Some random junk about the changes that have taken place in my life of late:

Since my daughter – The Little Miss – was born a month ago, I have learned a new sort of fear. Not an important type of fear – I experienced all of those when her brother Bronco was born 18 months ago. No, this fear happens late in the evening when The Little Miss decides for whatever reason that it is yet again a good time to rattle the rafters with her screams. As the sound waves gently shake the dishes in our cabinets (if an earthquake was to occur during this time we likely wouldn’t notice), I become almost paralyzed with the fear that the noise will wake her brother.

More specifically, I am afraid that he will wake up crying and that the two of them will take turns crying the other one awake for the rest of the night. This would destroy any chance for adult sleep – suddenly a very precious commodity in our house.

So far, thankfully, The Little Miss has only woken her brother a couple of times, and each of those times he went right back to sleep. But every time she cranks things up, my eyes lock onto that baby monitor with a sense of dread…

……Another thing that happened recently is that I turned 40 years old. This means that not only has the rate of hair growth in my ears quadrupled, but I will now be required to sigh loudly whenever I sit down or stand up – if only to cover the sound of my joints creaking. Turning 40 also means that employers can no longer openly discriminate against me due to my age – so, I’ve got that going for me, which is nice…

…Turning 40 so quickly after the baby was born has made me do some frightening math. Not frightening on the level of Larry King, but still frightening. By the time The Little Miss is 21, I will be about 61 years old (assuming that I’m able to hold on that long). By the time she starts school (and I finally stop paying for daycare) I will be 45 or so. Right now, I’m most interested in how old I’ll be when she starts sleeping through the night.

I realize that is probably the wrong way to look at things. A large number of people have sagely warned me not to wish away my children’s youth, because it will be gone before I know it. “You’ll blink your eyes, and they’ll be asking for the car keys,” everyone tells me. Well, I have to say that when The Little Miss is crying at 3am, the time isn’t exactly whizzing by. In fact, I have tried blinking several hundred times, but when I finish it’s still 3am and she’s still noisily unhappy about something. Also, that thing she’s unhappy about is apparently a secret and she won’t tell me.

One thing that does help to pass the time, however, is the iPhone my wife bought me for my birthday. Since my last cell phone was a flip phone with the ability to make phone calls and that’s about it, this is a big change. I can hold the baby in one arm while playing with all of my new phone apps with the other hand.

The iPhone is a dangerous habit, however. The other day I was standing in my kitchen, trying to figure out how to make a word with 7 o’s and 4 i’s in Words With Friends (Alec Baldwin isn’t the only one who plays it) when I felt a tug on my leg. I unglued my eyes from the screen and saw Bronco (the 18-month old), who had apparently been standing there very patiently asking for juice for some unknown about of time. Oops. It’s a good thing for me that he was thirsty and not motivated to reorganize the knife drawer. There goes my nomination for Parent of the Year…

…In general, however, I would have to say that despite the update in age and population in my house, things are smoothing out. Bronco is learning, to his frustration, that it is not ok to feed his toys to his sister. The Megger and I are learning how to transition from our previous zone defense (where if you needed a break you could pawn the child off onto the other parent for a bit) to more of a man-to-man arrangement. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the Little Miss to zip through the “No Sleep for You” stage of her youth.