Theo Rex turned one month old on April Fool’s Day.
London insider tip: If you’re going to waltz around the city with a newborn baby, you sure better be ready to have long, in-depth conversations with British grannies about how lovely the baby is. Woe is me, I get to brag about my charming, adorable kid to a rapt audience. It’s a real trial, it is.
Theo’s overall aesthetic is grumpy old man who occasionally disarms with a beaming, gummy grin.
Dex came into the curtained, shared room (weird), saw me on the bed (weirder), eyeballed Theo, who was still very tiny and kind of red (even weirder), and backed up, like, “No, thanks.” He wouldn’t get onto the bed with me and he really did not want to hold his brother. We gave him the gift that “Theo” had bought him and Dexter did give the baby a kiss on the top of his head before he left with Matt to have dinner and go to bed.
Theo and I didn’t make it home until almost the end of the second day. We hoped Dex would be more interested in his brother when we were on his home turf and our hunch was correct.
As certified parents of two kids, Matt and I are officially switching from man-to-man to zone defense.
I am exclusively breastfeeding, which means Theo gets most of my time and attention, while Matt either hangs out with Dexter or Dex plays independently and Matt gets stuff done around the house. I’m finding moments to give Dex hugs and kisses, or play with him for a few minutes, but we’re not really getting any quality time.
I see him all day, every day, but I miss him so much. I guess I miss Us.
Dexter’s and my favorite playgroup meets Monday mornings, so I decided I wanted to take Dex, just the two of us. Last night, a post appeared on the group’s Facebook page:
He is tiny. Theo was just under 7 pounds at birth – Dexter, a week earlier, was around 7 and a half – and has a completely different build than Dex, with skinny legs and a bony little bum and fingers like birthday candles. Not only is it a completely different experience, holding a baby this wee, but Dex was under NICU staff care for the first few days of his life, so all of the first-few-days baby stuff was brand new to us, too.
“I’ve helped a lot of women through labor,” I heard our doula whisper to Matt, maybe a little nervously. “But I can honestly say that’s the first time I’ve seen anyone bite her husband.”
Dexter Ian, then known as Biscuit, was born April 10, 2015.
I had a Strand burger for lunch and was at my office April 9 when I started to feel strange. I was 37 weeks and 6 days pregnant and that morning, I had “graduated” from my high risk doctor, which means he shook my hand and we bid farewell to my every-other-morning appointments where I’d sit on an armchair with elastic bands around my belly, clicking a button every time I felt a kick. No diploma or tassels. As the strange feeling intensified, my instincts screamed “THIS IS IT,” so I called Matt and told him to come home.
Look, Matt and I would never claim to be parenting experts, or even people who should be giving advice. Nearly two years in, we still make mistakes on a daily basis and I don’t see that changing any time in the future. I’m not sure ANYONE is qualified to give parenting advice. The whole racket is complex and ever-changing and impossible to master.
However, Dexter is a pretty great kid, so far, and although I’m convinced it’s about 90% luck, I’d like to think we had a little something to do with the other 10%.
New parents get a flood of parenting advice, and thousands of conflicting opinions can be yours with just a quick Google search, so we did (and still do) put some effort into deciding how we wanted to try to do things and what kind of parents we’d like to be.
It’s been a few months since my original “Toddlers Are Weird” post, but never fear, everyone: Dexter is still really weird.
First of all, on a scale of one to face transplant, how concerned should I be that last week, when we spotted a fox at least twice Dexter’s size in a parking lot, my child’s immediate reaction was to run after the wild animal and attempt to tickle it?