Bowing to the Little King

The Author Enjoying a Spring Nature Walk With Son | Courtesy B. Maschal Private Collection

It is difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that over a month’s time has passed since our bundle of joy arrived. 30 days ago, I thought that for sure we would have things so much more dialed in by now. If nothing else, this has been a steadily delivered lesson in humility and patience.

Since B is self employed, maternity leave is not something that exists for her. This fact has given me a significant opportunity to pitch in during my weeks away from work. I would not have guessed that I would spend so many hours hunched over. I blame part of this on the fact that a lot of popular brands of baby stuff are not particularly suited for tall parents. As a guy who is 6′ 4″, I have discovered this this the hard way. Height deficient gear is a story for another day.

When I’m getting our little man dressed, he is usually laying in his crib. I might as well be doing a ‘no hands’ version of downward dog. Afterward, I can practically hear my vertebrae which seem to have rusted into a crescent shaped arc, creaking in protest as they work against gravity to straighten out my spine again. Same goes for when I’m changing his diaper. Although, I’ll say that the changing table is less of a stoop. Working on him when he is waist high is much more doable than working on him when he is at the mid-thigh level.

Then there is the constant picking him up and putting him down; whether it is the stroller, his little bouncer seat, or one of the various other places that he might be lounging at the moment. Can’t really “lift with your legs” as they say, when you are scooping up an infant. Plus, I’m unsure why, but I often find myself unconsciously sort of hunching and contorting my upper body around him as if to shield him from some sort of invisible hail storm when I pick him up, and/or move him from one spot to another.

In other cultures, which are more refined than my own, people bow to show respect to others. I try to remember that as I work here trying to keep my little clone fed, happy and healthy. When my lower back muscles are on fire (it didn’t cross my mind to incorporate any lower back exercises into my dadbod routine) and my spinal column sounds like a freight train under heavy braking, instead of cursing my aged body, I shall instead think of this as a reminder that I rightfully bow often to honor my heir.



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