Week 26

We’re at the glorious Week 26-half way across a calendar year, well over half way toward parenthood. The baby is not only kicking regularly, it’s speaking. When I put my ear to Kira’s belly, I can hear a gagged voice quite distinctly, "Lemme out! Lemme out!"

I’m not kidding.

Speaking of precocious, I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a list this week of all the things my child will do early. I do this to alleviate some surprise if my newborn reaches out for a firm handshake toward a stranger, or runs his or her first marathon a wee 10 or 12 years premature, or even begins taking advice calls on tax matters. This last bit is against the law, mind you, but since the tot will most likely be a bar-certified attorney before a CPA, I’ll let that lie.

First, Walking. I’m told babies should be taking their first steps at around one year old. That’s all well and good for most babies, but I’ve taken the liberty of contacting a physical therapist to see what we can do about accelerating the process. As it turns out, the development of an infant mirrors that of a sobering drunk, so we’ll be adapting many of the techniques therein to move those first steps up a good three to six months. Apparently, there’s no accounting for motor skills, but I’m willing to roll on that one.

Second, Reading. We’ve started by reading the classic "Goodnight, Moon" in utero. Unfortunately, Kira and I quickly bored after the third presentation and decided to move on to something with a little more dramatic oomph: "Inferno: The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri." We’ve reached the second circle of hell and have found baby movement increases with each page. When finished, Kira will be adding some polish to the youngster as a future-orator by taking a page from "How to Talk Dirty and Influence People." While we’re not going to tolerate a miniature Andrew Dice Clay, I’d be flattered if the first words were "I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore."

Third, Technology. It’s never too early to get ahead. Since many of our child’s friends will no doubt be attending the best private schools like Andover and Exeter, we’ve decided a certain bit of technological home schooling should begin post haste. We’ll be spending the weekend designing the nursery. So far, it’s coming together in tasteful, gender-neutral, yellows, blues, greens, and reds, around a stunningly designed Baby Communication Center. With a few, simple Linux commands, baby Wright can instant message mom and dad at the office, check out movie listings, and even activate the refrigerator pump to begin the flow of fresh milk directly to a Samuel Adams tap in the nursery wall. This last piece is the one we’ll be pushing early on; after all, we’ll want the little tyke as self-sufficient as our two precious cats as fast as possible. It’s a brave new world.

Notice, we’ll be leaving out such archaic skills as speaking and potty training. Since the child will be typing so soon after birth, we’ll be moving right into the latest Human Interface Devices, which render oral communication useless.

As for potty training, after all this other stuff if the kid can’t figure this out for itself, I’m taking it back.

We were lying in bed Wednesday last week when Kira started poking me.

"Look at this!" She whispered. And I looked.

Loe and behold, the little monster was moving. Kicking and punching and throwing in a few barrel rolls for good measure, it was actually exhibiting explicit signs of life. Unbelievable. I have a child and I can see it.

According to sources, the baby is still only about a pound and a half; all skin and bones (literally) with no body fat at all, floating around in a uterus the size of a soccer ball. At the last doc appointment, we asked the good Doctor why he keeps measuring Kira’s belly from the top of the bulge to her pubic bone. Now, here’s an interesting correlation: he’s measuring her uterus; and from this point forward, that measurement should equal in centimeters how far along Kira is in weeks. 25 cm? 25 weeks. Amazing.

It’s got taste buds now, and a sweet tooth. This may explain why a trip to the grocery store yields $80 in Honey Nut Cheerios. I haven’t seen those round the old homestead since the parents gave up glutens back in 1985. It was sometime when Dionne Warrick was still a happy host of Solid Gold. Mmm… Solid Gold.

There you have it. All the news that’s fit to print. We have only one more monthly appointment with the Good Doctor before we begin the bi-weekly program and the slippery slope takes hold.