Seven Happy ThingsPosted: July 20, 2011
1. Our fancy new washing machine arrives today (could I be any more of a Hausfrau? Yes, because Herr Husband has asked me to reserve at least one load so he can take it for a spin. That sounds dirty. But it’s gonna be steam clean!)
2. Das Baby is cutting his first teeth! Yes, this leads to a lot of fussing and a return to crappy eating (or at least I hope that’s why he’s eating crappily), but I can feel the rough bumps on his gums and they’re just adorable! Herr Husband and I are practically giddy to have him reaching such a typical baby milestone.
4. Tomorrow, cable, internet and phone will be installed at Das Haus, making it that much more livable.
5. All of the downstairs boxes are unpacked in the house, with the exception of the books. Those of you who have been to our previous homes know that the books are quite an undertaking. Those of you who know me know that I love nothing more than setting up our books. Any suggestions for organizational systems?
6. Herr Husband washed all of our stemware. All of it. We own enough stemware to open a bar. Excessive stemware is what happens when you marry your college sweetheart and you were both drunks in college. Everyone wants to get you a drinking vessel as a wedding present. Due to breakages, we now have five non-alcohol or coffee related drinking glasses. But if you want a glass of champage (flute or coupe), red wine, white wine, or a martini, you’ve come to the right place. Except for the fact that we have a baby and hate martinis.
7. Das Baby had his six-month infant follow-up appointment yesterday at Children’s Hospital Boston. It’s a morning of developmental tests that assess his cognitive, social, emotional, language, medical and physical development. Obvs, as a preemie, he’s at risk for all sorts of maladies, delays, and stuff. So yeah, I was really nervous. Even though he seems great to me: happy, curious, and completely adorable, I also know that these aren’t clinical terms and that I’m not actually an expert (ok, actually, I do kind of think I‘m an expert, but I also like external validation). It goes without saying that no matter what problems he does and may have, we love him more than anything and can care for him. But I wanted to say it anyway.
And then, YAY: At this time, they have no concerns about his cognitive or social-emotional development. His fine and gross motor skills are within the normal range (all assessments are done for his 6-month corrected age, rather than his 9-month time-on-earth age). Yes, he’s tiny, and the resulting lack of muscle mass could cause motor problems going forward. (He’s off the charts small for a 6-month old, but his head is already 9-month size, which makes him totally adorable and which means his body is doing its job of feeding his brain first).
He tests as having a mild receptive language delay, meaning he doesn’t quite respond to spoken language as he should be by this age. The questions used to assess this were: “What happens when you say ‘no’ to Das Baby?” to which Herr Husband replied, “um, she doesn’t really do that…” I’d also point out that receptive language issues run deep in both the Husband and Hausfrau families. If you know us (I’m not naming any names here out of fear of reprisal), you know we’re not the best pack of listeners. Anyway, this means he should get speech therapy, which I’ve been jonesing for anyway, in addition to his occupational and physical therapy. I can’t wait to see what they do in baby speech. We’ve also been encouraged to start signing with him. Any of my mama/daddy friends/followers signed with their kids? What program/book did you use? When did you start?
The overall outcome of the appointment was that he’s doing great, and that we’re doing great as parents (blush…) Does this mean we’re out of the woods? No. But I think the biggest thing I’ve learned through this experience is that there is no finish line, no moment when I’m going to feel safe and secure and like we’ve made it and he’s fine. Not because of Das Baby, but because that’s how parenting works. But because there’s no magical end point out there, I can also choose to feel safe and secure and like he’s fine at any and every given moment. It’s really about me. How very zen. Or how very solipsistic (Quick Heart of Darkness shout-out to my former students (who will soon be the subject of their very own post!)–the link between Zen practice and epistemological solipsism is something we’ve talked about before, no? Ah, life and art!) So there are no woods (except for CJTW, HJTW, and MJTW). Only life.
And today it’s a really good life! (Knock on wood/No jinxing!)