My co-worker/team lead and his wife welcomed a child into the world yesterday. (The phrasing of this is always fraught. “My co-worker had a baby” has a handful of problems, “my co-worker and his wife had a baby” compounds the problems in the guise of trying to help.)
His team showed up at the hospital at lunch to visit prior to the arrival and we brought him a sandwich and her an Orange Julius and we wished everybody well and got back to work and we texted back and forth until he texted us that the labor had really begun in earnest and, an hour later, we got the text that the baby had arrived and was pretty indignant about it.
That night, I picked Maribou up from work and we drove to the hospital and saw the baby. The baby had ceased to be indignant, by this point. The baby was in full “I’ve kinda had a rough couple of hours so I think I’ll nap” mode. It was a little bigger than a football and something very strange happened when I looked at it. The front of my brain was saying “oh, it’s a tiny human!” and the back of my brain was saying “Okay. If something goes down, this is the thing that you need to die defending.”
In the front of my brain, it was 2018. In the back of my brain, it was 30,000 BC.
In preparation for this auspicious day, we thought that we needed a couple of stuffed animals. The main rule we had for the baby was that we knew that babies don’t start seeing colors until about 3 months old (or so Bausch and Lomb tells us) so we said that we had to get a black and white stuffed animal. If you want a black and white stuffed animal, there are only but so many to choose from. There is the skunk. There is the penguin. There is the badger. There is the Holstein cow.
We went with the cow. We figured that this would have the added bonus of providing entertainment for people visiting the baby. Pick up the small stuffed animal. Shove into baby’s face. Say “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”.
But the new arrival also has a big sister, so we figured that we should get an appropriate gift for her as well. We found a yard-long Holstein cow. This way, we figured, the big sister could be told “Hey, this cow is a big sister to the baby cow!” and moral lessons could be imparted like that and when some guest grabs the little cow and shoves it into the baby’s face and yells some animal noises, the dad could pick up the big sister cow and shove it into the guest’s face and yell “HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? MOOOOO! MOOOOOO! MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
We told the happy parents that we were going to be running errands this weekend so if they needed us to pick up some pop or pizza or stuff from Costco for them while we were out and about to let us know because, I imagine, they’ve had one heck of a week.
So… what’s on your docket?
(Image is “Play” by Clare Briggs. Used with permission of the Briggs estate.)