Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2001

Parenthood easy when you realize who’s the boss (not Tony Danza)

July 12, 2001

My parents, (publisher) Dan and Heidi Simon, have allowed me a little time on the computer while they try to get some sleep. Kids are incredibly advanced these days; so don't be surprised to see this column written by a two-week old baby.

It was a long two weeks, but I think I've finally trained the parents. They thought they were in charge but I've spent some time reminding them who makes the schedule around here.

After I was born (which went great thanks to Dr. Gaumer in Lawrence, even if I did have a cone head like an aerodynamic bicycle helmet), I softly cooed and gurgled in Mom's arms, lulling her into a false sense of security. Then the very sweet nurses at LMH poked and pricked me for a couple days and I let out hardy a peep. When we got home, I knew my plan had worked when Mom and Dad tried to get me to sleep in that giant crib. I had heard Dad swearing about it one night in May as he tried to follow directions on assembling something himself. Did he think I would enjoy sleeping in something he called so many names? I promptly let the folks know that wasn't going to fly for this eight pound bundle of fun.

For now, I'm happy sleeping in my car seat since it's the only thing small enough to resemble that warm, dark, quiet place I was for nine months. Of course, sleep comes in one to two-hour increments, because I would hate to miss out on anything. Unless there are 15 people over to see me, at which time I'll sleep peacefully while all are talking at once, like our family reunion last weekend. My ears are good enough that the second the last person is out the door, I'm wailing like Bob Marley and his band (the Wailers). My folks tried to get me to sleep by putting a vacuum in my room. Please. Then, Dad put me on the dryer while he folded clothes. Do I look like a pair of socks that didn't quite get dry but you don't want to put in with the colors so you put them on top to get radiant heat?

Eudora neighbors have been very good to my folks. Donna Oleson brought over a delicious pie that had Dad drooling like me. Alberta Pyle brought over freshly baked warm bread that Mom devoured in a day or so. I even got cards from Joy Clouse, the flag lady, and the Johnsons across the street. Locals are so nice, and they all think I'm an angel, which I am until it's just mom, dad and me. When they try to bully me into sleeping, I'm comfortable voicing my opinion on that idea, especially at 2 a.m.

The food out here is good. It's certainly better than what the dog gets, since he eats the same thing every day. Mom complains about not being able to eat dairy products. Of course, my body processes food so fast that my parents now play a diaper guessing game of dry, wet or about to blow out. I always win that one, waiting until I've been changed and magically working up the latter two in that list precisely when the new diaper is secured.

Which brings me to the numerous baby books the parents have read. One says never wake up a baby. Another says go ahead, wake a baby. A third says wake a baby, but only if a certain amount of time has passed, the moon is in the third phase, the grass has been mowed within the last 24 hours and Greenspan was on television recently. This little noggin scratcher really has Mom and Dad confused. Suffice it to say: let me sleep, I'm crying the rest of the day. Wake me up, and I'm going to be really mad. The only way around this dilemma is to hold me as long as it takes for your arms to look like Popeye's. Then, when you put me down, be prepared for Armageddon, Eudora style.

The future looks good for me. Dad's worried about paying for college, and Mom's concerned about making it through the next 10 weeks. I keep hearing Dad say crazy things about "when Cooper's old enough to beat Tiger Woods," but for now, I just ignore them. I did enjoy sitting in front of the golf tournament on television the other day (which would probably put almost anyone to sleep, but not me). Then when my Uncle Joe left, it was mayhem in the house known as Cooperville, where I'm the mayor, dietician, director of waste management and sleep czar.

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