It’s been quite a whirlwind experience, and it seems to be gaining speed. At only 2 months, Xander has outgrown most of his 0-3 months garb, and is fitting quite comfortably into stuff normally meant for 6-month-olds (of course being in the children’s fashion industry, I know perfectly well how inaccurate kids’ clothes sizings can be). But what really amazes me right now is his increasingly complex requirements.
What used to be a simple deciphering of diaper change/feeding time/painful cries (see what I learnt in Week 2) has now become an array of I-wants and I-feels and I-bloody-don’t-cares, including cries of shock, loneliness, discomfort in body position, fear, tiredness, wanting to stay awake despite tiredness, not wanting to stay awake because of tiredness but we’re being too noisy, and other assortments of weird and wonderful crankiness.
First-time parenthood is really a crash course into super-professional nannyhood, and what you learn really depends on how involved you are in your child’s development and upbringing. In the first 2 weeks, I thought deciphering baby cries was already quite a feat for me, but today, when the kid starts his trademark Volkswagen engine startup (“ng-uh-huh, ng-uh-huh, ng-uh-huh, ng-uh-huh, weeeeeaaaaaaaaah”), my wife and I find ourselves having to run through a much longer list of the X that’s irking the X-man. On the upside (I think), we’ve gotten so used to his cries that we are now able to identify his less urgent needs and subsequently “buy time” for ourselves to finish up whatever we were doing before attending to him. At one point when we were at my mother’s having dinner with my family (Xander’s getting daycare at my mum’s), his crying got my mum in a fluster and my sisters in a flurry, but my wife and I didn’t even look up from our plates.
Perhaps it was our trust in my mum to handle our child that was built up since Grandma Daycare started; perhaps we really did know why he was crying. But one thing is for certain, when it’s serious, we DO notice. And it almost always emotional more than anything else. Like when he gets scared, the cries are loud and immediate, and forcefully demanding of our attention. Or when he doesn’t like something, he gives this beautifully cute little pout that grows into a wonderfully written chorus of wails nobody can ignore, particularly when it’s actually being witnessed in real time.
It just goes to prove one of two things; that the evolution of humankind has written emotional responses at a higher priority of urgency than physical need, or that my son has inherited his grandmother’s penchant for melodramatics.