It has come to my
attention that some of my previous chapters
weren't very... flattering... about babies,
birth, and parenting in general.
That was deliberate.
Raising a baby is
difficult, time-consuming, and often unrewarding
task. Babies are selfish, demanding, and loud.
Often they have poor personal hygiene. So,
dealing with a baby is like dealing with...
other people in general, actually. Except you
can't just walk away when they annoy you.
Raising a baby requires
a substantial sacrifice of your time, energy,
and often your physical health as well. It's not
all flowers and bunnies and a deep, spiritual
connection that time will never change nor
distance ever sunder. If you want to hear about
that sort thing, try Chicken Soup For The
Terminally Brain Dead, or any other book in the
"Inspirational" section of your local
(preferably independent) bookstore. I'm
trying to be honest about the experience.
Sadly, honesty requires
me to point out the good as well as the bad.
This is unfortunate, because frankly I'm much
better at being snarky than I am at being
Babies are cuter
when you have more free time
The Beautiful Woman's Cunning Plan - that
Theron should learn to sleep by himself, and
keep a regular schedule of naps and nightly
sleep - has worked out very well. He still
screams when we put him down, but not for very
long. And since he goes to sleep at a regular
time, and takes naps, it is now possible to
actually get things done. This has done
wonders for our sanity.
(Actually, we're sort
of back where we started on this one. Theron was
sleeping in his car seat: his nose gets stuffy,
and we wanted to keep him draining so that he
could breath. Unfortunately, he has now reached
the point where he can throw himself forcibly
out of the car seat. So, he isn't sleeping in it
any more. Being directly on the mattress in the
crib has provoked a whole new round of
adjustment-related angst for the baby. I'm more
encouraged this time, though. I think if we can
just keep him on a regular schedule, he'll
adjust. When we first tried getting him to sleep
alone, I would not have bet on that.)
Closer to human
Theron is becoming more active, and
therefore more interactive. He can grab
things and swing them around. He can chew on
anything he can grab. He can clear every toy off
the tray of his high chair in under a minute. He
can not only activate the Singing Boat Toy
(described back in chapter five), he can pull
the fish and lobster toys loose from the sides
and arch. (I didn't even realize they were
detachable until he detached one of them.)
Perhaps more significantly, he can sit up
(though he has an easier time if he can grip
something and pull himself up). Once he's
sitting, he can stay in that position for about
forty-five minutes. And, about half the time,
when he falls over it's because he's trying to
get closer something. (The other half is
He's trying very hard
to talk. Mostly, this means that when other
people are talking in front of him, he screams.
He hasn't quite figured out how to make vowels
yet, and he has no concept of volume control at
all. He's alert, and he loves attention. All of
these things are great. They're the
rewards that make the work worthwhile.