08 April 2008

For the rest of us

Some people actually like babies, in theory as well as in person. The rest of us sometimes have to work at finding ways to enjoy the demanding little critters.

I have noticed that the people who rhapsodize the most about babies are those who are not currently raising small children, which makes me feel a bit better about my dearth of maternal gushing. (We received one birth announcement titled “Our precious angel has arrived.” Yes, it was their first…and I must admit to a rather wicked feeling of gratification when she emailed me a couple weeks later, basically asking whether it was ok not to always like your baby!)

Sure, we think our kids are precious (though I wouldn’t go so far as angelic…). And we marvel at the tiny hands and feet, that sweet baby smell, and all that good stuff. But we’re not warmhearted enough, or something, around here; the sweetness alone won’t get us through. So we survive the sometimes difficult early weeks by noticing just what ridiculous little creatures babies are.

For instance:

The way a 9 lb. person can belch just as loudly as a 300 lb. person.

Those big, greedy eyes they get when they know they’re about to nurse.

The way they can, without changing expression, perform routine bodily functions so loudly that the windows rattle.

How silly they look in hats.

Those little guinea-pig grunty noises.

The pouty face.

Dad’s favorite trick: the tongue reflex. (For the uninitiated: stick out your tongue at your baby. Baby will stick out his tongue too. Repeat. This works best from about weeks 3-6, if I remember correctly, so we'll be playing this game again soon.) Now there’s some quality father-baby bonding time.

That’s just off the top of my head; what else can we add to the list?


Rebekah said...

LOL, these are so perfect! I'll see if I can come up with anything else, but you've done such great work here I kind of doubt I'll be able to.

After our first baby was born and those dark, dark weeks were interrupted by various cards about how transcendent this all was, I told Dad that I was going to get rich by selling a card to Hallmark that said, "A baby girl is a crap factory from heaven."

Gauntlets said...

Awesome. Ha ha! I love it.

Rosie said...

Wow! We can't wait for our first little crap factory. Better be a cute one!

Reb. Mary said...

Rebekah: Hallmark needs you. Desperately.

I almost forgot: The Moro reflex.

Rebekah said...

I have a theory that the Moro reflex is a strong indicator of high strunged-ness. Our Baby #1 (Angry) was the Moro queen. #2 (Lazy) and #3 (Good) hardly ever did it. #4 (Worried, but not Angry proper) exhibited it regularly, but not as much as Angry #1. Does your experience bear this out?

Reb. Mary said...

You're definitely on to something. Baby #1 (Angry) Moro-ed like crazy. He could be sleeping in his carseat, we'd go over a tiny bump, and he'd do a major Moro. Baby #2 (Split between Laid Back and Fussy) didn't have much moro at all. This guy (who at this point we're classifying as Concerned) has way less Moro than the first but more than the second. I wonder if any actual studies have been done on this?