Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rollin', rollin', rollin'... keep them doggies rollin'...

Thanksgiving wound up being a smashing success by all probable factors. The dinner was about as ideal as it could be - the food came out tasting and looking great, and nothing got burned / forgotten / destroyed / whatever. The conversation was pleasant and challenging, and the baby was good-natured and well-behaved, as was expected.

Again, I've gotten very lucky. First, The Boy is an extremely good-natured kid. He takes changes in stride so far, and he is very adaptable. He's willing to allow himself to do lots of weird things without protest, as long as he gets his food, clean diapers and occasional nap. (...takes after his father on that last one - I've always been a napper, even early in life.) Second, my in-laws have really bent over backwards to make themselves helpful and available to us, without judgement. I know a lot of people who are continually fielding questions about the way they're choosing to raise their children, the choices they're making, and that sort of thing. Blissfully, my in-laws - and my own family - have not started any of that bullshit. That's probably the one benefit of being teachers - they sort of assume that we know what we're doing.

The interesting thing, in watching the family interact with The Boy, is looking at how different people interact with babies. Many people are truly awkward around babies and don't do a great job talking with them, listening to them and trying to get a feel for what they really want. Not that I'm the great "Baby Whisperer" or anything, but I think I do a pretty good job of listening to The Boy's signals, both verbal and physical, to determine what he wants and how he's feeling. I'm right most of the time. That doesn't mean he doesn't cry or anything like that; it just means that I can guess why he's crying or when he'll cry.

When my in-laws are around, my baby time is obviously curtailed. Grandma wants snuggle time, you know! I have no problem with that, obviously - The Boy needs his Grandma & Grandpa, and his Uncle & Aunts from that side of the family. He should be spending lots of time around them, because they're interesting and fun people.

I guess I was awkward around babies at one time, also. I tend to think I wasn't; even though I've always been and always will be overly self-absorbed, I've always gotten along well with babies. I'm trying to be a good relative and not correct every little thing someone does "wrong" with the baby - no "he doesn't want to be held like that" or "he wants to do this" or "he wants to do that." I don't want to be overbearing. I think The Boy can adequately show what he wants by screaming. This, he is not shy about doing.

Anyway, I hope your Thanksgiving was as good, healthy and happy as ours. We're headed to Uncle B's in the Poconos today (my best friend, whose wife was The Wife's maid of honor at our wedding) to play with more furry cousins (Cousin Coco and Cousin Ewok) and eat burritos.

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