The underwater purr

At least once per day, Mouse wants to lay on my belly. And purr. Loudly. She’s always liked laying on my belly because it’s soft and warm, but she seems even more drawn to it now that someone’s in there. Maybe it’s warmer.

This morning, she got under the blankets and laid against one side of my belly for warmth. A couple of minutes into this, I felt a definite kick — on the other side of my belly. This means, among other things, that Mouse was likely directly on top of the baby’s head.

At any rate, I can’t help but imagine what all that purring sounds like, from deep within the amniotic sac. I told Devin the other day, “There’s a good chance that this baby won’t be able to get to sleep unless Mouse is laying on it and purring.”

— Beth

It’s what’s important

Sometime within the last week or two, the Seed allegedly acquired some degree of hearing. I say some degree, because this is just the approximate point when babies start reacting to noises in ways that can be detected. Maybe they had awareness without response previously, it’s hard(er) to tell. However, the ear structures won’t be entirely developed for another couple of months, so it’s somewhat questionable how ready the Seed is to hear my fatherly pronouncements. As you can imagine, I’m eager to extend as much as possible the duration of the period between when my offspring can first hear my voice and the moment when they decide everything I say is bullshit. But the uncertainty over to what extent I’m audible, much less intelligible, leaves me with a modicum of trepidation over the affair. Granted, I’ve spent a significant chunk of my professional life talking to people whose ear structures evidently hadn’t entirely developed either, but at least I knew that going in, so I knew where I stood.

So apart from the occasional moment of passing a bit of clever rhetoric at Beth’s midsection, I’m currently sticking a bit more towards communicating via patting her belly. That’s probably a better medium anyway for communicating the urgent survival skills it will need for its future, namely: factorization, divisibility, and prime numbers. It goes a bit like this:

Devin’s hand: patpat
Devin’s hand: patpatpat
Devin’s hand: patpatpatpatpat
Devin’s hand: patpatpatpatpatpatpat
Devin’s hand: patpatpatpatpatpatpatpatpatpatpat

or:

Devin’s hand: patpatpatpatpatpatpatpat
Devin’s hand: patpatpatpat (pause) patpat

or:

Devin’s hand: patpat (pause) patpatpatpatpatpatpatpat
Devin’s hand: patpatpatpatpatatpatpatpatpatpat-
Beth: Ow, stop that.

We’ve also had the Baby Starts Moving week (moving in a way Beth can feel, I mean). There was a bit last week, but it’s been the big deal of this one. After dinner this evening Beth was reporting that if she poked herself in the proper spot, the baby would wiggle. It was difficult to reproduce, though. I tried poking out prime numbers, of course:

Devin: pokepoke
Devin: pokepoke-
Beth: Ow. Not like that, like this (demonstrating)
Devin (like that): poke-
Beth: Ow.
Devin (differently): pokepokepoke
Beth: Ow, stop that.

The sequence was blown by that point, and even if the Seed had been inclined to wiggle out its answer I don’t know how I could have done the grading. The conceptual range is limited, too; I’m not sure how I’m going to communicate the concept of zero through a uterine wall.

– Devin