Theron at Seven Weeks
Theron is now seven weeks old. That means that we have
managed to Not Kill The Baby for seven weeks of uninterrupted time. Go us!
Developmentally, he no longer looks like a newborn. He looks
like a baby. His cheeks are chubbier, his skin is smoother, and he’s
cream-colored (as opposed to looking jaundice-yellow or sunburned-red).
He spends more time awake, and he’s more alert during those times. He’s also
grown… visibly. Current weight is about twelve pounds, and our home
measuring process marks him as about twenty-one inches long. (This is up from
seven pounds, six ounces and nineteen and one-half inches when he was born.)
Still Life with Baby
Theron is… strong. He can already hold his head up without
help; he looks around when we carry him; and if you keep him balanced, he can
hold his body weight up with his legs. Also, when he’s hungry, if you set him
in your lap he will try to climb you. He’s very persistent about it.
Theron is still eating as much as he can, as frequently as
he can. (I guess he really wants to grow…) Unfortunately, his digestive system
is still small and a little immature, so he gets gas… and when he does, he has
trouble getting rid of it. This leads to small-baby fits, where he squirms and
makes noise and absolutely does not want to lay on his back, and never mind the
fact that it’s four-thirty in the morning and we’d gladly perform a human
sacrifice to any number of dark, pagan gods if he would just allow us to sleep.
Books, doctors, and well-meaning friends and relatives have
all told us that this sort of thing is usually related to the mother’s diet.
Unfortunately, we have yet to isolate any particular food that might be causing
it. Our interim solution has been to let the baby sleep on top of The Beautiful
Woman, which allows him to be on his tummy… but that requires her to remain in
the Appallingly-Ugly-But-Comfortable pink chair in the living room. It also causes
people to start warning us about how dangerous it is to sleep with the baby, so
if you were thinking about doing that… please don’t. We know, and we promise to
quit just as soon as it becomes possible to get him to sleep in any other
Some progress there, by the way. Theron has rediscovered the
pacifier, and it seems to help. So there may be hope after all…
Baby attends his first wedding
We went down to Houston TX this weekend to attend a wedding.
This was actually a pair of milestones: Theron’s first formal ceremony, and
Theron’s first road trip. He was, by any reasonable standard of baby behavior,
absolutely angelic. Specifically, he didn’t drive us crazy in the car,
interrupt the ceremony, or urinate on anybody at the reception. He was, in
fact, perfectly charming, and allowed himself to be handled and carried by
half-dozen different people. I believe he may have acquired four or five new
honorary grandparents while he was there.
Local travel with a baby isn’t that hard. He usually sleeps,
and so we just bundle him in his child seat and go. For a longer trip, though,
he needs to be fed and changed at regular intervals, and it simply isn’t safe
(or legal) to do that while the car is moving. But, as long as you’re prepared
(which means you have a changing pad, plenty of diapers, food, and enough extra
time to make regular stops), it isn’t much trouble.
After the wedding, my wife’s sister and her husband
announced that they were pregnant. It was an interesting (lack of) segue… They
started by asking what we might do for SiL’s birthday next spring. While the
rest of us were considering schedules and making suggestions (involving
decorating with black crepe paper, tombstones, and vultures) they added another
idea: we could meet the newest addition to the family. We were, for various
reasons, quite surprised, but also happy for them.
So, Theron’s due to have a cousin in about seven months.
Having a baby is hard on your schedule
For all of you who are thinking about having babies, let me
offer this visualization exercise:
Picture yourself doing one of your hobbies. It could be
anything; Kung Fu and Writing are two of mine. Of the two I spend notably
more time writing… so we’ll start with that. Picture yourself doing something
you enjoy, something you do regularly, something that’s a big part of your
weekly schedule. Got it? Is it clear in your mind’s eye?
Good. Now picture not having any time to do that. Writing?
No time. Drawing? No time. Kung Fu? No time. Going for a walk in the evening?
No time. Taking a hot bath? No time. Bicycling? No time. Running? No time.
Working out at the gym? No time. Playstation? No time. X-box? No time. Reading?
No time. Schoolwork? No time. Cleaning up the house? Manageable, but only
See, the thing with babies is that they’re demanding.
They require constant attention, and they won’t be satisfied with just sitting
around while you get something – please, G-d, anything – done. (There is
an extremely miniscule chance that your baby will be one of those who can be
bundled into some sort of sling or pack, and who will remain calm and happy
while you work on a project. If so, please be aware that I
Ideally, of course, you have a partner: a fellow parent to
help you take care of the non-baby responsibilities, a guardian who will take away
your squirming organic anchor and allow you a few blissful moments of
freedom, someone who will push you gently out the door when you veer too close
to the edge of homicidal, axe-wielding insanity. Having a partner helps. Better
still, cultivate and maintain a full support network: my wife and I finally – finally
– managed to hold an actual, adult, not-baby-related conversation last weekend,
because we managed to talk Theron’s grandmother into taking him off our hands
for a few hours. It was magnificent.