Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Visiting day at HSC

Carolyn drove with Felix and our friend D. ("the baby whisperer") to HSC to arrange a summit meeting between Max and Felix. The meeting wasn't recorded because Felix seems to behave differently around a video camera. The protocol of the meeting was more elaborate than when Reagan and Gorbachev met at Reykjavik in 1986 and stage-managed by the child-life specialist, N.

It turns out that there's a best-practices manual for introducing older siblings to hospitalized infants. Felix was coaxed into one of HSC's lovely playrooms with the promise of a trainset. After playing for a while, Max was wheeled in, sitting in his stroller and disconnected from all leads and tubes (except for his feeding tube, discreetly tucked away and not attached to anything). He was wide awake and clearly highly stimulated by the new environment and people.

Carolyn introduced Felix to Max. Felix picked up one of his trains and offered it to Max in a move that, like many things children do, provoked strong emotions from the adults present. Max spent about an hour in the playroom with Felix and was wide awake throughout his visit. Felix, meanwhile, had moved on to other activities and was running up and down the equipment used for physical therapy. Max took it all in and struggled to stay awake but, when returned to his crib, fell into a deep sleep.