I’m sitting at a cafe with my infant daughter. I feel like a monster of productivity, having successfully left the house twice in one day, eaten actual meals, and avoided being covered in poo (for the time being).
Elizabeth is the daughter, three months old. She sleeps in the stroller I thought I would never use. As a non-parent, I had overlooked its function as a laptop/sweater/blanket/grocery/diaperbag-carrier, and had no understanding of the speed at which it knocks out a fussy baby.
The last three months have been a time of great change. I am clocking in at about one life lesson every three hours.
Recently I’ve learned:
- To type fast and not muck about with formatting while the baby’s napping. Editing is not for parents.
- If you can afford it, fresh fruit is always a worthwhile purchase.
- That you can’t go for a walk in my neighborhood without tripping over a stroller or a border collie.
- Sweden makes awesome baby equipment (Jané: the 4×4 truck of strollers)
- If you join a clan and are online regularly at 3am, you can make lots of friends in Finland, and Norway.
- Other Scandinavians mock Swedes out of some obscure national rivalry. The punchline of every joke is inevitably “Svensk”. If you understand this, please let me know.
Right, that’s it for now. Elizabear is waking up and we’ve got some major walking to do.
My daughter, Elizabeth West Firment, was born in early November. The last…ever since…has been a nonstop, nonsleep blur of boobs, love, fuss, and delirium. In the process, I have learned these five things:
- Ceiling fans are TV for babies.
- At week six, nursing goes from being a special woodchipper for your nipples to something fairly ok. Eventually, it will become rather pleasant, and you will be able to play World of Warcraft while feeding your child, like my friend Kelly’s wife does. I’m pretty sure she levels up faster by simultaneously breastfeeding and p0wning n00bz.
- The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold cold wet day.
- There is a 4am. It comes before 5am, which is that time you read about once that precedes 6am. You do not have the right to a full night’s sleep. You have given that right to your baby, who may use it as she sees fit.
- Your baby’s smile generates a burst of hormones that if necessary will enable you to lift a car or cut out your own spleen.
Photos are up on flickr. Thanks for all the casseroles!
This is my dad, the best joker in the world.
Who else would dance to “Re: Your Brains” (Jonathan Coulton’s Zombie song) at his daughter’s wedding?
My dad, the legally blind man who taught me to drive a stick shift.
This is the guy who plopped me in front of a VIC-20 when I was 5 years old and taught me LOGO.
He kept Adobe font catalogs and WIRED magazine around the house, inspiring a lifelong love of design and geekery.
I owe him most of my bad jokes, and all of my pedanticism.
It’s a good life. Thanks Dad!
My parents visited this weekend, bringing birthday presents with them. As usual, these gifts were thoughtful, appropriate, kind, and Extremely Heavy.
It all started in a few years ago. I had recently moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan for graduate school, and had increased my distance from “home” by about 30 minutes. Ever-supportive, my parents would pile in the car on weekends and we would all have lunch at Zingermans. However, the holidays revealed an unusual pattern. Instead of the usual paperbacks and gift certificates, I started receiving Very Heavy Things. A leaded glass picture frame weighing about 15 pounds. Hardbacked reference books. Anvils.
My latest move to Ithaca has upped the ante. The trip is now eight hours long, and for my birthday this year I received a pair of six ton jack stands and an iron tea kettle. I suspect this will be followed by an armoire and a set of shotputs.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my parents are slowly building an anchor. Soon I will be forced to remain, tethered to my home by a series of carefully-placed items too heavy to fit in the moving van.