Thursday, July 28, 2005

Getting Things Off My Chest

This morning I made the mistake of having a large cup of tea before plunking Arthur into a Baby Bjorn pack and walking to the library. The result is that three blocks away on the return trip home I had to pee really badly.

Have you ever tried to pee with a child hanging in front of you? First of all, you can't see anything below your chest. Second of all, you can't be entirely sure of your aim. There's always that little bit of doubt in the back of your mind as you peer around the child's bulk: am I actually delivering the stream to the bowl, or am I doing some kind of rim-shot and is it half splashing onto the floor? I guess I'm going to have to practice, because I think it's profoundly weird to have a floor length mirror next to the toilet reflecting your every movement.

What I want to know is do the !Kung people of the Kalahari Desert have this sort of problem?

Luckily, Arthur was asleep in the Baby Bjorn pack during all of this.

It's a toss up in our house which we like better; the baby sling or the Baby Bjorn. The sling is pretty easy to throw on and take off. The Baby Bjorn is a little more consistent in terms of how Arthur is positioned against us. The baby sling offers more sunlight protection. To make sure Arthur doesn't get too much sun, Mark typically drapes Arthur with receiving blankets. The overall effect is that Arthur looks like Ambassador Kosh the Vorlon from Babylon Five. Or Mother Superior from The Sound of Music.

Speaking of The Sound of Music, we're slowly discovering Arthur's taste in music. He likes older Annie Lennox, but doesn't seem enamored of her latest release, Bare. He likes Wendy Carols' recording of Switched on Bach, and the New Koto Ensemble of Tokyo's recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Handel's Water Music. Last I checked Anna Russell was not a big hit. The B-52's seem to be OK, and so are They Might Be Giants. There were mixed results for Yma Sumac.

Moving on to the visual arts, Arthur likes black and white objects. I used to think that all those black and white baby toys were some kind of marketing trick, but I made a bunch of high contrast Lamaze cards. Arthur consistently chooses the black and white graphics over the ones with color. So it looks like we're in for an Art Deco period at our house.

In other baby related news, we're trying to make sure that we have some skin contact with Arthur. We've been commanded by the Baby Police. "Skin on skin time," they said. "Make sure you spend time in skin contact with Arthur.

You want to know how that usually works? One of us take off our shirt and plunks Arthur down on our chest. Arthur lays there for about twenty seconds. Then he hears our heartbeat or something and starts rooting around for a nipple. Mark and I don't have milk producing nipples; Arthur's known this his entire life, but he still hasn't caught on. Rooting happens for another twenty seconds, and then Arthur grabs a fist full of chest hair. And pulls. I really have to hand it to baboons who run around the savanna for months with an infant baboon hanging from their chest hairs without a baby sling or Baby Bjorn. Maybe that's why they screech. I know I'd be hoarse after ten minutes.
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