Sunday, January 26, 2014

Enjoying the early days in the Parent club

Now that we are parents I think we are treated somewhat differently by people we know who have been parents for a while. We have joined the club, as it were, and are going through the same joys and challenges they had. No matter how good you were with their kids, until you have a child of your own you're still a bit of an outsider.

Of course, you're still a newbie yourself when you have a newborn, and while the more experienced parents can relate to what you're facing (the feedings, the diaper changes, the interrupted sleep, etc.) there's still that hint of finding your worried responses to what are ultimately common things babies go through (the crying, the odd noises, the fussy moments, etc.) to be quaint.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Figuring out parenting

In the weeks since my son was born I've gleaned that parenthood is enjoyable in part because it is challenging. Reading books with tips for dealing with common situations is all good and well, but with each child being unique there's still very much an element of figuring out what will and won't work for your specific baby.

For example, although he has taken to breastfeeding well, he has little interest in pacifiers. In the hospital, when they had to perform an ultrasound on him (because he hadn't urinated for 40 hours after birth) the nurse tried to give him a pacifier (with a little sugar water on it) and he wanted no part. So we cannot rely on the plastic pseudo-nipple.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Swaddle, side, sleestak...

A book we downloaded for after our baby would was born—The Happiest Baby on the Block—talks about the "secret" to stopping babies from crying in a process the author calls the five S's: swaddling, sideways, shooshing, swinging, and sucking.

Basically, that is wrapping the baby up in a blanket in a manner resembling a burrito (to replicate the confining nature of the womb), placing the baby on his side or stomach rather than on his back (which can trigger a fear of falling), making a loud "shh" noise to imitate the sounds he heard when in utero, rocking him back and forth, and giving him something to suck on.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The early answer to "Do you feel like a dad?"

Now that we have the baby some people have asked me if I feel like a father. I tend to respond that I've not been through this before so I'm not sure how it's supposed to feel. Being that it was only a few weeks ago I was still an expectant father, it's still pretty early in the life-long role of being a father; the full extent of how my life will change hasn't really kicked in yet. I mean, look at what I'm doing right this second: ruminating on a topic of my own choosing. That's the same thing I've done for years. Sure, the topic is driven by the circumstances of having a child, but I'm not approaching it from a completely different mindset than the way I approached topics over the years. In short, I don't feel utterly transformed.

Frankly, if I did I'd suspect it was more an affectation than a genuine metamorphosis; it would be convincing myself something was more than it was (at this point) because of a perception of what people expect.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New year pondering: Spangled

After a few bowl games it struck me: I can honestly say I've never even thought of the word "spangled" (much less used it) outside of the context of our national anthem.

Were it not specifically mentioned in the lyrics ("...does that star-spangled banner...") I suspect the term would have dropped from our lexicon altogether by now.

Happy new year, whether you work "spangled" into your vocabulary or not.