Shortly after Cristian came home we were ready for the next part of the new-parent ritual— people stopping by to see the baby. This time-honored tradition once featured on a Seinfeld episode is required of all new parents. Of all the experiences from finding out Esther was pregnant through the present day, I dreaded this one most—more than hormones or changing my first drippy diaper.
Throughout Esther’s pregnancy, images of guests showing up in large groups taking turns riding my couch while taking selfies using my son as a prop before posting a Facebook update haunted me. “Who’s next?” Maybe my protective instinct kicked in a wee bit early. Who me?
After spending a week or so as tag-team parents, hosting guests provided a welcome change of pace. Here are the highlights.
The Revolving Door-Visits started small —first, it was grandparents stopping by to see the baby. Then a few college friends showed up after work. Soon friends and relatives called for visits like they were making dinner reservations at a fine restaurant. “We have an opening on Thursday at 7:30. How many will that be?” Our lobby was like a revolving door, I’d be walking two guests out as another group was arriving. “Don’t forget to stop at the gift shop on the way out.”
Don’t Be Shy When People Ask What Can I Bring-Lamaze class taught me many things, including breathing, pain management, and that I reminded the instructor of her husband. Apparently, he’s sarcastic too. Finding that out cost me a look from Esther. What I remember most was not being afraid to ask friends to bring dinner. We ate well, home-cooked meals, Chinese, Filipino and Japanese food and lots of empanadas. Just a head’s up if you’re bringing Chinese food, I like the spicy mustard.
The Baby Whisperer-Every family has at least one. The aunt or family friend found at family gatherings with a baby in her lap. Whether the baby is her grandchild or the neighbor’s child is irrelevant, the experience imparted from these Baby Yodas is priceless. “A diaper change he shall need.” Need someone to give you a breather or keep your baby awake for an extra hour call the Baby Whisperer.
He Looks Like-From his first sonogram our loved ones started playing the Who Does He Look Like Game. Five months later, the game’s still on. I’ve heard he looks like Esther with Frank’s skin color or his hair is the color Frank’s used to be to the distant aunt who sees my dad or her cousin etc. It’s kind of like “What Color is this Dress.” To date, my favorite has been the friend with no relation to either of us insisting he looks like her when he smiles.