rushthatspeaks: (parenting)
rushthatspeaks ([personal profile] rushthatspeaks) wrote2016-11-01 03:00 am

protocols for talking about a tiny human online

So I'll be referring to the baby on the internet as Fox, which comes from one of his names. We also sometimes call him the cub, which we have done since long before his birth. I know foxes have kits, not cubs, but my friend [personal profile] rosefox has a Kit already, and there's no reason to be confusing.

Pronoun-wise, I tend to use 'he' as a placeholder, but 'they' is also accepted by all parents, and I'm sure we'll be informed of the correct pronoun at some point later on.

I figure I'm going to maintain a baby-news filter and put anything I want to talk about that's delicate or complicated or boring-to-those-who-aren't-me about the baby in that; if you were on the pregnancy-update filter and do not wish to be on the ongoing baby filter, please let me know. Alternately, if you weren't on the pregnancy filter and want to be on the baby filter, also please let me know.

I'll probably talk about general baby stuff unlocked but under a cut.

Generally: things are going well, I think? I mean, he's healthy, we're healthy, I have not yet set anything on fire by accident because tired, so. I have managed to ding myself chopping vegetables a couple of times, though.

Honestly, and I am almost loathe to type this because I am afraid he will somehow hear it and change his mind, I think the cub may be that nearly mythical creature, an easy baby.

At just past two weeks old, we can reliably get him to sleep for five-hour stretches-- I put him down at ten p.m., it's nearly three now, I expect him to be up within half an hour but to get him down again pretty easily-- and I'd worry about this, except that he's gaining weight as expected, eats hungrily, and is as alert and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when he's awake as a two-week-old whose eyes don't focus yet can be.

As a result, though both Ruth and I are exhausted, I'm not sure I'd call it sleep deprivation, exactly; I'm getting about as much sleep as I usually get, about when I usually get it, and Ruth is getting way more than they were right before he was born. It's just that we'd need about a third more sleep than usual each to be really energetic in the face of the extremely large quantity of new-to-us work we have to do at a high level without breaks, all of that work involving a baby who has passed ten pounds, and who would therefore qualify as weight training if weights had the habit of squirming and leaping in the arms of the exercisers in a difficult-to-hold-onto fashion. My back, shoulders, and neck would like to register a complaint. A whole set of complaints.

But we're managing to do things like go to the Halloween party we usually go to, where Fox slept contentedly in a back room, and we had cousins L. and A. come by on their way through town, and tomorrow we're having lunch with [community profile] papersky, because I actually feel reasonably sanguine about taking the baby out for a bit. Ruth's basically on top of the laundry and I'm basically on top of the dishes, and thanks to Blue Apron I'm cooking relatively healthy food at home a lot of the time. The house is a disaster area, which I feel bad about, but that's not a new-since-baby problem, that's an ongoing thing-in-progress.

I don't yet have remotely the energy to go back to either of my jobs, or to work on my novel, but I can see a point at which all of that will be possible from here. Ruth is still recovering from the birth, and both of us have stress ups and downs. I mean, I feel pretty good about things at the moment but ask me again in a few hours or tomorrow and I'll probably feel pretty overwhelmed.

The cats have managed to scrape themselves off the ceiling. Rafael's initial reaction was WHAT IS THIS WILL IT EXPLODE I WILL AVOID IT UNTIL SOMEONE TELLS ME WHAT IS GOING OOOOONNNNN, plus not listening to anyone trying to tell him what is going on, and he still won't come within a foot of Fox, but there's no reason he should, honestly. Lucien's initial reaction was 'you intentionally did this as an insult to my personal dignity and I will haughtily overlook your very existence until you appease me', so he won't come within a foot of Fox either, but he is starting to relent to the point where I can pet him every so often without getting the Glare Of Ice To The Cat Betrayer. Which is good, because I'm trying to give the cats as much attention and affection as they are used to getting, and it's hard to do when they are actively avoiding everybody.

And I am just never going to be a baby person; I am looking forward intensely to the ages where more of his personality will develop. All of the sayings that it's different when it's your own baby are right only in the respect that I do not, most of the time, actively wish to run away from our baby, which is different than I am with other peoples' babies, all right. I would probably shank somebody on his behalf, of course, but I do not see most of the cute.

Overall, though, I could see things going way, way worse than they are now, and I can't envision many ways things could be going better. I'll take it.

Just nobody tell him he's an easy baby. I fear he will subscribe to the same school of contrariness as the cats do and then we will never be able to cope with anything again. If he just doesn't know, he can go right on doing it.
wild_irises: (crayons)

[personal profile] wild_irises 2016-11-01 02:26 pm (UTC)(link)
I think I am already on the filter, but please put me there if I am not.

As to pronouns, my experience with a couple of now-eight-year-olds is that they may change many times before settling (or may never settle).

As to the cats, who can blame them?

And as to not being a baby person, they do get cuter even before they can talk. And your mileage may very well vary.
yhlee: a plush raven on a plush fox (hxx Cheris Jedao)

[personal profile] yhlee 2016-11-01 04:02 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm not a baby person either. I mean, I was going to kill anyone who tried to hurt baby!lizard, but she didn't have much personality as a baby. I think not being a baby person is perfectly fine! Half the fun is seeing the personality emerge.

Of course, mine is now twelve and is erring on the side of too much personality, but I understand that's normal for this age. *g*

Yay Fox!
thistleingrey: (Default)

[personal profile] thistleingrey 2016-11-02 12:34 am (UTC)(link)
+1 not a baby person, though I liked mine well enough at that stage. Glad that Fox has been fairly easy so far!
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

[personal profile] kate_nepveu 2016-11-02 12:36 pm (UTC)(link)
yay things going really pretty well!
timmc: (Default)

[personal profile] timmc 2016-11-03 05:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Haha, I think I have about the same relationship to babies as you do. There's another baby in the house, 5 months younger, and I don't know how to relate to him at all, just as I would have been before ours was born. (Ours is now 1.5 years old and is so much more interesting.)

I sometimes get alarmed when people talk about how calm our kiddo is. "You mean this is easy mode? D-:"
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2016-11-01 07:03 pm (UTC)(link)
For a spam comment this is pretty great.
rosefox: Batman is holding a baby while a woman says "Don't you have ANY idea how to hold a baby?" (baby-anxious)

[personal profile] rosefox 2016-11-01 09:39 am (UTC)(link)
You're very thoughtful to try to avoid name confusion. :)

I'm never going to be a baby person either, but I promise you will start to see the cute, especially as the baby becomes less of a potato and more of a tiny human. Once they develop body language, it helps tremendously. And the more you consciously operate on their scale—appreciating what an enormous challenge it is to develop the motor skills sufficient to open mouth and insert fingers, for example, and admiring the consistent effort they put in over several weeks to reach that goal—the easier it gets, in my experience. (This is why baby people very earnestly say inane-sounding things like "You've grabbed your foot!"; they view foot-grabbing from the perspective of a baby, who has taken multiple months to determine that they have feet and hands and then figure out how to put them together in a consistent fashion.)

This is a great age for taking the baby out to restaurants and the like. Do as much of that as you can before they start being able to grab the silverware or wanting to run around the table sixteen times.

I'm so glad things are generally going well!
Edited 2016-11-01 19:04 (UTC)

[identity profile] eub.livejournal.com 2016-11-02 07:28 am (UTC)(link)
It was a lovely window where you could just put them in front carriers, lay a napkin over the head to catch any dropped noodles, and have a nice dinner. But it was so much more congenial for me as they developed communication and language that I was very happy to take the tradeoff.
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2016-11-02 08:37 am (UTC)(link)
Yes! One time I was out in the park with my then-six-month-old, and I hugged them and said "I'm so glad we're friends!". Being able to interact with them as one person to another has been way better than anything that came before the six-month mark.

[identity profile] shewhomust.livejournal.com 2016-11-01 11:07 am (UTC)(link)
This is all good news, and I'm grateful for the update. I'd have been sorry to miss the line "who would therefore qualify as weight training if weights had the habit of squirming and leaping in the arms of the exercisers in a difficult-to-hold-onto fashion" - someone should totally invent that!
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2016-11-01 07:06 pm (UTC)(link)
My occupational therapist says that she gets a lot of patients with babies in the four-to-six-months range, which apparently is when the rate of the baby's growth tends to outpace the rate of the parents' muscle development. (Which is why I was seeing an occupational therapist.)
weirdquark: Stack of books (Default)

[personal profile] weirdquark 2016-11-02 03:21 am (UTC)(link)
Since ~20-25 pounds is what I use to warm up with for a dumbbell overhead press (i.e. what I can lift with one hand easily) I kind of boggled at the idea of this being a difficult weight for an adult of average health, but then I remembered that my upper body strength is not only crazy good for a woman my size and also lugging around 25 pounds is way harder than pressing it for even a relatively high number of reps, so this all makes sense.

I wouldn't want to try one handed OHP with a wiggly baby, but I do kind of want to press a toddler once they're big enough to hold on properly, with a spotter just in case. That is what weight lifting is for, right?

[identity profile] rushthatspeaks.livejournal.com 2016-11-02 03:57 am (UTC)(link)
If it were actual reps, as one does in weight-lifting, I wouldn't have any problem wrangling the baby, but it's more like, you have to keep the weight somewhere on your person at all times, with one very specific bit of it pointing up, and only two or three real ways to grab onto it; now do everything else in your life, remembering that most of it was not ergonomically designed to allow you to be carrying the weight. The two or three baby-related objects we have, such as the feeding pillow, which were ergonomically designed for somebody holding a baby are such a relief.

I would love to watch somebody pressing a toddler. I think that could be a lot of fun for everyone involved.
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2016-11-02 04:15 am (UTC)(link)
I have a chronic arm injury of the sort where trainers and PTs/OTs encouragingly say things like "Soon you can graduate from Therabands to two-pound dumbbells!" so I'm a statistical outlier in the other direction. But I think a lot of people are basically sedentary and use their arms for, at most, carrying a bag of laundry or some groceries for five or ten minutes every couple of weeks, and suddenly needing to pick up and put down a ten-pound wriggly infant 100 times (I'm not sure this is an exaggeration) over the course of the day can be quite a challenge. Especially if one is also recovering from giving birth, not sleeping, not eating enough, etc.

I bet there's a two-year-old out there who would be THRILLED to be bench-pressed and very cooperative.

[identity profile] ethelmay.livejournal.com 2016-11-03 03:45 am (UTC)(link)
I think three months or so (remarkably young, anyway, it might even have been two months) was the age when my son started to spend most of his time standing and jumping on my lap. I had some really buff forearms for a while. Slings worked well for us, too.

I am almost certainly more of a small-baby person than you, but I did find it helped in the early stages to think of them as very interesting small animals as well as small people.

I would like to be on the baby filter, and could I be on the Dreamwidth one as well, please?

[identity profile] jedibl.livejournal.com 2016-11-01 11:48 am (UTC)(link)
I am glad that it sounds like things are going way better for you than they were for me at that stage! Enjoy it!

My husband's nephew has the same first name as your baby, and his middle name is actually Fox, which is what he goes by. I noted the similarity in names when you posted your baby's name initially, and am even more amused now that you're referring to him as Fox online! It's a good name, but I would not have expected it to be so popular!

[identity profile] mrissa.livejournal.com 2016-11-01 12:36 pm (UTC)(link)
I apparently slept for long-for-a-newborn stretches as a newborn, too, and it did me no harm: I was an immense healthy strong chunk of baby. So hurrah for the Fox letting you have at least some rest in his vital pursuit of additional skills like eye focusing and having more person to build on.

[identity profile] ladymondegreen.livejournal.com 2016-11-01 12:37 pm (UTC)(link)
I am glad things are progressing well. I hope the cats eventually come around to being in the same house with Fox.

[identity profile] oracne.livejournal.com 2016-11-01 01:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Yay baby!

[identity profile] tiger-spot.livejournal.com 2016-11-01 06:23 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm glad everything is going well so far!

If you pay close attention, babies develop personality earlier than you'd think. There's a definite state change around three or four months that makes a big difference in interactivity and cuteness, as they develop more control over facial expressions and hands.

Poor cats! Two weeks is not much time, though, so I hope they'll settle in to the new normal soon.
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2016-11-01 07:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Kit just turned 10 months old and our cats are just starting to grudgingly accept that we're not going to send the baby back to wherever they came from. Cats: set in their ways.

[identity profile] ethelmay.livejournal.com 2016-11-03 03:57 am (UTC)(link)
I think they show personality from day one, or before, but not in a form that is equally charming or understandable to everyone, and that is okay.

[identity profile] amaebi.livejournal.com 2016-11-02 02:28 am (UTC)(link)
You don't know me well, perhaps don't feel that you know me at all, but if I might, I would love to be on your baby filter. I am a friend of [livejournal.com profile] rosefox.

I am the babyholder in the picture accompanying this. That baby is eleven now, and he's a oner.
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2016-11-02 04:17 am (UTC)(link)
I 100% vouch for [livejournal.com profile] amaebi, a source of sterling parenting advice and deep compassion.

[identity profile] amaebi.livejournal.com 2016-11-02 09:33 am (UTC)(link)
oooooooh. :)

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2016-11-02 03:22 am (UTC)(link)
I would probably shank somebody on his behalf, of course, but I do not see most of the cute.

Willingness to shank on his behalf sounds like the most important part of the parental equation to me.
weirdquark: Stack of books (Default)

[personal profile] weirdquark 2016-11-02 03:25 am (UTC)(link)
Yay baby, glad things are going well.

[identity profile] nineweaving.livejournal.com 2016-11-02 08:03 am (UTC)(link)
He's a lovely baby: laid-back for a newborn, but not lumpen. He's astonished by the world and mastering it. I can see that my patented baby-wafting technique is going to be work.

Nine

Edited 2016-11-02 08:04 (UTC)

[identity profile] khava.livejournal.com 2016-11-02 07:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Larger babies tend to sleep better because they can hold more in their stomachs and go longer between feedings. Charlie was like this! Super lucky. If he's sleeping 8-hour stretches at 3 months you're golden.

[identity profile] sandrylene.livejournal.com 2016-11-09 05:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Good thoughts your way (to you and Ruth both, of course). I hope your current babysleepluck continues and that the cats thaw out and return to their normal socialization. <3