The Arrival of Oliver

Oliver Mateo (Mah-TAY-oh – Spanish for Matthew) Duyzer was born last week Tuesday, August 7, 2007, at 3:04 pm. He weighed in at a whopping 10 pounds, 4 ounces.

OliverOliver at three or four days old – thanks to Tim for this great photo

I’m discovering that there are things people were right about and wrong about these early days of his life.

One of the most common remarks I heard before Oliver’s birth was how sleepless I’d be, and how much his schedule would dominate my life. I didn’t really understand exactly why this was, or how it could be – don’t newborns sleep most of the time? Can they really be that much work?

Well, they are, and then some. They live on an approximately 3-hour cycle: shit, eat, soothe, sleep, repeat. Sometimes he mixes it up with shit, eat, shit, soothe, sleep, repeat. Or the ever popular shit, eat, piss while changing diaper forcing change of clothes, soothe, sleep, repeat.

A cycle this short is taxing because we must constantly work to accommodate it. My personal schedule runs more along the lines of shit, eat, eat, eat, sleep, spaced out over 24 hours. You can see how these schedules are not very compatible.

But then there are times when he is quietly alert and awake and cuter than I could have ever imagined someone could be. Or when I lay on my side with his head nestled in my arm, warm body cozied up to my chest, occasionally murmuring or letting out a contented sigh, while I read a book.

Those are moments of quiet relaxation and enjoyment to cherish.

I cherish the other moments too. When I’m changing his smelly diaper and he’s wriggling around with his naked bum in the air, or even when he’s screaming full tilt, he’s still awfully cute.

The other thing I heard all of the time was how my perspective on life would dramatically change. I heard this from clients, from my father, from friends who have children.

That’s something I haven’t felt at all. Maybe it just hasn’t sunk in yet, but I suspect that the real reason is perhaps because I had already adopted that new perspective. Nine months is plenty of time for preparation.

The last week-and-a-half has been crazy. One thing that I think every parent I’ve talked to is right about is that it’s only going to get crazier – and that Oliver is going to keep me on my toes for life.

Bring it on, little man. Welcome to the big wide world.

PS Oliver has an online photo gallery.

Life, politics, code and current events from a Canadian perspective.

Adrian Duyzer
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