b Papa Dog's Blog: Dispatches from the Road, Part IV

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Dispatches from the Road, Part IV

A flock of Pigeons came to dinner last night, and Gran made one of her customary mandu extravaganzas. Three generations of the Pigeon family were represented; Grand-père et Gand-mère Pigeon, Mama Pigeon, and Bébé Pigeon. It turns out that Bébé Pigeon, like Baby Dog, has a customary evening cranky hour, his generally lasting two hours, from 7 to 9. Sure enough, he went off like clockwork. Happily, Baby Dog chose to sleep through the evening more than she usually does, so we didn’t have to contend with both at once. We told Mama Pigeon about our success with swaddling, and next thing I knew I was swaddling an unfamiliar baby at his mother’s behest. My first swaddle for hire. Little Bébé Pigeon is a couple weeks younger than our Li’l Puppy and much smaller, so the job of mummification was nostalgically easy for me. I wrapped him up tight, shushed in his ear and, to sceptical Gand-mère’s astonishment, he was quiet in moments. Unfortunately, I handed him off before getting him fully asleep, and the air raid siren soon started up again, but I think they were quite taken with the results.

After the party, it occurred to me how much time I’d spent talking to Mama Pigeon about baby stuff. Not just the swaddling demonstration, but stuff like, “Oh, he takes the pacifier so much more easily than Baby Dog.” “Jesus,” I said to Mama Dog, “I’ve turned into a babydad. I just love talking about baby shit with all the other moms.” Weird but true. It’s hard to imagine a more all-consuming subject.

By the way - for those not conversant with swaddling, a little graphic demonstration. This is a sloppy-ass swaddle. The hospital blanket’s the same one we use, but that’s about the end of the similarity. This kid surely busted out seconds after the photo was taken. The little bulges at the top are his arms, which are supposed to be wedged securely at his sides. This is a self-defeating, incomplete swaddle. The arms aren’t even tucked in. Dumbasses. This is a good, professional-looking job. That kid’s not going anywhere any time soon. This looks good, but it’s some weird swaddling straightjacket technique with which I’m personally unfamiliar. And here’s what it looks like when I do it.

I think there was more I wanted to go on about, but breakfast beckons, so let's leave it til tomorrow.


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