Friday, June 15, 2012

Change is the Routine

Shortly after he started stirring, Mrs. Blackwell woke up sometime after 1 a.m. last night and began feeding our little guy. She took him downstairs, sat down on the couch and that's where I found her this morning, sleeping with him nestled next to her in his cradle. 

This, it would appear, is part of our routine. And, as any new parent who is not in the act of changing a diaper will tell you, routine is key. 

I would have written an autobiography, had someone
named W.E. Johns not stolen my title
That said, how do you know if your routine is the right one? I'm certainly not the person to ask. (Unless general disarray and disorganization are now considered routine.)

Right now, we've got a system of sorts that is comprised largely of eating, diaper changing and sleeping. 

So far this routine has worked but, just like the baby, it's evolving; and it must. His level of engagement has shot up quite a bit. Instead of looking straight through his parents' faces, he's focusing more    as he should be at about the six-week mark. 

This development means play time is increasing of late. Frankly    and there's no clearer way to put this    that's extremely cool.

He's responding to the tone of our voices and, we're pretty convinced that the look of wonderment that passes across his face while he's being handled playfully is not just gas or another bodily function. 

So, the routine is changing but, is it changing for the best? 

If it's too organic, does that mean we're not in control and we've fallen into the trap of letting the kid dictate the show? 

If it's too rigid, have we devolved into trying to fit a round peg of a baby in the proverbial square hole of scheduling and rules?

The best case scenario would be to find that happy medium but, if Mrs. Blackwell and I are  erring one way or another, there are no doubts as to which.
Yes, that's a bag labeled "Important Documents." Like I said,
 our organizational habits have come a long way.

Free spirits that we are, Mrs. Blackwell and I have never been sticklers for organization, rules or scheduling for that matter. 

I spent the first 25 years of my life losing my wallet on a semi-weekly basis while Mrs. Blackwell is a reformed deadline tester of the highest order. Now, we're both at the peak of our organizational abilities    which probably puts us somewhere between "below average  human" and "highly intelligent chimp."

But, when it comes to our son, I think we're doing fine. We know what time he ate. We know when the diaper was last changed and I can tell you if we've already used that burp cloth while she knows exactly when that onesie was put on. 

Our routine fits well; so perhaps it's indeed a good one. That said, as I was sitting with our little guy last night, I noticed a disturbing development. As he laid on my chest, lifting his head and dropping it back into me and flexing his arms, he also began moving his feet quicker. 

Gradually, I noticed he was planting his feet and pushing his way closer to my shoulders and my face. Just to be sure I knew for certain, he repeated the motion, unmistakably using his legs to push off and up. 

This, it's clear, is a prelude to crawling. Anybody care to impart their routine for a baby on the move?

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