12 Days X 2 Kids X 2 Parents

Yesterday was the day that Genevieve was supposed to enter the world via scheduled C-section. Of course, she chose to join us last Tuesday, so today marks my twelfth day as the father of two girls. So far, it's been fantastic, in exactly equal parts because Shannon's delivery and recovery have gone so well, because Julia has adapted so well to the newcomer, and because Gigi is so far (knocking on a whole sequoia) a fairly easy baby who eats, sleeps, and poops in ways that we can readily handle.

Beyond those high-level qualities of life, the past ten days have included some moments and phenomena worth remembering.

1. I'm elated that Shannon came through the delivery with so much strength and spirit. It's not just night-and-day comparison to Julia's delivery; it's day on Mercury/night on Pluto - or something like that. Suffice to say that it makes me happy that she has the energy, will, and time to sit and read magazines between feedings. (Genevieve's feedings, not Shannon's - the mother is eating pretty much all the time.)

2. I'd forgotten how funny and charming are newborns' sounds. Genevieve's repertoire includes a whole aviary's worth of squeaks, coos, and especially squawks, but she makes my favorite sound on waking up: a gurgle that's what a rolled R would be if the rolling occurred in your pharynx.

3. I'd also forgotten how quickly newborns change. Already, Genevieve can spend anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes in active wakefulness: studying a toy in her crib, looking over someone's face, turning toward a sound or bright light. None of that is remarkable, yet all of it is.

4. Julia has been a very good citizen about the gift-giving that accompanies a new baby's arrival. She likes to "help" open Genevieve's presents, exhibiting only the slightest jealousy over them, but she is unselfconsciously delighted to get presents of her own, from a new "silky" blanket from Grandpa to a little Tigger from my coworkers. 

5. Thursday and Friday, Julia probably spent a total of 90 minutes standing shin-deep in some big puddles at the neighborhood park. With her rain boots mostly keeping her dry below the knee, she gaily splashed the muddy water, found rocks in the submerged grass, tossed chunks of wood into the water, and generally enjoyed herself. When I told her that all her kicking was making "rivulets" across the path, she looked up at me and said, "'Rivu-ets.' Sounds like 'beavers.'" Okay, kid!

6. The past couple weeks have also seen Julia's imagination blossom. She routinely now pretends to be Pooh Bear, or Tigger, or a brontosaurus, or fish, or whatever else strikes her fancy, and often has supporting roles for the rest of us. Having been called "Christopher Robin" countless times by schoolyard wits, I never thought I'd be so happy to be called that now. I wonder if Julia's willingness to pretend to be someone else is related to the new demand that she fulfill a role, Big Sister, which is also unfamiliar but quite real. If so, she's really breaking a leg.

email: christopher at tassava dot com