Coming up for air
Thanks to everyone for their kind congratulations on the birth of our daughter. If you have kids, you don’t need me to tell you that it’s an exhilarating and exhausting experience. And if you don’t, my paltry words won’t be able to do it justice. I can’t go so far as to say we’re in any kind of routine yet, but we’re getting the hang of things, thanks in large part to some much-appreciated help from my mother-in-law.
I took a month-long leave from work, so I’ve been getting well practiced at the mechanics of infant care (diapers, bottles, swaddling, etc.), running interference between my wife and daughter and the outside world, spending money hand over fist on baby supplies, and receiving visits from wonderful friends, who have usually come bearing delicious food. All that plus trying to get to know this mysterious little creature who now shares our lives.
There has been some down time (newborns sleep a lot), and I’ve spent most of it reading baby books, usually of the how-to variety. But I also picked up, on Marilyn‘s recommendation, The Scientist in the Crib by Alison Gopnik, Andrew Meltzoff, and Patricia Kuhl. It summarizes, in a very lay-reader friendly fashion, some of the recent research on how babies’ minds develop. Specifically, it looks at how infants’ minds are hardwired to solve certain conundrums that have bedeviled philosophers for centuries like the existence of other minds and the external world. I’m not sure David Hume would be satisfied, but it makes for fascinating reading, especially for a new parent.
I also managed to read Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. The bite-sized nuggets of text were perfect for those first few bleary days after coming home from the hospital, when my brain could only process about 150 words at a sitting (at most). It was a good reminder not to let the stresses of new parenthood turn into an excuse for eating crap. Though, contra Pollan, convenience food can be a blessing in some circumstances.
Hopefully as the learning curve becomes a little less steep I’ll find more time to post here. I will try to avoid becoming a “daddy blogger” though.