Sunday, July 27, 2008

Also, 6 a.m. feels like 9 a.m.

I've just thought of another answer to my friend Bill's ongoing question of how my life has changed since Conrad was born. Eight o'clock in the evening now feels the way 11 o'clock felt to me about five years ago: time to start getting ready for bed and certainly too late to leave the house, except on weekends. Maybe.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Now if we can only teach him to change a diaper

Hastings is the one cat in our house who seems to "get" the whole baby thing. He figured out early on that Conrad was one of our young and thus immediately leaped to the top of the attention chain, and that if he himself wanted to get any action at all he needed to toe the line. And he has. Hastings will lie with us when we're all on the floor, and stoically accept it when Conrad grabs a big hank of kitty fur and tries to take it with him.

Tuesday night Hastings proved an even more sophisticated level of understanding of the new priorities in our household. About an hour after Conrad had fallen asleep, Jean and I went in to have a last look at him before we went to bed. When we opened the door, Hastings hurried out. He'd been trapped in Conrad's room for more than an hour, but rather than meowing or throwing himself against the door (which he'll do instantly if I dare to shut the bathroom door behind me) he sat quietly and waited.

Is it really possible that a cat could understand how important it is not to wake the baby? Seems unlikely. But I have no other explanation.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Solid food!

Conrad seems pretty happy with the concept of solid food. Today is his second day trying the rice cereal. Hard to imagine anybody being so excited about rice cereal until you realize that up to now he's had nothing but milk and bathwater sucked out of a washcloth.

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside footie pajamas

One thing has been constant throughout Conrad's life: he doesn't like to nap, except in the car seat. Put him in the car or the stroller and he'll be asleep within a few minutes.

Except today. We went for an hour-long walk this morning and for the whole time he just looked at me with a slightly uncomfortable look on his face. He yawned a couple of times, but that was it.

Once again I realize we know nothing.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

At least we have some new photos.

I just uploaded two weeks of photos to the Flickr page and realized how long it's been since I posted here. Ah, well. I guess this is the perfect place to use "having a new baby" as an excuse for not writing very often.

Lots of new stuff going on. For one, he's started moving all over the crib at night. This started last week, and I believe I mentioned it in a previous post. It's still a bit odd. For five months, we would put Conrad down in his crib and the next morning, there he would be, exactly where we put him. Now, it's anybody's guess. He moves around the crib like little Billy in a Family Circus cartoon.

I shouldn't even mention this, what with the high percentage of grandparents reading this blog, but we started him on solid food today and the battery in the camera was dead. So that milestone went unrecorded. I suppose I could just have taken pictures of the same event tomorrow and passed them off, but lying in my baby's blog seems especially heinous.

So, I'll shoot some more pictures of it tomorrow. If you can't wait, take a look at the picture above and imagine it smeared with tan gruel from eyebrow to chin.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Oh, Roy

Roy is a very sweet cat, but not the sharpest claw in the paw. We have observed him, for instance, meowing at a blank wall. There is a door hinge in our house that makes him angry. He is afraid of our family room rug. We say "Oh, Roy" a lot around here.

Last night I heard him meowing plaintively over the baby monitor. We have inadvertently closed a cat in Conrad's room on occasion and I assumed that's what had happened. I got up and hurried down the hall to let Roy out before he woke Conrad, but the door was open and Roy came sauntering out of his own accord.

I'm assuming that, unable to rouse us at 5:00 a.m., Roy had gone in to see if Conrad would feed him.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Paradigm shifts

For five months I've been watching Conrad sleep on his back, aware that if he were somehow able to roll over onto his stomach, that would be bad. Now that he can move around much more easily, it's okay for him to sleep on his side and his stomach. Right now, for the second night, he's asleep on his side. No matter how many times I've been told it's okay, it is still freaking me the hell out.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

What are you lookin' at?

Lots of new photos on the Flickr page, including photos from our trip to LA, not that you would know it from looking at them. We really need to get better at taking the camera outside.

You're either on the parent bus or off it.

A few months ago my lifelong friend Bill, who got to fatherhood many years ahead of me, asked me to describe the biggest change parenthood had brought to my life. I've thought about the question many times since. For one thing, I'm always slightly damp, either from wrangling the baby, playing with the baby or being underneath the baby when he erupts. But I've been slightly damp for my entire adult life, so that's not a huge change.

Sometime in the first few weeks I realized I was doing a lot of things in the dark for fear of waking the baby, but now he's in his own room and on a relatively regular schedule, so that's not much of a factor anymore.

At some point in the last month, probably during the trip to LA, I realized I was making ridiculous faces and singing to Conrad in public with absolutely no concern for what anyone nearby might think. At first that seemed like a big change but in retrospect I've done lots of goofy things - intentionally - in front of audiences large and small. So not a big deal.

Today, however, it all became clear when I found myself on the lawn at Weaver Street Market, our local organic co-op, dancing with Conrad to the music of a really not particularly all that good post-hippie cover band. "I hope I don't see anyone I know," I thought, and then realized that everyone I knew who might be critical was still asleep and the rest have kids. And so on I danced. I did not, however, twirl or hoop. Parenthood can only change me so much.