Sunday, January 13, 2008

Living in Babyland.

My first weekend as a father is almost complete. Tomorrow it's back to the everyday grind of work, and it's not as severe a prospect as it has been for years. Unlike during my long period of relative freedom, I'm not sacrificing much by getting back into the routine of the week. For the first time since E. was born, I'm feeling a sense of relative normalcy again. Last night M. and I decided that she would use her single daily allowance of stair use at night, so that she and the baby can sleep in his room. This will give her an opportunity to change her environment a bit so she won't go completely mad being confined to the same room 24-7. The new strategy paid immediate dividends as they got a new peaceful place to rest. He actually slept in his crib. This gave M. a chance to get some more needed sleep.

The flood of visitors has slowed to a trickle. Our friends and family have all been wonderfully supportive. It's nice to know that so many folks are willing to lend a hand. We are constantly getting offers from people who would be willing to help out even more. We're not the type of couple that accepts support from others very easily, but the knowledge that it's out there should we need it is reassuring. These visits have been great for me, as it pulls me out of "babyland" for a glimpse of the outside world. All in all, it's not been nearly as oppressive as I expected it to be. Only time will tell if I can say the same thing a month from now. I guess it depends upon the habits that E. eventually develops. It's still too early to get a true gauge of his developing personality.

There are times when our boy is extremely cranky. When he gets really upset he sounds like something possessed- a la The Exorcist. Has the Antichrist joined our family? If so, we will do everything to make him feel welcome and try not to judge. He's going to be his own little person regardless. Maybe we can take the edge off for humanity's sake. We've noticed that he doesn't have the sort of infinite patience we might have hoped for. Of course if he had, it would have been an aberration, considering our own individual temperaments. M. has repeatedly commented that I had a sort or evilly retarded look as an infant. Meanwhile I've always felt when looking at M.'s childhood photos that she was no plum fairy herself. E. looks a bit angelic, and then he opens up that quivering mouth and lets loose with a barrage of insistent complaint.

So it is pleasant once in while to get away. Last night I received exactly one and a half hours of social leave. I used it to run out and see three gallery openings. I called a friend and he was able to accompany me in my whirlwind tour of the Pittsburgh art offerings. Zombo Gallery had a "bring your own art" show. Apparently (although I didn't really get any exact details) they provided wall space for any artists that wanted to display a piece or two. As one might expect, all the available space was used, and there were plenty of people milling about. The proprietors typically make sure to have some decent beer and wine on hand, and last tonight it was a quarter keg of Church Brew Works craft ale. I waited for the foam to settle and had a look around.

Knowing that I was on a tight schedule definitely affected my enjoyment. Whenever I ran into someone I knew, I was self-conscious about not spending too much time with small talk. I'm sure I appeared as if I was distracted, and indeed I was. But I wanted to make sure I took enough time with the work itself. Unfortunately, nothing I saw at any of the galleries stood out enough to make me pause for awhile. Still I'm not sure whether that was because of the intrinsic quality of the work, or due to the fact that I felt hurried. I wanted to milk every single minute for maximum pleasure. That's a lot to expect from entries in a group show. My other outside excitement from this weekend entailed buying the wrong diapers at Giant Eagle, and consequently being sent out to the Dollar Store. I remedied the first mistake with another- buying a generic brand which M. would never put on E. Oh well.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep room in your heart for the Anti-Christ.

6:47 PM  

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