Week 6 — The Dog’s Doing It Again

https://www.dreamstime.com/photos-images/basset-hound-dog-sitting-down.html

Using the dummy is going swimmingly now. And my son enjoys having his head rubbed simultaneously, dropping into a state of euphoria similarly experienced by a sloth for 22 hours of the day. It’s a trait he shares with his mother. And by jove his big eyes are wider and wider every day, taking in new sights and motions and people, it’s really incredible to watch as an outsider, and interesting too. Did you know that babies don’t properly perceive colour until about two months old? So my son is currently observing the entire world mostly in black and white. It’s a trait he shares with the dog. That means that when his perception of colour DOES develop he’s got one hell of a wild ride ahead of him because we’ve begun setting up play mats and getting the toys out for him and all sorts. It’s a good job he doesn’t eat sweets because otherwise he’d get a hyperactivity disorder or something. Oh and proper depth perception doesn’t develop until about 4 months old! This explains why he regularly raises his hand in the air, stares at it for a long moment, then punches himself in the face.

So now I get to talk about the play mat. Just a short section, really, and it involves me setting up said playzone and ultimately getting it wrong. Who knew! We had some brightly coloured shapes and rattly thingamajigs to hang about this little play gym, and the instructions specifically said that you can arrange the accessories however you like, so I put the orange fish in one corner, the rattly thingamajig above him and the starfish over by his left foot. It was wrong! Oh no, the starfish goes near his hand and the turtle goes above him — we need to get AAA batteries for that, by the way — and the rattly thingamajig goes by his other hand so he can smack the shit out of that and make a noise. Clever old me, eh?

But it’s all worth it because my son’s begun the proper smiles now. That’s right, no more ’is that a smile for happiness or tiredness?’ moments anymore for the family, no more ’it can’t be wind because I looked it up, but he’s smiling and farting like a backed up car!’ Now he’s all happy and stuff and we’ve got proof! It’s great because if he combines his new found skill with dummy sucking then the dummy falls out and the smile rapidly vanishes. Oh the fun we have trying to coax the rubber saviour back into that open crying cavity then! Of course sometimes we get the special cases: when he smiles and the dummy moves to one side of his mouth instead of falling out entirely, and he cranks one eye open to leer at you suspiciously then that’s the special case. I call it ’the Popeye’.

Our dog (Lumpy), on the other hand, appears to have taken a step forward and, in a wholly different definition, taken one giant leap backwards. Let’s start positive: Lumpy’s getting protective of the baby. On a day out in the town there was another dog that was trying to get near my son and sniff him; Lumps took one look at the invading canine and growled one hell of a vicious snarl at him. It’s extremely unlike our floppy, slobbery basset hound to do this but there we have it: a maternal Lumpy! Now the negative: the dog’s doing it again. He’s jumping up on the chest of drawers where he thinks his treats are. He tried to do this when he first came to us, then he stopped, now he’s regressed (probably due to some misplaced sense of love with the baby’s arrival) and he’s trashing the bloody living room again! And I leave a lot of writing notes everywhere (a lot, it’s ridiculous) so he just kicks them everywhere without any regard for my literary future. Little git. Maybe we should try electroshock therapy.

My son’s putting on serious weight now, he’s almost twice the baby he used to be! It’s been six weeks and he’s peed more times than I have in the same period, he’s pooed so much that to an untrained eye he could be sold as a Jackson Pollock, and he’s puked like Kate Moss after accidentally drinking semi skimmed milk instead of red top. How has he put on a pound in eight days?! By rights he should be a dry sponge but here he is, rapidly approaching 11 pounds and turning into a beefy little boy! Come to think of it, I should really direct my concerns towards my wife because she’s clearly using her mammalian heritage to pump him full of lard when I’m not looking. He’s still getting stronger as well, it’s becoming a bit of an arm wrestle with daddy when said paternal parent is trying to coax his arm through his sleeve. Then he pretends to cry and make me feel guilty and my wife wonders what the hell I’ve done this time! However, I counter this by dressing my little champion up as a certain Sith Lord from a popular science fiction movie series in preparation for comic con in Exeter next year. I’m genuinely going to order a Jedi robe so we can go together as proud father and son, ironically the wrong way round.

Last but by god not least is the matter of the lactose-based, boob cannon, bathtime squirt-a-thon. Bet you never thought you’d read THAT in a blog! Yes yes yes, it’s gotten to the backed-up, dambusters, ultra-full breast stage, where my son goes for longer periods of sleep during the night (3 hours a pop, woohoo!) but the consequence that incurs is the continuous production of milk with nowhere to go. Then came an incident of bathtime, and I think you might see where this is going. We decided to wash the baby with my wife (he had spat up so much he smelt like cheese) and boy did he enjoy the water. He squirmed at first (like we all do when immersed in temperate H2O, right?) but then floated around and looked at us with a lovely wide stare as if he was seeing Jurassic Park for the first time. Then I took him up in a wonderfully warm towel and held him as he dried in my arms, gazing into each other’s eyes and solidifying further that special bond we’re trying so hard to make. My wife began emptying her breasts in the water to ease the pressure and pain a bit, and I turned my back on the bath to put a nappy on a mostly dried baby, holding his little hand as I did so. You know, I can’t say enough about how much I love bathtime, how much I like sharing that moment with my son as…my wife squirted milk at the back of my head. That nasty bloody she-devil had waited until my back was turned to then hit me in the neck with bodily fluids!! Eurgh! When she least expects it I’m going to pee on her.

Thus ends the sixth week of our little family and tomorrow begins the next one, for that is how our fourth dimension works: in a linear fashion. Enjoy your weekends, friends!