Mar 26 2007
My dear friend
He is pretty awesome, though, otherwise. He is turning into a person like a stop-motion film; every day he gains an ounce of bodyweight (he doesn’t quite weigh 10 pounds yet) and, we figured out, is adding something like 2% to his total lifespan every day this week. At six weeks he is just learning how to smile; most of the time he just stares blankly at the world, like a small nearsighted gnome. He can grip your finger and sense emotional states, but is too small to recognize people, express emotions (except displeasure) or move himself about much. He sleeps 20 hours a day and basically is eating, is awake blinking, or is howling the rest of the time. Temperature regulation is very important, as I suppose it would be if you only weighed 10 pounds.
I am learning more about the actual ins & outs of having a kid that I’ve ever known before. I’ve taken care of infants, but no one’s ever regaled me with the details of breastfeeding, how long one bleeds after having a kid, how the little one metabolizes, etc. My friend is a good and competent mom, and it’s been really interesting.
But focusing on a baby, I’ve naturally been thinking about them, and the logistics of having one. For having a baby, if one were positioned so you didn’t have to worry about money or going back to work, and you had a comfortable place to live — and internet, to work from home & not go crazy with — it would be ok. And you had a spouse you liked talking to, and family and friends nearby. And if crying didn’t drive you insane. Alternatively, having a place with close friends who also had small children could work out pretty well, especially if you could rearrange your schedule so someone was always home with the kids.
I feel like all people — especially those who know for sure they want kids — should rent an infant for a weekend. Spend a few days hanging out with a good mom, like my friend, and then take the baby on for a couple of days. It’s worlds away from holding one, cooing, & then handing it back to its parents. It is, as E. and I have been telling each other, a wonder the human race survives at all.
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