Monday January 12, 2004 11:58 PM
Some Firsts

Gideon has grown up into quite a delightful five-week old.

He sleeps all the way through the night more often than not, he's got a marvelous disposition, he holds his head up for thirty seconds at a time and is very alert, and of course, he's cute as can be. He can even do push-ups! Maybe a drill sergeant wouldn't call what he does official push-ups, but sometimes when you lay him on his stomach he'll put his little hands down and lift himself up.

My two week vacation was great. It was a special time to bond with the newest child and to enjoy and contribute to the initial development of our now fundamentally altered family unit. I'd like to list all the grand accomplishments performed over these two weeks, but there aren't any. We spent the time mostly appreciating each other's presence.

One day about 12:30 or 1, we were discussing what to have for lunch and Isaiah announced that we'd have KFC. "OK," I said, "and White Castle is right next door. I feel like a little White Castle to go with it. What do you think?" Ruth hadn't had WC in years and was willing to try it. Isaiah also said he'd give it a taste.

After we'd gotten our KFC and ordered at WC, we drove up to the window and got our food. I set the bag between Isaiah and I. "Daddo," he said, "if that tastes anything like it smells, I am not going to try it."

They say that with each child you have, you become less concerned about things. I don't think Isaiah left our house after the first time he arrived in it for six weeks. Gideon's first venture out of the homestead was less than two weeks after his first arrival. Ruth brought both Isaiah and Gideon to my office for our annual family potluck on Monday the twenty-second of December. I must say I had a fine time showing him off to all my pals at work and Gideon was perfect. He slept almost through the whole thing. Isaiah had a little trouble, though.

I work for a company that makes visual systems for flight simulators. Yes, I know that sounds very cool and it can be sometimes, but a job's a job and... Anyway, we have the shell of the front part of a helicopter fuselage set up in the big test room with three 16:9 40" plasma screen displays set up in front of it on which are shown the view a pilot would see in a real helicopter. It was built to take to trade shows.

There is no motion-base, meaning the shell doesn't move, but the controls can be used to fly the helicopter through our visual databases. It's like a giant video game- the pilot can even fire missiles and shoot stuff down.

Isaiah had seen that helicopter and even flown in it briefly last year and had been looking forward all year to getting to fly in it again. Of course, you can imagine that he wasn't the only kid who felt that way. I guess he was about good at waiting as a four year old who was that excited about something could be, which is not to say I was entirely pleased with his behavior, but he didn't get a spanking.

I was slightly embarrassed, but had to fight down laughter, when he loudly proclaimed "I wish that girl would hurry up and get out of there! What's she doing in there, anyway? That helicopter is a boy thing."

Gideon's second trip into the outside world was to take him to Nanie and Dimmie's (that's what Isaiah calls Ruth's mother and father) house for x-mas day. It wasn't much of a venture, though. His activities consisted almost entirely of sleeping and nursing. He was awake for a little while, but he didn't seem much interested in the goings on around him.

His next trip out was to church the following Sunday morning where he was the center of attention after the service was over. Of course that was hardly surprising. He follows closely in the footsteps of his big brother in that he's about as cute as one baby can be by himself. Everybody is constantly amazed at how much hair he's got on his little head.

After his first day at church, he visited his very first restaurant. Though I'm not proud to say it, I'm not ashamed either, I guess, that the very first restaurant Gideon visited was Applebee's. Don't get me wrong, Doug- I'm not knocking your favorite restaurant (or at least what was your favorite when we were in college together. Don't ask me how or why I remember that). It's just that it's always been just another joint to me and we'd never had good service at the one in town. Never, that is, until Gideon showed up there. It was a first for us that day, too. The first time we'd been to the local Applebee's when the service was anything other than lousy.

After that, the days start to run together. My vacation was over and we went back to living our normal lives. Now, though, our normal lives are better than before because there is one more of us.