Monday, May 25, 2009
i don't know how it happened, but leon is like a different baby. he's longer, chubbier, and uses his hands and feet in a more coordinated manner. a friend gave leon an octopus soft toy, and i was shocked to see him actually play with it. for the past few weeks i've offered various toys to him, but he didn't quite know how to use his hands. as exciting as the first two months were in terms of development, now i eagerly look forward to his daily discoveries. it certainly ameliorates the screaming fits before naps and bedtime, along with the night feedings (2-3 times).
the same friend who gave leon the toy is also an academic mother with a 2.5 year old. she chose to have a baby after finishing the dissertation but agreed with me that it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. sure, she has a job, but it isn't tenure-track. furthermore, with a wriggly active toddler, it's exceedingly hard for her to write, let alone do research on new projects or attend conferences, which are helpful for getting that tenure-track job. like me, she has an architect husband, so pretty much all of the housekeeping and parenting duties are her job, along with a full-time teaching load. she wasn't able to breastfeed, but this allowed her to get back to teaching quickly. however, once her son started walking, it's been pretty hectic.
i don't know how parents manage it, but i know eventually leon and i will figure things out. i'm trying to be patient, but time is running out for the dissertation. i have three months to complete a draft before going on the job market. i just met with one of my advisers who told me to scrap most of what i have (all 100 pages). i'll be able to salvage quite a bit, but following her advice requires a massive reconceptualization of my topic and theoretical framework. i definitely feel galvanized by her suggestions, but it's nonetheless daunting. leon does not make it easy. but oh how i love to squeeze his chubby thighs and tickle him under his triple chin.