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It looks uncomfortable to me, but Dog likes to sleep in the hide-a-snout position (not to be confused with the hide-a-sausage position, which is something else entirely).







Friday, October 7, 2005

During our first couple weeks with Riley, JB said to me at one point, "Man, I wish babies had some kind of LED sign on their shirts that told us what their goddamn problem was." I agreed wholeheartedly and wondered why someone had not invented such a device. I imagined it as a Japanese product that computed baby noises and displayed the interpretations in slightly broken English: NEED MILK SUPER NOW, or MAGIC DIAPER IS FILL WITH POOP.

Now that Riley's a little older and we're a little more savvy to his various bleatings, I usually think I have a pretty good handle on what he needs. The "Ah...AH! WAH!" sounds mean he's hungry. The "Ennnhhhh. ERRRNNGH! WEEAAAH!" grunting-then-screaming noises indicate a gas problem and are typically followed by a monster trumpeting from his nether regions (JB, proudly: "My son, he farts like a man"). And, as we learned last night, a vaguely gaggy expression combined with a snorty cough means "DUCK AND COVER, DUCK AND COVER", because a kegload of formula is about to make a second appearance, Exorcist-style.

He performed his mighty spew in front of two friends that had come to visit, a couple we've known for years who don't have kids. In fact, they are days from leaving the U.S. on what is planned to be an 18 month journey around the world, trekking through country after country with backpacks and staying in hostels. For a while I entertained the notion that perhaps we were all a bit envious of each other's current life situation - them gazing upon our adorable child, us listening eagerly to their travel itinerary - but after Riley demanded no less than four feedings in the space of two hours then sprayed down both JB and our couch with the undigested remains of the last bottle, I figured any jealousy in the room was entirely one sided. "Tell me again about the Kilimanjaro climb," I said dreamily, wiping a drip of baby yack off my shirt.

I thought of them again early this morning while JB and I were jointly dealing with a particularly odious diaper (this is what we call "Team Diaper", codenamed as such after the day I took a peek up Riley's leghole and announced to JB that we had a problem. "Oh?" he had said politely, flipping through a magazine. "A team problem," I said meaningfully, and gave him the slow Eddie Izzard nod when he looked up). I thought about their upcoming adventures and the sights they will see, and I couldn't help comparing that lifestyle to my task at hand: mining poop shrapnel from Riley's butt cheeks.

Next time we'll see you you'll be almost two, they had said to Riley, and this morning it hit me in a rush all that will happen in our own lives just in the next year and a half: first smiles, first steps, first words, and every tiny moment in between, even the poop. How I wouldn't trade that for anything, anything at all.

Besides, let's be honest here - I'm excited for our friends and can't wait to hear about the places they go, but truthfully I could never do it myself. In theory I love the romantic ideal of the gutsy world traveler, in practice I would be whiny and miserable without a hairdryer. (And moisturizer. And a Sonicare. And kleenex, god I can't go anywhere without kleenex. And ibuprofen. And lip balm. And "Polar Eclipse" gum. And a Tweezerman. And Diet Coke. And - anyway, you get the picture.)


Also? "Eeeeyaaaaahh!" means Riley's finger - not the nail, the end of his finger - has been clipped, despite the fancy baby clippers with the built-in magnifying glass that are meant to avoid just that sort of catastrophe, and his buttery delicate fragile skin is bleeding, and he is wailing in pain, and oh my god I just hurt my own son, JESUS CHRIST I'M SO SORRY, etc. I'm never cutting those fuckers again, I don't care if he grows Predator-length claws that he can use to scale trees, I'm sticking with the non-wound-causing nail buffer from now on. He may be manicured like a sissy boy, but at least his nickname won't be "Stumpy".


Baby pic du jour:


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