Fatherhood My Experiences as a Father...
August 5 to September 4, 1999 (4th month)

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Wednesday, September 1, 1999
I think diapers should have the liners made of the same material that is the "control" part of pregnancy tests (the part that turns blue or pink or whatever as soon as urine touches it).  That way you could tell from the outside if the diaper is wet, without all of this touching.

Sunday, August 29, 1999
From the start I have suggested clothing Maeve in blankets instead of pricey outfits.  This weekend we went out to yard sales.  At first Jill was saying that Maeve would lament, "My father won't buy me anything except boys' colored clothes from yard sales."  Then we found the woman selling Talbot's Kids and Baby Gap clothes, and Jill cleaned her out.  It ended up being a very good deal for Maeve.

Saturday, August 28, 1999
I got back last night from a day of white water rafting with the Senior High from our church.  Jill was supposed to come along Thursday night and camp, and then take Maeve to Canada (only 11 miles away) while I rafted on Friday.  Maeve developed a little fever, which the doctor diagnosed as "a cold".  That was enough for Jill to decide to stay home and deprive my daughter of an international experience.  She said Maeve would want to be home if she was sick.  I said Maeve would sleep wherever she was, and she would probably get more out of spending a night with her father than stranded at home.

Pam Meyer said something to the effect of my decision to take Maeve camping when she had a little cold as being the one that a responsible father would make.  Alison Maas called Jill a "paranoid mother".

Sunday, August 22, 1999
Jill has always shed a lot of hair.  It shows up in places where you would never expect to find hair.  I'm sure it fell off me or my tools, but it's weird to take apart a carburetor and find Jill's hair inside.  Lately it has been showing up on Maeve.  I will find hair near Maeve's neck, underarms, and other places. Jill always enjoys it when I make a comment about the length of Maeve's underarm hair, her facial hair, etc.

Saturday, August 21, 1999
Jill said that if she had to work after having a baby that she wanted a cleaning service so she doesn't have to worry about cleaning AND taking care of a baby.  She also pointed out that it eliminates me having to dust and vacuum.

So yesterday the cleaning people were scheduled to start.  Jill is still working 4 day weeks and has Friday off, but she had to go in until a little after noon to work on a special project, so I stayed home with Maeve until the cleaning people came.

I found that she is amused by dad finishing off the root beer by drinking it right from the bottle.  She stopped sucking on her bottle, watched me and laughed.

I also found that if Maeve doesn't drink more than an ounce after sucking on a bottle for about half an hour, it's an indication that there is a problem with the bottle, even if she had been able to drink from it before.  It seemed odd that Maeve wasn't finishing the bottle, but I just assumed that Jill would not have left me a defective nipple when I'm alone with Maeve.

Wednesday, August 18, 1999
Maeve is getting pretty good at grabbing onto things.  When I hold her she will scratch my arm or pull on my arm hairs.  It reminds me of an Alzheimer's patient that I once transported.  She wanted to hold my hand, but it was just a ploy to try to put my hand in her mouth (just like Maeve does with her hand!) and bite it.  When that didn't work, she just tried to dig her fingernails into my arm.  I kept my distance after that.  "Come here," she said.  "I'm right here," I calmly reassured her.

Sunday, August 15, 1999
We left Maeve in the nursery at church this morning.  During the service, someone else had a crying baby.  Jill said she felt a sensation like she needed to nurse, or that she was lactating.  I said it was just Pavlov's dog.  Maeve has done a great job of conditioning her mother.

Saturday, August 14, 1999
Jill showed Maeve off at work yesterday.  One of her co-workers was introducing Maeve as Winifred.  Jill was worried that people would really think that is her name.  I had been calling Maeve Winifred and Winni.  Jill wants me to stop, but she keeps calling her Punkydoodle.  I would rather be called Winifred.  I don't know who will win this one, or if we will just each have our own nicknames for Maeve.

Thursday, August 12, 1999
Maeve is at a stage now where she is trying to roll over.  She can almost do it, but her arm is causing too much resistance.  Her lower body is just waiting for her shoulders to catch up.  So I suggested to Jill that we take an arm off to make it easier.  Her reply was, "Not even once."

Monday, August 9, 1999
Jill is shorter than me, and moves the seat up in her car when she drives.  I hate to get squished when I try to get into her car with the seat up, so Jill is supposed to push the seat back when she gets out.  Several times last week I got in her car and found the seat hadn't been pushed back.

Jill also mentioned that several times last week Maeve started crying as soon as they got home, but stopped as soon as I got home.  My theory is that Maeve sees Jill not moving the seat back, and Maeve is worried that I will get injured when I try to get in.  Once I'm home and Maeve sees that I'm fine, she calms down.  For Maeve's sake, I hope Jill will be more responsible about moving the seat back.

Saturday, August 7, 1999
Temperatures are back to what they should be in New England in summer.  Last night it got down to 60.  We had the windows open, and when Jill got up at night to go to the bathroom she thought about how Maeve would not like the cold wipes in the morning.  Jill suggested we get a "wipe warmer".  I would rather just keep them in the bed with us overnight.

Friday, August 6, 1999
Things have been a little busy around here.  I hope to be able to keep up with this better in the future.

A World Book salesman came over.  We didn't know he was a World Book salesman; he had said he had childhood educational materials.  He had an entire set of flash cards, toddler encyclopedia sort of books, and, of course, the full World Book set.  The flash cards were neat, and the parents' guide that came with it was nice.  The idea was that the parent can be involved in education, instead of just sticking a child in a corner with a book.

Fortunately I missed most of the presentation.  I came in about the time he was trying to get $2,000 from my wife.  I said I already had the World Book on CD upstairs.  I had gotten that for free ($30 with a $30 rebate).  Good news!  I can take $550 off the price if I don't get the physical World Book volumes.  Unfortunately, that left the price about $1,450 for flash cards, parents' guides and toddler encyclopedia sort of books.  I explained that if we were to pay real money for an encyclopedia that we would get Encyclopedia Britannica because it is really focused on providing a comprehensively informative article, instead of just providing enough for a school report.  Of course, we would never pay real money for an encyclopedia because the Internet has so much information, and encyclopedias get outdated so quickly.  It took him a while to figure out that we meant it, but eventually he left without any of our money.

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