This April, my brother (Steanso) and his wife, the inexplicable AmyD, are expecting their first child. As events may come to pass in which I will possibly have to participate in ways that do not just include training this kid how to make a decent Manhattan, we viewed a video on baby maintenance.
|ah, the ol' Steans Family birthmark|
The fact that people I know have had babies and successfully gotten those babies to a point where they are no longer a squawking bundle of fragility is a miracle. I guess it speaks volumes for our instincts as a species that people I would not loan my car to have successfully gotten their kids beyond the helpless infant phase.
We didn't watch all of the video. I'm punting "circumcision care" to the parents, and how much I need to know about proper breastfeeding is negligible. We did watch segments on burping, diapers, bathing and making formula. And, at my insistence, the segment on the different kinds of baby poops. There are so many, in so many colors.
1) Somehow my generation has turned parenting into a competitive sport, but not a rough and tumble one. It's more like rowing or competitive flower arranging with a heavy dose of religious dogma. Except in this sport, Salon.com tells everyone they're getting a trophy for picking the right mix of arbitrary garbage off the internet. The host of the video clearly has her preferences, and I assume she's a professional, but lord knows she's not going to say "just use plastic diapers" for fear someone for whom cloth diapers are now a matter of faith will firebomb her house or throw out any and all info she might have in the video.
2) Nobody working on the video seems to have previously made an instructional video. I'll be hitting up AmyD for use of her baby and videographer pal JuanD, and we're gonna make a million dollars off nervous parents-to-be.
3) Washing babies is a treacherous activity I now find as mystifying as I find it terrifying.
4) There are so many shades of baby poop, and they all mean different things.
5) Apparently anything a baby does before it is verbal is more or less a reason to call a doctor. believe me, I get it. After 15 years with dogs being unable to tell us WHY they're not doing well and many late night trips to the emergency vet, dealing with an actual human baby would have me picking up the phone, too.
Anyway, I do NOT feel prepped for the arrival of the wee baby. Watching one video was super helpful, but I haven't changed diapers nor prepped enough speeches on the nature of good and evil to deliver cryptically while sitting on porches or in the front seat of 1979 Cadillac Eldorados.*
Still, I'm excited, not just for Jason and Amy, but also for the whole family. I'm not breeding, and as it's just me and Jason from this branch of the family, I'm glad my folks have a grandkid to dote on and worry about, and I have an upcoming nephew to whom I can be a cautionary tale.
In the meantime, I hope that kid likes Superman, because that's what he's getting.
*I am pretty sure that's my job as the mysterious Uncle who lives nearby but with whom the child is not really supposed to associate