gets some kind of cap or in the meantime but you know accidents happen I wanted to be like I wish I could have like talked to her daughter and be like you need to go easy on your mom like kids trip you know what I mean? Kids trip it happens but I don’t know why but do you think if your mom was watching your older daughter and she came back with like a chip like a tooth chipped in half would you be furious you think or you think or would you scour the ground?

Shanna Micko 23:40
It would not even occur to me to send my mom back to find that piece of tooth. It’s garbage at that point. But I am also a person who was freaked out just in general by my kids losing teeth, you know, like how they get loose and come out. I’m not into that either. So maybe that’s coloring my opinion of this story. Listeners tell us what you think what you think. What would you do in this situation?

Laura Birek 24:08
Please. Maybe maybe you’re a dentist and you know there’s a value to having the tooth so yes, please let us know. Yeah.

Shanna Micko 24:15
That’s a good one, Laura. Thanks for sharing.

Laura Birek 24:19
Well, shall we go brush our teeth and come back and talk about our ?

Shanna Micko 24:25
I think we should.

And we wrap up every show with our weekly BFPs and BFNs. Laura, what do you have for us this week?

Laura Birek 24:32
I actually have a BFP this week. Which is something else I learned about at mommy and me which I’m very excited about, which is the Manhattan toy. Do you know about these? Actually, I know you do. I’m just going to spoiler alert because I got one. And then I saw you had one. So

Shanna Micko 24:49
I have one what is which one? I don’t know. I have so many toys in my house.

Laura Birek 24:54
So the Manhattan toy is the one that’s like in the center. There’s like a cube that like has Like it’s like a rattle and then there’s all these like tubes multicolored tubes that are like arcing out of it. I think it’s I think this is my guess I haven’t researched this at all, but I thought it was called the Manhattan toy. Because it kind of looks like an atom like a diagram of an atom with the electron spinning around it. Like the Manhattan Project. Maybe I’m wrong. Okay, that’s my guess. But anyway, it’s so it’s so it rattles and it has these like silicone tubes that wrap around at different like lengths, so it creates a sort of little woven. I don’t know, nest of tubes.

Shanna Micko 25:33
Yes, I know which one you’re talking about now.

Laura Birek 25:35
Mm hmm. S like the babies can easily grab it. And it also doubles as a teether and you can put it in your fridge so that when they start teething, it’ll like help soothe them.

Shanna Micko 25:45
I did not know that. I’ll have to do that.

Laura Birek 25:47
I read the back of the box.

Shanna Micko 25:50
I never read instructions to anything.

Laura Birek 25:54
So but I got it. I thought we had to have a bunch at the mommy and me and the kids seem to really like it. So I went and ordered one on Amazon when it’s like about $12 right now on Amazon and we’ll put a link to that at bigfatpositivepodcast.com but it’s I got it and maybe he loves it like it’s just the right size for him to grasp and his little hands and it makes noise when he moves and he’s still not really good at controlling his arm movement so like it’s kind of fun for him he grabs it and then it moves and it makes noise and it surprises him and he likes bringing it up to his mouth and gnawing on it so it’s it’s just a fun toy and it’s very brightly colored it seems like one of those toys that just seems very tactile and like good for learning you know like good for learning dexterity and so yeah, I’m into it

Shanna Micko 26:41
Yeah. Any any toy that’s easy for their little fingers to grasp is really great at this age because like I said, I have so many toys in my house leftover from my first baby and I’ve set out a lot of stuff for her but I noticed that some stuff is just too advanced is too hard. She can’t she’s not to do with it can’t reach like this big Fancy wooden rattle you know Montessori rattle that we have or whatever but those kinds of things are really great and we also like one called the O-ball does anyone and yeah does anyone in your class have it it’s it’s like a little plastic ball it’s really really lightweight and it’s a lot of holes in it so their little fingers can grasp really easily so rattles a little bit

Laura Birek 26:41
Oh have to get one of those

Shanna Micko 26:44
O-Ball, it’s great for this age too. And of course Sophie the giraffe

Laura Birek 27:30
We have a Sophie I need to get it out of the closet we totally got a Sophie during like registry baby shower time and I we just haven’t brought it out. I need to get the Sophie out because I know he’d love it. Yeah, all the kids love Sophie.

Shanna Micko 27:43
Yeah, again because like the long neck is like a small enough handle for their little hand to go around. And then they love chewing on his little face and ears or her I guess Sophie’s a girl I don’t know what it’s

Laura Birek 27:54
gonna say. Interesting pronoun choice for Sophie. Fine, totally proggressive I love it.

Shanna Micko 28:01
Yeah, yeah, go either way. So anyway, so that’s a good one to five out there. Good. Good tips.

Laura Birek 28:06
All right. So what do you have a BFP? Or BFN?

Shanna Micko 28:09
So I have a BFN this week. Yeah, it’s it’s an incident that happened while I was walking to the store with my baby the other day, okay. And it was already a bad day, a rough day. I mean, I don’t want to say bad day, but I’ve just had a lot of rough days and not a lot of sleep lately. So the sleep deprivation is adding up.

Laura Birek 28:29
Mm hmm. It really is cumulative. Like it really does add up.

Shanna Micko 28:33
Yes. And this was the tail end of that two week sleep regression and it was just a terrible night and it was the end of the day probably around five 530 I usually take a little walk with the baby then so she can get one last little cat nap before bed so and have a long bad day. And we’re walking to Sprouts and I live in a suburban neighborhood

Laura Birek 28:51
Sprouts is like a like a hippy dippy grocery store. Like Whole Foods but smaller, right?

Shanna Micko 28:58
Yeah, and It’s relatively safe neighborhood. I’ve never seen anything weird, but I’m walking and as I’m walking pushing the stroller I’ve got my iPhone in my hand looking for a podcast to listen to. And I look over across the street and I see a man wearing all black across the street pass me and he just caught my eye and then I turned back to look at him cause he looked maybe a little bit sketchy just by himself all black just a vibe I got. And I looked back and he had stopped and he was staring at me.

Laura Birek 29:30
Oh, no, no, you’re giving me chills.

Shanna Micko 29:36
And I was like, Oh, my first thought was I am an absolutely vulnerable target right now. A woman, mom with the tiny baby and an expensive device in my hand. Like how easily could someone just come up and take that away from me because I’m not gonna chase them, not going to leave my baby. You know, it’s just basically like here have my thing, so I got really paranoid and I immediately put the phone away and started walking a little bit faster and I look back again and he was still standing there staring at me. So I’m like, Okay, my strategy now is to just look at him so much that he knows I see him because I feel like people like a sneak attack. Like, like I know about what people who attack other people do. I don’t know. Like,

Laura Birek 30:27
yes, those people

Shanna Micko 30:30
He’s got to know that I know. And I don’t like making eye contact with a freaky dude across the street, but no, and I look back a few more times I picked up my pace and finally he had turned and kept going the other way. I was like, Okay, good. But I was still really nervous. I’m like, God, that just makes me feel really weird walking around this neighborhood with my baby. And so I walked down, I went to the store, and I came out and there was a really sketchy looking guy in all black standing outside the store. smoking a cigarette,

Laura Birek 31:01
Different guy or same guy?

Shanna Micko 31:02
I don’t know, because I saw the first guy from such a distance like he was across the street, but kind of diagonal like a ways away. And I was just like, oh my god, oh my god is the same guy. He came back for me came back for me. And I was like, shit. And so I start walking away. And I’m like, No, Shanna, I think you’re probably just paranoid like your way sleep deprived. And maybe paranoia is a symptom or what’s not a symptom, a side effect, side effect of sleep deprivation, so like, be cool.

I was so cool, Laura, that I pulled up Oprah’s Soul Sunday podcast, which I’ve never listened to in my life. And I was like, This is what I need to listen to right now.

Laura Birek 31:32
Be cool, Shanna. Be cool.

Oprah tells you to listen to your gut.

Shanna Micko 31:47
She does. Mm hmm. So I’m listening to Soul Sunday, and I’m walking back and I get to the stoplight and I’m like, just keep looking over my shoulder. I keep looking over my shoulder. I’ve never been so paranoid in my life and I see a dude in all black cutting through the parking lot walking towards me and I was like, Oh my god, oh my god. I’m like antsy for the light to change. I took my headphones out. I’m like, I got to be able to hear you know, yeah, any attacks because that’s what you do when you’re like maybe going to be attacked. You need to like use your ears. Of course.

Laura Birek 32:18
Yeah. All your senses have has to be acutely attuned to any danger.

Shanna Micko 32:23
Absolutely. I had to make all senses available. So again, I like put the the headphones away, threw the phone down. So there was no indication that I had a device. And I walked home looking over my shoulder with like, my heart pounding in my stomach in knots. I looked over my shoulder probably like 15 times. Oh, even when like I didn’t see this guy anymore. I was like, What like, What if he’s hiding in the bushes? Like what if he’s hiding behind that car? And I’m like, I walked home really fast, really nervous at the end of like, you know, an already anxious day and was like, so everything was fine. Everything was fine. I didn’t get attacked. Okay, that’s

Laura Birek 32:57
That’s the end of the story? [laughs] I’m not laughing at you. I just say this, buddy. I totally feel you so good. No, but tell me everything was fine.

Shanna Micko 33:13
Everything was fine. I didn’t get friggin attacked

Laura Birek 33:16
You still have your phone.

Shanna Micko 33:17
I still had my phone and I was like wow, I’m really sleep deprived. I kind of felt like I was seeing things you know like I in retrospect I don’t think it was that like

Laura Birek 33:28
why is everyone wearing black?

Shanna Micko 33:30
Yes I don’t think it was the same guy in retrospect I think it was just a bunch of sketchy looking guys wearing black in my neighborhood

Laura Birek 33:38
I thought it was gonna be like they were part of some church or something or like they all work like it turns out the Sprouts employees have to wear all black.

Shanna Micko 33:48
Oh, yeah, I wish

Laura Birek 33:49
Well, I it sounds like I’m laughing at you. But I’m not because I want to tell you I had basically the exact same experience a couple weeks ago

Shanna Micko 33:58

Laura Birek 33:58
Yeah. So I put my baby in like the Moby wrap and decided we were going to walk to Starbucks and this must have been this was over a month ago because this was one of our one of our, like, first outings where it was just me and the baby walking, like a further distance. Starbucks was about a mile away. So I was like, I’ll do it involves a little bit of hills. So I was like, I’m going to go, I’m going to listen to my podcast, you know, catch up on my podcasts and go, and I got to the Starbucks. And there was a guy who was like, clearly a person who was between homes or not having a home at the moment, and that in and of itself, I try to be very like open minded, because I know in LA County homelessness is like just a giant problem. And like, I don’t want to jump to conclusions about people I see who are living on the street, but he, there was this he was like standing by the entrance to Starbucks and he kind of like made eye contact with me and I just trying to be like, you know, treat him like any other person, but then he like turned him turning to face me. Like and the way it worked is that like, I had to like walk down to the crosswalk and walk back. He had to Starbucks and I actually like, saw him from across the street and I’d like noticed him and thought he looked kind of, you know, like, he was like, looking at me very intently. And then when I walked up, he like, like, basically was following me into the Starbucks. And then when I came back out, he was doing kind of the same thing. Like he was like, focusing on me. And I was so paranoid because I was suddenly like, you know, they say like, it’s like, it’s such a fucking cliche, but like mama bear mode, you know, like, I’m just like, like, I just need to protect my baby and I’m just like, you’re so vulnerable because like, it’s me with this baby on my chest. I’m on foot. You know, like, it’s, I have nothing to protect me and I’m about to walk home alone down like, a pretty you know, it was bright daylight…

Shanna Micko 35:54
Hey weirdo. Let me show you where I live

Laura Birek 35:56
Yeah, exactly. Of course, the direction. I was walking. was like very like chi-chi South Pasadena like these gigantic houses and I’m but you know but also that means that there’s no one on the street usually so I’m like oh god i’m going to be all alone on the street so I when I went down to the crosswalk he was still watching me and then I like walked across the street he like kept looking over and I kept I did the same exact thing I just kept like looking over me like I see you and then I like walk home really fast and was super paranoid and like constantly looking over my shoulder. In retrospect I think either he was just like either uses like mentally ill and just was looking at me you know what I mean? Like looking at me because I’ve got a baby with me. You know, and babies are interesting maybe or, or he was like going to ask for something like food or money or something. But it was so disconcerting and then I and then I go into my like, liberal guilt spiral where I’m like, I was, you know, I was prejudiced against him because he’s homeless. And you know, I’m so such a bad person. I thought that he was going to attack me and nothing happened. And you can’t win.

Shanna Micko 36:21
You can’t win, although I will say I felt a little bit vindicated, vindicated today because I was driving home down the same street. I was walking the other day, and I saw a guy in all black and he I saw him much closer. It was that almost the same area. I saw this dude the other day. Yeah. And he just looked, he looked scary. He looked. He looked messed up. I don’t know, in what way drugs, something. But he close up when I could see him more close up. He felt scary. And I was really glad that like I had that gut instinct, just like walk away like move away from him. And I felt like well, maybe it wasn’t 100% paranoia the other day, you know?

Laura Birek 37:42
Yeah, that’s, like I said, Oprah. I still remember. I don’t know if you watched the Oprah show when it was on the air.

Shanna Micko 37:49

Laura Birek 37:49
I watched it every day when I could. When DVRs came out. I literally like that was the first thing I put on my DVR and watch it every day after work. But uh, she I remember she had episodes about, like people being kidnapped, I think here and there. And she was always like, experts say you have to trust your gut, you have to trust your gut. Like, if only you had trusted your gut, you wouldn’t have gotten like, shoved into the trunk of the car and like taken away or whatever she was talking about. And so that always like, stayed with me. But then at the same time, I know that we have all this implicit bias, where like, even if we try not to, our gut sometimes warns us against people just because we have implicit bias against certain types of people. Right? You don’t you know, they mean like I see a, someone who looks very clearly like disheveled and homeless. And my bias is telling me that guy’s more dangerous than like the clean cut guy sitting at the table in Starbucks, which very well could not be true, right? Like, you don’t know who is actually dangerous.

Shanna Micko 38:54
I mean, I’ve watched Dexter I know. A clean cut dudes could be dangerous.

That’s a documentary about real life. You know what? It’s true. I mean, think about all those serial killers who were like, what was it Ted Bundy who was like really good looking? And yeah, you know, clean cut guy anyway, the point is that it’s such a struggle. But I think as long as you’re not hurting anyone, like, you know, I think the problem is that when it you know, especially when it comes to like, racial bias, like people who call 911 just because there’s like a black person in their neighborhood, you know, that’s where trusting your gut is bad. That’s when it hurts someone else because you’re, you’re actually like impacting their life by acting on this gut feeling because your implicit bias tells you that something’s wrong with them, even when there’s not right. But, just walking faster watching your back, you know, it may be rude and I know like, I don’t know about you, I hate like being perceived as being rude. But I have to like fight that because it’s like, I don’t it doesn’t matter if I’m rude to a stranger if I feel like I’m being safe, you know, right and then especially with the baby.

And it also brings up the issue of how as women it’s much more common for us to feel unsafe. If Steve we’re walking the baby would have even noticed that guy would that guy have even stopped and looked at him they just don’t have those kinds of problems like who recently was like saying something like, oh, like a stand up comedy show Amy Schumer or something? She’s like, Guys, don’t you know that women were taught to walk home with keys in between their fingers like they’re brass knuckles hot and all the women are like, Oh, yeah, and I was like, Oh, yeah, obviously. And Steve was like, What?

Laura Birek 40:27
Oh Steve didn’t know that?

Shanna Micko 40:28
No, he had no idea I was like, Oh, yeah, like literally walking anywhere at night like in your 20s as a woman alone. It’s like on edge hundred percent.

Laura Birek 40:37
A little like Wolverine claw with your with your key eyes. Yeah, I think all of our listeners we should all go and ask our partners if we if we have male partners if they know about that. Yeah, I was surprised he didn’t know about that. I was like, yeah, that’s common knowledge. Hello, but no name really isn’t

Interesting. Well, I’m so glad that it you know, even though it was scary that everything’s okay. So

Shanna Micko 40:59
yeah, and Same with you. Same with you. Let’s just be vigilant when we walk alone with our babies and still try to enjoy our neighborhoods.

Laura Birek 41:07
Yeah. Our To be fair, very safe neighborhoods.

Shanna Micko 41:11
Yes. Yeah, exactly.

Laura Birek 41:12
We’re lucky.

Shanna Micko 41:14
Anyway, I think that’s it for this week. What do you think Laura?

Laura Birek 41:17
Yeah, let’s wrap it up. I’m tired.

Shanna Micko 41:20
Me too! Alright, everyone, thank you so much for tuning in. We love you guys so much. If you have anything to add to the conversation, please reach out. We’d love to hear from you.