Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Letter From Baby Island

Here, because my daughter (!) is momentarily not shouting at the universe, are some semi-related thoughts, unapologetically recycled from my email correspondence and family conversations in recent days:

-- The Sleep Sheep. Do you know about the Sleep Sheep? It's a stuffed animal that emits ambient noise, of a few different kinds. The settings are something like "rainforest," "ocean," "heartbeat," and, a little randomly, "whale." I could double-check them, but I'd have to move it, and right now it's three inches from Ella's head and is somehow keeping her quiet. It's great. Apparently babies like white noise because the womb is a noisy place and they miss it. Which makes sense, but which doesn't explain why I like it so much. She's supposed to get better about calming herself in the next couple of months, rendering the sheep unnecessary. But the sheep may remain a fixture in our household regardless. The only downside is the timer that shuts it off, which I just overrode for the third time in a row.

-- Current nickname for Ella: "Yella," and not because of her skin tone, because that would be wrong.

-- When my band releases its difficult second album, I am going to lobby for it to be called "Nipple Confusion."

-- The Happiest Baby on the Block -- Has there been a worse-written book that has been pored over quite so closely for meaning? (The Bible? Hahaha, just kidding -- sorry, religious folks; I'm getting punchy here.) Anyway, this is not actually a book about making your baby happy. It's about making yourself happy, by getting your baby to just stop shouting for a couple of minutes. Gotta say, it's got prose like a fourth-grade reading comprehension workbook that's had a box of exclamation points spilled on it, but the advice does seem to do the trick. Amusingly, one of the tips is to make harsh shushing noises directly into their ears, because, again, this reminds them of the noisy womb. Basically you know you're doing it right when passersby think you're having a nervous breakdown.

-- Corvino buffalo mozzarella -- Packaged in water. Goddamn amazing and makes the trevails of Food Co-op membership worthwhile. Best thing to happen to me all day, non-baby/non-wife category.

-- I just googled "trevail" to make sure I was using it right, and one of the definitions is "the pain of childbirth." Which means that it's a slight exaggeration to describe Co-op membership. On most days. (Co-op Authorities: If you are reading this, please don't kick me out. I finished all of that cheese and need more.)

-- Another great thing: The complete New Yorker DVD set. I actually bought this when it came out, several years ago, intending to get the City section to reimburse me for it, which they actually agreed to do. Then I forgot to submit my receipt and never got the money. Then I never took it out of the box. Dumb move. I'm doing research today for a magazine thing about New York apartments and have looked up two completely obscure stories from the New Yorker archive (one from 1950 and one from 1982), and both were great. One unintentionally so, I think, but that's fine. I'm strongly tempted to quote from them, but I should probably wait until the magazine story in question runs, just in case they decide to use the stuff I found. Or alternately, when they inevitably cut my story in half and remove everything I like, I'll just post the good stuff here to make myself feel better.

-- In closing, a teaser: We have begun naming the various comical faces little Yella makes. Favorites include "Old Man," "Saarsgaard" (I swear to God she looks just like him sometimes -- it's bizarre.), "Animal" and "Crazyface." I want to document them photographically and make a post about it, but they're surprisingly elusive. For all of our sake, let's hope I get quicker with my shutter finger.

OK, I see that the sheep is wearing off and it's time for more insane shushing. Thanks for reading my first post of Jake's Blog 2.0: Dad Shit. If only I'd started this thing like a month earlier I'd have had all kinds of insanely hip stuff to write about, believe me. Now you get this.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Jake!
    18 months in, we're still sleep sheep addicts. And sometimes it does a better job of putting me to sleep than Sebastian. Which is all that matters. Remember: the baby not sleeping is only a problem if it also means you don't sleep.

    PS: Speaking of magic (material) things for babies that can change your life: if you don't already know the magic which is -- get hip with the program. Pretty much anything you need, delivered tomorrow. Right now "tomorrow" is probably a very vague concept. Just think of it as "before I can get organized to get out of the house."