At least monthly

1 Dec

That will be my goal in the frequency of my posts. Erin does such a good job that I hardly see the need, but for those of you keeping up, a fresh perspective might mix things up a bit. Hopefully the content will be a bit more than, “Yeah, what she said.”

When Erin reminded me this morning (today… yesterday…ah, heck… I’m posting from work in the wee hours of Monday morning) that Eli was one month old it didn’t really surprise me. I don’t remember thoughts of “Where did the time go?” or “Really? One month already?” We’ve fit a lot in over that time. Getting to know this guy and watching his unique personality emerge and continue to develop, well… what can I tell you that you wouldn’t have expected? It’s been fun and fascinating. The caregiving for a parent of a newborn is demanding but pretty straightforward: figure out what’s wrong and fix it. You learn to identify cries, check items off the list of possible needs/causes for crying, attentively manage, schedule, and gather information on the providing for those needs, etc… But the thing I’ve had the most fun with is watching him take it all in and wondering what his experience must be like.

He doesn’t appreciate how hard it is at 3am for a sleep-deprived adult to get out of a warm bed and swing into action to assess and satisfy his needs amidst the grunts, squawks, and cries. There’s the typical pattern of hurridly warm up bottle before baby-meltdown occurs, feed first half of bottle until baby starts slowing down and dozing off, take exhilerating break for burp and diaper change which often re-starts the squawking (of baby), quiet down again with 2nd half of bottle, final burping (baby and parent – my technique is often more effective on myself than on Eli), lie back down. But when he starts to doze off again during the 2nd half of that bottle, clean, fed, and cozy, I know he feels OK and I do too.

Erin mentioned in her post how having her folks here and all the activity has made him a bit over-stimulated a couple of the past few nights. Thanks for your counsel on that, Carrie. The descriptions Erin relayed to me from your conversations were dead-on, as was the solution. When we knew what was wrong and were able to fix it, we could tell he felt better and we did too. What must it be like for him in a room with a big, loud TV movie and voices and laughter and sounds he’s never heard coming at him rapid-fire from all directions? His mind’s ability to even make heads or tails of the sensory signals it’s getting is even still coming together: soundspace, depth of field, shape, color, identifying sounds. It makes me want to squawk just thinking about it (sorry, Eli).

But what about cognition? It’s such a dry, clinical word to use regarding such a cute, squishy little person. Surely, even once his perceptions of his world are manageable, the processing of his little experiences is much simpler than ours.  Even so, it’s funny how in an attempt to relate to a baby we project on them our thoughts and feelings, quoting these in cute little baby voices as though that’s what the little guy would say himself if he could. It’s even done in books on care of newborns. I guess I just wonder when I’m watching him watching me or looking around his world, without all the words, without all the predictable ways I’m accustomed to thinking about the world, What is he thinking?

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One Response to “At least monthly”

  1. Carrie December 4, 2008 at 7:05 pm #

    I’m glad I was able to help a little. The last thing we think of for some reason is that the little fellas might just be experiencing too much at one time. After we figured out it was going on with Camden I wanted to punch every person who insisted on getting right in his face with all the “goochy goochy goo” business because I knew that they would get to go home and we’d be left with the 2 hour residual effects.

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