Those of you who know me know that I’m not all that comfortable with infants. I mean, I like ‘em and all, but I don’t know – I’m afraid I’m going to break them or something. I’m making steps though. Thanks to my twin godsons, I’ve now extended my comfort level to babies of four months old. My previous limit was about 8 months. I consider that a victory!
My previous limit has always been defined by the toss-able factor (T). The more toss-able a baby, the more comfortable I am with her/him. T is inversely proportional to the kid’s cry-factor (defined as the likelihood that child will start crying for no definable reason = C). The lower the cry-factor the better for me.
However, Jacob and Evan are decidedly not toss-able (T = 0) and logically, this should equate to an infinite C. However, I have discovered a few more variables that seem to be derivatives of toss-ability and hence also have an influence on the cry-factor. First is the bounce-factor (B). Evan and Jacob have similar bounce factors. Low-level bouncing, roughly equivalent to merely walking around rather aimlessly and slowly seems to keep them both as happy as clams; barring, of course, elevated hunger (H) and/or diaper (D) variables.
Then there is S or “suck factor.” This is a tricky one. Jacob has a low S – that is sucking on anything seems to lower his C, but Evan has a high S. He requires very specific sucking to lower his C. Let’s get specific: Jacob sucked the heck out of my middle finger for about 15 minutes and then went to sleep. The kid has quite a grip – my sympathy for his mother has greatly increased. Evan, however, would not accept anything less than something that also decreased his H.
But enough of this technical talk. Suffice to say that I bonded a little with my godsons. I was extremely happy that they were no more likely to start crying with me than with anyone else. This was not the case at their baptism, at which time it was guaranteed that whichever kid I was holding was the one that was crying. I was also happy that they are still “one-handers,” that is, you can comfortably hold one baby in each hand if you wanted to. I find it more helpful to hold one in my right hand and a cold beverage in the other. Those little guys give off a lot of heat!
My new goal is to maintain and increase my strength in my arms and back so that those little Buddha’s are one-hander’s as long as possible.