Lactation Is An Excellent way to Lose Weight

I’ve just found another reason why it’d be great if men could lactate. D is losing body fat all over while she breast feeds Pip. She’s eating like a horse, but Pip just drains it out of her and adds it to his already plump body.

Now if only I could get my otherwise superfluous nipples to make some milk, I might be able to loose some of my excess body fat, and still eat way too much ice cream. Although having to milk myself every day would be inconvenient, perhaps I could get some other part of my body to lactate constantly, then catch it in a bag. Wait, no, that just sounds disgusting. Ah well, I’ll just have to learn some impulse control!

Back to work, Monkey Boy

I was lucky enough to have three weeks of paternity and annual leave from the time when Pip was born. Which meant we had three weeks to establish patterns and get used to this whole being parents thing. Pip still hasn’t quite settled into a pattern yet, although he’s getting better – he has actually slept through the night a few times, and has taken to sleeping in four hour blocks. But I did get to spend three weeks with Pip and D, sleeping when he slept, holding him at 4AM when he needed it, getting burps out.

After three weeks off, I worked part time for a couple of weeks. Now I’m back on the full time treadmill. But because Pip was born only a few weeks into the new year, and with the addition of holidays and the like, I’ve only worked four five day weeks so far this year. This week will be the fifth, so I’m girding myself for it. I fully expect to lose my shit sometime around 11AM on Thursday!

Work has also changed for me, because now I’m working for Pip, I gotta pay the rent and keep him in nappies. Concentrates one’s mind a bit more.

Being a parent really does chew up one’s spare time, which in fact I full expected. Goes with the territory. Thankfully I’m enjoying it no end, watching my baby grow and pull faces.

My main job as a Daddy: Preserving Mummy’s Sanity

I have one important job as a new daddy, and that is making sure my partner retains her sanity!

The best way to do this, I’ve found, is to make sure she gets sleep. Her level of sanity is directly proportional to the amount of sleep she gets. Which is why I’m sitting up now watching Pip sleep while she gets at least a few hours before he gets hungry again.

D might also argue that preserving her sanity is a bit hard because of existing, underling insanity. Which predates this whole pregnancy and baby thing.

I’m back at work, which means I’m often spending my evenings minding Pip while D sleeps. This has the added advantage for me of providing lots of time for baby cuddles. Baby cuddles are the best thing in the whole world.

Quiet lately

Hey, it’s been a few days since my last post. Hasn’t been helped by the heatwave this city is experiencing. Sitting in front of a computer, or under a hot laptop, is not the best fun at the moment.

And… I started this blog thinking I could write down all my revelations about parenting, my insights into being a daddy and the like. The trouble is… I haven’t had any. As I’ve mentioned before, everything has been going very smoothly, and almost exactly as expected.

There must be revelations to be had for those who are first time parents, that I might reveal here. But there really can’t be many adults who haven’t been around children or people with children, long enough to glean some insight into what it’s all about. I myself baby-sat and changed many a nappy well before I became a dad. My little brother is fourteen years younger than me, so I was fiddling with safety pins and playing with Duplo when I was a teenager.

So the routine of changing nappies, burping a baby, giving him baths and so on, is just a routine. There are millions, nay, billions of parents out there who are doing these things every day. It’s not likely that there are many insights left to be had. It’s not like it’s any big secret. I have amused some of my childless friends with stories of epic shits and wee fountains, but these stories are entirely wasted on other parents. They’ve been there and done that and can usually top any gross story with an even grosser one.

I’m tired a great deal, although less so than D. Again, more or less as expected. I find I have less spare time than I used to – which isn’t helping me blog – but again this is also not a surprise. The house is often a mess, and we do lots of washing. We’ve had an endless stream of visitors. So far, so normal.

And I adore my son. Everybody who’s ever had a kid will tell you that, though, everybody who has a child knows the special intensity that comes from that kind of relationship. Stronger than you can imagine. Well, actually no, I pretty much expected to feel this way when D got pregnant, in fact I started to feel this way well before Pip was born.

Which leaves me with not a lot of material. A switch has been flipped in my life, from not being a daddy to being a daddy. And every parent on earth will already know what that feels like. I can’t even evangelise about it, the way some parents do. You want to have kids or you don’t, it’s your choice and I ain’t going to try and sway you one way or the other. Unlike, say, I might about politics. I’m liking being a parent, but I can see how some people might shy away from it their whole lives. Whatever, more pooey nappies for me.

So I will blog when the mood takes me, and when that mood coincides with actually having the time to do so.

On the Naming of Babies

There is apparently a celebrity out there called Robert Rodriguez who has a child called Rocket Valentino.

The naming of things is an important and weighty matter. I name everything around my place, as I explained in this post. My car has a name, my computers all have names – this tiny laptop of mine is called Tyrion Lannister, because it is small and powerful.

Michal Hutchence and Paula Yates have a child called Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily. Should that be “had” since she is, now, an orphan.

I’ve heard two rules of thumb about naming children. One, will it get them teased in primary school? And two, will they be able to stand up in front of a board room and have their name not cause tittering. Some of the above fail this, but it’s not just celebrities. I went to high school with a woman who was known by her nick-name Coco. She grew up to become a lawyer, and went back to her real name! Then there’s the former CEO of a company I used to work for, who delighted in the name Elmer Funke Kupper!

Names of late have gotten bizarre, odd spellings of normal names, weird hyphenated names. The worst example I’ve heard recently? Elvis-Tiger.

I answered a call from a woman called Ishy the other day. Fails some tests there!

So when it came to naming our child, my criteria were simple: Interesting but not weirdly exotic, easy to spell and remember, and not rare but not too common either. Pip, as I’ve mentioned, is just his nickname, but lets just say he has one respectable, unhyphenated, first name and one surname – his mothers. I’ve got literally dozens of relatives, my family name is showing no signs of dying out, whereas D’s surname is shared by maybe six people.

I did at one stage want to give him a number as a middle name, but funnily enough D wouldn’t have a bar of that idea. Despite the excellent example of Jennifer 8 Lee.

And the winners in the name stakes? The four children of Frank Zappa, Dweezil, Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen Zappa, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and of course who could forget Moon Unit!

Please Madam, May We Have the Dummy?

Pip Enjoys his Dummy

Pip Enjoys his Dummy

Dummies (or Pacifiers to you Americans) seem to go through phases of acceptability. Some of my cousin’s kids, who are teenagers now, never had them at all. A friend’s baby who is just over one gets you use one sometimes at night to help her settle. We’ve been told to not let Pip use one till he is six weeks old – which is, by the way, today. The current thinking being that they interfere with a baby learning how to feed.

(I’ve just looked up pacifiers on the wikipedia… There’s a wonderfully creepy section about adult sized dummies for people who like to dress up as babies….)

We were given a couple of them in one of the many piles of gifts we got when Pip was still in the womb. The other night, I cracked one out and popped it in Pip’s mouth. He was very grizzly and making hungry mouth motions, but could not possibly have fitted any more milk into his belly, full as it was of more milk and many burps! And it worked, to an extent. It really did calm him down. That sucking motion is comforting, Pip often likes to suck a nipple more than he should for the comfort rather than the milk.

However, D is very anti the Dummy, so when she found Pip asleep with it, after Daddy had run out of ideas to calm Pip down after three hours, she was annoyed with me – and has since hidden it somewhere. Pip and I may only use The Dummy if we beg and plead. The rules seem to be: only when Pip cannot be comforted any other way! Daddy clearly has differing ideas about how often that is. I’d argue he should get it when he won’t settle and shouldn’t be eating any more. I also think it helps him work out his gas…

Please, Mummy, can Pip have his dummy?

Pip’s First Bottle

Pip is a lucky baby – his mother produces lots of milk, so he has been exclusively breastfed since he was born. In fact, D produces so much milk she frequently expresses. 100 mil in 10 minutes is not unusual.

We decided, as part of our ongoing efforts to preserve D’s sleep, that I should feed him breast milk from a bottle, say, late at night. First, we thought we’d do a test run. Which went fine, I got the milk to a good temperature, Pip took to it heartily… And D stood over us both with an expression on her face that said “what are you doing with my baby!”

She had a seriously intense reaction. On a rational level she could see that it was working fine and Pip was feeding well, but on an intense maternal level she felt that her role was being usurped. Feeding the baby is this mummy’s job!

D calmed down eventually, but I’ve only fed Pip once since then… Which didn’t really work because he was sound asleep and couldn’t be roused. Which, you know, is a good thing in a baby…