September 4th, 2008


Things New Parents Should Know # 9 - Bandsaw

Take a bandsaw and put it in your bedroom. Set it up so it will run all on it's own from late afternoon and on through the night. It should activate at random points anywhere between one and four hours apart throughout the night, for not less than two minutes at a time. Average length of a run should be around fifteen minutes. Maximum time an hour or so.

When it's running, every second or so it will be randomly fed wood, with occasional bits of stone and metal for variety of sound.

It should be built so it has a sweet face, scrunched up in heart-breaking discomfort that you can do nothing about. Cuddling it may help it finish a run sooner, but may not.

This is your baby with colic.
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Things New Parents Should Know # 10 - Worth

Tiny hands that get randomly flung about, only to grab your finger tight. A little scrunched up face, with eyes that hold your attention even when they aren't looking at you. A small warm body that responds to and enjoys being held close to your own, just as you love the feel of it against your chest and skin.

Odd little noises in the dark. At night they're reminiscent of a young puppy, breathing, panting, the strange little sudden squeaks and whimpers. The wake-up cries, that aren't for any other reason than to say, "Hello! I'm awake!"

The slow development from an odd pink mewling thing into a little person. The eyes gradually focusing more. Shifts in its attention with its first faltering interactions with both you and its environment. Those odd early moments when something catches and hold its attention briefly.

The slow rediscovery of the world through someone who hasn't seen any of it before. Everything will be new again. A ball as an object of wonder, a new surface something to be explored, a tree, the ocean, the sky, all brand new for a new little person.

And this little person loves you, wants to be held by you. To them, you are the centre of its world, and it the new centre of yours. And despite all the problems and worries, the interruptions and sleeplessness, the frustration and confusion, you know at the core of your being that this little person is worth all of it and more.

You think you know it will be that way before you become a parent, but like all the things you try to prepare yourself for beforehand, the stress, the tiredness, you can't understand the reality of just how deeply it will affect you until it's happening.

It's only when it's happening, with the joy and wonder mixed with the hardship, that you can feel in the heart of your being how truly worth it it is.
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Things New Parents Should Know # 11 - Crying

Crying. Babies cry. It's how they train you to recognise their sound. It's their only way to express themselves. It's how they talk to you.

It can mean there's a problem, or discomfort, but it doesn't always mean that.

If your baby is crying, it doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong. It doesn't mean you're a bad parent. It doesn't mean bub's unhappy. It's not something that you always have to feel must be stopped, because sometimes you can't stop it. Sometimes, all you can do it put up with it, or try to offer the best comfort to your child you can.

However, if your baby cries every time you pick it up by its ears, you're doing it wrong.
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