Some Observations

First, about Talvi:

  • She has big feet; long, elegant fingers; and very dark eyes.
  • She can wrinkle her forehead with the best of them.
  • She’s certainly not the world’s easiest baby, but she’s also far from its hardest (and yes, I know this could change at any time, and that I’m tempting fate by writing it).
  • When she cries, it’s usually because something is wrong. We don’t always know what that something is, but so far she doesn’t generally cry for no particular reason.
  • Like the books say, she is partial to being swaddled, having you shoosh in her ear, swinging, and sucking on things. So far at least, she’s less enthralled with being on her side or stomach.
  • Her magic “stop crying” switch is rushing water. I accidentally discovered that if you hold her next to a running faucet, she immediately stops crying no matter how upset she is. 100% success rate so far, but I’m trying to only pull it out for emergencies.

Then, about parenthood:

  • It’s hugely time-consuming. (Shocker, I know.)
  • It’s much easier when it’s two-on-one, and both parents aren’t working.
  • The very idea of twins seems impossible. Single parenthood even more so.
  • Motherhood is way harder than fatherhood. Mothers have all the same stresses as fathers, plus they’re the baby’s only source of food. That’s a BIG difference. My middle-of-the-night task (changing diapers) takes 5 minutes and is painless. Neither of those things can be said for Kesa’s (feeding the baby).
  • My pinky will gladly testify to the fact that babies suck REALLY hard.
  • Putting your baby to sleep successfully is very gratifying. For something that will last 3 hours, at most, it gives an incredibly profound sense accomplishment.
  • Singing your baby to sleep, especially, is kind of amazing.
  • When your baby is on the changing table–diaper off–and you hear something starting to happen, your natural instinct is to drop the baby’s legs and get out of there. This is NOT the correct response. The correct response is to block and cover. But it takes some practice to overcome your instincts.
  • Everybody says you’re not supposed to compare having a baby to having a dog. And they’re right–having a baby is way harder and way more time-consuming than having a dog. But now that I’m a parent, I feel justified in pointing out that there are real similarities.
    • Both involve a new being that you’ve brought into your family that is entirely dependent on you for survival.
    • Both require you to figure out how to communicate in a new, entirely non-verbal, but fully-formed language.
    • Consistency and discipline are critical to both, as is figuring out how to incorporate flexibility and leniency.
    • No matter how many books you read about parenting/dog-owning, your being is an individual with his or her own needs, skills, and challenges.
    • And of course, both involve lots of poop. :-)

 

One comment

  • aunty bird
    January 18, 2013 - 7:21 am | Permalink

    Daniel,I am actually caught up and reading your latest at work. I think Talvi is a very lucky baby to have landed, or been pushed as it were, into your world. Missing you all and hoping to move my plan to come east ahead a bit. Just don’t think I can wait til April or May. I will keep you posted. In the meanwhile … give Monti many kisses for me and tell him I think he is the cutest big brother ever. Love Bird

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