Monday, April 6, 2009

Baby's First Bowling Alley

One of the things that we missed out on by having a premature baby was the intense feeling of personal gratification one gets when strangers compliment the adorable-ness of your offspring.

I didn't realize it until winter started to lift its dreary prairie skirts from Minnesota's ankles, but it's pretty cool to take your baby out into the world. People smile at you and say nice things, as long as your kid is behaving, of course.

Another thing I have learned is that Yelling For Fun is really, really loud when it happens in a public place.

A few weeks ago, we went to REI, which is a temple for my family, and someone asked us how old he is. Now, this question is interesting for us because when we give the answer to anyone who is familiar with infant development, there is the inevitable look. The look that says "Whoa, that baby is small for its age." Whenever I see that look, I explain that he was born at 25 weeks and blah blah blah. Then I get "Whoa, he looks like he is doing really well." See, now I know how babies progress, but before I had one, someone could have told me just about any age for a kid, and I would have thought "OK, that sounds good. What do I know?" A lot less than most people, apparently.

Finn was really good, but at one point, in the shoe department, he decided that it would be a good time to scream. You know, for fun.

It was really loud.

Much louder than in my house, where there are no strangers to look around to see where the alarm is coming from.

One gentleman said that he really missed those times, and was looking forward to the arrival of their new baby. When you say something like that to parents who are in the middle of this adorable time, they think: You Are A Lunatic. I have not slept since August, and my house is coated in clutter and grime (I just re-read that in the editing phase and saw "butter and grime," which is something totally different). But it serves to remind me that this goes by really fast, and I will miss this baby one day. Yup. That's me, rocking back and forth in the corner at 4:00 in the morning on a Monday: "This goes by really fast. This goes by really fast. You will miss this baby one day. This goes by really fast. This goes by really fast. You will miss this baby one day."

It's probably an interesting thing for parents who had premature babies: adjusted age versus chronological age. We're having to explain it more now that we are entering the public sphere. I don't think of Finn as a preemie anymore, so it's interesting to be reminded of his early birth. We even drove a good chunk of our hospital route this past weekend, right past Children's. It gives Pete and anxious feeling, but not so much for me. We had a good experience with them; we were fortunate in Finn's condition. So I don't have that reaction. It's a little strange, remembering the 1900 miles we put in going back and forth, but now, driving by with my boy happily snoozing in the car seat, I feel pretty good.


mostcurious said...

Your brain is really dumb about this stuff, and after a while you will forget how you didn't sleep for a year (or more), but you will remember the parts you liked, like baby smiles.

My husband is especially prone to this. The fact that we're clearing out all the baby clothes in preparation for a garage sale is not helping. Even I think it now and again, and then I remember the nights I cried through and then had to go to work when the sun came up anyways, and thank my lucky stars that the kid sleeps a solid twelve hours now.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed that Finn looks just like a boy baby version of his Mom in this photo?