Friday, September 29, 2006

I Suck at Burping

I remember it clearly: I was eleven years old watching "Revenge of the Nerds." Dudley "Booger" Dawson just beat Ogre in the belching contest at the Adams College Greek Festival. As an eleven year old, I was pretty good at belching was going to be awesome.

And now burping seems to be one of my fatherhood flaws. Not me burping, of course, but burping my daughter. I feed her an ounce or two, put her over my shoulder to try to burp her...nothing. I hold her in the "seat" position and try to burp her...nothing. I figure maybe she doesn't have to burp, and continue feeding her, and then hear from the other room "She needs to burp...don't start feeding her again!." Aargh!

AND, for some reason, whenever I burp her, I end up having to burp! I am totally doing this wrong. Booger would be so disappointed.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Irony Can Be Pretty Ironic

Have you ever felt as if the world was trying to tell you something? Why have I heard "Parents Just Don't Understand" by D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince four times since my daughter was born? I don't think I had heard that song four times in the last ten years combined!

OK, rub it in my face, I'm growing up. I rapped that song at my Bar Mitzvah (I realize how sad that is.) And now, I can really see that parent's side of the situation. I would be really pissed off if, while Newmommy and I were on a week's vacation, my daughter ever took the keys to my brand new Porsche! Are they hers? Umm, well, of course not! (However, on the ride home, I don't know if Newmommy and I would take turns beating her while the other's driving.)

If she picked up a twelve year old runaway, we would have bigger problems.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

No More Infant Cell Phones

Yet again, my big mouth asks a seasoned parent for helpful advice, and yet again I am thrown in the midst of a simple-issued-turned-parenting-controversy. This week: Pacifiers.

"I would never give my kid a pacifier...parents who use a physical object to calm down their kids aren't really parents."

"Pacifiers are good! Why let a kid cry all night if all they want to do is have a sucking sensation? Plus, pacifiers are known to reduce incidents of SIDS!"

"Shampoo is better, I go on first and clean the hair." "Conditioner is better, I leave the hair silky and smooth!" "Oh really, fool!"

Fact is, I am a bad parent because I have not yet picked an "issue." So, here goes...I am staunchly anti-cell phones for infants. Now, I know what you're thinking. Cell phones help infants gain communication skills. Plus, with all of the video games on cell phones, it helps hand-eye coordination. If you think that, you shouldn't even have kids.

First, cell phones really interfere with feedings. How often have you tried to feed your infant, and they're talking away on their phones? Then, milk spills on the phone, risking electric shock! Second, babies do not have the cognitive ability to stay below their allotted minutes, or to differentiate between days, nights and weekends. Therefore, they blow right through their anytime minutes...and us parents end up paying the overages! Finally, and I don't mean to be ageist, but babies have the stupidest ringtones. "The Wheels on the Bus" was never meant to tell someone they have a phone call.

Same goes for giving blackberries to infants. Unless, of course, they need it for work. Then I guess it's OK.

P.S. Do I smell a subway series??

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I'd Like to Buy a Conversation

I hadn't seen Wheel of Fortune in a while, and I notice that now, during the bonus round, they give you six letters automatically, and have you pick an additional four. This is a good system as it gets rid of the riff-raff letters that everyone picks so that you can focus on the real stuff.

With Rosh Hashanah approaching, I imagine I will be seeing quite a few family members and friends whom I have not seen or spoken to over the past two weeks. I am going to take the Wheel of Fortune approach and eliminate the conversation I'd otherwise be bound to repeat over and over again by handing out cards with the following:
  • It's good to see you, too. It has been a while.
  • Yes we did, last Friday night.
  • A girl.
  • 7 lbs, 10 oz. 20 inches.
  • C-section.
  • Yeah, but she did really well...I was so impressed with her.
  • Fine, she's healing nicely.
  • No, I haven't gotten much sleep.
  • About a week and a half, I went back this week.
  • We really should, we don't live that far apart.

L'Shana Tova everyone! (If applicable, otherwise, happy weekend.)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Book Report: "Guess How Much I Love You"

[Spoiler Warning: I give away the ending in this post. Please do not read if you would like to remain in suspense.]

The classic "Guess How Much I Love You" by Sam McBratney shows the difficult struggles of young rabbits as they are constantly one-upped by those in a position of power. In this story, Big Nutbrown Hare engages in a pissing contest with Little Nutbrown Hare to see who loves the other more. No matter what LNH says, BNH has an answer...."I love you as far as I can reach," says LNH. "Well, I'm bigger and I love you as far as I can reach," replies BNH. You cheer for LNH at the climax when LNH realizes that nothing can be higher than the moon...."I love you all the way up to the moon," he says.

His efforts are immediately blanked by BNH, "I love you all the way up to the moon...and back, fool!"

Ah, but there is a good reason for your children to rest easy at the end. Little do people know that Big Nutbrown Hare is actually the Trix rabbit. In "Guess How Much I Love You II", BNH's efforts to get a bowl of cereal are rejected by Little Nutbrown Boy who says, "Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids."

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Guesswork in a White Coat: Teacher's Edition

"Principal Skinner: Um, ladies and gentlemen, the unthinkable has happened. Some sick, twisted individual has stolen every teacher's edition in this school.
Teacher: What'll we do!?
Ms. Krabapple: Declare a snow day!
Teacher: Does anyone know the multiplication table?
Skinner: No, please, don't panic. They can smell fear."
- From "The Simpsons: Separate Vocations"

I present below the teacher's edition to Thursday's post, "Guesswork in a White Coat" ...answers provided by the Pediatrician...

Do you clean the area around the umbilical cord before it falls off?
Pediatrician SAYS {in my best Richard Dawson voice}: You can if you want, but it is not necessary.

Do you wake a sleeping baby to feed?
Jim J. Bollock: "Yes." Pediatrician: "Disagree, unless she's gone four hours without feeding. But, most likely, you won't have to wake her up by then." Circle gets a square.

To supplement breastfeeding, should you use a bottle?
Stop! Stop at a Whammy.... (The Pediatrician actually said yes, but I couldn't think of a good way to tie-in Press Your Luck, arguably the greatest gameshow of all time.)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Good Parenting Volume 2: Sushibaby!

In honor of Newmommy's triumphant return to the world of sushi, I have added a sushi-link to the "Things to Teach Your Kids" section, as well as the picture below. Newmommy and I took this picture (on our honeymoon) at Sushi Blues on the island of Kuaui.

This is a fine example of introducing your child to world cuisines at a young age. (And, apparently beer...not so sure about that one! "Can I be a boozehound? Not 'till your fifteen....")

P.S. No, this is not The Baby Formerly Known as Bud. (Still working on a nickname.)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Guesswork in a White Coat

"They don't know what their doing, it's all guesswork in a white coat." - George Carlin on Doctors

As I finish up my first week as a parent, I have learned many lessons. First, my daughter is not really interested in what I do for a living, because she falls asleep every time I talk to her about it. Second, when your wife asks you to do something, telling her that I "have to do everything around here" is not a good response. Third, there are NO straight answers to parenting questions.

I have so many questions regarding how to take care of my daughter, and I can't seem to get a straight answer on any of them. Between the nurses in the hospital, the OB, the pediatrician at the hospital (not our regular pediatrician), the Grandparents Committee and Newmommy's friends, I've received conflicting opinions on even the most simple questions.

Do you clean the area around the umbilical cord before it falls off?
Nurses at the hospital: No
Pediatrician at the hospital: Yes.

Do you wake a sleeping baby to feed?
Nurse in the C-Section OR: No.
Nurse in the post-partum ward: Yes.
Pediatrician: No at night, yes during the day.

To supplement breastfeeding, should you use a bottle?
Pediatrician: Yes.
Other doctor in the post-partum ward (and nurses): No, cup feed instead, as the baby may get "Nipple Confusion." (So, "Nipple Confusion" is NOT taking home the wrong girl after a drunk night out.)

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The medical profession is a lot like the legal profession in that there are practicioners who have different professional opinions. I just thought that such essential (and basic-sounding questions) would have some agreed-upon answers.

We have our first appointment with our real pediatrician today. We've met with her and respect her position on a lot of issues, so my view is to let her get the deciding vote on all of this.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Anatomy of a Delivery

Sorry for the recent post delay, but as you can imagine, the last four days have been a whirlwind for your humble narrator. The delivery went something like this:


1pm: Went to Newmommy's OB appointment. OB told us that Newmommy was to be induced Friday morning, and we'd be spending the night in the hospital.

10pm: Checked into the hospital. After getting situated, I folded out the Craftmatic Chair-that-turns-into-a-bed-but-"chair"-and-"bed"-are- overstatements and "tried" to sleep. Newmommy, noticing my pain on the chair says, "you look uncomfortable." Mind you, she was in a hospital bed with an IV drip which was put in after two unsuccessful attempts. Yes, I was very comfortable.


2am: Assistant to the assistant anesthesiologist wakes us up to explain epidural risk factors and asks us to sign a consent form. Good legal question: is a consent form signed while a person is half-asleep and strapped to a hospital bed with an IV binding?

5am: Induction begins.

10am: Contractions begin. After about ten minutes, I sit down and draft a letter:
Dear Y Chromosome,
I know I don't say this very often, but thanks for being there for me.

10:20am: Epidural begins. Newmommy writes a similar letter to the anesthesiologist.

11am: "Maury" comes on the TV. It's an episode about 14 year-olds who want to have babies against their parent's wishes. "Whatever, I do what I want!"

12pm: I go out and get sandwiches for us. Food Services thought that Newmommy was anorexic because she didn't touch the meals they served her.

2pm: The Newgrandparents Committee begins its regular status checks. Status updates were requested every 20 minutes for the next 10 hours.

Newdaddy to Doctor: "Why can Newmommy eat ice chips, but not drink water?"
Doctor: "Don't ask questions to which I don't know the answer."

[N.B.: I realize this paints the wrong picture of our doctor, he actually was great. It was just a funny comment.]

6pm: Dialation continues, but (then-) Bud doesn't descend.

7pm: The doctor gives us a choice: C-Section, or try pushing for three hours and then most likely get the C-Section. In the immortal words of my father: "Duh!"

9pm: Newmommy goes into the OR (with me in scrubs...). I send my Y chromosome another thank-you note.

10:20pm: My daughter arrives! [David Bowie's "Changes" just came on the radio...] This is the part where I say that my daughter was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, and looking at her made me melt. But, I promised I wouldn't do that, so I wont.

The remainder of the weekend (actually, until today, when we came home) was devoted to visits, and adjusting to my daughter's (lack of) sleep schedule. Still have a lot more adjustin' to do. But, that was to be expected as I was warned....

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Bud was born today (I guess technically yesterday, September 8), and she's beautiful! She was born at 10:20pm, 7lbs 10oz. Newmommy was a rock star in delivery, but that was to be expected.

(I realize now that despite my view on gender-neutral language, Bud may not be the best nickname for a girl, so I may need to call her something different for purposes of this blog.)

I'll write more after I have gotten some sleep.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

...and Bud is getting Laaaaaarger

Apparently, even before birth, my child is already a lot like me; preferring a well-planned out event to spontaneity. Newmommy is five days past her due date, Bud's clocking in at about eight pounds and the good doctor has recommended that Newmommy get induced.

So, forget what I expected: us waking up at 3 in the morning, her screaming in pain, me packing the rest of our hospital bag like a maniac...and then driving to the hospital backward because my teenage son who failed his driver's test took the car out on a joyride the night before, and some drunk guy stole it, smashed it up and puked in it...

Instead, Bud has his first Palmpilot entry: birth at 8am.

P.S. Newmommy has selected the following movies for our overnight bag:
  • "Stewie Griffin, the Untold Story"
  • "Wedding Crashers"
  • "The 40 Year Old Virgin"
  • "Mean Girls"
  • "Old School"

Man, I love this chick.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My Milkshake Is Better Than Yours

"Oh...and not once did I have to leave the house at 2am to get a pint of Ben & Jerry's double-mocha-banana split ice cream with a bag of gummy bears for mixin'." - me on Thursday

I spoke too soon. (Well, almost.)

Newmommy has not had many cravings during her now-40 week, two day pregnancy. There has only been one: a chocolate milkshake from Tom's diner on 112th and Broadway (the one from Seinfeld and the Suzanne Vega song), served in a large metal diner-style cup, so thick that when you pour it, a little bit will run out followed by a thump of chocolate ice cream.

So, last night, figuring that she had not quenched this craving, and because we needed something to take our mind off Bud's reluctance to meet his parents, we decided to travel into Manhattan for dinner and this very special milkshake.

We got to our table and ordered. Newmommy ordered a chocolate milkshake, to which the waitress responded: "I am sorry, we're out of chocolate ice cream." Newmommy went through the five stages of grieving in about 30 seconds, and looked like Clark W. Griswold when he found out that Walley World was closed (she also looked like she wanted to flatten the waitress's nose like Marty Moose).

(In all fairness, we should have done our research; that was so not like us. Newmommy calls our three local Tasti-d-lites before going out just to find out which one is serving the best flavors.)

Newmommy then asked, "What if we got you some chocolate ice cream, could you make the shake?" The waitress laughed, thinking she was joking. She wasn't. So, off I was to the D'agistino's on 110th for a pint of Ben & Jerry's chocolate ice cream. I get to the line and, of course, every Columbia undergrad starting classes today was stocking their fridge. It was like a scene out of "Not Another Teen Movie:"

"Excuse me ladies and gentlemen. There's a girl at Tom's diner, who is pregnant. If she doesn't get her chocolate shake served in a large metallic cup, she may leave me, and take my unborn child with her!"

I finally got the ice cream, and, sure enough, Tom made his special shake. Watching Newmommy drink it was like watching the end of "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle."

I guess I'll never know what happens when you don't fulfill a pregnant woman's craving. But, you know what, that's probably an experience I could do without.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A Ten-Pound Dump

What does it feel like to deliver a baby? Our birthing instructor described it as taking a "ten-pound dump." I thought I'd share that visual with you.

I realize this is a strange question for a man to ask. Rather than ask the question, I should be thankful that I never have to know the answer. However, Bud is due today (technically, yesterday), and neither Newmommy nor I have any idea what to expect. How is this whole process supposed to begin? The doctors, books, etc. all are pretty vague on the subject: they talk about contractions, cramps, "bloody show" (which sounds like a horror flick)...but knowing when all of these factors are leading to delivery..."she'll know it when it happens."

I guess I can understand that. Try to describe how you feel before you actually do take a dump (whether or not it is ten pounds.) It's hard to describe, isn't it? know it when it happens.

And while we're on the subject....

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Waiting Game Sucks...Let's Play Hungry, Hungry Hippos

Newmommy's due date is tomorrow. And in the words of Tom Petty, "the waiting is the hardest part." Newmommy has had contractions that did not lead to active labor for the last week or so.

I know this sounds ridiculous, but I can't wait to have this baby to get my life back on track. Minus the conversations I've had at work and with Newmommy, every conversation I've had over the last few days has been a no-update status report on Bud's arrival.

This is how I feel: have you ever been on a plane eagerly anticipating landing (vacation, can't wait to see someone, etc.)? The plane is scheduled to land in half an hour or so, "the capitan has made his initial decent into the....area...." and then, all of a sudden, the plane stops descending. "This is your capitan speaking...we have some unexplained issue on the runway, we will be in a holding pattern for about 30 minutes, I will give you an update when I have more information."

Damn you! The runway is right there, I can see it....

Thirty minutes go by, still no sign of descent..."sorry folks, up here on the flight deck, looks like its going to be about another thirty minutes...."

That's how I feel: it's a bit frustrating, and to make matters worse, we no longer have a shot at Jeff Foxworthy's $50,000.

So, to pass the time, I found this very amusing.