We write about what we know, and at the moment, I know a lot about three month old babies. Or at least I know more than I did three months ago.
I realize that there are a lot of people out there, girl people, who really like babies. For me, there was little to get excited about until I had one of my own. To wit, this is a direct quote from a blog entry of mine from January 2006:
[New parents] believe that when they meet a friend, there is nothing more important in this world than relating the fact that their child pointed at a bush for the first time. The friend could be standing in the path of a speeding dump truck, the driver could be waving madly that he has no brakes, but that parent will still have to squeeze in the fact that Baby “ate-almost-an-entire-bowl-of-peas-this-morning-LOOK OUT!”
I am now that guy.
I am a baby fanatic, complete with an oversized foam hand that says “Babies #1!!!” I see babies in strollers on the Upper East Side, where we live, and I actually hurry towards them to catch a look. And that is not an easy thing to do in New York City because if I – an unshaven man with a heavy head of hair – come running towards somebody’s baby in this town, chances are I’m going to spend the rest of the afternoon washing pepper spray out of my eyes.
So I try to be cool. But the fact is this: I finally feel like I get it. I get the appeal, and I get that the parents must feel that draw towards their child.
Which is why I’m so happy that my brother Pete and his wife Carol just had their first child, a little girl who is now two weeks old, named Katelyn. The whole family is having babies. My sister Kate is expecting in July, and Liz’s sister recently had – ready for this? – triplets! I’m not even lying! That’s almost four babies! It’s fantastic.
You can see where my mind is these days. Certainly this past year has been filled with lots of things going on that I probably could have written about if I’d had time, I just didn’t have time, and now I’ve missed the boat because of this baby obsession. I imagine that will be frightfully boring for people – it would be for me if I was reading this blog a few years ago.
But now? Bring it on. Bring on the photos. Bring on the cute stories that nobody cares about except you, the stories about your baby sitting up or saying “Fa!” or gripping a piece of newspaper. I will find them wonderful and hilarious and beg for you to tell me more.
For those of you not in this stage of life, for whom this sounds about as interesting as licking paper, I can only apologize. But I would like to point out that Marley, of Marley and Me, was a hit book and movie, and a puppy is very similar to a baby (albeit one covered in hair and with a taste for squirrel blood). So if you like puppies – and I know you do – you’re going to love producing your own hairless, talking puppy one day and talking about it to everybody who will listen. Including me.
Ok, that last paragraph was meant to be an advertisement for this blog, but I think I lost the plot somewhere around “squirrel blood.”
As a relatively new father, I find I have begun to take my responsibilities more seriously. Not just in basic responsibilities like bottle-feeding my son in the middle of the night (when I try very hard to appreciate the father-son bond but mostly I am just wishing I had Q-tips to prop open my eyelids), but in the more pedestrian responsibilities. For example, when you get married, or you have a child, you want to make sure that everybody knows you are married and/or have a child.
That means, in this day and age, updating the profiles on the dozens of networking sites to which you belong.
This is when I discovered that I apparently had not checked my Yahoo profile in some time. I found out because earlier this week I logged on to find somebody had hacked into it. That was a bit exciting in itself, to be a target of low level identity fraud. But it seemed like was done in a very generic way – I wasn’t targeted because I was Conor Grennan, but rather because I was evidently a real human and thus a target for spammers.
I knew something was off when I opened up my Yahoo account to discover, instead of the traditional “Hi Conor!” it said “Hi Queen!”
That’s not my name, I thought to myself. I would remember if everybody called me Queen.
I looked again: “Hi Queen!” it said again. Huh.
Furthermore, I couldn’t help but notice that my profile photo was not a photo of me at all, but a rather racy photo of a woman wearing only underpants, the kind of underpants women wear when they are trying to look sexy. That was bad, because I was sure I had not put that photo up. A profile photo I would choose would always be me, or me and Liz, or me and Liz and Finn, or a funny jack-o-lantern or a Lamborghini. It would never be this woman in underpants.
I was about to see about changing it, when I saw my status update – they’d gotten to that too. Now, I consider myself extremely witty, and my status update for that day should have read something like “Conor doesn’t like it when it is raining rats and frogs! LOL!!” which would be a cute and hilarious play on the traditional expression “raining cats and dogs” and “LOL” shows that I have a great sense of humor.
My status update never would read, as it did on this day, “I’m just a girl and I don’t bite so don’t bother me!!” I don’t even get what that means.
Additionally, my profile said I was an 18 year old girl from Sacramento who was single and into boys (I am neither of these things), my favorite movie is Fireproof (I have never heard of this movie) and my sole hobby was “taking off my clothes.”
That’s not a hobby for me at all – I don’t even really like doing it, it’s totally boring. If the hobbies had read “Watching Entertainment Tonight” or “Eating tasty crackers” I probably would have kept it, but as it was I had to change the whole thing. Like I have time for that!
I wanted to replace it all with info and photos of Liz and Finn, but my photos of Finn go out of date almost daily. Apparently babies change quickly at this age. The only way to keep up is to take photos with your cell phone, but they are always indoors and thus have to use a flash and thus make Finn scrunch up his face against the onslaught of light madness and thus make him look, in every photo, like he is – to be frank – pooping. That’s not the photo I want. (Although it did look pretty awesome when he was wearing his “Ask me about my compost pile” shirt.)
I’ll get better about taking photos. Lord knows, if Finn is anything like me, when he’s older he’s going to want several crates of photos of just himself sitting in a little green bouncer.
Then again, we’re all kind of hoping he’s not too much like me. Or this “Queen” person, for that matter.