Friday, September 30, 2011

Interna

Lara and Gloria are now 9 months old, and it's time again for our monthly baby update. The girls are now both crawling well. Lara has learned to sit up on her own and Gloria knows how to pull herself up and stand on her feet. She's been doing that since 2 weeks already, but only now has she learned how to get back down in any other way than just letting go and falling backwards on her head. There's no day the babies don't get new scratches or bruises and they are relentlessly curious. The other day they escaped from the baby-safe part of the room and happily chewed on our passports.

When they are not sleeping or crying, they are babbling most of the time. For a few days in a row they pick a favorite syllable that they then repeat endlessly. Presently, Gloria is commenting everything with na-na-na, and Lara is practicing dadn-dadn. I've speculated she's echoing Stefan's "Was mascht Du dadn?" (What are you doing there? Saarland-style). On Monday we took them to the institute and they were duly impressed by the guy next door drawing Feynman-diagrams on the whiteboard, though more interesting still they found all the cables under my desk together with the occasional woodlouse that we evidently host down there.

I always thought babies typically swallow or choke on everything small enough to fit into their mouth. It turns out though the very little ones put things in their mouth but don't swallow. In fact, at this point ours still refuse to eat anything that's not smoothly mashed. They'll just push it around in their mouth for a little and then spit out. (It's called the "gag reflex" and should vanish by 7-9 months. You better not leave your baby alone with the combustion engine anyway.)

Neither Lara nor Gloria have teeth yet. That has not deterred the Swedish health authorities from assigning us dentists' appointment. It's not like they ask you to come, no, they just send a letter with a time, date, and location you have to appear. We actually missed the first two appointments. I then called them and tried to convey the information that the girls don't even have teeth for the dentist to look at, but to no avail. I'm picturing a long corridor with offices where Swedish doctors sit and cross out names of patients that didn't show up for their appointments, or belatedly notice the body part they wanted to examine is missing. But at least we know where our taxes are going. (The same health authorities that require amputees to prove every other year that the missing part hasn't regrown. Still better than no health insurance...)

Stefan was sent a list of gadgets the modern father needs to have, for example the full color, high-def, video monitoring system, that allows you to check on your babies by Skype, or a cry analyzer. But the gadget that I would really like to have is a diaper with an integrated microchip that sends a note to my BlackBerry when the diaper is full, and a number attached to it. It's somewhat degrading to having to push my nose onto baby-butts in order to examine the matter, and Stefan's nose evidently isn't up to the task. The German comedian Michael Mittermeier aptly referred to the nose-on-butt procedure as "the shit-check." Which reminds me, I should really write the report on that paper now...

8 comments:

Maxine said...

Nice post. They certainly have teeth even though they are not showing yet. I agree the Swedish letter approach is very "over the top" (living with the English system, I did smile at the excessive efficiency of it!) but dentists can make one or two deductions about a baby's teeth even when not yet erupted, so far as I know. However, I agree it seems a waste of everyone's time to worry about it unless one or both girls was abnormally late in her tooth display!

Bee said...

Hi Maxine,

Yes, probably. They might also want to advertise some brand of baby tooth-brush and give us some educational leaflets. I just think one can overdo it with the preventive care. Best,

B.

Uncle Al said...

"escaped from the baby-safe part of the room and happily chewed on our passports.
" Want... RFIDs! Space alien zombie passive resonant transducer muchers! Lease them for security sweeps of the US embassy,

http://www.spybusters.com/Great_Seal_Bug.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thing_(listening_device)

"the girls don't even have teeth for the dentist to look at." No problem - implants. Do not allow implants with a wedge or unstepped tapered base - they chisel into the jawbone. That was an early tooth implant "oopsie." Management wanted a fast surgical procedure. Dig the hole, stick in the plug, bill insurance.

http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/diaper.htm
http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/diaper2.htm

Look at those cuties! They are already winning.

GMP said...

It's somewhat degrading to having to push my nose onto baby-butts in order to examine the matter, and Stefan's nose evidently isn't up to the task.

It's interesting how some thing are cross-cultural, like fathers everywhere being unable to detect and/or deal with poop (apparently, women must love poop judging by how much time they get to spend handling it).

My third boy is 3 months old. My husband has changed a grand total of 2 diapers on this kid since his birth. I am not joking - the count is exactly 2.

Christine said...

Bee,

When they grow up a little more, you'll know. My son would go to a corner, get his face red in effort, sustain a suspicious look meanwhile, and then he'd try to hide/run from you. Time to change the diaper.

My son was always supervised. So he never went much into trouble or injuries, even in the baby safe area. I was kind of a nervous mother. Anyway, be careful when they start walking, as you'll find out that they cannot be left unsupervised for a moment. It's the most demanding time period, until about 2 years old, I believe.

My hunsband changed my son's diaper no more than the number of fingers of my hands.

Best,

Christine

Kay zum Felde said...

lol :-)

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

Thanks for sharing your daughter’s progress as they certainly look healthy and happy. I also find it quite appropriate that the offspring of our researcher in motion should be cutting their teeth on your passport :-)

”A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”

-John Steinbeck, “Travels with Charley” page 1

Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...

I heartily 2nd Christine's "be careful when they start walking, as you'll find out that they cannot be left unsupervised for a moment."

Hey, this is Halloween (Sanheim) month. Any costume plans?