Monday, April 26, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, We May Have a Giant On Our Hands

Nothing in my family history suggests that I was due to have a big kid. In the 150-plus years of Kontzer/Ledner family history, the tallest person I'm aware of is my brother, who stands a whopping 5-10, maybe 5-10 1/2. I, on the other hand, topped off at about 5-7 1/2. Sarah's family's not exactly huge either. A bit taller than mine, but only one or two relatives that eclipsed the six-foot mark.

So imagine my surprise as I've watched my little Max's height and weight track well above the middle of the curve at his pediatric appointments. Today, a woman at the dog park said, "what's he, 6, maybe 8 months?" When I answered, no, actually, he just hit 4 months, she was visibly shocked. "Wow, he's a big one."

This might have something to do with his seemingly endless and insatiable appetite. Max eats noticeably more than Jackson did as a baby, which should be no surprise to anyone who's privy to Jackson's current eating habits. (No breakfast, no lunch to speak of, a snack under duress before soccer's not a pretty picture.)

Come to think of it, Max's car seat has gotten pretty heavy to lug in a hurry. He's outgrown much of his 3-6 month clothes and is already wearing a lot of 6-12 month stuff. His head is the size of a small watermelon. His legs look like standing rib roasts. Trying to wipe away spit-up that's found its way into the folds of his neck is like trying to retrieve a pen that's fallen between the driver's seat and center console of your car.

But if all of that ends up with me having a son who can push around opponents in the key, see over people in a crowd, or get things down from the top shelf without a step-ladder, then it will have been worth the back strains and longer-then-expected feedings.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Day in the Life of Daddy and Baby

It's day one of week two of the Sarah-Goes-Back-To-Work Non-Experiment, and, from a fathering perspective, it's been wonderful. Don't tell Sarah, but Max is much less fussy and much more in the flow when she's gone. No surprise there--there are no boobies to latch onto, or be tempted to latch onto, or to communicate spiritually to him, calling "Max, over here, two ripe nipples with all the sweet mother's milk you need, and all ya gotta do is cry!"

Nope, it's just him and me, man to, uh, man, mano a mano, tête-à-tête. The showdown at the O.K. Changing Table. But seriously, it's been more like one of those buddy films, only instead of two cops chasing bad guys, it's a bald, middle-aged writer and a drooling, babbling infant prowling the streets of Albany, California. With each day that we spend together, we develop an ever-more comfortable rhythm to our day, which goes something like this:

8 am: Baby wakes up after his typical 10-11 hour sleep, and Mommy nurses while Daddy reads the paper in the "office"
9 am: Daddy has all the intention in the world of getting up and going for a run, but instead just stays in bed with Mommy and Baby.
10 am: Mommy leaves for work
10-11 am: Daddy makes ridiculous faces and even more ridiculous noises as he manipulates Baby's body in ways that clearly please him judging from the onslaught of smiles and spit-up.
11-11:30 am: Baby sits in his little spinny toy, or on his baby chair on the dining table, while Daddy checks email and gets a bit of work done.
11:30: Baby downs a bottle of sweet mother's nectar, then begins rubbing his face, and lays down in his crib and naps until about 1.
1-2 pm: A repeat of 10-11 am, only this time Daddy tries to get lunch eaten during this time because he was too stupid to make himself get that done while Baby was asleep.
2 pm: Baby downs another few ounces of milk, Daddy eats his now-cold leftovers, and then it's time for a walk.
2:30-3:30 pm: Daddy struggles through the neighborhood with a stroller and two crazy terriers (at least when Sarah's dog, who's usually in the custody of her ex-husband, is visiting, which he is now), a tangled mess of wheels and leashes and spit-up devastating all in its path.
3:30-4:30 pm: Baby, who has fallen asleep on way home, naps while dad catches up on some email and starts to think about that dreaded topic--dinner.
4:30-6 pm: This is the most chaotic time of the day, with soccer practices, grocery shopping, and other errands always seeming to pile up.
6 pm: Baby gets tired once again, goes down for another cat nap, sometimes after a bit more milk, sometimes not. Daddy starts assembling the elements of dinner, trying not to make any noise loud enough to wake up Baby.
7:15 pm: Baby, seemingly detecting that mommy's breasts, which are now on the way home, have entered within a 5 mile radius, begins to become hysterical.
7:40: Mommy pulls up, causing a huge sigh of relief in Daddy and a sudden burst of joy in Baby, and all is well with the world.
8:25: After nursing, and just as the rest of us are about to eat, Baby's bowel explodes up his back and down his legs, and Mommy and Daddy finally get to sit down to eat about 8:45, after de-poopifying their hands and arms.
9:30: One final nightcap on the breast, and Baby goes down for the night. Daddy foolishly stays up another 4 hours, only to pay the price with another wonderfully relentless next day.

Really, what it all adds up to is this: Stay-at-home Daddy is the best job in the world. And the boss is simply the best; he can't even dress himself or form a sentence. Who doesn't want a boss like that?