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!


  1. What a great post and thanks for sharing the scan. I loved getting these updates from the docs.

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Australia.

    Johnny, Darren & Noah

  2. Hey Geoff (& Shannon),
    I agree with you that kids are extremely resilient. I agree with that even more now that we have a couple little ones. (Eric crawled/rolled down a flight of uncarpeted stairs at 6 months) What I will say is that what your looking to buy has to be what is best for you parents. It is the parents that have different levels of toleration and many times that can be explained by their lifestyle and life choices.
    We got by without toooo many extras but it was always about what we needed to make it work vs the baby(ies).
    ie. Buy what you must have and think you must have now and be ready to buy other things that Shannon (or both of you) need later.
    When the kids were babies, Kristine made a few requests that I (on the inside) thought was superfluous but we got them if it gave her just an extra few minutes a day.
    It only lasts a few years and it changes constantly so enjoy the journey. I hope this is helpful.
    Hugs, Marty
    P.S. Don't buy a baby wipes heater. We laughed when we saw one of those in the store but then got one as a gift and we still never used it. Sometimes a cold wipe in the middle of the night is just what a baby needs. If you feather their nest too much you will be doing that the rest of your life (just my opinion).

  3. Hi Shannon and Geoff!!

    Please call me. I want all of the updates. :)

  4. Hi Shannon & Geoff! So glad to hear things are going well! You must be getting so excited.

    Crazy news - Michael & I will be having a baby in April! I was actually pregnant when we met and didn't know it. Months later and I can still hardly believe it.

    I have Baby Bargains too, and I laughed at your description of these purchasing decisions. Who knows what we'll actually like? One thing is clear - I need to make some room in my house for all this stuff!

    Have a wonderful holiday!

  5. As far as advice, what ever you get, hope all give you a gift receipt. You can always return the thing you (or they) desperately thought you needed for the only thing you do...DIAPERS!!!! I'll include mine with the gift, just in case. You already have what your baby needs...a happy family with love to give! Mushy, but the truth!

    Love you both!