Saturday, July 30, 2011

Interna

Lara and Gloria are now 7 months old. During the last month, they have made remarkable progress. Both can now roll over either which way, and they also move around by pushing and pulling. They have not yet managed to crawl, but since last week they can get on all fours, and I figure it's a matter of days till they put one knee in front of the other and say good-bye to immobility. They still need a little support to sit, but they do better every day.

While the twins haven't paid any attention to each other during the first months, now they don't pay attention to anything else. Gloria doesn't take any note of me if Lara is in the room, and Lara loses all interest in lunch if Gloria laughs next door. The easiest way to stop Gloria from crying is to place her next to her sister. However, if one leaves them unattended they often scratch and hit each other. I too am covered with bruises (but hey, it rattles if I hit mommy's head!), scratches (how do you cut nails on a hand that's always in motion?), and the occasional love bite that Lara produces by furiously sucking on my upper arm (yes, it is very tasty). Gloria is still magically attracted to cables, and Lara has made several attempts to tear down the curtains.

Lara and Gloria are now at German lesson 26: da-da, ch-ch, dei-dei-dei, aga-a-gaga. It is funny that they make all these sounds but haven't yet attempted to use them for communication. They just look at us with big eyes when we speak and remain completely silent. Though they seem to understand a few words like Ja, Nein, Gut, Milch. They also clearly notice if I speak English rather than German.

For the parental reading, this month I've enjoyed Ingrid Wickelgren's article "The Miracle of Birth is that Most of Us Figure Out How to Mother - More or Less." Quoting research that shows some brain is useful for parenting too, she writes:
"To take care of a baby's needs, mom needs to be able to juggle tasks, to prioritize on the fly, rapidly, repeatedly and without a lot of downtime... Mothering tests your attention span, ability to plan, prioritize, organize and reason as much as does a day at the office."

Well, it somewhat depends on what you used to do in that office of course. But yeah, I suppose some organization skills come in handy for raising twins. I won't lie to you though, singing children's rhymes isn't quite as intellectually stimulating as going with your colleague through the new computation. But Gloria always laughs when I read to her the titles of new papers on the arXiv.

On the downside, the Globe and Mail reported the other day on "Divorce, depression: The ugly side of twins," summing up "the infant treadmill":
"Cry. Breastfeed. Bottle-feed. Burp. Breast pump. Diaper. Swaddle. Ninety minutes of baby maintenance, then 90 minutes of trying to stay on top of sleep and domestic chores, then repeat. And so on."

Oh, wait, they forgot cleaning the bottles, doing the laundry, picking up baby because she's been spitting all over herself, washing baby, changing her clothes, changing bed sheets, putting baby back into bed, putting bottles into sterilizer, put laundry into dryer, take the other baby out of bed because she's been spitting... Indeed, that's pretty much how we spent the first months. But it gets better and thanks, we're all doing just fine.

You can also disregard all the above words and just watch the below video. And if you think they're cute, don't forget they'll get cuter for two more months, so check back ;-)


PS: Oh, and please excuse the green thing in the video. New software and I haven't yet really figured out how it works.

18 comments:

Uncle Al said...

It matters not what the input is for music and language as long as it is there, and in unceasing abundance. Classical music is fully as good as Disneyland's It's a Small World After All that literally drove "hosts" mad. They were carried out whacked out. Split shifts now. Barny the Mildy Retarded Sexually Ambiguous Dinosaur and L├╝scher Color Test terrorist Teletubbies lay firmly gelatinous foundations for lifelong dysfunction.

"Twinkle twinkle little star,
Power equals I-squared R."
(Possibly one of Mozart's lost Variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman")

Maxwell's del-dots and del-crosses - then line integrals! - might be preferable to the girls becoming punk rockers and Goth tattoo boards. Or assure it. You might go with linear algebra or vector analysis instead. Avoid string theory re child abuse.

Some societies use swaddling boards to keep standards low, others use diversity. When the performance bar is finally resting on the floor, cultures of the disempowered will find a basement door and crawl under the bar. Management says, "a mind is a perfect thing to waste. I have DCF/ROI projections."

Steven Colyer said...

Thunderthighs! Trust us who have been down the road you and Stefan are travelling, the other body parts will catch up until .... 23?

Steven Colyer said...

Oh, DO enjoy these months when they are IMmobile. That will end soon, surely. At six months our oldest crawled (kinda funny too, how bad he was), and I forget the rest. So jah, it SHOULD be any day now.

The girls look happy and healthy and that says much more about you and Stefan than it says about THEM, so a big ongoing congrats to the new burgeoning nuclear family.

Which is pretty much what LIFE is all about, hmm?

Until of course, you come up with the full set of Quantum Gravitational Field Equations.

And when will THAT be, hmm?

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

The girls look great and you as well, despite as you having it made clear to being torn hither and yawn; with emphasis on the yawn. So it may be just about now that you are wondering why in quantum the domain things can be considered to be many places at once and yet you have to settle for one place at a time. I would also concur with Steve this will only become more intense when they start to walk and yet here you’ll discover that Lara and Gloria can be counted on as having opposite spin states although apparently randomly determined;-)

Best,

Phil

Christine said...

Hi Bee!

They look great indeed!

See the pics of my son, Pedro, around that age 7-10 months old.
twitpic.com/5ye5ql
twitpic.com/5ye5pl
twitpic.com/5ye5vq
twitpic.com/5ye5j8
twitpic.com/5ye5kw

Best,

Christine
Ps - quality not so good - I took the pics from paper pics of his album.

Christine said...

More pics of my son while a baby.
twitpic.com/5yeex5
twitpic.com/5yeeuj
twitpic.com/5yeewy

Best,

Christine

Phil Warnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Warnell said...

Hi Christine,

Nice photos of Pedro in times gone by. That curl in his hair at the front stands out for me and has one to wonder if it’s still something he retains. Now at twelve it won’t be long before his interest in the fairer sex will kick in to be more pronounced, to have his natural good looks along with that curl to be an asset for him and yet perhaps a concern for you. So as Bee’s thoughts center on hers taking flight, soon your own will need to be more focused around the birds and the bees.


“In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish'd dove;
In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”


-Alfred Tennyson “Locksley Hall” (1835)

Best,

Phil

Bee said...

Hi Christine,

Thanks for sharing the photos :-) He has a lot of hair! What was the occasion for the clown's masquerade? Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Phil,

Yes, I suppose eventually decoherence is inevitable. Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Bee,

Yes and as their decoherence intensifies both yours and Stefan’s decohairence will not be found to being a reciprocal function, yet rather exponential ;-)

Best,

Phil

Christine said...

Hi Phil,

Nice that you liked Pedro's "old" pics, it's fun to contrast them with Sabine's girls at approximately that age. Oh, time passes fast.

Yes, he still has the curl, we call it the "whirlpool". It is the hair cutter's nightmare and a charm for girls. :) And you are right, at 12 years old great changes are happening, including the issue "birds & bees" ... ;) A different phase than Sabine's now...

Best
Christine

Christine said...

Hi Bee,

Thanks! He had somewhat little hair before that. Then it grew fast. Also his hair changed a lot going from somewhat dark to blonde at about 1-3 years old and then to a darker hair again by now. His hair was curly, but no longer. His front curl is still there, but he hides it. I was also blonde at that age, but people only believe it when I show my pics, as my hair is much darker now...

The clown's masquerade was an incredible surprise of the day care provider. It was the birthday of some of the kids there. When I went to get him home... surprise! :o (Yes, he was already going to the day-care provider at that age...)

Best,
Christine

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Christine,

So he still retains the curl (whirlpool very appropriate) , which is something this straight haired guy would have liked to have had. Being twelve years old for a boy is a tumultuous time, not only physically and emotionally, yet also in respect to having yourself as becoming your own person; in part in respect to the recognition of that lonely mind as an aspect of self you’ve reference to here in the past. Then of course I’m drawing principally upon my own experience and yet when you boil it all down, what other than this can serve as a reference. Bottom line Christine, is his dad becomes very important as of now and mom for a time may feel somewhat forsaken; yet this too is only a phase.

”If the past cannot teach the present and the father cannot teach the son, then history need not have bothered to go on, and the world has wasted a great deal of time.

-Russell Hoban

Best,

Phil

Christine said...

Hi Phil,

Yes, you're quite right, and of course as an experienced dad, it is like you're watching a film with some familiar elements. :)

Yes, new issues that we have to deal with now, and father is now being particularly requested, as for instance when you find out that there was a fight between boys and your son comes home with a dark nose. The interesting fact is that Pedro immobilized the boy, but he came back and hit his nose. Pedro trains Tae-kwon-do and could have hit him back badly, but chose not to, which I'm glad. The problem is: now the boy is telling the other boys that he hit Pedro and that Pedro is a coward. So now we have to deal with the issue that Pedro wants to get the boy now... We are trying to make him understand that he did it right and not to care about what the others think or say. And father is helping a lot in this particular matter...

Best,

Christine

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Christine,

Sorry to hear that Pedro is experiencing bully problems and yet I can remember having my own as a boy; just another unavoidable rite of passage I'm afraid. This is certainly one of those times when dad becomes important and as Pedro didn’t clean the other guy’s clock initially, although capable, I’d say he’s getting the right balance of signals from him.

As for my own perspective I’ve always found participation in sports helpful for boys in such regard and as your son is involved in martial arts he has an outlet for his frustrations and aggressions. So now the heat will be more on dad for a while, which I know doesn’t make it any easier. However at the end of the day, you will for a time be experiencing what you hold in your mind as that little boy of yours becoming a man; which I’m confident will provide enough times of joy as to more than offset your uncertainties and concerns.

Best,

Phil

Christine said...

Hi Phil,

Oh, yes, a rite of passage for sure, it seems all boys have to deal with fighting one way or another.

Well, he is learning to defend himself if necessary, but to avoid fighting by all means as his first principle. A well taught martian art supposedly states that one should avoid fighting at all costs, but to defend oneself or immobilize the adversary if necessary. This is what Pedro did, which made me relieved, although the other boy was able to hit him when an opportunity arised. Now the problem is more of a psychological nature: how to deal with gossips, lies, what other people think, etc. So he must learn that such things will not go away if he simply go back to the boy and give him a "lesson"...

That later issue is certainly gender independent, and something that surely Sabine & Stefan will have to deal with later...

Best,

Christine

cathy said...

They say babies understand what you are saying months before they actually speak. They will become proficient at sign language much earlier. This may reduce the necessity to speak sooner rather than later though?

And may I suggest "The Space Child's Mother Goose", by Frederick Windsor. A quote off page 1 :

Probable-Possible, my black hen,
She lays eggs in the Relative When.
She doesn't lay eggs in the Relative now
Because she's unable to Postulate How.

My dad read it to me as a girl. I loved it and it left me suitably curious. ..I still am.

I am only passing through but am glad I came across your blog, quite by accident. It is a conversation I only ever enjoyed with my Dad who I miss. He passed away a few years ago. So thank you.

Cathy