Ep. 75: The Living Nightmare of Daylight Savings

December 9, 2019

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Shanna reports on how the end of Daylight Savings Time has turned her children into maniacs, and Laura talks about her baby’s impressive new climbing skills. Also, they discuss some hilariously terrifying parenting situations in this week’s special segment, “Gripe Water.” Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is 11 months old, and Laura’s baby is 10 months old.




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Episode Transcript


Laura Birek: Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. This week we have our weekly check-ins. We have our special segment, Gripe Water, where we complain about some seriously terrifying situations and we close with our BFPs and BFNs for the week. Let’s get to it.


Laura Birek: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the show. This is episode 75. Shanna, hello.

Shanna Micko: Hi.

Laura Birek: How are you doing? Tell me what’s going on with you guys this week?

Shanna Micko:
I feel like a drained, crazy, exhausted, stressed woman.

Laura Birek: That sounds fun.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, that’s fun. Well, you know the time change happened this weekend.

Laura Birek: It did. We’re recording in the past, listeners.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: Or maybe they’re in the future. Whoa.

Shanna Micko: They’re in the future. Maybe we’re just in a different dimension.

Laura Birek: What?

Shanna Micko: I don’t know.

Laura Birek: Yes, but the time change did happen.

Shanna Micko: It did. Daylight Savings Times ended and we live in California, so this affects us and it pisses me off.

Laura Birek: Yep.

Shanna Micko: Every year I just hated. I grew up in Arizona where I never had to endure this crap and I moved here and I was like, wait, why is it all of a sudden getting dark at like 4:45 p. m. now? So I already hated it. Now that I have kids, Laura, this is your first year with a baby and the time change, it’s a nightmare. Am I right?

Laura Birek: Fuck Daylight Savings Time. That’s all I have to say. Oh my God. What an actual cluster fuck.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, it really is. Not only does it get dark so damn early. It totally messes with bedtime and nap times. Like my family’s been getting up at the five o’clock hour in the morning for the last several days and it’s making everyone just like absolutely wild maniacs.

Laura Birek: Because they don’t know that the government has decided there’s some arbitrary day where you move the clocks back. They’re just like, well, this is when I get up. Then you have to be like, well, no, but mommy and daddy have to go to work at the same time as every other freaking week. So that means we have to go to bed earlier and they’re like, why?

Shanna Micko: No, they totally don’t get it.

Laura Birek: It’s awful.

Shanna Micko: It’s so awful. So that was just like the kick start to the week and then I am going to report that CeCe’s pterodactyl scream is back. If you recall, she has had this charming personality quirk since she was born really and it is back and it is insane how loud and ear piercing it is. Like if she’s disgruntled and she wants to go one direction, I pick her up, it’s just like, I’m not going to do it now, because I don’t want to destroy your eardrums. But it stresses me out so much and puts knots in my stomach.

Laura Birek: It is voluminous. I’m not going to lie. She has some real lungs on her. It’s impressive. I’m surprised it went away and came back. It’s like she forgot she could do it and then she’s like, oh, wait. It’s Daylight Savings week. What else could I do?

Shanna Micko: Yeah, exactly. She’s feeling kind of disrupted and then she did that and was like, oh, that’s cool. It made her feel good. Anyways, so that’s back. Then I had a day the other day and I actually saw you for lunch this day and I was a frazzled mess when I came to lunch late, because I had been to the doctor with CeCe that morning to check on her ear infection and the doctor looked in her ear and was like, “The left ear looks great,” and looked in the other one was like, “I can’t see the eardrum, because there’s so much ear wax in here.” I was like, “What?” She’s like, “We need to get a nurse in to clean this out.” That’s not fun. Okay. Let me tell you, this is not a fun thing to endure with your 11 month old. She’s 11 months old. I don’t know if I mentioned that.

Laura Birek: No, wasn’t it her 11 month birthday this week?

Shanna Micko: Yes, so she is 11 months now, which is wild.

Laura Birek: That’s so fun. But back to the ear wax.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God. So the nurse comes in with like a giant spray bottle that you would use to clean your home and this tube attached to it. She’s like, “Just lay the baby down,” and tried to squirt this shit in her ear.

Laura Birek: No problem.

Shanna Micko: Of course. Yeah, no problem. CeCe is pterodactyl screaming, crying, wriggling and the nurse is like, “Well, I need more help.” She had to leave, come back, bring another doctor. She’s like, “Anyone who’s available.” She pulled in another doctor to hold her head. I held her legs and body and this nurse squirted this squirt bottle in her ear and I’m just seeing like chunks of ear wax fall out.

Laura Birek:
Oh, well that’s satisfying though.

Shanna Micko: That was satisfying.

Laura Birek: Maybe people think that’s gross, but I’m a picker. That would’ve made my day.

Shanna Micko: I am not a picker. That grosses me up, but for some reason I was very happy to see that. At least I felt like the torture was worth it and oh God, CeCe’s just so upset. Then I had to wait for my doctor to come back in. So we had to wait like another 20 minutes. She looked in the ear and she’s like, “It’s fine.” I was like, “Okay, cool. Well, bye,” and ran to lunch late.

Laura Birek: Can I tell you something that will probably piss you off that my mom just taught me?

Shanna Micko: What?

Laura Birek: She came over with her otoscope recently, because you know she’s a doctor and she just has these things. She always comes over with like her fancy stethoscope that’s Bluetooth enabled.

Shanna Micko: She’s so lucky. Oh my God. What?

Laura Birek: Yeah, it records. It can record heartbeats and lung sounds and then can send it to your phone. Although she doesn’t quite remember how to do it ever. So we just listen. But it also amplifies the sound like digitally, so you can hear it really loud. It’s very cool.

Shanna Micko: Cool.

Laura Birek: Then she brings her otoscope to look in his ears and his eyes and so she brought it over, because he had had that ear infection and I’m always worried, because he had no symptoms of the ear infection. So when she’s in town, I’m like, “Bring your otoscope.” So she brought it and she looked in his ears and she’s like, “You know what? There’s a lot of wax in here I can barely see. But that’s a good sign, because usually if there’s that much wax, it means there’s no ear infection, because the heat from an ear infection melts the wax.”

Shanna Micko: What?

Laura Birek: I have no idea if this is like older doctor experience or if that even holds true. But she was like, “Yeah, I wouldn’t worry about it. Usually, if there’s a big ear infection in an ear, you won’t see a lot of wax, because it’s melted away.”

Shanna Micko: Okay. Well, the doctor could have used that method on CeCe instead of shooting her up with a bathroom cleaner sized sprayer.

Laura Birek: To be fair, that might be like, we don’t have any other reason to suspect it and I’m not going to bother cleaning out your baby’s ear type medicine. Not like the actual go to the doctor type medicine, but there you have it.

Shanna Micko: Fascinating. Very interesting.

Laura Birek: Lunch was delicious though.

Shanna Micko: Lunch was delicious and fun. But one little thing to add to this day is, for some reason on top of all this, I was like, it’s a great day for me to go pick up my three year old early from preschool and we can have a girl’s day together the rest of the afternoon. I’m drained thinking about how this day turned out.

Laura Birek: I love your optimism though. You’re like, I’m really tired. I just had to wrestle my pterodactyl screaming baby for no reason and now I’m going to add an almost four year old on top of it.

Shanna Micko: It started off fine. She was very happy to see me and we went to Mac & Cheese and got some ice cream and Elle started acting a little weird. Then I was like, “Let’s go to the library.” We went to the library and I swear that this is all because of the damn time change. It’s getting dark, but we’re trying to have a good time at the library and it just turns into complete chaos. There’s kids playing with the blocks in the kids’ area and Elle was like, “Why isn’t that kid sharing with me?” I was like, “I don’t know. I guess that kid just doesn’t want to share.” I said that out loud passively aggressively so the mom could hear, but the mom’s not doing anything. Then CeCe has a ginormous poop, which is fine, but I didn’t bring any diaper bag into the library. So I had to drag both kids out to the parking lot, change her in the trunk while Elle is scaring the shit out of me running around the car. I’m like, “Skip back here. We’re in a parking lot.” Then we get back into the library and CeCe wants to crawl away out of the kids’ area and I’m like, “No, no, come here.” All I do is gently pick her up to redirect her and she does the pterodactyl scream in my ear, the whole library is looking over at me, I’m like hot sweating so embarrassed by this. Then Elle for some reason just decides she needs to spit on the library floor couple times.

Laura Birek: Oh, no.

Shanna Micko: I’m like, “What are you doing? Just don’t do that.” Then I go check out the books and she spits on the floor right in front of the librarian and I’m like, “Oh my God, do you have a tissue?” I had to wipe up the spit off the floor with the tissue, CeCe’s crying and then Elle just gets on her hands and feet and crab walks backwards out of the library and I’m like, what is going on?

Laura Birek: Like, she’s from the ringer or something.

Shanna Micko: Yes, exactly. I’ve never been so happy to get the hell out of a place before. I just felt like every eye was on me and I felt like I was just failing as a mom to keep the shit together with these kids. That’s the kind of week I’ve had.

Laura Birek: That sounds like a lot. It also sounds like you actually handled it quite well despite…

Shanna Micko: Aww, thanks.

Laura Birek: No, really you were still trying to gently redirect instead of just being like, I’m picking you up. You know what I mean?

Shanna Micko: True.

Laura Birek:
I think you did your best and I’m sure the girls actually probably had fun.

Shanna Micko: I think they did. They loved the library. I don’t know what I would do if I was a stay at home mom with both the girls all the time. My mom is a hero for taking care of me and my brother. They’re wonderful. I love my kids to death, but wow. You get them together sometimes, especially after a time change and it is just slightly traumatizing.

Laura Birek: What’s the age difference between you and your brother?

Shanna Micko: Three years. Same.

Laura Birek: Oh, so it’s exactly the same.

Shanna Micko: Or less.

Laura Birek: Your mom is really great.

Shanna Micko: I know. She really is. I love her. Anyway, enough about me. What about you? How has the time change affected you guys? How old’s your baby? What’s going on?

Laura Birek: So my baby is 10 months old this week.

Shanna Micko: Woo-hoo.

Laura Birek: He did not love that time change either. He just was waking up around 5:00 a. m., which is to be expected. Here’s the main problem though, I was trying to be really organized about it and push his bed times later and later and later so that we could have him on the actual schedule and I actually almost got there. But then Corey and I had a date night planned for his birthday and I didn’t want to have to have someone else, in this case, it was my mother-in-law do the whole bedtime routine, because it’s a lot. It’s the bath and the singing and all that stuff.

Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah.

Laura Birek: It’s just easier if we do the bedtime routine and we were going to go see a show. We were going to Mike Birbiglia’s, the New One, which by the way, I think you can watch on Netflix now. By the time this episode comes out, it should be on Netflix, because I looked it up and I highly recommend it, because it’s about his wife having a baby and it’s really funny and very relatable. I do think that our listeners would find it very relatable. So the show started at eight and it’s about 15 minutes away. So I was like, perfect. He usually goes to bed seven o’clock, we can do the whole bedtime routine and then my mother-in-law can just be watching the monitor and chilling out and we don’t have to worry about her wrestling him in the bath and all that stuff. But then I was like, oh crap, if our little pushing the wake times later is working out that means she would have to do it.

Shanna Micko: Right.

Laura Birek: I made an executive decision and I was like, I think it would be worse to have someone else do his routine, because when we’ve done that and it’s happened. He ends up not falling asleep as well and it’s traumatizing for everyone, because he’s crying. For us, we know to do the pop-ins and stuff, but it’s a lot to ask the grandmas to listen to the baby crying. It’s not in their nature. My mom does not let it happen and I know that for a fact. She will go in and swoop in and pick him up and bring him out to watch Sesame Street or Jeopardy or something.

Shanna Micko: What? All the sleep training?

Laura Birek: Yeah, I know. Anyway, I made the decision we’ll just put him to bed at like 7:15 and then go to our show, which we did and that worked out great. But then he wasn’t on a new schedule. He’s just been waking up early this week. What are you going to do? I don’t have a job to go to, so it’s not as big of a deal I guess. All these people on the internet were like, “Yay, an extra hour of sleep.” I was like, “You clearly don’t have kids.” I used to be that person. No shade. I know I used to love that extra hour of sleep, but not my reality anymore. So yes, that affected us for sure. Otherwise this week, my baby is on the go. He is climbing over everything.

Shanna Micko: Cool.

Laura Birek: So he’s been crawling for a while, but his new thing is that he’s learning how to climb and when I say climb, I mean he’s learning how to rock climb out of his yes space.

Shanna Micko: Oh my gosh. You have a climber.

Laura Birek: Did I send you a picture of this? He will get handholds at the top of the gate and we have these gates that are kind of lattice, so he can get his hands up in it. At first I was like, he’s just reaching up, but then he managed to pull himself up, like pull up style and get a little toehold and I’m like, “Felicia, he’s going to get over this thing.” So now I have to watch him really closely. I don’t even know if the yes space is worth it anymore.

Shanna Micko: Oh, no.

Laura Birek: I didn’t think he’d go vertical before he went horizontal. He’s not close to walking. He’ll let go and hover for like two or three seconds for standing, but that’s it. He doesn’t even really push the little walker that much. He can, but he’s not that interested in it. But yeah, he is going to be a rock climber before he is a walker apparently.

Shanna Micko: Which also means he might climb out of that crib.

Laura Birek: Well, here’s the thing. The crib has vertical slats and he is in a sleep sack.

Shanna Micko: That’s trickier for sure.

Laura Birek: It’s definitely trickier and that’s part of the reason I’m keeping the sleep sack and also I think he hasn’t realized he can try. Maybe it’s because the vertical slats, but he’s just barely realized he can stand up in the crib and I’m keeping it that way. I’m not encouraging him. But woof, I don’t know what I’d do if he crawls out of the crib.

Shanna Micko: I guess transition him to the toddler bed.

Laura Birek: Oh my God.

Shanna Micko: I remember Elle climbed out of the crib once and flopped on the ground and never did it again. She learned her lesson. She was like, that sucks and stayed in her crib for a long time. Thank God.

Laura Birek: We have hardwood floors around his crib. Part of me thinks we should start putting some spare pillows around.

Shanna Micko: Huh? Yeah.

Laura Birek: But anyway, so that’s fun. I’m proud of him for being so physical but also terrified. Then the other thing we did this week that was really fun is we went to the aquarium.

Shanna Micko: Ooh. Awesome. In Long Beach?

Laura Birek: Yeah.

Shanna Micko: I’ve never been there.

Laura Birek: My mother-in-law lives in Long Beach and part of her gift for Corey’s birthday was that she wanted to take us all to the aquarium. I had never been there either. It’s so fun. It’s the aquarium of the Pacific and it’s huge. Oh my God, my baby freaking loved it.

Shanna Micko: Aww.

Laura Birek: Every bit of it, he was into it. His thing right now is that if he sees something he likes, he puts his little arm out and just goes, “Ah, ah.” He was just doing that to everything and then he would look the other direction and would be like, “Eh, eh.” It was so freaking cute.

Shanna Micko: Aww, cute.

Laura Birek: We got to see all the fish. We saw sharks, we saw manta rays, we saw penguins. It was really fun. He really liked the otter. There was an otter show. They weren’t doing tricks. But the aquarium workers, I don’t know, they’re not zookeepers. I don’t know what you’d call them, but they were feeding the otters and he was really into that. So it was fun. We didn’t get to stay too long, because he doesn’t have a very long shelf life when it comes to staying awake. But it was really, really fun to go down there and I’m so glad we did it.

Shanna Micko: Cool. That’s inspiring me to go down there. I’m just so intimidated by the length of the drive. I feel like it’s an out of town adventure. I need to stay the night down there or something.

Laura Birek: Well, for you especially, you’re an extra 30 minutes probably away from there. For us, it’s kind of a quick trip down our freeway that doesn’t have a lot of traffic and because Corey’s mom is there, it gives us a lot of extra incentive to go down. One of us sat in the backseat with the baby and he wasn’t super jazzed about the drive. We tried to time it so that he’d sleep on the way back and it kind of worked. He slept a little bit. But my way of thinking about it, I try to remind myself that schedules are good and he thrives on a predictable schedule. 

But also there are special days and this was one of those special days. So we kind of pushed his wake window a little bit and he was a little grumpy in the car, but it was all, because we were doing something special and fun with grandma and for dad’s birthday.

Shanna Micko: Cool. That’s so fun.

Laura Birek: Anyway, do you want to take a break real quick and then we’ll come back with our very special segment?

Shanna Micko: Let’s do it.


Shanna Micko: We’re back and this week’s special segment is Gripe Water where Laura and I share our gripes about parenting babies, what have you. Laura, what’s been really eating at you lately?

Laura Birek: I’m so glad we get to talk about this, because I’ve been wanting a venue to complain about this for ages ever since I had my freaking baby. My gripe is babies crying in TV commercials.

Shanna Micko: Okay. Tell me more.

Laura Birek: I only get to watch TV when the baby’s asleep. We don’t do screen time and so when the baby’s napping, I’ll maybe throw the TV on, or definitely after the baby’s gone to bed for the night, Corey and I will relax into our couch and finally have some quality time watching our favorite television shows. I’ve noticed now, I never noticed before that there are a lot of commercials that include the sound of babies crying and when you are listening carefully to the fucking baby monitor trying to make sure your baby isn’t crying, they are very confusing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been like, “Wait, is that… Oh no, that’s on the TV.” Now I’ll just be like, “Wait,” and Corey will be like, “On the TV.” So I have a couple examples here I’m going to play. Listeners, just so you know, I’m not screwing you over. This is on your podcast. This is not your baby monitor. This is an Amazon commercial.

Amazon commercial: You good? Yeah. Alexa, turn it up. Here’s your reminder. Laura says the teething ring is in the freezer.

Shanna Micko: Oh, God.

Laura Birek: Also, this is a really rude commercial, because it’s all about some woman named Laura is using her Amazon Alexa or Echo or whatever the hell they’re call to tell her husband how to parent their baby. Corey saw it and was like, “I feel targeted by this commercial.” So there’s that one. That was a short one and then there’s also this Whirlpool one.

Whirlpool commercial: [Advert music]

Laura Birek: Then it goes on to talk about how the Whirlpool fucking washer dryer is really great for babies.

Shanna Micko: I have to say though, the strategy of getting the parents’ attention to look at that commercial.

Laura Birek: True. That has to be why. They’re like, they are tuned in to baby cries. They will pay attention to this commercial.

Shanna Micko: Yep.

Laura Birek: I’m always turning the monitor on to see it. I will also say that I don’t know if it’s just because I’m hypersensitive and I would love to hear from listeners about this because in addition to actual babies crying in commercials and shows and movies and stuff, I have discovered that when you’re watching sports, the cheers and stuff in the background from the crowd sound a lot like a baby’s cry. I want to know if I’m hallucinating or if I’m just looking for it, because I feel like I get auditory hallucinations. Especially when the baby wasn’t sleeping, like when we were doing up every two hours, I would get auditory hallucinations of the baby crying. The white noise would mix with my brain and I would just hear things that weren’t there. So maybe that’s what’s going on, but I want to know.

Shanna Micko: Sorry. Go ahead.

Laura Birek: No, I just want to know if other people are having the same problem.

Shanna Micko: Well, I think that some, I don’t know about sports specifically, because I don’t watch very many sports, but I know that like when I’m listening to music or something, there will be a certain note or a certain right tone that kind of matches the tone of the baby’s cry. So there must be something like that too in the sports crowd that’s right there in that range that hits that same tone and makes you perk up, because I have definitely done that. We’ll be watching TV or something, I’ll be like, “Oh my God,” look at the monitor and it’s like, nope, nope, nope. That was just in the shower or in the song or whatever.

Laura Birek: I’m not the one watching the sports generally, so I’ll be like off puttering around cleaning up the kitchen or doing my own thing and that’s even worse, because you’re not paying attention. Then you’re like, wait, what? Who’s that? I don’t think non-parents understand the adrenaline spike you get.

Shanna Micko: No, I sure didn’t before I had kids.

Laura Birek: It’s a mix of emotions. It’s like disappointment, especially if it’s only been like 15 minutes.

Shanna Micko: Oh God, yes. Terrible.

Laura Birek: No one can explain to you how devastating it is to have a baby start crying like 15 minutes after they’ve gone down for their nap until you’ve experienced it.

Shanna Micko: I shudder to think. That’s not cool.

Laura Birek: Even if they’re auditory hallucinations, I’m still mad at them. Okay. That feels so good to get off my chest.

Shanna Micko: Shake it off.

Laura Birek: Woo. Shake it off. Shake it up. That’s one of the songs on our baby dance party playlist, so we listen to it.

Shanna Micko: Oh, fun.

Laura Birek: All right. Shanna, now that I am cleansed, would you like to share your gripe with us?

Shanna Micko: Yes, definitely. So you know I like to go walking around the neighborhood a lot with CeCe and her little pink car and really there’s no parks near us, so we just kind of walk around the shopping center.

Laura Birek: The amazing shopping center that I’m always jealous of.

Shanna Micko: There are a lot of stores to walk in and out of and so this is kind of twofold. First, the time change has really fucked us here again, because we used to walk at the end of the day before the sun went down. I’d walk at like five, kind of that witching hour where we’re really bored. So now we have to walk earlier and earlier. I discovered that when I walk around three o’clock, which is kind of prime time for the walk now, the high school that’s nearby just a couple blocks away from my beloved shopping center has just released its students. They overflow my shopping center, which is fine and I think part of my gripe is at myself. I’m angry how disturbed I am by being flooded by kind of cool looking high school kids that make me feel old. I think that might be a lot of it. They walk in packs, they’re walking home, they all wear dark clothes, neutral clothes. There’s just no chill about me and CeCe walking in this pink car, she’s all bundled up for winter with this like pink hat.

Laura Birek: Oh my God. That has to be adorable.

Shanna Micko: It is adorable and I love walking her around and showing her off when it’s not high school let out time, because the older crowd, the Boomers, the grandparents love this. They all smile at her and I’m just like, yeah, that’s my cute baby. But the high schoolers walk by and they do not care about my cute baby. I’m wearing a pink beanie hat. I’m walking my girl in a pink car and her pink outfit. It’s just too much and I just start feeling so self-aware and I’m just like, God, I’m not cool. I’m so damn old.

Laura Birek: It totally triggers all your insecurities from high school again.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God. I’m like, why aren’t these high school kids paying attention to me and gugu-gaing over my baby. So I think a lot of my gripe is not even about the kids, because I love high school kids. Actually, I taught high school kids at SATP Prep School for like 11 years and so I don’t hold a lot of the stereotypes that I think some people do about young kids and stuff, because I’ve really seen like that they are amazing. But those stereotypes are kind of coming back now. As I walk around I’m like, too cool, so grumpy or they’re going to be causing trouble in my neighborhood. I’m like, Shanna, you’re an old lady. I just feel like an old lady basically in every way.

Laura Birek: I understand. This totally reminds me. Do you know that John Mulaney bit where he talks about how 13 year olds are the scariest people in the world?

Shanna Micko: Yes, I forgot that. Could we play a clip of that?

Laura Birek: Yes, we can. Let me pull it up. It’s from his special New in Town, which I’m sure you can watch on the internet or Netflix or somewhere. Just look it up. Also, if you don’t know who John Mulaney is, he’s freaking hilarious. Great comic.

Shanna Micko: Love him.

Laura Birek: But he has a spit that I think of every time I see a group of high schoolers or middle schoolers ready. Here we go.

John Mulaney: 13 year olds are the meanest people in the world. They terrify me to this day. If I’m on the street on like a Friday at 3:00 p.m. and I see a group of eighth graders on one side of the street, I will cross to the other side of the street, because eighth graders will make fun of you, but in an accurate way.

Shanna Micko: Oh, John, I feel so seen.

Laura Birek: You’re not the only one, Shanna.

Shanna Micko: He even says three o’clock. That is the hour.

Laura Birek: That is the hour they’re all free. I remember that feeling. You’re like, I’m free from school. I’m going to fuck shit up.

Shanna Micko: I really think he hit the nail on the head with they’ll make fun of you for anything. That’s what I feel like. I’m just a prime target for being made fun of by cool young kids, like old frumpy mom walking her girl all gender biased in a little pink car. I was so self-conscious and I hate that I am. I just hate it.

Laura Birek: I know. Look, I feel the exact same way. The reason I remember that clip when you mentioned this topic is because I think about it every time I see a pack of kids, because I’m like, they’re judging me. It’s so weird how I’m fucking 37 years old and I don’t think I care. That’s the thing. 

If an adult came up to me and was like, I don’t like your clothes, I’d be like, I don’t care. But a 13 year old, I’d be like, my mom picked them out.

Shanna Micko: I think it did, because it kind of brings us back to when we were younger and maybe I was not the coolest, but I wasn’t the worst as far as cool goes. But I had those insecure moments in junior high and high school and stuff. So it kind of brings you back to there and reminds you now of how old you are. It’s very mixed emotions.

Laura Birek: I totally agree. I totally understand. I also think we might have to share pictures of ourselves from middle school on our Instagram and let our listeners judge how cool we were.

Shanna Micko: I have such a classic sixth grade picture. It is bananas. Embarrassing.

Laura Birek: Is that the one with the bangs?

Shanna Micko: Yeah.

Laura Birek: I’ve seen this one. It’s good.

Shanna Micko: This is in the glasses. My glasses took up about 75% of my face. They were so fucking big.

Laura Birek: They’re probably cool again though. I feel like everything from that era is now like hip and in again.

Shanna Micko: That’s true. There is that. Anyway, maybe we’ll share those, but that’s fine.

Laura Birek: Keep an eye on our Instagram, listeners.

Shanna Micko: Yes, okay. I feel better too.

Laura Birek: Well, I think you should confront these children, because you’re cool. You have a popular podcast on parenting.

Shanna Micko: Oh my goodness. All right. Should you take a break and move on to the BFPs and BFNs?

Laura Birek: Let’s do it.


Laura Birek: We’re back for our big fat positive or big fat negatives of the week. Shanna, do you have a BFP or a BFN for us?

Shanna Micko: I have a BFP.

Laura Birek: Yay.

Shanna Micko: Yay. So despite all of the chaos of the week, something really adorable has started happening in my house and I just love it. It’s so cute. So we have an upright piano. Steve surprised me with a piano for Christmas when we first moved into the house. I grew up playing the piano. Not great or anything, but I learned to read music and play piano and really enjoyed it as a little side hobby and so we got one and it’s mostly stood ignored in our house the last few years just because we’ve been so busy and everything. But lately, CeCe has been toddling over to the piano and playing the piano and it’s so cute. She’s so curious about it. She looks up, she reaches up her fat little hand and sticks it up on the keys and taps it and she gets so excited and then she turns her head and looks at me with an excited face. I’m like, “Yay, you’re playing the piano.” It’s so cute her first introduction to musical instrument that maybe she’ll play when she’s older.

Laura Birek: She’s doing it on her own volition, which is very cool.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: She’s crawling over. It’s not like you’re sitting down with her and she’s just banging on the keys. She’s choosing to go play the piano.

Shanna Micko: That’s what’s so cute about it. Occasionally, we will sit there and do it together. But specifically what really brings me joy is when she discovers it on her own and taps the keys and everything and in general that’s just brought more attention to the piano. Elle has shown more interest in it and she’ll sit down and tap stuff out and she’s becoming less of the just bang on the keys kind of thing and she’s doing stuff with a little more intention and she likes to sing along and it’s so sweet and cute and I’ve gotten out the old music. You gave me a bunch of old piano music.

Laura Birek: I found that my mom gave me a box of old stuff and inside there was just a massive pile of totally random sheet music. But I don’t have a piano. I don’t have room for a piano. I am intensely jealous of your piano, because I would love to have a piano in the house. Same light as you. I grew up playing it not well, but well enough to read music and learn some songs and still to this day I can read the music and sort of tinker along with it and if I had a piano, I think I would play it a lot. So I wish we had a room. We just have nowhere to put it. It’s hard in a small house.

Shanna Micko: Well, maybe one day you guys can, because it is a really nice thing. So I got out a book of music that you gave us to kind of learn the piano and there’s little songs and Elle’s like, “What’s that? What’s the music notes? What’s that song?” I play it for her and she’s amazed that I can do this. It just makes me feel real good about myself.

Laura Birek: Magical skill.

Shanna Micko: Steve can play the piano. He’s very musical, but he doesn’t read notes. I can kind of cold read a little easy song and he can’t do that. 

Sorry, Steve, I’m not throwing you under the bus. It’s just is what it is. So she asked him to do this and he was kind of tinkering, couldn’t figure it out. She’s like, “No, daddy, no. Mama, you come do it. You come do it.” That was a high point in my week.

Laura Birek: Anytime your child chooses you over your partner.

Shanna Micko: I felt so good about that. Good about my choice in life to learn music when I was a child, learned to read. So it’s all really fun. Speaking of your old random music, one of my favorite things in that stack is a book of eighties TV show theme songs.

Laura Birek: No, you’re kidding. Oh my God.

Shanna Micko: It’s so hilarious, like moonlighting theme song and stuff. I don’t know if I’ll ever play that, but I’m not throwing this away.

Laura Birek: Please don’t. I want to get a piano. I will hope that someday we can get one. The nice thing is there is a little store down the street that does music classes that actually my neighbor owns and so if we stay in this house at least maybe we can just walk down the street and do piano lessons, because if it’s a thing that you can swing if you can fit into your life, I think it’s just so good for kids. Also, music activates the same part of your brain supposedly as math.

Shanna Micko: Ooh.

Laura Birek: So this is what I’ve been told. I think it’s just good altogether for kids and it’s just a great lifelong skill to be able to read music.

Shanna Micko: It’s like one of those things that I haven’t forgotten. I’ve gotten rusty. Speaking of my mom being a rock star, which I mentioned earlier, she’s the one who taught me to play the piano and read music.

Laura Birek: Aww.

Shanna Micko: Shout out to my mama.

Laura Birek: We have guitars.

Shanna Micko: That’s cool.

Laura Birek: The baby’s room, we had the guitars mounted hanging on the wall before it was the nursery when it was my office and we just decided to make the nursery rock and roll themed, because I didn’t want to have to move the guitars.

Shanna Micko: I love that.

Laura Birek: But now he’s doing his little pointing and eh, eh, thing at the guitar. So he actually does want to play. We’ll take him down and he likes to try to strum. 

The problem is that he tries to get his hand up at the head of the guitar where the strings are wound up and there’s little itty bitty bits of string that poke out from where you wind it up and they’re very pokey. So I most of the time have to hold it upright, like it’s a cello so he can’t get to the head, but he just loves strumming at it.

Shanna Micko: He’s playing the electric guitar like a cello. His friends were like, dude, what’s wrong with you? That’s how I learned.

Laura Birek: I want to get him a ukulele maybe for Christmas.

Shanna Micko: Oh, that would be fun. Yes.

Laura Birek: Not that he’ll actually be able to play chords or anything, but it’s harder for him to get injured or destroy it.

Shanna Micko: Cute.

Laura Birek: Well, that’s so fun.

Shanna Micko: It’s really fun. What about you? What have you got this week?

Laura Birek: I have a BFN, which is naps interfering with all the fun activities.

Shanna Micko: Okay.

Laura Birek: My baby’s on two naps right now, which is nice. He’s napping very well, which I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth. He’s napping. Generally, he naps from 9 or 9:30 to 11-ish, which is just fantastic. It gives me time to do things and then he’ll sleep in the afternoon from like 2 to 3 or 2 to 3:30, something like that. We’re on wake windows instead of an actual set schedule. So it varies, but inevitably when I’m trying to look for stuff for us to do outside of the house to like get out and see other people, they’re all at 10:00 a.m. All the fun activities. I was looking for a music class to go to: 10:00 a.m. I was looking for story time. They’re all at 9:30, 10:00 a.m.

Shanna Micko: They’re structured around kids that do one nap, I think.

Laura Birek: That’s what I’m learning. So I feel like we’re not in activity land until we go down to one nap, but I don’t want to go down to one nap until I absolutely have to. I’ll hold on to two naps.

Shanna Micko: I know. I think it’s coming soon.

Laura Birek: Do you?

Shanna Micko: I think so. I just saw a post on Taking Cara Babies. Someone was like, “When do they go down to one nap?” She was like, “Usually, around 13 to 15 months.” 

I was like, that’s far away. Then I’m like, no, my baby’s only two months away from that, which is terrifying.

Laura Birek: Then I will say the flip side of the two naps is that it opens up your lunch hour.

Shanna Micko: That’s true.

Laura Birek: So I can go to lunch with people, but it also ends up being expensive going out to lunch and stuff. Anyway, I just feel like there’s all these activities I’d love to do with him and I feel like right now I’m not working as much. I’m taking little gigs here and there, but the idea is that I’m going to start working more once the garage is done and so I wanted to do stuff: go to swim lessons. That sort of stuff. They’re all during his freaking naps.

Shanna Micko: That’s so annoying. Why? Why they got to do that to us. Patriarchy keeping us at home as mothers.

Laura Birek: Yes, I will say that I feel like this is the one time I will say it’s probably not the patriarchy.

Shanna Micko: I highly doubt it is.

Laura Birek: I like to accuse the patriarchy of almost everything, but this one seems like by women for women for the most part. 

But hopefully, I’m going to try to find some events and things we can go to and I just keep seeing moms posting on Facebook, like, “We’re going to do a meet up at the park 10:30,” and I’m like, I can’t. Anyway, I guess just a few months ago complaining that he never napped. So I need to bite my tongue.

Shanna Micko: It is a short-lived time in the baby’s life that they’ve got the two naps. So it’ll change soon even though we will be sad to only have one nap, but it will probably be a longer nap. You’ll have more time all condensed.

Laura Birek: That’s nice. Watch more TV with babies crying in it.

Shanna Micko: There you go. Look on the bright side.


Laura Birek: Anyway, on that note, should we wrap it up for this week and get back to our adorable little babies?

Shanna Micko: I think we should. If you guys have any gripe waters you want to share with us, or any BFPs or BFNs, we want to hear from you. We love hearing from you. Laura, where can they reach us?

Laura Birek: We are on social media Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at BFP Podcast. 

We also have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com. You can also send us a message by email, [email protected]. We also have a Facebook community group. Just search for Big Fat Positive community. It’s a closed group, but ask to join. I will add you right away.

Shanna Micko: If you love the show, please spread the word. If you know any pregnant people, new parents, anyone you think would love the show, please let them know and please rate and review us on whatever platform you listen. Big Fat Positive is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko, and Steve Yager. Thanks for listening, everyone. We’ll see you next week.

Laura Birek: Bye.