Friday, June 26, 2009


The first few days after we brought Max home he was, I can now recognize, completely freaked out. At the time, I thought he was being a little demanding, as was his right. Max insisted on being held as much as possible; and he clearly preferred that the adult holding him be standing upright. Deep in the night, though, he would let me sit in the glider while holding him. The back-and-forth rocking motion soothed him, and of course it was like a narcotic for me. As I rocked him, I slipped into microsleep; that is, I would sleep for just a flash, often much less than a second.

The combination of rocking and brief periods of unconsciousness gave rise to a very curious sensation. Let's say that the glider took one second to complete a single cycle. If I went from spending the whole cycle awake, to sleeping for a tenth of that second, I perceived that the glider was rocking faster. As the sleep microbursts increased in duration, the glider seemed to rock faster and faster. I vividly remember the sensation of frenzied rocking as the glider felt like it had accelerated to 10 or 20 times the normal pace.

Something like that is happening now with my perception of Max. His schedule and mine don't really intersect except on the weekends. I leave before he's awake and I often don't get home until after he's asleep. But on the weekends I spend quite a bit of time with him. It feels like no time since the previous weekend, but of course a whole week has gone by. That's why I'm surprised by the changes I see in Max from weekend to weekend.

When I see Max, he's usually fast asleep on his wedge:


Or he's really ready for bed, with his eyes fluttering at half-mast:

Ready for bed

So I don't know when Max started to suck his thumb, but he's been doing it a lot lately, and getting sort of good at it. I don't know if I'm supposed to discourage this--don't I remember some kids' parents painting their thumbs with a caustic substance to break them of the habit? But I love the fine motor control and lack of oral aversion this demonstrates. For now, I'm encouraging it:

Sucking thumb

Max is showing some other signs of motor control too. He was gumming one of my water bottles enthusiastically:

A big bottle

(Cool toy courtesy of our friends Alex and Maria.) The other morning he pulled his nose tube out, which got the day off to an unusually early start. I stuck around to see what I normally miss in the mornings, and to take some pictures of Max without a nose tube. Here is what I saw:

Smiling at Carolyn

This sight made me realize what I'm missing. It also reminded me of the old days:

Max and Cj's finger (closeup)

So my father's day resolution was to wake up and stop the weeks from flickering by.

Baby bjorn