Pavlov’s Dad and a Paranormal Baby

He’s here!–our new bundle of sleep deprivation in the old farmhouse. He goes by the name Thomas. He doesn’t really cry that much, except when others are trying to sleep, at which point he breaks into a chorus that sounds similar to, “Whaa! Whaa! Whaa! Your Boat!”

Welcome home, Thomas!

At this point, a week into his life, I suspect Thomas will grow up to be a famous psychologist because he’s already conducting a Pavlov’s dog-type experiment on his mom and dad. I now associate the sound of Thomas wailing with the act of laying my head on a pillow, so much so I begin to drool from exhaustion anytime I hear him cry. 

I’ve quickly learned a baby cry is a very effective sound. It’s a sound that demands action. The only problem, however, is I usually have no idea what the appropriate action is. I’ve asked Thomas to be more specific in his demands, but his method of specifying is only to cry louder. 

The hardened nurses at the hospital only taught us the straight-jacket method for dealing with a baby’s  uproarious demands. Basically, you treat your baby as if he’s a deranged criminal destined for Arkham Asylum and tightly wrap him in a blanket so he can’t move his arms or hands. The tight swaddle has bought us a few moments of respite at night, though Thomas is already growing proficient in Houdini-like feats of swaddle escape. 

Nurses Swaddle Straight-Jacket

Thomas can also perform another magic trick: making pacifiers disappear. I’m not sure how he does it, but he’s already lost two pacifiers. I can’t find them anywhere–it’s as if they just vanished into thin air. I’m starting to wonder if Thomas is in cahoots with aliens who are abducting his pacifiers. Or, now that I think of it, there’s probably a more likely explanation: the Bermuda Triangle that centers over our farm and makes quarter-inch wrenches and hammers routinely disappear also applies to pacifiers. In fact, his lost pacifiers are probably floating around right now in another dimension with my lost tools (for more lost tool jokes see my post How To Fix Stuff on a Farm). 

Anyway it’s good to know my brain can still think critically on such little sleep. I was starting to worry I was going a little loony, with the involuntary drool and all. I’d sure hate for Thomas to grow up thinking his dad was bonkers. 

Dad isn’t bonkers–he just looks that way.

16 thoughts on “Pavlov’s Dad and a Paranormal Baby

  1. Wonderful! Well done finding time to write….took me about 25 years after our first one to get back to it!

  2. HA! Swaddling’s for woosies—the babe needs to exercise faculties more than you need sleep and sanity (Claims the barren insulting Auntie)! Congrats y’all, love your humor and best of luck!!! 🙂

    1. Thanks. Speaking of family advice, my wife’s wife’s grandma’s says a teaspoon of rum would get him to sleep. She’s probably right but I’m pretty sure that’s frowned upon these days.

  3. What a beautiful boy! The pacifier strategy we used was having one in every room, one in the purse, one in the car, two or three in the diaper bag. If the baby is one who likes a pacifier, it can be a life saver.

    1. Kinda hoping you mean sixteen days old and not sixteen years. Not sure how my future self sixteen years from now would handle such sleep deprivation–probably find me wandering the countryside half-naked, rummaging through trash cans or something.

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