Sunday, August 02, 2009

Fatherhood Tales

One of the ubiquitous things in our living room, in addition to all the baby changing stuff, is a notebook that we call the "baby book". This notebook contains a record of our babies' lives. We record who ate what, when and how much. We record who was changed when. We record who weighed and measured what when. We record who pooped and when. We record who took what medicine and when.

Why all the note taking? When we first got home, we had all these time-sensitive things we had to keep track of:
  • babies need to eat every 3 hours
  • babies need to poop once a day (or we call the doctor after 2 days)
  • my wife had to take 2 medicines: one every 4 hours and the other every 6 hours

At first, I tried to use the alarm on my cellphone. So basically, I would set the alarm for 3 hours after feeding the babies. That quickly turned out to not be sustainable. So we came up with this simple idea of a notebook with 3 columns:
  • who did it
  • what was done
  • when it was done
Now if I want to know when the babies last ate, I just look it up. If I want to know why Dara is so cranky, the baby book tells me she hasn't pooped in 1.5 days. If I want to know when my wife can take another dose of motrin, I just look it up. If I want to know what Toni weighed at the last doctor's visit, the baby book tells no lies.

Of course, the accuracy of the baby book depends on accurate and timely data entry. So to visitors, it might look like a crazy and perhaps over the top thing to do. But so many times, the baby book has come to our rescue. Without it, keeping track of the little things would have been overwhelming.