Updates on Talvin

July 19, 2006

It has been a long time since the last post, and a lot has happened. Charu is back to work part time, and in reality it is more like full time lately. So, we are both really busy as we balance work and home. Not too busy to watch the occasional episode of Deadwood, but busy enough. Talvin is doing extremely well. It’s like he’s raising us as parents. He is over 2 1/2 months. He is bigger, heavier, taller, etc. He smiles a lot and even laughs. It’s great to watch. There is a video of it on the website: www.oberlin.edu/faculty/pdhingra (called talvin smiles). He continues to eat well and often. I read that 2 month old babies should go 3-4 hrs between feeds. He doesn’t, at least not regularly. Sometimes it’s every 2 hrs, or even every hour. Luckily he’s taken to both the bottle and the breast, so anyone can feed him. He has turned a very important corner (which we thought would never happen): he sleeps for up to 6hrs at night. Typically he crashes between 9pm and midnight, wakes up once in the night, and then wakes up for the day around 7:30 or 8am. We can get about 7hrs of sleep, interrupted once. Can’t complain about that. Lately he also likes looking at himself in the mirror, which is very effective in helping him stop crying. I spend at least two full days with him while Charu is at work, as well as evenings/weekends. He is not on a schedule, but it is getting easier to know when he’ll take a nap, when he’ll get hungry, when he’ll have more energy, etc.

 In addition to the longer night sleeps, he has also developed in other notable ways. When lying on his back, he can push himself backwards. This means he can’t sleep in the bassinet (the small crib of sorts) since he pushes his head up against its wall. He now sleeps in the real crib, in the nursery. It doesn’t feel like he’s in ‘his own room,’ but it’s a step in that direction. He can also roll to his side from his back. Seeing him do those things for the first time is jaw dropping. You get used to this person who can only do so much, and then out of nowhere he’s showing you a new skill. I wonder if in his mind he’s been practicing it for days and realizes he’s mastered it. Another change has been forced on him: we are using cloth diapers and wipes when at home (except for at night – a disposable diaper so he and we can sleep longer). It’s a great feeling – less waste, better for his body, and hopefully money saving in the long run. Nothing brings more joy to a father than saving money on his kid.

 Given that Charu and I are both working, we have had the occasional assistance in taking care of Talvin. A local person, Mrs. Wilkins, has come by three times for a few hours each time to take care of him. I work upstairs and Charu is gone to the office. She’s great – calm, talkative, and clearly invested in Talvin. Also, my mom came for 9 days. That was wonderful. She gave advice, took care of Talvin in the day, and helped out immensely around the house. Charu and I even left the house w/out Talvin twice. Of course we end up talking with others about kids, so it’s not a real escape, but we’ll take it. Mostly though, it has been Charu and me with Talvin while we juggle our work schedules. It’s tiring but doable.

 The other major event since the last post has been Talvin’s first road trip, night in a motel, visit to another state, and most importantly time to see his cousin Anya, and her parents Mukta, Amlin, as well as Niti (Mukta’s sister/my cousin). It is a crazy long trip to Madison, WI thanks to Chicago traffic (which we proudly hit at 5pm on the Friday of July4th weekend). Once we got there, thought, it was a blast. We all went to a winery, to a park, went hiking, ate out, and bummed around their condo. Seeing Anya at age 13 months was a treat, and there is a picture posted on the website of the kids. Luckily Talvin and Anya are different sexes, so we don’t have to get into a competition over who is the cutest “girl” or “boy.”

 I often refer to Talvin as “baby boy” or “little man” or “small guy.” Each term frames him as a little version of something bigger. But none of those are really appropriate. He’s a baby, separate from something he’ll later become. It’s not just a semantic difference. For a little while I kept expecting him to do things that he couldn’t, like crawl or say a word, since I considered him almost as a “kid.” Instead, he’s a baby who is doing baby things (and mighty well). Considering him as a baby makes me appreciate what he can do, rather than wait for things that he currently can’t do. I still call him “little man” and related terms, but have actively started calling him “baby.” So, baby Talvin is doing great. Soon he leaves for Minneapolis with his mom, as we get ready for Shalini’s wedding. One more thing to add to his list of experiences.

Pawan

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