Thursday, December 11, 2008

Do you want it tucked or untucked...

It's been a while since my last entry and boy have things changed! Now along comes a girl in my life called Hope. She's the new baby nugget in my life and while it's nice to have masculine energy in this household with the 2 older boys, it was ripe time for some fem vibes. Out she came before the scheduled C-section... 6 days early in fact. All babies that come out of the womb either look like: A) they aren't yours; B) an old man; or C) they were probably more comfortable inside than out.

The pregnancy period is great. Sure, your woman is pregnant and sometimes uncomfortable, but the reality is that the baby is still inside and not out. Being inside, for parents, is "easy". Mom obviously feels the pains and discomfort, but dad still does his thing: Mow the lawn, wash the cars, take naps, watch boxing, etc. Even 7 months in, the baby still has some time until it comes out. Same with 8 months and for that matter 9 months (or close to it).

Then she comes out, and instantly your world takes a left turn. In that moment, the defining millisecond between "Baby In" and "Baby Out" is remembered, ingrained, stamped into your memory. Now it's on. "Baby Out" means so many things not only in the moment, but for the next 18+ years or so. Instantly my mind jumps to "How to handle the rag-doll neck," to "Where the hell are my diaper changing skills at this moment?," to "Sleep? Umm. No.," and "When she's 16 will she call me from "Burning Man" to ask if it's cool she goes topless the whole time." [Yeah I know. She won't ask]

And so with all of this in mind I began my rigorous "Baby Out" training. In my head I replayed the bygone days (4 years ago) when my diaper changing skills were stuff of legend. My ability to wrap a dirty diaper into a tiny ball made me smile and do imaginary high-5's to myself. My ability to stay up late is already in place considering I frequently pull all-nighters for work. My bottle feeding skills were also solid as that technique never seems to get lost. It's like riding a bike really! And so it seemed that all of the skills from 2 older kids were polished for the most part, until it came to time to swaddle.

"Take this part and make a triangle, then take that part of the blanket and wrap it over her right arm, but under the left shoulder... Then take this segment, twirl it, roll it, wrap it, tuck it and then voila, a perfectly wrapped tuna hand-roll." Huh? Are you kidding me? No matter how hard I try, the whole burrito wrapping thing still eludes my comprehension. Male swaddling comprehension is in the same category as our inability to want to ask for directions or follow directions when constructing some obscure child's toy, or reading the manual for your Kenwood. Nonetheless, my skill-set is way off and now I must resort to practicing on a fake doll. Yes I have hit swaddling rock bottom! The nurses in the delivery room swaddle with Bruce Lee-like speed. You can't see their hands when they tuck, swirl, fold, and wrap. I aspire to be in such ninja-like swaddling company.

In the end aside from my swaddling skills, having another woman in the house is pure joy. We'll see if the swaddle practice pays off.