Tuesday, January 15, 2008

eight months later.

Lyra is eight months old today.

In just 240 days, we went from this:

Lyra, Day One

to this.

Lyra Christmas 2007

There are many things that amaze me about these kids every day.  For example, I'm constantly amazed at how different Quinn and Lyra are already shaping up to be, now that their personalities are starting to form.  From the start, Lyra was a completely different baby.  She's more alert and aware than Quinn was at her age, and she uses her hands far more--Quinn never even tried to hold his own bottle even when he was going on a year, and Lyra constantly tries to seize it.  She's a frequent and enthusiastic thumb sucker as well, whereas I've never seen Quinn's thumb in his mouth in almost three years.  (Yeah, he'll be three on Valentine's Day...time flies.)

Same DNA background, same hospital, same house, same foods, same attention, and even most of the same clothes (hey, we're cheap, and who cares if she's mostly wearing blue?), and they're already totally different kids.

Oh, and all you dads out there who have a leave-the-house kind of daytime job?  You're both lucky (for the breaks you get), and unfortunate (for all the firsts you miss), but there's one thing you need to keep in mind.  When someone asks you whether your wife works, you need to reply, "Hell yes, she does--she's staying at home with the kid/s." 

It's not that parenting is physically or intellectually difficult, but there are two things that make it one of the hardest jobs I've ever done.  First, there's all the stuff you need to be able to manage at the same time, and under challenging conditions.  (Try to change a kid's poopy diaper while the phone is ringing, and the other kid is doing that non-stop, low-level whining for attention.)  Then there's the fact that you're on the job all the time, without much of an opportunity for sanity breaks.  There's a constant, low-level stress(with occasional spikes during the day) that has a cumulative sort of effect, and it does chip away at your mental state after a while.

So, get a baby sitter every once in a while, and take your SO out to a dinner that doesn't involve bibs and airplane noises, and they'll stay sane.  And for all that is good and proper, don't ever assume your stay-at-home spouse doesn't have a "real job". 

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