Friday, December 3, 2010

Flock Behavior

A first-time mamma bird turns to her older friend, the mother of a whole flock of chicks, and asks, "So, Baby Bjorn, Ergo, Maya Wrap or Didymos sling?"

Ok, that never happened (as far as I know) but I've been party to a whole bunch of conversations along those lines. It's overwhelming. Frankly, how can I even be expected to have an opinion? I don't know about other first time dads but I've never had to comparison shop Moses baskets before. My fallback solution is to lean on Google search, digging up opinions and reading with a critical eye. That and to page through an absolutely excellent shopping guide, Baby Bargains. But at the end of the day, who knows?

Every friend of ours with little ones has advice, of course, and those opinions range all over the map. Invariably, multiple moms with perfectly happy children will tell us, in no uncertain terms, that we should absolutely do x and not do y - where x and y are completely different from one mom to the next. I tend to listen more to those moms (and dads) who share my temperament. In general, I'm not a worrier and don't need things under 24x7 control so I'm open to advice from folks with the same roll-with-it attitude. And anecdotal evidence doesn't impress me. It's like diets. Each weight-loss success story claims their diet is the best when, in fact, all we really know is what worked for that one person. No two babies are the same either but in general they're much more resilient than the typical modern family seems to gives them credit for.

Ah yes, I know. Wait 'til you have a baby, you're thinking. And sure, I won't be handing our infant a house key and cell phone for at least a few months. However, from my sheltered pre-baby perch, I'm thinking healthy infants are far less dependent on how we handle the minutiae of parenthood. Worrying too much about this stuff is for the birds!


Recently the mailman dropped off a DVD carrying our latest ultrasound. Reports from India have been consistently positive but having something - anything - to look at gives us great satisfaction. The experience is very much like cloud gazing. "What's that look like?" "A school bus!" For some reason Shannon saw a hundred different penises although, of course, we haven't a clue. We did get one good look at our baby's face though. Seems our little one's having a pretty good time in there!