Up all night (not me mind you)

Who ever said that par­ent­ing gets eas­i­er with each addi­tion­al kid was out of their frakin’ minds. Pri­or to the arrival of each kid, some well mean­ing but delu­sion­al1 acquit­tance would slap my back and tell me that this one would be eas­i­er. If any­thing, I have found that man­ag­ing each new bun­dle of unbear­able joy has in fact been hard­er and hard­er. I think the fal­la­cy is think­ing that now that we’re expe­ri­enced par­ents we won’t go through the same mis­takes that noob par­ents do, but that’s not true.2

With each new kid, you again remem­ber at three in the morn­ing that one trick you had for­got­ten that sud­den­ly shunts the baby back down into a qui­et bliss. Whether its swad­dling or rhyth­mi­cal­ly ‘shh-ing’3 or read­ing them excerpts from Lacan’s le stade du miroir, these epipha­nies will come back, but aren’t instant­ly recalled until sleep depri­va­tion kicks in.

I try to dis­cuss this with Jen­nifer but these days she is bone tired and all she hears is “wah-wah, Jen­nifer, wah wah wah,” like the Peanuts’ trom­bone sound effect4 of adults speak­ing to Char­lie and the gang. But in her moments of lucid­i­ty, she tells me that she has been told it’s tough to go from one to two kids, but that each addi­tion­al one there­after real­ly does­n’t mat­ter; she agrees that these same foun­tains of wis­dom had run dry some time ago and for­got­ten some of the siege-like trap­pings of parenthood.

  1. Would “delud­ed” be the right adjec­tive here, instead? []
  2. You go through whole news ones too! []
  3. which is supped to repro­duce mom’s beat­ing heart they heard in the womb []
  4. to lis­ten, click here []

quick notes jan 212010


one. Jack­son, if he resem­bles any­thing, is start­ing to resem­ble his old­er broth­er. Ini­tial­ly there was some hints that he was look­ing more like a Whitman/​Bradley, but sud­den­ly today, there is some­thing in the shape of his eyes and chin that reminds us of Mac. But what he real­ly looks like is a small wiz­ened man that is most­ly all head, the rest—his body,legs, arms—merely being super­flu­ous, not use­ful, not needed

two. Scar­let­t’s abil­i­ty to manip­u­late me and oth­ers keeps increas­ing, expo­nen­tial­ly. I grow more and more con­cerned that I will soon learn the true pow­er of a Dad­dy’s Girl. She is not even two and so I can only imag­ine her at 24. I only hope that my Jedi-mind train­ing will be up to snuff by then.

three. Macon­nel­l’s rou­tine is to start slow­ly in the morn­ing. Much like his mom, he is comatose and mori­bund first thing in the morn­ing and real­ly needs his cup of Joe (milk) and at least a half hour of quite reflec­tion while he eats break­fast and catch­es up on the lat­est news on MSNBC (Won­der pets), before he can be addressed or spo­ken to with­out elic­it­ing a snarl (again much like his mom) but then he will rev up and up through­out the whole day until he is refus­ing to end the night and go bed. This evening he took off his paja­mas and tossed them away and then hid in his play-tent, inform­ing his moth­er that “I don’t want to put on my paja­mas and go to bed.” Strong log­ic there: No paja­mas, no bedtime.

Jack. Thanks!. Taking Mac to the Movies

Jan. 15th 2010, 6:06PM CMT BGKY

Loca­tion: Great Escape cin­e­ma. Sub-sec­tion: Screen #2: Alvin and the Chip­munks: The Squeakquel

Before I say any­more, I again give a hearty thanks to Chuck and Pam for weath­er­ing the ini­tial, tantru­mic storms when Jack­son was brought home, and Mac and Scar­lett real­ized he was here to stay. They (Chuck and Pam) went beyond the call of duty and did real yeo­man’s work.1 Hat’s off.

And lest I for­get, my folks2 soon came after­wards and took the brunt of anoth­er blast of sib­ling anx­i­ety3 and were able to give Jenn the much need­ed help with the Bataan-Death-March-like feed­ings new­borns demand. How­ev­er, even Jack is try­ing to do his part: the kid is lit­er­al­ly only sleep­ing, poo­ing and wak­ing up4 every 34 hours to eat in such clock­work fash­ion that much like Kant, we locals can set our watch­es to his ruminations.

At night (and dur­ing most of the day too) I am of no help, maybe wak­ing up enough to roll over so that Jack­son can be placed in my arm for Jenn to fin­ish pump­ing, and stay­ing up long enough so she can take him out of my comatose clutch­es and fin­ish burp­ing and clean­ing him, chang­ing his dia­pers and putting him back to sleep.

So, today, this evening, I decide to take Mac to the movies. He had got­ten an Alvin the Chip­munk fig­urine from McDon­ald’s so he seemed to want to see a movies about them but it was a bit of a bust. He spent the first ten min­utes play­ing with the the­ater seat, bounc­ing it up and down and then walk­ing up and down the stairs but then found the con­ces­sion stand more inter­est­ing than the movie.5 So over the next 40 min­utes, we got up four times to get Twiz­zlers, Sour­Worms, Pop­Corm, Mag­ic­Dot Ice Cream6 and final­ly we gave up and left halfway through the movie. I noticed that a few min­utes lat­er, anoth­er Dad with four, young kids also left, so I was glad to know it was not just us.

Oh. I have to go, Mac is ask­ing, “You want to talk in my bed for a lit­tle while?”

-Ger­ar­do 7:22pm

  1. pro­nounced “yo-man” []
  2. I also don’t want to ignore the con­tri­bu­tions of my broth­er Ivan and his wife, Lau­ra, who helped with some back­ground oper­a­tions that allowed my par­ents to come down to help. []
  3. Mac is sur­pris­ing­ly gen­tle and sweet to his new bro; I sus­pect this is because (A.) it has been made exceed­ing clear to him and (B.) his fac­ul­ties have devel­oped enough to under­stand that if he were treat Jack in any way like he is cur­rent­ly treat­ing Scar­lett, he would suf­fer most griev­ous time-outs. Scar­lett on the oth­er hand has­n’t quite real­ized that Jack is not one of her dolls and so, while well mean­ing, she is kept a close watch on in case she acci­den­tal­ly man­han­dles and squish­es Jack.

    How­ev­er they both are clear­ly not total­ly com­fort­able with The New Guy, because Scar­lett has been wak­ing at three or four in the morn­ing with a cry­ing jag that is only soothed by some rock­ing to be done at a set cadence and only to be done in her room; she brooks no weasel­ly behav­ior like try­ing to bring her back to our bed so we both can get need­ed sleep. As for Mac, he has become even hard­er to put to bed than before. Until recent­ly, tak­ing him up his room, read­ing a book with him and singing the ABCs was enough for him to say good­night and plop off to sleep. Now I am hav­ing to engage him in extend­ed dis­course on what he did at pre-school that day, doing decon­struc­tive read­ings of his bed­time books.

    We now spend many a night pour­ing over the tome: Fif­teen Ani­mals! where all the ani­mals are named “Bob” and so while Mac innate­ly grasps the Descrip­tive The­o­ry of Prop­er names as espoused by Bertrand Rus­sell, we will inad­ver­tent­ly get ham­strung on some Wittgen­steinian word­play and BANG! Just like that, Mac has delayed his bed­time by yet anoth­er half hour. Not only does he quick­ly sub­vert any tricks but he makes it clear that you are aban­don­ing him to his lone­ly fate every time you go away—He will nev­er give you per­mis­sion to leave, nev­er let you know that he is not per­ma­nent­ly scarred by your das­tard­ly self­ish actions. []
  4. no inex­plic­a­ble col­icky cry­ing episodes []
  5. Which is either a very strange movie or I just don’t remem­ber what kids movies are like because it seems to be aimed at a pre-teen/kid­die mar­ket but the movie takes place in high school with all the usu­al high-school tropes that seem bizarre or down­right inap­pro­pri­ate, eg they show one of the chip­munks, on their first day of school, get­ting a “swirlie”—dunking a rook­ie’s head in a toi­let and flush­ing it. []
  6. which tast­ed like chilled col­ored sug­ar []