One of my LJ (Literary Journalism) teachers pointed out that authors are always declaring and defining reality. The do this whenever they assert something, or build on an assumption they’ve presented as fact. She called these assertions “Truth Statements,” and we took time in class to write and share our own.
Well here are a few of mine. Most of them have to do with babies, because mine is on my mind right now.
I just came from a message board site where a woman was a afraid she might go C-section in a week b/c her baby was already “huge” at just over 7 lbs. (my littlest so-far was 7lbs,14oz.). I also have a friend who was shocked at the size (7-lb range?) of her first baby, saying, “I don’t have babies this big!” Well, Sweetie, it looks like you do…
Here’s my classification of baby sizes (and I find this to be fairly universal, based on actual responses I’ve frequently heard).
There are only three sizes of babies:
Leedle: under 7 lbs.
“Good-size”: 7-8 lbs., plus some change.
Big. : 9 lbs. or more
All that being said, the next maxim is Every newborn is always the smallest baby you’ve ever seen. Now, your brain, of course, know this rarely is true. But even the 10+-lb chunkers (like myself) are going to look small to anyone who’s children are past that stage. Even my second daughter at 6-months (no little, dainty thing) got a “She’s so tiny!” comment out of a grandpa-type at a store one day. This was great timing (I laughed after he walked away), especially since I was telling myself just before that she was getting too heavy to continue carrying her like a newborn.
Related to this (mainly by the concept of here-and-now trumping all else) is The best loaf of home made bread is the fresh one you’re currently eating. This feels true as long as the loaf in question isn’t a total dive. In which case, for all our sakes, I hope it’s a personal failure (preferably in private), and not something you have to be polite through. That’s rough.
Jay is remarkably good at this sort of thing.
Back to babies, a word to the wise: Never try to make a happy baby happier. If a baby is sleeping or eating, or playing or… you know, whatever, and is content doing it (and it isn’t dangerous, I suppose I have to add), let him alone. If you have a baby, you
know what I’m talking about.
And if you don’t (yet?), here is a good line to close on: As they say, “Experience is the best teacher,” but if you can learn second-hand, the tuition’s cheaper.