10 June 2011

Well Baby

I saw a close up photo of a newspaper clipping once that had been posted on the internet because it was too wonderful not to want to share with the whole world. It must have been from the very local news section of a small local paper.

Now that is clearly one impressive burrito.

This week I had the good fortune of meeting some very impressive babies. New to the world, their achievements included such notable events as passing meconium, remaining unconscious long enough for mom to take a shower, and crying with gusto after demonstrating the Moro reflex entirely against their sad little wills.

Lucky for me, the babies came with equally lovely families. As much as I hate to admit it, this is not always the case. Generally speaking, I appreciate that parenting is the hardest job there is in the world. There is no special formula for who will excel and who will let their daughter eat chocolate ice cream until she throws up.

You can just never tell. I'm sure that some of the seventeen year olds I've sent home with their brand new bundles of joy are attentive and encouraging mothers. Conversely, I've admitted infants to the hospital because their PhD parents didn't realize a baby can't sleep ten hours through the night at two weeks old and not be fed at some point during that time. There are many different kinds of wisdom. I only wish I ended up with more of them.

In the meantime, these parents let me do all the sundry annoying things to their babies that good parents do. No one told me they were going to forego the shot of vitamin K because they wanted their brand new son's or daughter's first few days in this world to be serene and peaceful, as if being shoved out of a vagina was somehow a Zen experience they didn't want to break the mood of. As a result, I get to breathe easy that none of their babies will have horrible preventable strokes and end up paralyzed. 

They also let us prick their infant's heels for blood to send to the state lab to test for various rare (granted) but truly horrifying illnesses that are generally better off treated than ignored. Yes, some people choose to skip this step while they hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

So this week my job was easier because everyone let me do my job. Simple though that may sound, it is a rare but wonderful thing. I have to say, it did make me feel deep down warm and fuzzy, or maybe that was just the fresh clean baby smell.

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