Monday, November 23, 2009

The Baby Whisperer

People are always afraid of turning into one of their parents, but not me. I've already inherited a lot of traits from my mother: my dancing (in)ability, our need to do a "double-back," a love for wine & cheese, and lastly, but certainly not least, a flair for the dramatic. However, most people don't focus on the characteristics that they might acquire from their other parent (should they be so fortunate as to have two).

Now I haven't learned to love fly fishing like my dad (sorry dad, I don't see it happening in the near future) but my need to be on time definitely stems from him. How many times did I hear, "If you're not early, you're late" on our way somewhere? Much to my mother's dismay I learned the motto "It's about looking good, not feeling good." (I think the first time I heard this was when he took me to my first NFL game Giants vs. Redskins & I didn't want to wear the 30+ layers my mother probably wanted). I also developed the need to schedule all my classes at college in the morning (he did it so he could do his homework in the afternoon and go out at night, I did it so I could go play squash with Howie and then go out at night--so not totally similar). I get my tendency to boss people around from my father (those who are directly related to him can attest to that characteristic of his...)--but I swear, those people need my directions! One trait that I definitely acquired from my father is an uncanny ability to handle babies.

Now for those of you who know my father when you look at him you're first thought probably isn't "Man, I bet he's good with babies." It's probably more along the lines of, "Who is that man casting with a fishing rod on his front lawn?" But my dad loves babies. If there's one in the room he can be found making faces at him/her and goofing off with him/her. He'd rather sit and play with a baby during a big holiday meal than eat the meal--madness.

But my dad doesn't just like babies, he's got a secret baby-power. You've heard of The Horse Whisperer? Well my dad is the Baby Whisperer. My mom said when when Jack was younger and fussy/screaming/crying (I don't include myself in this because from what I can recall I was a perfect baby) my dad would arrive home from work, she would hand him the screaming baby and in minutes Jack would be fast asleep. My dad calls it, "the sleeper hold," (wrestling pun intended) and I've never seen it not work. Now he puts the sleeper hold on the grandchildren of his friends. There is a lot of speculation as to how he does this, his friends joke that he must just tell the babies his fishing tales (sure to put them right to sleep!) but I know it's something more. I've been so fortunate as to inherit this trait as well. Like I said, I've been seeing this baby a bunch, and she always falls asleep when she's around me. I took her out in Zürich last week and from the moment we got to the end of the driveway to the moment we were going back up the driveway, two and a half hours later, the baby slept like a rock. Sometimes it's hard for her to fall asleep, but all I have to do is pretend to close my eyes and poof! she's out.
Her mom said the other day, "I don't know how you do it, she never, ever sleeps when she's around me. The second you come she sleeps for hours."

I didn't mention that my father and I are just natural baby whisperers.


  1. Your father inherited the baby thing from his father and must have passed it on to you.

  2. The baby that you so lovingly call "thing"....hahaha. "This thing just spit up on me!"