A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

the tortilla aunt.

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on October 29, 2006

last night I had supper with my parents, brother-in-law, and very pregnant younger sister, who is due with their first child in January.

as we waited for our food, we talked baby – one of our favorite topics these days. this time, the theme was: best practices for baby sleep. according to my sister, the current advice is not to cover babies with blankets, because they can suffocate under them, unable to move a blanket if it covers their face. instead, they should be put in ‘sleep sacks’ (basically nightgowns stitched shut at the bottom) and put to sleep in a warm (but not hot, since that apparently contributes to SIDS) room.

my father asked: so no blankets at all, then? no, my sister said – you can swaddle the baby in a blanket, folding it into a triangle, setting the baby on it, and tucking the blanket corners around it. like a burrito? I asked, wondering about the logistics of swaddling in the 21st century. yes, said my sister – that’s exactly it. you make a baby burrito.

this new term in turn resolved another ongoing baby discussion topic: what to call a receiving blanket once the baby has been received from the hospital. my brother-in-law has been quite concerned about this, pointing out the illogic of calling a blanket used for so many things by its first – but only one-time- use. in the stores, they are sold as baby blankets – functional, but a bit generic. now, though, we have another name for them: tortillas.

on an unrelated note, the restaurant at which we ate had perhaps some of the world’s most thoughtful fortune cookies.

for my mother: your intuition and guidance will be helpful.

for my father: your ideas will be totally acceptable. (my mother altered this to: your ideas will be totally questioned, apparently a manifestation of her helpful guidance.)

for my sister: you will travel to an exotic location. (motherhood?)

for my brother-in-law: your situation will change for the better. (fatherhood?)

and for me: you will be called to fill a position of high honor and responsibility. (well, I am invited to appear as a guest speaker at a local university’s war and peace in the middle east seminar tomorrow … !)


After the much anticipated baby was born, we joined my sister and brother in law and their new little son in the delivery “suite”. He was swaddled up in six blankets – adding another 7 pounds, at least, to his birth weight. When my brother-in-law handed him to me to hold he said: here he is, the little burrito.

I still thought that we were being witty and creative by calling the swaddled little one a baby burrito – but google set me straight. A quick check of “baby swaddling burrito” turned up hundreds of references, including proud parentals photos of their own burritos, instructions on how to properly do the “burrito roll”, and pre-formed burrito swaddlings that take the guess work out of rolling one’s baby up oneself. hmm!

One Response to “the tortilla aunt.”

  1. very nice blog!mary

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