Brief Hiatus

Just a quick note that due to the beginning of high-school football season (Jeremy) and having to cover the US Open (Chris), there will likely be no new posts here for just a few weeks. Looking forward to getting back to working from home very soon…

Coo Calling

Have you ever tried to play a piano with a kitten in the house? Or type? Either way, clanging or clacking on the keys is a sure way to lure the feline. You can’t get through a stanza or a paragraph before the cat is stepping between your fingers, composing its own gift to the world.

That’s what it’s like making phone calls with a baby in the house.

Part of my job is reporting, which means I need to ask people for information to report. I’m not a rush-down-to-the-police-capt’n-for-the-scoop kind of reporter, because I don’t work in newspapers, air jordan 12 femmes and I don’t work in the 1920s. I’m primarily a magazine and public relations writer, which means I collect most of my information from polite, neatly scheduled phone conversations that involve a lot of “please make that sound better when you write the article” requests.

So I spend some time on the phone. And, lately, that’s when Maggie starts hootin’ and howlin’.

During family time, my wife and I have been habitually responding to Maggie’s cooing (along with her newly added skills of squealing and whooping). Doing so is reputedly a way to encourage a baby to learn the concept of conversation. So perhaps when she hears me speaking on the phone, she thinks it’s talk time. She can’t see anyone else in the room, so Daddy must be speaking to her, right?

Alas, the last five phone interviews I’ve done — five! — have at some point included tangent phrases such as, “How old is your baby?”, “Sounds like someone needs Dada” and “Uh oh, is it diaper time?”

In every instance, I felt as if the interruption shredded any semblance of professionalism. I suppose my fear is that one day I’ll be talking to some super-serious, self-important source who doesn’t have the time to be patient with a writer who’s being background-vocaled by a baby, and he or she will blow me off, leaving me stranded on a story with an impending deadline.

Like most fears, though, the reality is likely far different. And so far, it has been.

Each time Maggie joined my phone interviews, it resulted in some off-the-topic chitchat about babies and kids and the joys of parenthood and such. Anyone with experience interviewing knows how roshe run hyp important rapport is, and Maggie’s background banter has donated oodles of it to my calls.

So I suppose instead of shushing her (which, yeah, works great on a five-month-old), I should be thanking her.

Still, there’s a challenge found in this arena. In an upcoming write-up, I’ll discuss some strategies for making phone calls with a baby in the room. In the meantime, any suggestions are welcome.

Take 2

Paddle Power is a benefit to raise awareness for suicide. This two-day canoe trip on the Connecticut River has become a tradition for my sister and wife. It’s a wonderful event that is very near and dear to our hearts.

This year my sister arrived a week early with baby in tow to raise money for the event. Baby Tara will turn 1 in a couple of months. She is a beautiful little girl with the beginnings of curly, light blond hair air jordan 13 femmes and big blue eyes. She’s also quite possibly the squirmiest baby on earth.

My wife and I have been weighing the idea of having a second child and this week’s experience gave me a good look at how things could be. It didn’t take long to see that our day-to-day lifestyle has changed a great deal over the four years that our daughter Lydia has been with us.

People have told me that as time goes on, the day-to-day care becomes easier. In a lot of ways that’s correct, but all the challenging tasks that pass are replaced by new and different challenges and responsibilities. I don’t know if child care gets easier so much as there’s a relief of past stress and the gain of new stress.

From a work perspective, the way I go about completing day-to day tasks is much different than when Lydia was a baby. Then she would take two naps a day that could span as long as two and half hours each, and she would go down for the night around 7:30. Those were all open hours for me to work. But now Lydia doesn’t need a nap most days, so those open hours have substantially dropped.

On the flip side, when Lydia was awake as an infant, she required 100 percent attention. I had to stop everything in order to take care of her needs. Now Lydia’s interests in dolls, shows, books and coloring occupy her during most daylight hours. I don’t have to be involved in her every waking minute (nor should I be). Because of that, powerlins ii if some work thing just has to be done by noon, meeting that deadline is much easier than it was four years ago.

My week with my new niece was packed with reminders of how my wife and I used to run our household. It was a memorable time with family, and a preview of how things may change for us again in the near future. My open hours may not be so open anymore.