Periosteum? I barely knew ‘im.


Tyler likes to crawl. I would assume this is the case because it’s the only skill set he has in regards to mobility right now. Until he learns the finer details of bipedalism – balance comes to mind – I am forced to get down to “his level” when we play together.

A couple weeks ago, while on the floor and playing with Tyler, a mischievous little smile danced across his face. Luckily, those looks don’t instill fear in me. Yet. I’m sure the day will come where I’ll find myself in fear of what he had planned or already done. For now though, I had time to register mild curiosity before Tyler charged across the floor and bonked me in the head with his own. I am really not sure who was more amused over the event between the two of us. I said “BONK” while he laughed. Then he gave me that look again. Tyler rocked forward and thumped me again.

”BONK”, I gleefully reported back.

I backed away a few feet, hunkered down on all fours and echoed Tyler’s sly smile. His smile grew larger with each thump, thump, thump of his hands as they marched across the floor towards me.

BONK.

”BONK.”

We played this spin of “cat and mouse” that Tyler developed for about six or seven more BONKs. The light splashed across Tyler’s face just right and I noticed around ten red marks on his forehead. I checked the mirror to see that I had a similar pattern of marks on my forehead. For fear of giving Tyler brain damage, or him doing the same to me, I had to halt the game for the evening. We’ve played this game a few more times – actually, just about every day since the first – and he’s been BONKing me harder and harder each time. Thankfully, I can stop short of saying that it’s painful, but the boy definitely likes to BONK.

A few days ago, I was videotaping some of Tyler’s activities (which I’ll share very soon) when he saw the camcorder on the tripod. Just as I released the camcorder from it, Tyler grabbed the tripod, pulled it over, and BONKed himself real good in the head. Good enough to make him cry. I believe his tears were alligator tears and while I’m sure he was shocked, there’s no way it hurt him based on how hard he had previously been BONKing me in the head.

Yesterday, we were all sitting on the couch. I can sometimes get quite animated when I tell stories to people. I was telling Sarah something about Tyler and stood up while doing all sorts of hand motions to better emphasize my point. Tyler was sitting on the couch, facing the back of it and grabbed for Sarah’s phone. In the split second that we both had our attention diverted, he leaned back. Since he was facing the wrong way, he had nothing to lean back against, aside from air. Unfortunately for everyone involved, air can be displaced quite easily and provides little to no resistance. Imagine a scuba diver who just falls backwards off a boat into the water. Except the water is a floor, the scuba diver is an eight month old baby, and the boat is a couch that is a few feet above sea level. The sound of his head BONKing on the floor stopped my heart cold.

When Tyler hits his head, or gets smacked in the face by Delilah’s tail, a few things happen. First, I try to evaluate the situation and decide whether the incident would likely hurt an eight month old baby or not. Then, I purposely blank my face and look at him indifferently. If he starts crying and I’ve decided that it probably did hurt him, I pick him up and comfort him. If he cries and I’ve decided that – without a doubt – it did not hurt, I tell him, “That didn’t hurt baby boy.” If I’ve decided that it did hurt but he doesn’t cry, I modify my standards for Tyler’s pain threshold, and pretend nothing happened.

I was absolutely certain that this hurt Tyler.

In the times that I’ve observed Tyler with his fake tears and with his real tears, I’ve found that I can judge when he is legitimately hurt about 95% of the time. If he just starts yelling and crying, he’s probably faking it. He did not just yell and cry this time. He did the other thing; the thing that tells me he is really hurt.

It starts with no sound at all. First, he draws his lower lip up and pushes the corners down, into an open-mouthed frown. Then he pushes his bottom lip out into the common “pout” look. After this, he will then take a few hitching breathes while he opens and closes his mouth, ever so slightly, in time with the hitches. At this point, the cries will begin. That pouty face is the signal that he isn’t faking. I know that he’ll soon realize the power behind the pouty look, but I can definitely use it to my advantage for the time being.

Bumps, thumps, bonks, cracks, smacks. All this and no worse for the wear. This parenting this isn’t so bad.

Smiling is unnatural?

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Pouty McPouterson
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It took around 8 weeks for Tyler to learn how to smile. He got that trait, presumably, from seeing Sarah and I smile at him. All. The. Time.

How is it, then, that Tyler – and, I would assume, all babies – has pouting built right into his genetic code? It’s one of those “pre-programmed” things that guarantees that he’s going get whatever it is that he wants. He was completely passive about everything the day he was born. I thanked the Lord up above for giving us a calm, quiet baby. Twenty-four hours later, I cursed the devil-nurse that gave Tyler his first (sponge)bath. It was then that Tyler realized that his lungs served another purpose than merely providing oxygen to his blood vessels and, in turn, life to his body. Thanks to this she-spawn of Satan, Tyler discovered the art of crying. I just want to pass along a little nugget of information to all of you. Babies do not cry, they scream. Tyler has cried fewer times than the number of fingers I have on one hand. One such crying incident was yesterday, and it was COMPLETELY my fault; I’ll blog about that later. He has screamed loads of times, though.

Let’s get back to what this nurse – who managed to stand up straight, despite the fact that she had no spine, and had a small, black heart, completely devoid of love and compassion – and what she did to my son. His cryscreams were quiet, almost cute, but I knew what they would become as his lungs matured, and it scared me. This nurse… This… This… This… Devil incarnate, has the nerve, the AUDACITY, to tell me that it’s good when babies cry because it opens their lungs and clears out the mucous in their throats. Hogwash!! I laid witness, not 24 hours earlier, to an amazing surgery – a surgery where I saw parts of my wife that I never wanted to see – which swiftly disproved the “a stork delivers a baby to your porch” myth, and you’re telling me that you can’t just stick a turkey baster down his throat and suck all that crap out, effectively negating the need for crying? I say again, hogwash.

*deep breath*
*deep breath*
*deep breath*

What was I saying? Oh, crying. In the moments before he unleased about 95db of ear piercing goodness, Tyler had a blank face, completely content with everything he had experienced thus far. My face was about 10 inches from Tyler’s face. When the wet, soapy devil-rag was pressed against his belly, he looked at me – still blank faced – for about another second. Then, his bottom lip started to push out and the corners of his mouth drew down into a pout.

I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that Tyler had not seen a single frown nor pout while “on the outside”. I’m slightly less so, but still fairly certain that he had not seen those looks on the inside either. Therefore, he somehow knew how to pout without ever seeing it done before.

Most people would then deduce that smiles are a learned trait, and frowns/pouts are an instinctual trait. Luckily for you, my brain doesn’t work like most peoples’. Through my superhuman logic and powers of observation, I now know the truth, and am ready to pass it along.

I submit to you, dear reader, that frowns, pouts, AND smiles are as instinctual as breathing or swallowing. I submit to you that if your baby didn’t start smiling until 8 weeks after birth, maybe he or she just wasn’t happy until that point. Ever think of that?

na na boo. goo goo gah gah

Today, Tyler was looking directly into my eyes. He really seemed to recognize me. He was completely wide-eyed, and fully alert – unlike the photo here. It’s a very special thing to experience. I won’t try to explain it here, because I know I won’t be able to do it any justice. Suffice it to say, it is very, very awesome.

Tyler is also starting to make sounds. This is aside from his typical screaming when he wants something.

There are a few “schools of thought” with regards of how one should speak to babies. Some people prefer to keep things as simple as possible. “Mommy love Tyler”, “Tyler hungry? Tyler want nursey?”.

Then there are those that say to speak to your child as if you would speak to anyone “Mommy loves you, Tyler”, “Tyler, are you hungry? Do you want to eat?”.

Sarah and I belong to the latter. We speak to Tyler in full, grammatically correct sentences. I don’t want him to learn poor grammar, then have to relearn the correct way to speak. Just like learning a foreign language. The BEST way to do so is to immerse yourself in it. That’s what we’re doing. We’re immersing Tyler in it.

Did I digress? Yeah, I think I did…. so… back on track, Tyler is making sounds. It’s friggin adorable! We’ve heard him scream lots of times, but now we actually get to hear a voice. A voice the belongs to my son!

He says “ooooo” and “ung-a”. Of course, Sarah and I started speculating on what he’s trying to say to us.

I told her that it couldn’t be more obvious. They boy weighed in at 11 pounds 5 ounces at his 2 week appointment. He’s likely to be over 12 pounds. Heck, I guarantee it. He couldn’t possibly be saying anything other than “hungry”.

Ung-a… hungry. It’s not much of a stretch to make that connection.

Of course, we both know that it’s just nonsense right now, but there’s no denying the fact that his daddy is a borderline genious. Maybe, maybe little Tyler will be the next Einstein.

Seconds after I have this thought, Tyler cracks a smile… then farts. Yup, he is his father’s son.

Sleep? I remember that word.

The picture above is of Tyler yawning. I figured it was appropriate for this post, even though Sarah and I are the ones doing the yawning.

My son isn’t doing such a hot job of realizing that nighttime is for sleeping and daytime is for being awake. He likes to sleep during the day, and scream during the night.

We were finally discharged from the hospital yesterday afternoon, after 6 days there. Sarah kinda went downhill on Monday afternoon, into Tuesday. Nothing to get worried about, but she was having lots of intense pain as a result of the C-Section. I actually caught a glimpse of the surgery. After Tyler was “born” I went to the other side of the room with him and our midwife, Michelle. I looked back to Sarah a few times and would say things like, “He’s got your cheeks”, or, “He’s beautiful”.

Well, the last time I looked over, I turned a little too far to the right and caught a glimpse of her midsection. It’s something you never, never, never want to see happening to someone you love. The word “C-Section” is thrown around too casually now. A very close friend hit the nail on the head by saying “It is MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY”.

Anyway, the couple days following the surgery were very, very painful for Sarah. The Percocet only took the edge off the pain, but it was still there. You top that all with the fact that it was a very less-than-ideal weekend, and you have a girl that was just emotionally spent. She just wanted to give up, and that was hard to watch.

We had high hopes of walking out of the hospital yesterday, but she was in too much pain. Sarah ended up being wheeled down in a wheelchair. She could barely walk up the stairs in the house. If she sat down for more than 5 minutes, she couldn’t stand back up. It quite literally took her 10 minutes to get off the couch yesterday. It’s very horrible. We know that everything that happened was completely necessary, but that doesn’t make the recovery any easier.

So, last night was our first night at home with Tyler. My goodness. I don’t know how often he was up. I was so tired, that it was too depressing to look at the clock… so I didn’t. Finally, at 5am, I grabbed him, came downstairs, and closed all the doors between Sarah and us. I wanted Sarah to get at least some sleep. I ended up in the computer room. I looked at Tyler and told him that he was just going to have to cry it out. He had just been fed and changed, so now he needed to sleep. I just sat there and held him for about 20 minutes of screaming. No tears, just screaming. And he had no interest, at all, in the pacifier. Then… he just fell asleep. After another 20 minutes, I figured he was out for a while. I went into the living room, lied down on the couch with Tyler on my chest, and fell asleep for 2 hours. It was a glorious 2 hours. Sarah finally came down, very happy to have gotten 3 hours of sleep.

And guess what? We get to do it all again, because he is screaming his head off even as I finish this last sentence…

Will I Ever Be A Daddy?

I’m sitting here on the couch, covered in poison ivy. I actually convinced myself that I was immune to the effects of poison ivy. It would appear that I was wrong. The desire to scratch (everywhere) is so strong, that I’m sure I wouldn’t feel satisfied until I had scratched every square inch of skin from my body.

I need to find a way to get my mind off the itchiness, because the cortisone cream isn’t doing a thing for me. So, I decided to set up a blog and write something. In a way, I guess I should be grateful for the poison ivy, because that’s what’s motivated me to set up an account here at Blogspot, or Blogger, or Google Blogs, or whatever this site is calling itself nowadays, but I’m not grateful at all.

As of today, Sarah is 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant. According to science, I should have a baby boy that is 6 days old right now, which would pretty much eliminate any time that I would have had to blog with. But, for whatever reason, the little guy doesn’t feel like coming out.

And here’s the funny thing… technically, everything is still normal. Sure, pregnancies are 40 weeks, but that’s according to science. The national average for the gestational period (I’ll try to limit how many large words I use, sorry) is actually 41 weeks and 3 days. That would mean that, if this were the most average pregnancy ever, my son isn’t due for another 4 days. I try to not mention this to Sarah too often, because she’s more-than-eager to get the little guy out. I don’t want to discourage her. No siree… I’ve learned that I must be very careful of what I say to a woman that’s got hormones on overdrive.

When Sarah first got pregnant, we never cared what the EDD was, because an EDD is an Estimated Due Date. Estimated. It’s guesswork based on your last menstruation (ewww… a boy talking about girl’s stuff). We knew that, so we told people that we were due around the middle to end of June. As the days got closer, though, I found myself counting down to her 40 week due date, June 19th. I would look at Sarah and say, “Our little man will be here in 14 days, 3 hours, 22 minutes, and 16 seconds.”

I was setting myself up for failure, and didn’t even know it. The sad thing is… I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN.

Every day that passes now – hell, every HOUR that passes now – I get more and more anxious about the birth of my son. I’m not having the doubts of being a father, I’m not obsessing about finances, I’m not freaking out at all. Normally, I think I would, but if I can’t change it, I have no choice but to accept it. I’m trying to do that. I’m anxious because I really want to see his face. I want to hold him. I want to kiss his delicious face (I have to give props to Sarah’s sister, Jillian, for that phrase). I feel that I’ve developed a strong bond to him while he’s been cooking in Sarah’s belly. He responds to my voice. We push on each other through her belly. We could potentially be really good friends. If he ever comes out, that is.

I swear, I’m almost done with this blog post, so bear with me just a bit longer.

One year ago, I didn’t care at all whether I had kids or not. If I had kids, fine. If I didn’t have kids, fine. I think, in my entire life (30 years), I’ve only held a baby 3 times. That’s no joke… ask anyone who knows. And I’ve NEVER changed a diaper. I don’t really know how to talk or act when I’m with/near babies/children. They made me uncomfortable. I was scared that I would traumatize them or, worse, break them. Now… I’m really starting to enjoy the few kids that are in my life. Our close friends’ (Melanie and Adam) son, Ben, is an example. My sister-in-law’s (the previously mentioned Jillian) daughters, Paige and Lexi, are another. I actually enjoy talking to them. I can’t wait to introduce them to little baby Gearhart. I can’t wait to introduce him to the world.

We’ve got an appointment with our midwife tomorrow morning. Wish us luck, and think baby thoughts for us. As for right now, I’m going to grab some sandpaper and go to work on this itch.

Here’s a slideshow of our ultrasound photos (view all my galleries at TheGearharts.smugmug.com):