You Have To Cherish This Time

In the history of advice, there have been some true, inspirational gems: “Get busy livin’ or get busy dying,” “Dance like no one is watching,” “Don’t g***** a donkey unless you’re prepared to z** his p***** in a rainstorm.” (That last one sounds better in the original Portuguese.) But when it comes to babies, the winner, hands down, is: “You have to cherish this time.” And it’s usually followed by: “They grow up so fast.” Based on the way it’s said, the subtext is clearly not: “You have to cherish this time like we did. We cherished every moment, and…

Awake At Tooth Hurty

The period when a baby is teething is a difficult time. It is a time of fussiness, irritability and sleep problems. But, believe it or not, experts disagree on whether this is caused by teething, or whether it’s simply a coincidence. Clearly, I’m no expert (experts get paid a lot of money for their opinions), but I think that, what is essentially a tiny ax blade slowly cutting through tender, nerve-rich gums might cause one to be irritable. Some have said that, relatively speaking, if we, as adults, had to experience similar pain, we wouldn’t be able to handle it. Such a…

Fatherly Advice

When it comes to advice about bringing up Baby, I’m hesitant to enter the pool. This is based on my own disappointments when soliciting advice. The fact is, there are a lot of experts out there (some even bother to write books), but regardless of which parenting style is represented in your library, all of the books, every five pages, feature the disclaimer: “But all babies are different.” They all but admit that a repository of knowledge beyond the fact that your baby will most assuredly eat, poop, and sleep (oh God, please let her sleep) is really just 500…

Crying It Out

I’m writing this now from a very lowly place. The place reserved for  only the cruelest parents; parents like Joan Crawford, Darth Vader, and every mother from TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras. It’s the place where parents go during Sleep Training.  Our daughter is now 7 months old and so far her personality has revealed that she is, and probably always will be, impatient and driven. She has already begun “cruising,” which, if you’re not familiar, in baby speak means she is standing and shuffling along the side of the crib or sofa. We think that this is not so much…

Baby New Year

Of the many gifts given to us by the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s Eve is the best.  It’s a quintessentially American holiday; an “anything goes,” evening where, if only for one night, we all live in Las Vegas and, as we all know, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. And if, for some reason, it doesn’t stay in Vegas, a shot of penicillin usually does the trick.  For many of us, we celebrate because we survived another year. And we celebrate like Lieutenant Dan in the crow’s nest of Forrest Gump’s shrimp boat: “You call this a storm?!” We…

First Annual Holiday Letter

This Holiday was our first with our new daughter. Seeing the magic of the season reflected in her eyes truly brought back the joy and innocence that had long been petrified by creeping commercial cynicism.  Our first Christmas was one to remember. Permanently woven into the tapestry of our family, we’ll never forget when she grabbed an ornament with the strength of a meth-addicted primate, and nearly brought the in-law’s tree crashing down.  And, of course, there was the Christmas miracle when we were certain she was lost until we found that she had simply rolled under the couch. And…

Six Months

I think it’s finally starting to pay off. Don’t get me wrong, being a dad is amazing, but, up until now, the relationship was very one-way (as it should be when one of us is a baby). But now, at 6 months, her personality is starting to emerge. She has opinions; likes and dislikes, she has a basic grasp of cause and effect, and she sees value in making daddy laugh. That means that she’s grown from a helpless community service project into a slightly less helpless, more entertaining community service project. And at this point in my infant-induced exile,…

An Infant Intervention

Recently, I had to go away for a while; I had to “get off the grid.”  As the full-time, daytime caregiver for our 5-month-old daughter, as she learns what life is all about, it’s my job to make sure it doesn’t kill her. For the past week, she’s been going through a sort of Renaissance; not just a physical growth spurt, but a mental and emotional spurt as well.  Managing this time is like trying to wean a werewolf off of painkillers. Breaking an addiction to painkillers is hard enough, but then there’s the whole werewolf thing. And right now,…

The Crying Game

Unlike the air brushed babies in the parenting magazines, our baby cries. I know it’s not personal when our daughter cries. I know that she’s not saying:  “You’re a failure as a father! Now I’m going to date a drummer!” I understand that it’s her only method of communication, but lately, she’s been doing a lot of communicating. As soon as she cries, I begin a series of checks; I rub her forehead to see if she’s tired, I sniff her diaper to see if she’s dirty, and I offer her my knuckle to suckle to see if she’s hungry.…

They See Me Rollin’

When they asked George Mallory why he climbed Mount Everest, he responded: “Because it’s there.” John F. Kennedy wanted to go to the moon “…and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” And, of course, the bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain to see what he could see. Sure, Mount Everest is now littered with the frozen bodies of erstwhile adventurers, the moon is a dusty rock, and what the bear saw was urban sprawl encroaching on his natural habitat, but, nevertheless,…