Thursday, July 16, 2009

Even as a newborn, he came at me like a piranha

When I reread my last entry, I realized that in all the trifle I'd left out most of the meat (that is, assuming you like yours laced with meat -- don't ask). I touched on teething but forgot to mention that Little Green to date has his front four teeth -- two up, two down -- with an epic crevasse in between the front two (allegedly predestines him to be either a great singer or whistler). And a few more bugling, whitish spots on either side suggest other teeth are not far from cracking the surface. Apparently I should be 'cleaning' these teeth, but I'm not even going there yet. I have been too busy stressing as to what constitutes 'finger foods' -- nachos, popcorn, hot dogs... I could go on, but this litany of baseball foods is making me hungry. There seems to be little concrete advice or consensus on what to feed a baby once he starts weaning. There is even less guidance about the timings of meals and the ratio of bottles, and so on. Why is that? I guess the only idea behind the finger foods is to hone baby's fine motor skills. (Imagine, then, my pride when our little pride wheedled a microscopic piece of cheddar between his pointer and thumb and actually manoeuvred it into his mouth!)

In fact, I use the term 'little' almost ironically here. Our Little Green currently weighs in at 26lbs and is nearly 3ft tall. Yeah, it's almost freakish for his age and rarely does a day go by when a passerby refrains from passing comment. Just yesterday -- and not for the first time, I might add --a construction worker walking past couldn't resist a bit of, 'Weyhey, mymy he sure is a BIG boy.' What a bruiser/sumo/michelin/you name it we've heard it... Sometimes even the three-letter word that dares not speak its name. It used to bother me, all this name calling, because as we all know all too well, it's not just sticks and stones that hurt. But in the past few months my skin has toughened to rawhide when the subject of my baby son's size comes to fore, as it inevitably does, from every teller, cashier, construction worker and random walker/shopper. On occasion I even manage to joke with friends that I never stood a chance at nursing him; I don't have the 'equipment', and even as a newborn he came at me like a piranha.

Too much information, perhaps. But isn't it refreshing? In this age of overload and junkie confessionals, how odd that so many aspects of birth and motherhood are still shrouded in a little black box. Just yesterday a friend expressed abject horror when I explained how post-labour menses can last up to six weeks and how mere Always doesn't always cut it. After a baby comes out, you need breeze blocks to catch the flow. She had NO IDEA. Her ignorance came as no surprise because up until my third trimester, I too had NO IDEA. So among other things, for me this blog is not only about rant but hopefully also about illumination. If just one sad soul out there reads this white screen and learns a trifle more about the kamikaze that is parenthood and as a result is a trifle (sorry, couldn't resist) better prepared for it than I was, then hallelujah, praise be all the gods in heaven.

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