Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Promiscuous Teleology, hoooooo.

I ramble a bit about the Tabula Rasa that is not a baby's mind.

What Lions are for.

This bit helps me understand why Jack seems to stare at his hands for minutes on end in marvelous stupefication:

The main source of resistance to scientific ideas concerns what children know prior to their exposure to science. The last several decades of developmental psychology has made it abundantly clear that humans do not start off as "blank slates." Rather, even one year-olds possess a rich understanding of both the physical world (a "naïve physics") and the social world (a "naïve psychology"). Babies know that objects are solid, that they persist over time even when they are out of sight, that they fall to the ground if unsupported, and that they do not move unless acted upon. They also understand that people move autonomously in response to social and physical events, that they act and react in accord with their goals, and that they respond with appropriate emotions to different situations.

Of course, that preloaded software has more significant impact down the road:

One of the most interesting aspects of our common-sense psychology is dualism, the belief that minds are fundamentally different from brains. This belief comes naturally to children. Preschool children will claim that the brain is responsible for some aspects of mental life, typically those involving deliberative mental work, such as solving math problems. But preschoolers will also claim that the brain isn't involved in a host of other activities, such as pretending to be a kangaroo, loving one's brother, or brushing one's teeth. Similarly, when told about a brain transplant from a boy to a pig, they believe that you get a very smart pig, but one with pig beliefs and pig desires. For young children, then, much of mental life is not linked to the brain.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I have carved you in the palm of my hand. With the use of a totipotent cell and self-replicating molecules completely divorced from my own cognitive volition. But still...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Parenthood in a nutshell

Now listen to it about a hundred times.

Monday, May 21, 2007

feeding challenges

i never realized what an art breastfeeding can be. jack and i are trying to figure it out. we have good ones and bad ones. all involve screaming and sometimes they begin with us both crying. we'll get the hang of it soon.

he is so precious and i am so lucky to have a boy like baby jack.

rosey has become a big helper. she follows us everywhere and is very patient. i am so proud of her.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Oh, hello there.

The last six days have been a bit busy. I've been thinking it's Wednesday for about three days now, and I thought it was Sunday on Wednesday. This is the sort of thing that happens when you sleep no more than three hours at a time.

Jack is about to clear his first week of life with fairly good progress. It's an insane cycle of eating, sleeping and soiling, and you kind of lose track of time, as I mentioned. Some hours stretch on for eternities while others slip away before you notice.

I've changed about two dozen diapers now. The first one was pretty spectacular, what with all the meconium. It looked like someone had tried to pave an asphalt road down the middle of his tartan. My technique has been sound from the onset, if not a bit mechanical and inhuman. Still, the efficiency is getting there: I went through about fifteen wipes the first time, I can field the whole operation in one now.

He's more novelty than a person right now. Aside from his nipple hunting head movements, instinct-driven hand clasps and neurological development-related chin quivers, he doesn't do much. He will occasionally look around the room, but I know from my years in the neuro field that his vision is likely still black and white, only good for about 18 inches and he can't recognize faces much less reality as we interpret it. Still, it does a lot for a father's heart, so there's something there.

The dogs have adjusted admirably. Abby immediately stuck her head into the bassinet when Jack got home, gave a cursory inspection and returned to her normal schedule. I detect some changes in her overall behavior, keeping a somewhat reserved distance from us when Jack is on the couch, but she certainly doesn't hesitate to come when called. Rosey actually missed Jack's arrival and didn't realize there was a new member of the pack for almost three hours when I changed a diaper, at which point she went beserk and she was going to shut that thing up. Fortunately, she's Rosey, incapable of executing her rather brutal foreign policy. By the second day, she'd adjusted to Jack's frequent cries and things seem to be going well as the dogs accept him as a member of the pack.

Life has become a pastiche of unfinished things. Unfinished videos, unfinished books, unfinished meals, unfinished conversations. I think that's just what life is like on the plain of true adulthood, full of constant appraisals and challenging decisions. In truth, I don't think it a big deal.

My attractive graphic designer wife, however, has been a big deal. The labor alone was an awesome sight to bear witness, but I was not prepared for the wellspring of inner strength she called upon to begin motherhood. She carries herself with a magnificent sense of purpose that stuns me. Indeed, I've always envisioned my role in these first weeks as a pillar of strength, but she rarely needs such encouragement in providing for our son. It is I who draws needed resolve and strength by watching her.

Details to come.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

jack everett arrives!

mother's day is a day i won't soon forget. our son was born yesterday 5.14.07 at 5:14AM and weighing in at just 5 pounds 12 ounces.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Driven Activity

19 days. Oh my Science.

I suppose this is the calm before the storm. I cleared out the last of the construction and irregular furniture from Baby Chaud's room yesterday. The crib is built, my journalism class concluded, and there's only three more episodes of Lost until next February. Life seems to be giving me a few weeks respite before I'm expected to care for a another human being for the rest of his life.

In terms of delivery, everything is in place. The kid won't be so big as to complicate things, he's in the proper Life Ejection Pose and I have a cell phone to call people.

Of course, there's always room for questions. My classic education as a scientist has only reinforced my inquisitive nature. I like to find answers, only second to asking questions. I don't worry about passing this nature on to my son, as he will be saturated in my daily behavior. I relish the day he asks me, "Why?" Hopefully I will never be able to give him a satisfying answer. Satisfaction is the opiate for the masses, yes?

To be perfectly honest, I knew last summer I was finally ready to raise a kid. There's been a certainty behind that ever since. I don't care to disclose the reasons behind that, but the differences are distinct for me. I've never cared to do something according to protocol or tradition, especially if I'm told without reason or denied an experiment. In fact, most of the conflict in my life comes from those situations where I'm hamstrung or outright denied such activity.

I'm certain I'm ready to be a father. It's a feeling I've only had one other time in my life, and that was the day I told Nicole I loved her, about 30 days after we started dating. That's worked out pretty well for me.

Time for a little more throttle.

Friday, May 4, 2007

almost there

rosey and i both look forward to being done with pregnancy! although, it really has been pretty easy. babychaud is in the correct position now with little room to change that. this time around, dr. beck said he is going to be a little guy no bigger than 7 pounds. yeah!!