Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Make the Noise

After you give birth to a baby you have to figure out what comes next. I don’t mean in the greater scheme of things, like ‘do you want to take time off from a lucrative career’, I mean everyday. It is obvious that you need to feed a baby, change their diaper, hold them, nurture them and keep them safe. Unless you have post partum depression and want to either give them away or kill them. That was not nice. But taking care of a newborn (unless you have full time help and can sit in front of the TV eating ice cream bon bons), can be incredibly difficult or maybe boring unless you can find a way to entertain yourself.

Mimi and Zach - the "Make the Noise" pre-game Meal

Just for arguments sake let’s assume that the women who choose to have children, actually want to spend all the time they can with them. (This is not going to be a lecture about stay at home mothers). So when the reality of what it’s like to spend about 16 waking hours—not counting night time feedings-- caring for a bitty baby with whom you cannot have an interesting conversation, it can be devastating.

Reading Time

This was not the case for me when I had my kids. Despite their size and ability to communicate, I wanted to find a way to relate to them. When I had Seth my mother insisted that I either have a baby nurse or she would come to “help” me. There was never a question about the choice. First of all, she was taking care of my father and her absence would have taken a toll on his well being. OK, I’m full of crap. If I had to deal with my mother and sitting on a rubber pillow I would have considered offing myself. I may have talked about this previously, but the baby nurse came the week I was supposed to give birth. Only I was three and a half weeks overdue (actually Seth was overdue!), and in a very bad mood, and she was from Germany and the kind of German you see in movies—with all that might imply. I don’t mean to be unkind (now you know that’s not true) but to say she was a little inflexible, was like saying the ocean is a little polluted. On a good day she was like a nice commandante in a concentration camp. “You will eat your breakfast. You will take a nap. You will exercise. Too much TV will make you blind,” and stuff like that. It wasn’t only that she was bossy and humorless, it was also that I am not good at not being in charge. It got so competitive that we found ourselves reduced to giving contradictory orders to Sherman, my shaggy dog.

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When Seth finally arrived we were both so happy to have something to do that we almost started to like one another—but then she decided that I was to do nothing and I was reduced to sneaking Seth out of his crib and hiding him in my bed in order to nurture him in my own way. Well, the nurse finally left and months passed. He matured nicely and did all the things expected of a little baby, and along with feeding him and watching him grow, I tried to find ways for us to be entertained together. And so we discovered a game called, ‘make the noise’.

It’s a pretty easy game to play but I find it works best if you wait six or seven months. Here’s how it works. You wait until the baby makes one of those wonderful sounds that babies make. The goo goo gaa gaa kind of sounds. Then you take two fingers and gently but quickly cover and uncover their mouths, and you say “make the noise”. The sound is very amusing for both adult and child. After a while the kid realizes they are making the sound (with adult assistance) and they like doing it. You really have to see it to understand so we have asked the fabulous Zack Jacobson to help with the demonstration.

Jordan also made the noise and when I showed David how to do it, he did it nonstop. It got to be a thing and I challenged most of the babies with whom I came in contact to participate in my game. OK it’s a little silly but I can assure you it can provide hours of endless entertainment.

Zach and Auntie Jordan, practice making the noise..

And for a first on the Blob: click below.. Zach makes the Noise:

And speaking of endless entertainment, I am on my way to visit mom in Bainbridge. Unfortunately, it will not be exactly what I expected because last night there was a fire in an apartment two floor above hers and because there was water damage in her apartment, She couldn’t stay there last night and we don’t know when she’ll get back. Jeff and Els stayed with her in a motel down the street—she got the bedroom they got the sofa bed. I guess these things happen and it seems that with my mom there is never a dull moment. It’s not really that entertaining but maybe I should suggest to my brother that he simply put two fingers over her mouth and ask her to make the noise. Were just sayin...Iris

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Iris!!