-----Original Message----- From: Les Schaffer <godzilla at netmeg.net> To: lbo-talk at lists.panix.com <lbo-talk at lists.panix.com> Date: Friday, June 19, 1998 1:38 PM Subject: ah ah baby... (was: Flexible Work & Parenting)
Nicholas> have you ever
Nicholas> listened to a baby that doesn't stop crying until ...
this is quite a fascinating and absorbing topic, learning what can be substituted for the 3 dots above ...
1.) i ran this whole issue by my LMM (Last Marxist Mommy). she says my father had no trouble getting me to stop crying, even in the middle of the night, and he isnt even a commie like my LMM.
2.) I have had good, but not 100% success with crying babies, as a baby-sitter. i'd say i am between 88% and 95% efficient in getting a baby (not my own) to change expressive modes. Both my LMM and her mate taught me since i am tall as late July corn that a baby cries for a reason, which it is the parents and care-givers challenge to decode.
3.) a good friend of mine -- his wife and he had a baby 5 years ago -- while wife was busy finishing her PhD in entymology (watching and recording little parasitic moths flying around). on an almost daily basis when Saskya needed to return to her field work, Andy and I were given the task of taking care of Mieke, and we, like your average scientist, floundered around in search of good formulaes.
We discovered two:
a.) A pinky finger works absolute wonders. you kinda tickle the baby's lips with the tip of your pinky, and eventually, the baby starts sucking your finger into his/her mouth. you will be AMAZED at the strength of this sucking force. andy and i have considered rigging up an experiment to measure the magnitude of this sucking force. crying ceases almost immediately.
b.) Walking up and down stairs. Andy discovered this quite by accident. it got to the point, when mieke started crying, we had to move our terribly important science conversations to the first floor stair well. there we would take turns walking up and down the stairs with mieke in arms, while we continued talking freely. please note that there are certain frequencies of stair treading which are most efficient; you have to find this frequency by experiment. a little bounce in ones step also helps in this regard. crying usually ceases within a flight or two.
I suspect there are plenty of other formulaes available as well. Perhaps we can start an archival Web Site recording things daddies and men can do to decode, and respond to, crying. And then maybe we will have started on a path to a deep transformation of the 3 dot problem. Sortofa 'fathers and male care-givers of the world unite! you have nothing to lose but your impatience!'
oh, mieke is doing fine now, thanks. at age 5, she's smarter than all of us combined ...
p.s. don't forget to check the diapers, and make sure the milk is at the right temperature.
-- ____ Les Schaffer godzilla at netmeg.net ___| ------->> Engineering R&D <<-------- Theoretical & Applied Mechanics | Designspring, Inc. Westport, CT USA Center for Radiophysics & Space Research | les at designspring.com Cornell Univ. schaffer at tam.cornell.edu |