Becoming a baby person ... sort of
I’ve never been a big baby person. As a matter of fact, before my wife, Kay, and I had our twin boys a little more than two months ago, I’d never even held a baby for more than a few minutes.
So, as you can imagine, I’ve learned a lot in the last two months about babies, and in the process become a lot more comfortable with them. In some instances, that is. In others, I’m just as clumsy as I was when we brought them home.
One thing I’ve noticed about our boys is they aren’t very coordinated. They essentially have the same motor skills as malfunctioning animatronics.
I’ll have one of them lying on their stomach. They’ll go to turn their head a little bit and their whole body will suddenly move and I have to catch them to keep them from completely falling over.
Or, when we’re feeding them, they will attempt to reach up and hold the bottle on their own, only their hands will often go farther than they planned and knock the bottle out of their mouth, out of our hands, and onto the floor.
I’ve learned that babies have two stages: 1. Sleeping, and 2. Absolutely starving. By that I mean so hungry that you’d think they’d spent the last seven days without eating a single thing.
So a common theme in our house, at least for me, is one of the boys will start moving around and acting like he’s hungry. I’ll look at the clock and realize it has been approximately 18 seconds since the last time he ate, so he probably is ready for some food.
When I pick him up to go change his diaper, he’s usually still sleeping. But in the two minutes it takes me to change the diaper, he will suddenly go from sound asleep to screaming at the top of his lungs because HE WANTS FOOD THIS INSTANT AND DOESN’T WANT TO WAIT ANOTHER SECOND, EVEN THOUGH THIS IS THE EXACT SAME ROUTINE WE HAVE PERFORMED 1,472,439,293 SINCE HE CAME HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL!
One thing the boys never seem to be patient enough to wait for is putting on their bib. The bib is necessary, however, because they have about the same grace when it comes to eating as pot-bellied pigs.
One of two things always happens when I put their bibs on. Either they begin to scream louder, or they instantly grab it and shove it in their mouths.
The screaming is something that I just have no patience for. I can’t handle it. And I’m not talking about a little fussing or crying, I’m talking about screaming as loud as they possibly can.
Kay doesn’t understand it.
“Don’t let it bother you,” she says.
But I can’t help it. There’s something about a person screaming in your face at the top of their lungs, unwilling to listen to a word you say. You can’t even reason with them.
“Just give me two seconds,” I’ll say. “If you let me put the bib on you can eat.”
But they don’t care.
AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” is their response.
Fortunately, Kay is very good with kids, so she’s able to counterbalance my inability quite well. And she’s always coming to bail me out.
I’m sure, at some point, I’ll get to where I’m fully comfortable and capable with the boys.
Of course, by that time they’ll be in college, so hopefully I won’t have to change their diapers and bottle-feed them anymore.