Rush-That-Speaks (rushthatspeaks) wrote,

protocols for talking about a tiny human online

So I'll be referring to the baby on the internet as Fox, which comes from one of his names. We also sometimes call him the cub, which we have done since long before his birth. I know foxes have kits, not cubs, but my friend [personal profile] rosefox has a Kit already, and there's no reason to be confusing.

Pronoun-wise, I tend to use 'he' as a placeholder, but 'they' is also accepted by all parents, and I'm sure we'll be informed of the correct pronoun at some point later on.

I figure I'm going to maintain a baby-news filter and put anything I want to talk about that's delicate or complicated or boring-to-those-who-aren't-me about the baby in that; if you were on the pregnancy-update filter and do not wish to be on the ongoing baby filter, please let me know. Alternately, if you weren't on the pregnancy filter and want to be on the baby filter, also please let me know.

I'll probably talk about general baby stuff unlocked but under a cut.

Generally: things are going well, I think? I mean, he's healthy, we're healthy, I have not yet set anything on fire by accident because tired, so. I have managed to ding myself chopping vegetables a couple of times, though.

Honestly, and I am almost loathe to type this because I am afraid he will somehow hear it and change his mind, I think the cub may be that nearly mythical creature, an easy baby.

At just past two weeks old, we can reliably get him to sleep for five-hour stretches-- I put him down at ten p.m., it's nearly three now, I expect him to be up within half an hour but to get him down again pretty easily-- and I'd worry about this, except that he's gaining weight as expected, eats hungrily, and is as alert and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when he's awake as a two-week-old whose eyes don't focus yet can be.

As a result, though both Ruth and I are exhausted, I'm not sure I'd call it sleep deprivation, exactly; I'm getting about as much sleep as I usually get, about when I usually get it, and Ruth is getting way more than they were right before he was born. It's just that we'd need about a third more sleep than usual each to be really energetic in the face of the extremely large quantity of new-to-us work we have to do at a high level without breaks, all of that work involving a baby who has passed ten pounds, and who would therefore qualify as weight training if weights had the habit of squirming and leaping in the arms of the exercisers in a difficult-to-hold-onto fashion. My back, shoulders, and neck would like to register a complaint. A whole set of complaints.

But we're managing to do things like go to the Halloween party we usually go to, where Fox slept contentedly in a back room, and we had cousins L. and A. come by on their way through town, and tomorrow we're having lunch with papersky, because I actually feel reasonably sanguine about taking the baby out for a bit. Ruth's basically on top of the laundry and I'm basically on top of the dishes, and thanks to Blue Apron I'm cooking relatively healthy food at home a lot of the time. The house is a disaster area, which I feel bad about, but that's not a new-since-baby problem, that's an ongoing thing-in-progress.

I don't yet have remotely the energy to go back to either of my jobs, or to work on my novel, but I can see a point at which all of that will be possible from here. Ruth is still recovering from the birth, and both of us have stress ups and downs. I mean, I feel pretty good about things at the moment but ask me again in a few hours or tomorrow and I'll probably feel pretty overwhelmed.

The cats have managed to scrape themselves off the ceiling. Rafael's initial reaction was WHAT IS THIS WILL IT EXPLODE I WILL AVOID IT UNTIL SOMEONE TELLS ME WHAT IS GOING OOOOONNNNN, plus not listening to anyone trying to tell him what is going on, and he still won't come within a foot of Fox, but there's no reason he should, honestly. Lucien's initial reaction was 'you intentionally did this as an insult to my personal dignity and I will haughtily overlook your very existence until you appease me', so he won't come within a foot of Fox either, but he is starting to relent to the point where I can pet him every so often without getting the Glare Of Ice To The Cat Betrayer. Which is good, because I'm trying to give the cats as much attention and affection as they are used to getting, and it's hard to do when they are actively avoiding everybody.

And I am just never going to be a baby person; I am looking forward intensely to the ages where more of his personality will develop. All of the sayings that it's different when it's your own baby are right only in the respect that I do not, most of the time, actively wish to run away from our baby, which is different than I am with other peoples' babies, all right. I would probably shank somebody on his behalf, of course, but I do not see most of the cute.

Overall, though, I could see things going way, way worse than they are now, and I can't envision many ways things could be going better. I'll take it.

Just nobody tell him he's an easy baby. I fear he will subscribe to the same school of contrariness as the cats do and then we will never be able to cope with anything again. If he just doesn't know, he can go right on doing it.

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

For a spam comment this is pretty great.


November 1 2016, 09:39:31 UTC 5 months ago Edited:  November 1 2016, 19:04:54 UTC

You're very thoughtful to try to avoid name confusion. :)

I'm never going to be a baby person either, but I promise you will start to see the cute, especially as the baby becomes less of a potato and more of a tiny human. Once they develop body language, it helps tremendously. And the more you consciously operate on their scale—appreciating what an enormous challenge it is to develop the motor skills sufficient to open mouth and insert fingers, for example, and admiring the consistent effort they put in over several weeks to reach that goal—the easier it gets, in my experience. (This is why baby people very earnestly say inane-sounding things like "You've grabbed your foot!"; they view foot-grabbing from the perspective of a baby, who has taken multiple months to determine that they have feet and hands and then figure out how to put them together in a consistent fashion.)

This is a great age for taking the baby out to restaurants and the like. Do as much of that as you can before they start being able to grab the silverware or wanting to run around the table sixteen times.

I'm so glad things are generally going well!
It was a lovely window where you could just put them in front carriers, lay a napkin over the head to catch any dropped noodles, and have a nice dinner. But it was so much more congenial for me as they developed communication and language that I was very happy to take the tradeoff.
Yes! One time I was out in the park with my then-six-month-old, and I hugged them and said "I'm so glad we're friends!". Being able to interact with them as one person to another has been way better than anything that came before the six-month mark.
This is all good news, and I'm grateful for the update. I'd have been sorry to miss the line "who would therefore qualify as weight training if weights had the habit of squirming and leaping in the arms of the exercisers in a difficult-to-hold-onto fashion" - someone should totally invent that!
My occupational therapist says that she gets a lot of patients with babies in the four-to-six-months range, which apparently is when the rate of the baby's growth tends to outpace the rate of the parents' muscle development. (Which is why I was seeing an occupational therapist.)

Deleted comment

If it were actual reps, as one does in weight-lifting, I wouldn't have any problem wrangling the baby, but it's more like, you have to keep the weight somewhere on your person at all times, with one very specific bit of it pointing up, and only two or three real ways to grab onto it; now do everything else in your life, remembering that most of it was not ergonomically designed to allow you to be carrying the weight. The two or three baby-related objects we have, such as the feeding pillow, which were ergonomically designed for somebody holding a baby are such a relief.

I would love to watch somebody pressing a toddler. I think that could be a lot of fun for everyone involved.


5 months ago

I think three months or so (remarkably young, anyway, it might even have been two months) was the age when my son started to spend most of his time standing and jumping on my lap. I had some really buff forearms for a while. Slings worked well for us, too.

I am almost certainly more of a small-baby person than you, but I did find it helped in the early stages to think of them as very interesting small animals as well as small people.

I would like to be on the baby filter, and could I be on the Dreamwidth one as well, please?
I am glad that it sounds like things are going way better for you than they were for me at that stage! Enjoy it!

My husband's nephew has the same first name as your baby, and his middle name is actually Fox, which is what he goes by. I noted the similarity in names when you posted your baby's name initially, and am even more amused now that you're referring to him as Fox online! It's a good name, but I would not have expected it to be so popular!
I apparently slept for long-for-a-newborn stretches as a newborn, too, and it did me no harm: I was an immense healthy strong chunk of baby. So hurrah for the Fox letting you have at least some rest in his vital pursuit of additional skills like eye focusing and having more person to build on.
I am glad things are progressing well. I hope the cats eventually come around to being in the same house with Fox.
Yay baby!
I'm glad everything is going well so far!

If you pay close attention, babies develop personality earlier than you'd think. There's a definite state change around three or four months that makes a big difference in interactivity and cuteness, as they develop more control over facial expressions and hands.

Poor cats! Two weeks is not much time, though, so I hope they'll settle in to the new normal soon.
Kit just turned 10 months old and our cats are just starting to grudgingly accept that we're not going to send the baby back to wherever they came from. Cats: set in their ways.
I think they show personality from day one, or before, but not in a form that is equally charming or understandable to everyone, and that is okay.
You don't know me well, perhaps don't feel that you know me at all, but if I might, I would love to be on your baby filter. I am a friend of rosefox.

I am the babyholder in the picture accompanying this. That baby is eleven now, and he's a oner.
I 100% vouch for amaebi, a source of sterling parenting advice and deep compassion.
oooooooh. :)
I would probably shank somebody on his behalf, of course, but I do not see most of the cute.

Willingness to shank on his behalf sounds like the most important part of the parental equation to me.

Deleted comment


November 2 2016, 08:03:51 UTC 5 months ago Edited:  November 2 2016, 08:04:11 UTC

He's a lovely baby: laid-back for a newborn, but not lumpen. He's astonished by the world and mastering it. I can see that my patented baby-wafting technique is going to be work.


Larger babies tend to sleep better because they can hold more in their stomachs and go longer between feedings. Charlie was like this! Super lucky. If he's sleeping 8-hour stretches at 3 months you're golden.
Good thoughts your way (to you and Ruth both, of course). I hope your current babysleepluck continues and that the cats thaw out and return to their normal socialization. <3