Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Is Tasty.

We had our first road trip today, to the pediatrician's, where Ian checked out great, and we got some advice for tuning our breastfeeding strategy. Ian complains up a storm when being put in the chair, but is totally quiet when being carried around and during the entire drive. On the way back we treated ourselves to drinks at Starbucks, and Ian remained calm and/or disinterested as we brought him in while we ordered. No one managed to hock phlegm or aspirate other vital fluids while we were in the shop, so we hope there'll be no lasting damage.

So, what have we learned over these first five days, and two days home? Here's a partial list:
  • Sleep has been relatively managable since we got home. We're still operating on less than normal - particularly Kim - but aside from occasionally slumping solemnly and silently over Ian, trying to hold our arms in the few positions that work for finger-feeding and syringe-suspending, things remain fairly under control.
  • That said, when relatively sleep deprived, apparently math skills are the first thing to go out the window. Both Kim and I have spent upwards of fifteen seconds attempting to do such complex calculations as subtracting and adding single digits.
  • It seems totally possible that when we try to move Ian towards more proper breastfeeding, then this delicate balance of sleeping-just-enough-to-stay-sane-but-arithmetically-impaired will collapse. So, um, we have that to look forward to.
  • So far, Kim and I are both maintaining legitimate efforts at personal hygiene. That's nice.
  • Where the hell did I learn to do diapers well, and relatively quickly? That makes no sense. (Maybe it was all those childhood years learning to operate Transformers toys without breaking them?)
  • I went twenty-seven whole hours -- in a row -- without getting peed on in mid-diaper change. It was so cute that I thought I'd last longer than that.
  • I'm not surprised that I got over the whole "pee and poo are gross" concept, since all evidence suggests that every new dad ends up being alarming comfy with being up to their (and/or their baby's) armpits in the stuff. But I am pleasantly surprised at how it happened. From the first diaper change, I didn't have even a moment to react for myself; my first impulse was to "get this stuff off of my child so he will be clean and happy and preferably not urinating-comepetitively-for-distance." The complete replacement of personal reaction with concern for Ian feels pretty cool.
  • What's maybe strangest is how, overall, it doesn't feel like "everything's changed." Ian has slotted into our home lives in a way that feels alarmingly normal, naturally and comfortably taking top priorities in my life, but not completely eliminating my ability to take care of minor duties around the house. I won't speak for Kim here, since she's definitely doing the heavier lifting overall, and I have a knack for being oblivious to some of the more challenging aspects of my days. And I also know that things will get harder as we go forward: there's a really great safety net provided by family and friends right now, and I won't have to try balancing work and home-with-baby for nearly another week. But right now it feels totally natural to be websurfing and typing with a baby on my lap. (Our cat Tasha doesn't consider it so damned normal, but she's coping okay.)

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