Sunday, July 5, 2009

Rhymes with Calder

There are only two steps to feeding Calder. Bringing him to a b**b and burping him when he is done. Zoe was a quick eater and an easy burper. Calder likes to savor his meals and take his time getting a burp out. In fact, in the time it takes me to burp him I could probably read a couple of chapters in a book, if both my hands weren’t in use. In fact, my right arm is visibly larger than my left from the extra workout it’s getting. Calder finds the rhythmic patting of his back very relaxing, and will sometimes fall asleep before we can get a burp out of him. But beware; if you think that you can just lay him down without getting that burp out, he will most likely throw up. Which raises the question, why is it that infants need to be burped? I know that they are not able to burp on their own, but don’t you think evolution would have resolved that small shortcoming? I mean really, they come straight from the womb knowing how to eat. How hard is it to burp? I think it is simply a mechanism put in place so the dads can have some part in the baby feeding process. Men = burping. I guess that sounds right.

When you read the Big Book of Rules for Parent, chapter ten talks about how it is forbidden to call your infant simply by his (or her) name. You must create some cutesy derivative, and use it whenever you are leaning over your child, making stupid faces and speaking in a saccharine baby voice in an attempt to make them smile. (In some states you are actually forbidden by law to say their name normally, unless you are referring to said child while calling the wife to take charge of some heinous diaper incident.) But I have a small problem when it comes to Calder; I can’t think of any words that rhyme with Calder except for ‘balder’. (Okay, there’s Gibraltar but not so cute.) So I’ve come to calling him Calder Balder, which is cute only because it rhymes. Now I have Alison calling him Calder Balder, and before you know it his nickname will be Baldy. He will be Baldy like six foot ten, three hundred pound guys are called Tiny (e.g. he is not bald in the least). So please, if you can come up with some other cutesy name that rhymes with Calder, please let me know.

I seem to recollect that we waited an intolerably long time for Zoe to learn how to smile. It could be that she smiled at about the same time Calder started smiling, but with Zoe we were completely focused on every nuance of her development, whereas with Calder it seems that we don’t pay as close attention to how he is coming along (sorry Calder). It’s not that we aren’t just as excited when Calder smiles at us as when Zoe first learned, but I think with Zoe we assumed something was wrong with her until she demonstrated her grasp of each skill on the developmental ladder. With Calder we are more patient—perhaps more relaxed would be a better description—and since he seems to have picked up on the smiling thing early, we are not too worried about his development; yet. I think smiling is an evolutionary survival response. I mean we spend all day changing, feeding, burping, carrying, soothing, and otherwise catering to his every need, and if we didn’t get something back we would get tired of the whole ordeal and possibly trade him in for something more fun, like an iPhone or a large pizza. Fortunately he is smiling almost all the time, so he is safe for now, even though I would really like a pizza.

Calder has a sister. Check out her website at

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