Thursday, November 11, 2010

Babies and My Poor Neglected Blog

Believe it or not, it's tremendously difficult for me to type one-handed. And as one or more of my hands seems to constantly be doing something with a baby, that's left few fingers free to add to this blog. I'm also getting over a particularly nasty cold. Insert appropriate apologies to my rabid fan-base here.

We're currently just two hours away from the twins' six-week-birthday, and I understand that this is the point where I'm supposed to gush about the inner warmth and joys of parenthood, my boundless love for the children, and my joy at the opportunity and privilege to serve them. I've been told that at this point I'm meant to discuss how I've come to think of myself as a father first and everything else second, how my life has changed, and how I can never look at the world the same way.

Well, my life has changed. I'll give you that one, at least. Other than that... nope. Maybe it's the lack of sleep, or maybe it's the workload of helping my amazing wife with these two combined with the myriad responsibilities of the doctoral program. In any event, I'm more numb and tired than anything. There have been moments, of course - some good and several not so much. I imagine that's natural for those unlucky few who get to try feeding, changing, burping, and soothing two at the same time.

For instance, I've seen not one but two things lately that made me laugh harder than just about anything else in my life. The first time was while Debby was feeding Benjamin. About halfway through, he just stopped eating. She couldn't get him to take anymore, and she couldn't get him to burp. He was lying on her lap, and suddenly he became very quiet and stared seriously up at her. She looked down at him and said, somewhat indignantly but playfully, "What?"

And then, while keeping that same ultra-serious look on his face the entire time, he projectile-vomited all over my wife, as she screamed like a little girl who'd just seen a mouse run out from under the bed.

About twenty seconds later, as the gush of regugitated formula ceased and Debby finally silenced, I looked at Benjamin as he smiled and gave a happy little burp.

He took the rest of his formula.

For some reason I bust out in a Foghorn Leghorn impression after that, and I tend to do that a lot around the kids these days (that and Cookie Monster). I don't really have the tone of voice right, but, I say, I've got the speech pattern nailed. Phrases, that is.

And for those of you out there who are gamers (and listen up, boy! You've got to pay attention, son... how do you expect to learn anything if you don't pay attention?!? I say, nice boy, but dumb as Kenny Chesney....), here's a fun activity. At the beginning of the game when it asks you to type in your name, instead of your name type in "I say". That way, for the rest of the game, it sounds like all of the characters in the game talk like Foghorn Leghorn: "I say, you've got to save the Princess!" and "Our troops are ready to move at your command, I say!" and "I say, you've cleared the level!"

The other funniest thing (humor, that is) was something Kristopher did. He was just sitting there, minding his own business in that quiet, curious way that he has... and for some reason I was watching him (luckily, as it turned out, I say, from a distance away). Suddenly, with no apparent provocation, he curled his little hand into fists (balls, that is), picked his head straight up and looked at the sky (ceiling, that is), and let out a bloodcurdling battle cry (are you paying attention there, son?). His eyes were all scrunched up, his arms extended, his fists tight, and he screamed for about five seconds. Then he stopped (I say), opened his eyes, and let out a huge fart. Then he just looked... satisfied. Happy, that is.

Okay, I've really got to stop this.

That said, those are fun times, but two newborns really aren't all that much fun. I'd be lying if I said this was anything resembling a great time. Benjamin in particular provides a problematic existence, as he seems to be afraid of farting. Follow the logic with me: Benjamin has finished eating and is gassy. The mild discomfort of this, combined with the anxiety associated with upcoming period of farting that he knows will follow, makes him sad and makes him cry. This makes him uncomfortable and increasingly louder for some time, until he finally gives in and farts, which scares him even more and makes him cry even louder. Far from being relieved at being done with it, though, he finds he doesn't like the smell (which I understand, because it does rather linger). So he cries for another hour or so because he doesn't like the smell. Soon it's time to feed him again. And the cycle continues.

And this blog post has remained at this point for a good hour as I try to soothe Kristopher, who's having a very bad night. Obviously I won't be able to finish this, so I'll just end it here.