Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What is in that breast milk?

Max is getting very close to six months in age. If he keeps growing at this pace, before long he will be the size of a 5th grader. He has also discovered how much he likes to bang his toys on things. It’s like living with Bam Bam off the Flintstones.

You think I am exaggerating, but I’m not. Just the other night Shannon was out at book club. Max and I stayed home for a boy’s only night. (We both really wanted to go to book club but we hadn’t read the book.) Max was getting hungry so I fed him some rice cereal and a jar of green beans. I gave him a small bottle of milk to wash down all that tasty food.

After supper I put Max in the exersaucer to play. Of course, by play I mean banging his fist on the plastic toys in front of him. Soon I began to smell a foul odor. This is the benefit of adding vegetables to his diet. No longer do you have to speculate on weather or not he needs a diaper change. I also noticed a small amount of green bean paste in his right nostril.

To make a long story short, the meal combined with the “overflow”, required me to give him a bath. When he was clean and greased up, I decided to just put him in his jammies. It was already getting close to bed time.

I grabbed a pair of pajamas from the clean clothes stack and laid them on the changing table. After wrestling with flailing arms and kicking legs, I finally buttoned the last (of about 50) snaps. I looked down at my smiling baby boy and realized he wasn’t wiggling anymore. Not because he was getting sleepy, but because he couldn’t budge in his skin tight outfit. He looked like Lloyd Bridges in one of those old Sea Hunt reruns.

“You have got to be kidding me,” I thought. “He just wore those two days ago.” For a second or two I debated getting some scissors and just cutting the feet out of them. But better safe than sorry I always say. We tried on a couple more outfits before we found one that fit.

I guess that is why you see so many babies in just a diaper when you go to Wal-Mart.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Little Cubs Fan

It was early in the morning on November 29, 2007. Shannon had given birth the night before. The hospital room was very quiet. My wife was sleeping (with the help of some pain medication) and my new son had just dozed off. I myself couldn’t sleep. Mostly from the excitement of seeing that beautiful baby boy, but also because the fold out couch felt like a burlap bag filled with concrete.

As the sun began to show through the aluminum blinds I did what any proud new father would do. I pulled out the laptop and started checking out my favorite sports teams on the internet. While looking at, the official site of the Chicago Cubs, I noticed a link that said “Wrigley Field Brick Paver Program”. Curious, I clicked on it.

Over the winter they were redoing the sidewalk and ticket area around Wrigley Field in Chicago. For a fee you could purchase a brick and put an inscription on it. That customized brick would be laid in front of the ballpark for all to see. When the project was completed I would be sent a replica of the original paver and given directions on how to find it when we visited Wrigley Field. “This is too good to be true,” I thought. I quickly ordered one with my son’s name on it.

I spent the next few minutes looking into Max’s crib and imagining taking him up to a Cubs game and looking for “his brick”. “How old should he be when I take him?” I thought. “5 maybe 6 years old?” He needs to be old enough to appreciate it. I guess I’ll know when I know.

Several weeks later a small, heavy package arrived in the mail. I had almost forgotten about the order until I saw the Cubs logo on the outside of the box. “Max’s brick is here!” I proclaimed. Shannon looked at me a little funny until I explained what I was talking about. I hastily opened the box and pulled out the heavy block. In plain block letters it said 'Max D. Minninger'. “It’s perfect,” I said.

In a few days I received a letter explaining how to find the location at Wrigley field. It is located under the big, red Wrigley Field sign near the new Ernie Banks statue. How cool is that?

So if any of you make the trip to Chicago, and go to a Cubs game, look for the brick with Max’s name on it. (And then ask yourself, “Why didn’t I bring Dan to the game?)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Max's First Mother's Day

Mother’s Day at our house started out like many other Sunday mornings. Everyone slept in. Of course, by sleeping in I mean when Max wakes up we all get up. I think he made it to 6:30 or 7 o’clock before he was ready for breakfast. I took the dogs out while Shannon fed the baby. He was happy and “talkative” as usual.

I came back in from walking Owen and Foxxy and went in to Max’s room to see how the morning was progressing. Shannon had the baby up on the changing table and was putting on a clean diaper. Swapping clean diapers for dirty ones is getting more tricky as the boy gets bigger. You still have to be ready for a possible “little geyser”, but now he has added kicking legs and twisting to the mix. Sometimes I feel like a ranch hand trying to brand a steer when I change his diapers.

After the diaper change, Max gave his Mom a nice Mother's day card and then had his picture taken with her. We played for a little while and then he slept in his swing. While he was napping I made a big breakfast for Shannon and my Mom. Grampie and GiGi came over after church to eat and spend the afternoon with us.

We all sat down to eat at the kitchen table. (The baby actually sits ON the table in his little Bumbo Seat) We had eggs, bacon, potatoes, biscuits and gravy. Max was apparently hungry, too. He had a bottle, a full jar of carrots and then a bowl of cereal. Wow! The whole time I was thinking “this is going to be bad when it comes out the other end”.

Later that day, Mom, Dad, Max, Foxxy and Owen took a short siesta.

All in all it was a very nice way to spend a Sunday.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's a big exciting world ...

Before we had Max I hadn’t really spent much time with babies. Sure I have been around children, but not for any extended period of time. I have casually observed the offspring of friends and relatives grow from newborns into tiny people. This is different. Who knew they were so fascinating? I feel like one of those guys on National Geographic or The Discovery Channel -just quietly observing Max in his natural habitat.

Now that Max’s neck muscles are getting strong enough to support that “coconut” of his, he wants to look at everything. In his chair, in his swing or on the floor his head is on a swivel. The slightest noise and he swings around to see what he is missing.

I particularly like it when he is close enough to grab something. He will hold it just inches from his face and study it very intently. His little brow is furrowed as if he is trying to figure out how it is made. He will twist and pull it. He will shake it and bang it on the floor. When he is satisfied with the quality of workmanship he promptly pops it in his mouth for the taste and moisture test.

Smiling and proud of his new discovery he will hold it up and look at me as if to say, “Have you ever seen anything like this before?” “Why yes, son,” I think, “I have seen one of those before. It is called a drink coaster. Your mother would like it very much if that was under my glass of sweet tea instead of in your mouth.”

I enjoy being a Dad and showing my young son the planet. As he grows I will introduce him to the world as I know it (except soccer). I am going to continue to watch Jeopardy every night so that I will be prepared to answer the inevitable questions that are sure follow.