Notes from the baby class trenches

Scene: 10 couples (including us) 9 having girls and one of those 9 is a set of twins. A doll that was just realistic enough to be creepy had been plopped on the table. Every single person in the room twisted, bent or flipped it into some sort of natural position.

Our teacher for the evening, who was from Holland walked us through some of the joys of the first few moments and days after child birth. A choice quote about what to expect when cutting the cord, which is apparently quite robust:

A little kid, a bag of water and a rope that she twirls her hand around. Expected a little spray of blood.

LOL, wut? The image of a fetus playing double dutch (get it, she’s from Holland?) was too much for me and three of the other fathers. We all just about lost it.

The evening produced several other gems such as the fact they put RFID bracelets on the babies. If you get the baby near a door while the bracelet is armed, it will bolt the door shut before you can walk through it.

Also, apparently the days of staring through the windows of a nursery at rows of babies like it’s a used car lot are over. The hospital that we’re delivering at no longer has a nursery and the baby will be in the room with us.

We also talked a lot about why babies cry. It would have been a tremendously shorter class if we had discussed why they don’t cry. But one of the interesting parts of the discussion was around loneliness. In fact, the National Institute of Health has some interesting research articles about the various effects loneliness has on children.

In the words of our teacher “Loneliness is such a big word for a small child.” We have a lot to learn…

Some assembly required

I’m beginning to think that being a dad is less about teaching your child how to eat or how to dress for a date and more about how to fix things. And after spending the weekend assembling shiny new baby furniture, my best parenting advice: Get a good cordless drill.

I’ve never been too handy and I have a hard time with the details such as measuring, hammering a nail in straight and coloring in the lines. So this new role of Mr. Fix it is new to me. I’m learning.