As I’ve learned recently, babies have a lot of power. They may not fully understand their ability to run the show, but for now at least, they’ve got it. Take, for example, my ability as a grown man to, say, sit on the couch. Often, this simple pleasure is flatly overruled by my daughter, who’s five months old.
How does this happen? For whatever reason–and this happens a lot–my daughter decides if I want to sit, I will have to endure screaming and squirming. I rock her, I try feeding her, playing with her, and nothing works. She gets louder. So I stand up. And she’s fine.
Now, it’s surprising how sharply limited your productivity can be while standing. Laptop? Well, the lap’s gone, obviously, so without some kind of pedestal (which I’ve thought about) the computer’s now out of bounds. TV? Yeah, I guess. But not really eating, enjoying coffee, getting any work done, or reading. And you can just forget a competitive game of Montezuma on the iPad. Not gonna happen.
Often, I pace around, tell her stories, rub her back, and wait for her to doze off. And then, with her asleep, I attempt to return to the couch. I slide into a seated position with all my grownup’s attention focused on keeping my spine in the exact same position as it is while I’m standing. I can’t for the life of me figure out how she knows I’ve stopped standing. But she does. Every damn time. And she starts crying again.
Oh, it turns out there is one thing you can do while standing. Call the wife to ask for help.