Tuesday, October 27, 2009

To Shoot, Or Not To Shoot

I think I've figured out why we've settled into parenting in a relatively fuss-free, non-paranoid way. Since both of us are in our mid-30's, most of our parent-friends are on their second or third child, so our role-models are way past the fretful, Don't-let-that-dirty-thing-near-my-baby phase. It was well-illustrated in an email Andrea got:

When the first-born drops their pacifier, the parent will wash it, sterilize it, then give it back to the baby.
Second child: Wash it, then give it back.
Third child: Wipe it on your pants, quickly suck it off themselves before giving it back to baby.
Fourth child: Give it back to baby.

I can imagine many first-timers seeing this and being just mortified. “Germs” are to us what “Demons” were to our medieval ancestors.

Which brings me to vaccinations. I'm kinda conflicted on this, as both sides of the argument – for and against – have valid points, and both use a lot of fear-mongering. It was easy to be idealistic about other people's kids, but my own little bundle of joy & spit-up has confused the issue immensely! Even more confusing, I understand that a huge percentage of medical professionals aren't getting flu shots. WTF?! Would you drive a Ford if their CEO drove a Chevy? So, are Tetanus and Polio shots OK, but H1N1 should be kept at an arm's length? This is where I should ask around, and it starts here, Please shed some light on this!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Date Night

By Gar, it's been awhile! I thought that having a new baby in the house would give me plenty to write about, and it does at times, but it's mostly eat & sleep. For me, it's eat, sleep and work. Fortunately, I'm back in the mentally-low-impact gas station, so I can gap-out for hours, as long as I'm available for customers to fix their problems.

As per usual, being in that dept. gives me the free time to contemplate the novel I've wanted to write for years. The first half is pretty clear, but the ending is vague. All I can do is plug-away on my 1st draft, and hope that more will reveal itself. This has actually worked a few times. Plus, it's easier when I can put Calli down & type with both hands. Any time I can whip-off 500+ words, it's a good day, but when I do that for at least a month, I'm sure my standards will be raised.

Last night, we took our first chance to have a Date Night since the night before Calli was born. We went to see ZombieLand, and enjoyed it immensely, as Andrea's mom stayed with Calli. We got the tickets last week when Andrea had another shower, hosted by my mom, because a lot of her friends from church & work were eager to shower Andrea with gifts. I little awkward, since Andrea knew so few of them, but one woman I've known for years (I went to school with her step-son, who wound up in my wedding party) gave us movie tickets & a restaurant gift certificate for a date night. In her experienced wisdom, she felt that it was important to not forget your couple-time when the family expands. This made a world of sense, so off we went! We're saving the dinner for next week! Hopefully, we can do Date Night at least once a month.

Calli slept the whole time we were gone (Surprise!), but Kuma was just beside himself! The last time we left him with someone, we came home with this little creature who shares our bed and takes a lot of the time he had with us! What else could he do, but fuss, whine, and throw-up on the door mat! And in our room; we were all settled-in and dozey when I found that. “Oh, one more thing before you call it a day: two big piles of dog vomit!” yippee.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Perception Gaps

I've been reading Blogs this morning and the last new one I read was Heim Binas Fiction (Great writing blog, by the way), and it was about how you compose yourself for the public. Do we actually put on a face for those around us? I think most of us do.

When I'm at work, I'm working with the public, so I'm pretty out-going & personable. I've had people tell me that they always come to my line-up, 'cause I'm fast, and they appreciate my demeanor. It's not hard, 'cause we're far enough from the City (Toronto) that we've still got a small-town feel. But here's the thing; I'm naturally a shy introvert who closes the curtains and screens calls on my own time. I'd rather hole-up in the basement and write than go out, of have people over. I mean, I enjoy having friends over, but maybe once every 3 weeks or so!

But when I'm at work I'm pretty convincing. So much so, that when I was telling a manager that I think my baby might be a shy one (when, in utero, she wouldn't kick for me), she said “She must get that from her mother.” I'm not being insincere, but I sure exaggerate that aspect of myself. I think I started thinking about this seriously after hearing Paul McCartney singing of Elanor Rigby's face in a jar by the door. I've come to liken it to a musical performer. I mean, Alice Cooper or Rob Zombie clearly enjoy the comic-macabre, but do they run around the house with fake blood dripping off their chins? AC golfs! And looks like a long-haired version of the other golfers at the time!

I think the point I'm trying to make is that sincerity isn't the same as consistent appearance. The human spirit/mind is too big and complex to be portrayed the same way, all the time.
And on to parenting news. We had a discussion on whether it was “Callie” or “Calli,” and my first thought was “Who cares?” But on second thought, it would be smart to be consistent. Good thing we got that worked out, she'll be reading any time now.

I also found out that I've been deceived. It seems that when people told me that their child was sleeping through the night, they really meant that they slept for six hours through the night. Maybe my standards are too high, but six hours is most certainly not “sleeping through the night.” It's like saying “I ran five miles! Well, it was five kilometers, so it might as well have been five miles!” (I'm not sure of the math, but I believe a mile is between 1 ½ – 1 4/5 kms.)

Pregnancy Stupids Log: Day...Plenty. As usual, I was up at 6:30 for first feed. I started the bottle warming, waited awhile, changed Calli, fed her, then went to write & read Blogs. By 9:00, I went to see if Mom was up. As I was passing her off, I noticed her sleeper seemed wet. I figured that since she was bundled-up and in a bouncy chair, she'd been sweating. It made perfect sense, until Andrea asked “Why doesn't she have a diaper?”

I am so smart. S-M-R-T.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Pregnancy Stupids"; Not Just For The Pregnant, Or Pregnancies!

At the risk of sounding sexist, have you ever heard of the “Pregnancy Stupids”? A woman Andrea works with introduced her to the term, and it denotes the general loss of focus and forgetfulness that comes with the third trimester. I honestly can't call this idea sexist, because I've got it too. Note the present tense; nearly four weeks after the birth, we're still losing our ever-loving minds.

Last night (or maybe the night before. As I've hinted at, you can't expect much from me right now.), as we were getting our shit together to go to bed, I asked “Where's the dog?” She didn't know. He was looking in through the patio door. She didn't remember letting him out, and neither did I. In hind sight, I think it was me.

Then I found the fridge door sitting open. Andrea had moved onto another chore, forgetting whatever she'd been doing in the kitchen.

And the list goes on. Our dear child is in the care of a couple of Witless Wonders (add that to your Road Rage vocabulary, if you care to). Naturally, we're blaming the sleep-deprivation. But I also must consider the massive shock to our mental systems as well. All of a sudden, we have to stop playing Grown Up, and actually become responsible adults! For the time being, I can't sit up sucking-back Wobbly Pops and playing computer games. If I'm not working the next day, I'm responsible for overnight feedings. That, and our present co-sleeping situation makes it unwise to go to bed polluted.

This brings to mind something I read in Marilyn Ferguson's “The Aquarian Conspiracy,” a book about how New Age thought sounded a lot like the Quantum sciences. It was first published in 1980 – WAY ahead of The Secret. The book introduced me to Prigogine's Theorem, which states that when something new is introduced into an existing system, it will either be absorbed into the system, or will rattle the system enough that it must re-organize itself into a more complex state. To illustrate, Andrea & I are The System. If I make a new friend, he'll stop by for burgers & beer every now and then, but our lives remain pretty much the same. The arrival of Callie, however, has re-arranged our schedules, our priorities, our finances, etc, etc.

And this is why, I believe, we're losing the dog and mishandling large appliances. A Nobel Laureate decreed it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Andrea came along & said, "There's one of her in her turkey sleepers," so there it is Enjoy!

YAY! I finally figured out how to get these pictures onto the Blog! Look at the big brains on me! The best I could find with the out fit are in her car seat. Then one with Papa and her cousins, then her being her usual cuddle- bug self with Nana.

Thanksgiving, and all the childishness you've come to expect here!

Well, I'm just having the worst time trying to get our Thanksgiving pics up on the Blog, but just as soon as I can, I'll be eager to show-off my Princess. The Holiday, as expected was great; one dinner with my family, and one with Andrea's, with a day in-between to let the first dinner settle a little. And have we had enough? Hell, no; we happily chowed on left-overs last night! We've also got the better part of a large pumpkin pie in the fridge – are we up to it? Lord knows I'm a force to be reconed with when pastries are to be dealt with, so I'm sure it won't go to waste.
Naturally, it was great to gather with family, catch-up with everyone, show-off the Main Attraction (my side hasn't had a baby in nine years, and all the babies on Andrea's side are on the West Coast). Callie must have been excited to be there as well; she promptly voided herself, in all it's green, curdy glory! About 1 ½ hours later, she did it again, and I had to taunt Papa and his near-phobia of diapers (I swear, “I don't do diapers” has replaced “Hello” for most of this year!). After the second Pistachio-cottage-grease melt-down, I took the clean diaper, unfolded it, and went into the living room, straight to Papa, and said “Dude, you think I'm kidding about the green...Whoops!” and up-ended the faux-mess on him. And good times were had by all. My sister (Jody, AKA mygirls26) brought her boyfriend, Brad. I won't lay on the drama by calling him “permanently scarred” from the evening, but he was quite entertained, and probably expanded his Fart Joke Repertoire. Which brings me to mom's Turnip Casserole, which I swear, is better than it sounds! I know, nothing says 'Diet of Desperation' like Turnips, but Mom whips-up quite the loveliness from them! Unfortunately, I had to work with the public the next day. My courteous restraint damn-near turned my 'Inny' into an 'Outy,' such was my abdominal pressure!

Now, this is totally off-topic, but when I was up for Callie's 6AM feed, I saw the most disturbing commercial. It started with B Obama clips, and I thought there were more Collectors Coins for sale. We should be so lucky, even the sticker-on-a-quarter scam would have been preferable to the – wait for it – Chia Obama. No shit, now you too can grow sprouts on an Obama Bust. My dear friends to the South, I am truly sorry. I'm almost suspicious of a Republican plot: If you can't beat him, strip him of all credibility!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Callie's First Holiday

Opportunity Knocks, our friend Michelle is over again, so I get to write, WITH BOTH HANDS! If you've seen my responses on the Blogs of others, they're usually written with one hand, as I've got Callie on the other arm, so it kinda looks like a big, pink spider is dancing on my keyboard!

Speak of the Angel, Callie is well. Her umbilical stump fell off last week, so we can do full-immersion baths now, and she loves it! She hated the sponge baths, screaming herself hoarse, and turning the color of a raspberry! We got video of it, it's really funny! If I can ever get around to transferring it from camcorder to computer, I'll post it!

We've got our Thanksgiving this weekend (up here in the Great White North), so it will be her first family holiday. Naturally, we had to get her an outfit, because it mixes two of Andrea's passions: shopping, and playing dress-up with our new little girl! Not that we've got a shortage of clothes from friends & family, but they're all huge on her! Our kid will be damn well-dressed from 5-9 months old! Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday; I love autumn, I love feasting, throw in a long weekend, and good times are had by all! Not to mention how important it is to have a general sense of gratitude; something that Consumer Culture has driven out of us. But I don't understand why they don't celebrate Thanksgiving is England; they'll celebrate the time a terrorist tried to blow up their parliament (Guy Falks), but putting all their Religious Fundamentalists on boats and shipping them off doesn't seem as note-worthy. Go figure.

A couple days ago, I posted about how much I help out with Callie, and got some great responses! When I ask around (and from what I've read on several other Blogs), it seems we're in the middle of a changing-of-the-guard. Men are becoming more involved, and “this reporter thinks it's about ph'king time.” (Kent Brockman). If I may hazard a guess, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that many of us were raised by single mothers, giving us a lot more sympathy for the women in our lives. Of course, there are a lot of issues related to such upbringings, but something good has come of it. For an absolutely stellar example of this, see http://www.dadlabs.com/ Their book was given to me by Andrea, and it was just great! Let's hope that this is an ongoing upward spiral!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Where's My Medal?

It has been wa-a-ay too long, but you know, life happens. The big thing was that we had settled into something of a routine. Andrea's been great about taking the overnight feedings when I have to work, leaving me to cover two nights. It sounds wildly imbalanced when I say it like that, but we're doing what we can to work around my full-time job.

Which brings me to something another Blogger – Vodka Logic, I think, but I can't seem to find the reference – brought up: there still seems to be this perception that men who help with diapers & other newborn inconvenience deserve medals and parades! Honestly, I helped to bring the little gaffer into the world! Even if you believe in a version of a Creator (and I do, though I wouldn't try to offer a definition of Creator, or believe that any institution corners that market, but I digress...), it was my pearl jam that got the ball rolling. Therefore, I have a responsibility to pull my weight! I had a great Paternal Model, and understand that there's more to it than passing-on a family name and teaching them to hate what I hate (“Take off your sunglasses when you're inside, you look like a damn poseur!”).

So in conclusion; Diapers? Nasty, but it takes less time than the average commercial break, so SUCK IT UP! Getting up in the night? It doesn't last long, and it's a great excuse for not bringing my A-Game at work :) Besides, my darling wife deserves a good nights sleep, even if I can only do it twice a week.

And another thing: many women wind up with men who resemble their fathers. Now THERE'S something to make a father's head spin! So when she's in high school, do I want to be up all night waiting for her to come home when I know what a ph'khol her boyfriend is? Or do I want to trust that she knows how a considerate fellow is supposed to treat her?

On a more mundane note, I finally got my first Late-Night-moodiness-incident last night (my turn). I thought she just needed a changing. She was wet, so that was that, and yet it wasn't. So after she wouldn't settle for half an hour, I fed her, nearly two hours early. Long story short, it took two feedings, three changings, and two ½ hours for her to settle. Just when she seemed to be sleepy, I put her down, and ten minutes later, she'd fuss again! This happened about three times! The funny thing is, we'll look back on this time as “The easy part!” Can I get an 'Amen'?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fading Fast!

In the middle of writing my last post, I went upstairs (computer's tucked-away in the basement) to refill my coffee, and asked Andrea, “What was that thing that happened this morning that we were doubled-over laughing about?” and neither of us could remember. If I didn't know better, I'd say that sleep-deprivation wasn't good for my...thing my head does...with the words and pictures of things that happened.

Turns out, it had to do with our re-packaging songs to sing to Callie. Years ago, I would sing a song to Andrea to the tune of Cookie Monster's “C is for Cookie:”

“B is for Boobie, is good enough for me (3x)
Boobie Boobie Boobie, Boobie starts with B”

It had been a couple of years, so when Andrea dusted off this ol' chestnut as an Ode to Callie's Grub, she couldn't quite remember how it went. What she came up with was,

“Boobie Boobie Boobie, Boobie starts with B,
“Boobie Boobie Boobie, you can put it in your tea.”

Well you could skip the sugar. Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about! We've all been curious!

And that's as far as I got before I had a brain-cramp of epic proportions. Twice, I tried to write more, but all I got was crap, and you deserve better! Hell, I was up for half an hour today before I thought to put my coffee on – no ones more shocked than me!

That, and I'm laughing at the stupidest shit, like a TV clip that called Oatmeal “That hit of 1840” I need a solid 8 hours sleep; now I know what to ask for for Christmas!