Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I'm With Stupid

Last week I met my hospital roommate for lunch. She is Scottish and had just given birth to her third child when I moved into the bed across from hers in the maternity ward after Theo was born. I was so grateful to be rooming with an English-speaker that I almost wept when I met her. She cheered me on and said nice things about Theo and was an all-around pleasure to be around, which was a good thing because with all the breast pumping and follow-up exams and nurses kindly asking about our bowel movements in a game attempt at German/English, we are now more intimately acquainted in some areas than I am with my family members (thank heaven).

I was worried that I might not recognize her, since it's been six months and many pounds ago for both of us, but we had no problems, possibly because once you have a baby you can practically track the scent of other children the same age as your child. Since her son is just two days older than Theo, we homed in immediately. The four of us had a delightful time discussing scintillating topics like naps and those tiny fingernail clippers and what's grosser: strained carrots or pureed peas. I came away realizing how totally clueless I really am about babies and what to expect from them. I've read a bunch of books and websites but there's nothing like a real live mom to remind me that sometimes walking around and around and around the block with the stroller is just what you have to do to get the baby to nap, so stop worrying about it. Her baby was in the middle of teething, in fact, so she gave me a bunch of friendly tips and I thanked her and filed them away for the day, far far in the future, when Theo might cut a tooth, because I kept feeling his gums and there were no bumps or lumps or white spots, but thanks very much anyway. <---FORESHADOWING

Theo has been screechier than usual lately. He doesn't cry so much as let out high-pitched screams periodically. I came up with a thousand theories - He's a prodigy and trying to talk already! He has a hair wrapped around his toe! He is starving! Jeff said, "I think we just got a loud one." And then we sat around listening to the screeches while plunging further into denial about our upcoming transAtlantic flight and how the screeching might be handled at that time.

I'm sure you know exactly what happened this morning. Theo, who must have been bemoaning, once again, the idiocy of his parents, finally grabbed my finger, shoved it into his mouth, and all but said, "HERE IS MY TOOTH. WOULDN'T YOU SCREAM TOO?" And sure enough, I practically sliced my index finger open on that sharp little chomper. So, the good news is that we know why he's screeching now. The bad news (especially for others on our plane, you might want to avoid flying Lufthansa for the next few weeks) is that it hasn't stopped yet. And the even worse news (for Theo) is that this probably isn't the last time I will mis-read his cues. But by the time he's in junior high, he will probably be used to it and will just roll his eyes when I ask him to kiss me on the lips before I drop him off for school.


dani said...

He has a hair wrapped around his toe! - That's funny. Mike took Amelia to a birthday party once where she screetched the whole time. He assumed she was just tired, etc. When he got her home and took off her shoe, he saw that her pinky toe was COMPLETELY BENT BACKWARDS in the shoe. I was out of town and got the frantic call... But I've forgiven him. Sorta.

ahnawake said...

I discovered Andrew's first tooth while actually on an airplane bound for Minneapolis. While not exactly a trans Atlantic flight, it sure seemed like it!! I, of course, was not equipped to handle the situation, he was only 4 1/2 months old, way too early for teething, right??

Oh, and my cousin's son actually had a hair wrapped around his toe once!