After a day and a half at the hospital (one overnight), the Dude, the Mrs., and Little Dude joined the Princess back at Casa de Dude, and we’ve all fumbled our way triumphantly through the Little Dude’s first week on Earth. Happy one week b-day Little Dude.
Looking back on the blur of the first seven days, some lessons are evident.
1. Mom’s are tough as nails…except when they cry…then they need lots of hugs. Birth is a doozey, and that’s just the beginning. At one point the Mrs. compared the early pains of breastfeeding to “monkey’s beating on my chest”…not sure if she’s actually had this experience, but point is well taken…mommying is painful. Added to the physical pain are sleepless nights, complete loss of personal space, and mental somersaults that accompany a constant pull in every direction at once.
2. Dads aren’t too shabby either. True, Dads don’t endure the physical pain, but the mental somersaults are just as much a part of their life trying to balance the increasing priorities within a decreasing scope of time. Sleepless nights are sleepless nights to Mommies and Daddies; someone needs to burp and change the boy after Mom feeds him, and the Princess and pooches still need breakfast come morning. I have no idea how a single parent functions.
3. The rest of the tribe is almost as important as Mom and Dad. As the saying goes, “It takes a village…” Babies change everything in an instant, and other members of the “parent club” recognize the magnitude of this transition and actively offer support without a request. It seems like it’s just understood that it’s needed. No one has offered to setup a trust fund for him yet, but gestures as simple as dropping off dinner help a day flow smoothly.
This voluntary assistance also extends to the Princess who has happily taken on the role of big sister without a fuss.
4. Nature is amazing! This boy is incredible, growing and changing on a daily basis, and to think a short seven days ago he was housed inside of another human being. Millions of minute interactions occurring at precise moments to bring the tiny lad into our lives. Thanks Mama Nature.
5. The Moby rocks. It allows you to wrap the baby around you using a simple cloth as I imagine our ancestors have done for quite a while. Allowing for hands-free mobility, and letting the Dude and Little Dude cruise around the yard watering the gardens and taking in the scenery.
6. A battery operated swing and bouncy chair come in very handy. I’m not sure I would say a must, but pretty darn close to a must.
7. All hail the swaddle! I’ll spare you the detailed descriptions of this relatively boring topic, but if you know anyone with an infant, or expecting, I highly recommend “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr. Karp. Here’s a video that shows some of the techniques in action.