Well, you knew my parental silence wouldn't last forever. Attention, all hands. In response to many requests, it's time for a status report on our daughter Emily, who is 11 weeks old and merely fabulous.
She hasn't yet slept through the night, but she has gotten dangerously close a couple of times. She hasn't yet discovered her hands, feet or teddy bears. She gurgles and chortles, but without rhyme or reason, and she doesn't seem very interested in crawling yet.
But she smiles. Big, wide ones, that start in the center of her mouth and spread rapidly to the cheeks and forehead. And she hugs whoever changes her diaper, softly and tenderly. And she nurses, with astonishing interest.
Best of all, she hasn't been sick. There was a minor eye infection a couple of weeks ago, but ointment cleared it right up. I think the major danger at this point is a dislocation of the little finger -- from having Mom and Pop wrapped around it so tightly.
Like her mother, Emily is a classical music buff. Beethoven shuts her up, every time (so far).
And like her father, Emily is a ham. When Jane took her grocery shopping the other day, a woman came up and started praising Emily to the skies. Many infants would choose that moment to shriek and wriggle. Emily preened and smiled as if the cameras were rolling.
Perhaps this is wishful, but Emily seems to respond particularly well to silly lyrics that her parents have grafted onto old tunes. Try this family version of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart:"
"Let me change your diaper, I'm in love with you/
"Let me hear you whisper that you want me to/
"Keep the diapers spotless, for this skin so new/
"Let me change your diaper, I-I-I'm in love with you."
But it's not the diapers or the crying or the smiling that have turned my first-time father's head. In thinking about fatherhood, I expected all that.
The most amazing part so far is the emotional wallop that Emily can exert on a father who likes to think of himself as a tough customer.
One for-instance: I picked up the latest batch of photos the other day. I started flipping through them while stopped for a red light. Just as the light turned green, I came upon one that showed Emily on her back on the changing table, smiling up at me as I smiled down at her.
Tough customer? Three cabs and a Metrobus started beeping at me. They didn't understand that you can't step on the accelerator until the tears have stopped filling your eyes.