Front Door
Gift Shop

Why babies are fun

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 sentimental.

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 purely accidental.)

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.


(Click the picture for a short movie.)
Baby was a Halloween Pumpkin - click for larger image.

Baby learns important Life Skills.

Look, Ma! I'm bigger than the cat!