Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I Can't Believe This

I started reading to Franklin about six months ago. We've been through The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and several Shel Silverstein books, as well as Richard Clarke's "Against All Enemies," and Frank's done a fine job recognizing his father's voice. While feeding him on Xma$ day, I told him the story of how Leica the dog came to break free from my grasp and charge up the stairs after our neighbor's holiday turkey. It's a fun enough story, but not one which merits repeating here. Not when there's so much else going on.

The jaundice is starting to disappear, and after these 12 days, Frank's nose is beginning to resemble one worthy of placement on Mt Rushmore. His hair is showing signs of curliness. The nurses constantly try to smooth it out on his head, but every time we get our hands on him, we muss it up. He looks better that way. Why be like the rest of the kids when you're already twice as big as them anyway?

Mom and I both think that Frank knows what's going on around him. He's the only one of the bunch of infants in the nursery who looks somewhat normal, yet he doesn't put on airs. This is just the sort of son I wanted for myself. Down-to-earth, with cool sideburns, and some hippie shoes. I wonder if he plays drums. I'll be sure to ask him when I see him next.

Frank moved in with his mother in the maternity center on Christmas Eve. He spends 12 hours a day upstairs with us, and then the rest of the time divided between the nurses on the sixth floor. With all this attention, Franklin is still grounded. When I look into his eyes, he seems to be checking out his surroundings, thinking, "Here I am again. What lessons are there for me this time?"

We talk up a storm with the boy. Not so much me as my wife, who could talk the paint off a barn door. There are days when Maggie goes downstairs to the nursing lounge and sits and chats with our son about the happenings of the day while all around them sit mother's and their children staring vacantly off into space.

Yesterday, one of the mother's asked "Why do you talk to your child? Do you think he can understand you?" Of COURSE he can understand us. There's more to communication than language, after all. You just have to a bit of meaning in the feeling and you got communication. Hell, even I know that, and I'm just a guy. Anyway, Maggie told the woman how she felt on the subject, with a good deal more eloquence, I'm sure, than I am able to muster these days, and soon all the women in the room were talking to their infants.

If only they had classes on parenting here....One of my coworkers has suggested that if I get tired of this gig, I could go into midwifery.

All is well in Taiwan. Our thoughts are with the less fortunate throughout South Asia.

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