For once, i have a good excuse for not having written, dear reader. After what seemed like forever, back in late June, the girl and i had a kid. Many have said that this would be a notable event in life, and upon reflection, i believe they may be on to something.
- It’s amazing how much leaving the hospital with the man resembled buying a house or a car, or getting your diploma in the mail. A huge, momentous thing involving years of effort, buckets of emotion and tens of thousands of dollars, reduced to opening an envelope, or getting handed a set of keys. In this case, signing a form, and snipping off the anti-theft tag, and off you go. You have a kid now, and get to/have to go home on your own.
- Most people’s image of going home from the hospital is probably not chaos. However, since the dude arrived early, none of his stuff was assembled or positioned. And since the girl recovered so well and we got to go home early, a full Sunday’s worth of hospital visitors became houseguests, houseguests who even beat us home. After we were done basking in the glow of everybody being thrilled for us, after the door shut, there we were, in kind of a big ‘now what’ moment, which involved the dude in a little (just-assembled) rocking chair sitting peacefully while we frantically assembled bassinets, put away clothes, ran out to buy stuff we forgot, and tried to piece together a system. My grandfather tells a story about coming home to a tiny apartment in Queens with my mom and immediately going to the nearest pharmacy and asking, “So, what do I need?” We weren’t quite that bad.
- The first few days were near-constant… recycling. The man? He’s fine, he’s easy to deal with, sleeps well, eats well, all that stuff, but i swear, i was breaking down boxes on a near-hourly basis.
- But really, we’re stupidly lucky. The man has been on one feeding a night since he was 4 weeks old. He’s largely calm and cheerful and snuggly. i had just one night of pacing back and forth trying to get him to calm down and go to sleep before i passed out. One.
- It should be noted that our sanity is greatly helped by the nice gadgets i wrote about for my employer here.
- The wicked hot summer has had the unfortunate effect of stranding the girl (with her well-documented love of long-walks) and the dude (who likes sleeping in his stroller just fine) inside for probably half his life so far, which is kinda messed up when you put it that way. Theoretically the man shouldn’t be able to sweat just yet, but since he’s related to me, he found a way. Now that he’s finally able to go out in non-blinding/scorching sun, his reaction to seeing the sky and the trees and the skyscrapers and the cars and the planes and the birds is priceless. Wide-eyed wonder. We can’t wait to show him all the things.
- We’ve been very conscious of self-imposed pressure to put our money where our mouth is, so to speak. We always pictured ourselves being light on our feet, and ready to head out the door with the critter on a pretty quick basis. So far we probably deserve a C+ on that. There’ve been plenty of occasions where we’ve been running late, because the man is sleeping, or because the man wakes up and is hungry, or blows his pants up, or whatever. And of course, before vaccinations, we didn’t bring him inside places if we could help it. Despite the increase in difficulty level, we generally head out with one small diaper bag, and have brought him to baseball games, soccer matches, bars, restaurants, beer gardens, and so on. And we’re prepared to flee from these places if things go badly, but haven’t had to. He’s a nice baby. And especially while he’s little, and portable, we want to make sure he’s used to the world outside our basement.
- Terms for the child, other than his name: critter, man, little man, big man, baby man, dude, babby. More to come, i am sure.
- A nice side benefit of having a very big, heavy baby: exercise! Lifting him up in the air has been scientifically proven by me to help burp him, so as a result, it’s good arm exercise. Corollary: the cat now feels practically weightless.
- But really, having a baby is an invitation to tackle a whole bunch of new problems scientifically. Poop color, poop timing, volume, formula consumption, sleep cycles, eat cycles, contrary to my usual tendencies, i don’t have a spreadsheet for any of this, but it’s all in our head, all the time. Learning about him all the time is key to keeping him happy and well, and ourselves sane.
Most of all, though, every new day feels like there might be something that’s new to him, and if he’s excited by it, we get to be, too. It’s a hell of a thing and we’re so lucky to be there for it.