Posts Tagged "newborns"

The Milk Zork

The Milk Zork

In the early days of mothering, when you are first getting to know your new bundle of joy, you have to learn to celebrate the little victories of communication. You have just entered Newborn Baby land and you don’t speak the language, there is no translation book published, and while a few of your fellow earthlings may know how to translate a body gesture here and there (baby arching its back means painful tummy gas), you are really on your own, tired and in a strange land with few ways to communicate. You suddenly realize that the real reason new parents end up constantly talking about the baby’s bodily functions is because that is THE major way to know if everything is going well or not. Does that which goes in, come out as planned? Is the plumbing working?

And just like all of us thrown into an immersion language course, those closest to the baby start to learn to read the body signs. The obvious signs are easy; the baby is tired if it is yawning and rubbing its eyes. But that’s like waiting for the yelling and vivid hand-gestures from that Italian asking you to move your scooter out of his way. It would be much better if you understood the polite request to scoot over instead of waiting so long. So you start to look for the more subtle body gestures—the slight puffiness to the baby’s eyelids, the turning away glance that tells you they’ve had enough, and the coos and whimpers that you’ll learn mean, “I’m a little hungry and would like some yummy milk now.” You’ll learn that each sound and each body movement might have meaning, or it might just be part of the baby’s experiments. And once you think you know which crying sound means “I’m hungry,” or “I’m tired,” or “I’m wet,” you’ll find out that the baby has advanced to a higher form of communication and it will be time to learn the newest language.

But one thing is constant. When you get it all just right, you get the most incredibly clear message that everything is just perfect. I called it the Milk Zork. I always felt like I had achieved a Mommy Touch-Down that required its own end-zone dance when I achieved the Milk Zork. Let me describe it to you. Everything has to be timed just right, and that requires close observation of the Newborn Baby language. The warm milk comes at just the right time, filling the tummy just so. And then the sleepy-eyed look of utter satisfaction comes over the baby’s face. Next comes the lazy pop off the nipple, the heavy, contented sigh, and the snuggling back into mommy’s arms. And then comes the completely happy smile. That, my readers, is a Milk Zork. The Milk Zork is easily understandable in any language and all dialects.

Just remember that the Milk Zork touch-down dance is always done silently and on tip-toe.

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