Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Road Trip and Deadly Comparison

            Celia is exactly ten months old now, and I’m struck, as I see my newly born nephew, at just how old she really is. We’ve been in Montana with the family for a couple of days now, and Celia is absolutely huge compared to her cousin Webber. She seems like a mature little girl in comparison to her motionless cousin.
            Not only that, but I realize that she’s getting older for other reasons too. On the drive down we stopped by a café for a light meal and a beverage. We ordered, and the woman behind the counter looked at me quizzically and said, “Did you order three items?”
            “Yes,” I said, and looked at Michelle for her confirmation. As I sat down at the table and each of us had our little sandwich, it suddenly hit me; this is the first meal where I bought a full menu item for the baby. Up till this moment, she’s always just shared our food. But now, we both wanted a full sandwich, and we knew that she’d eat about half of one, so of course it made complete sense to order one just for her.
            I feel like I’ve crossed a border where there’s no turning back. I said aloud, “Another mouth to feed.” I suppose this would be one argument to breastfeed longer; it’s cheaper! I think of that Far Side comic where the guy is looking in the mirror and says to his wife, “Oh great! As if this is what we need… another mouth to feed!” In the mirror he has two mouths on his face.
            In Montana our little baby is fitting in like she’s always been here. She seems to remember her grandma, and all the relatives. She absolutely loves her new cousin, although he just kind of lies there most of the time.
            I can’t believe the difference between my brother’s baby and Celia. From day one Celia was all fussing and squiggling. Webber is so docile. So quiet. It’s actually a bit shocking to me, to tell the truth. Shocking that a child in the family would be that calm. I figured that all the energy that runs through the family would make all the kids wild. Well, I suppose he has time to become wild, but he sure is quiet for now.
            Not that he sleeps through the night or anything. No, at least he’s a normal baby in that respect. And Elise, my sister-in-law was telling us how my brother wakes up through the night to take care of him. “In fact,” she told me and Michelle at lunch earlier today, “In the first week, because I’d had the C-Section, Sam took care of him entirely.”
            Michelle turned to me and said, “He took care of the baby all by himself!” She said this with a certain tone that said, “If your brother can do this, why can’t you?”
            I stood up. “Excuse me,” I said, “This is a good moment for me to use the restroom.”
            We all laughed, but I thought to myself, “Ah, the comparison already begins. First we compare what the kids are like. Then we compare how we raise them.” I wonder if that’ll ever change, or if we’ll be doing comparisons for a long time to come.
            My mom is simply thrilled to have all of us in her home. She loves playing with Celia, and takes every opportunity to be with her, which of course Michelle and I are happy about.
            The house could use some baby-proofing, though. When I first arrived, I did the customary parental first-glance around each room I was in and thought to myself, “This will be a lot of work!” Sure enough, the next morning I took the baby at 6:20am (which would be sleeping in except for the time change, so our home time would really have been 5:20am!). I staggered into the bathroom, set her on the carpet, and relieved myself on the toilet, sitting so that I could watch her.
            She sat for a few seconds and looked around with her early-morning stares. Then, she stood up using the knob on the drawer, and opened the drawer. In a matter of seconds she’d pulled out a box of lightbulbs, looked at it, and thrown it on the ground in disinterest. Then, pulled out a box of Q-tips, and again thrown it on the ground. Finally, she pulled out a plastic razor blade, which she put into her mouth! All in less then five seconds!
            I jumped off the toilet and grabbed the razor blade. We definitely will need to do some baby-proofing around here!

No comments:

Post a Comment