Monday, February 12, 2007

The Beard Report

And now for a special report on my Dear Husband. I know I haven't mentioned him much lately, I've been so preoccupied with my nesting.

First of all, we're overdue for a Beard Report. Since he began working from home with me Arwen has been growing his beard out. This has caused him a deep and abiding sense of satisfaction. I've watched it go from Don Johnson to Distinguished Gentleman to Slightly Unkempt, and now it's beginning to enter the stage of Crazy Beard. If he remains on this trajectory, he will be at full on Garden Gnome before spring comes.

Arwen actually has a whole mysterious doctrine around The Importance of the Beard. When I asked him to enlighten me, to bestow upon me his Beard Manifesto he coyly decilned. "That's none of your business," he smirked. However he did confess that he has a superstition about the beard and our luck in labor. He believes that were he to shave the beard - or even to trim it - that Roan or I may have to suffer some inscrutable nefarious consequence as a result. "You've got to let nature take its course, and this," he motioned to his beard, "is nature taking its course.

And who can argue with that logic.

So the other thing I thought you might get a kick out of is hearing how he had all the dads cracking up tonight at our birthing class. Tonight was our unit on breastfeeding. Our instructor is big on getting the dads involved, so she started us out by having each dad blow up a balloon to the same size as their wife's breast. Talk about feeling put on the spot. You could see them all glancing nervously around the room at each other thinking, "Why not just ask me to tell her her ass looks big?"

So then she instructed each dad to wedge the breast balloon under his armpit and attempt to put the toy babies we had brought up to the "breast" to simulate nursing. The idea was to learn from how the dads positioned the babies' bodies relative to their own and relative to the nipple. Neither we nor our classmates had brought actual toy babies. The best we could all come up with was stuffed animals. So there was a wide assortment of teddy bears, silly stuffed monkeys and the like. We had brought a soft gray elephant named Snooty, which was a gift we received at our shower from Uncle Jay.

Arwen could not be content to simply position his "baby" at the "breast." Perhaps he was overcome by the absurdity of a roomful of grown men holding stuffed animals and wearing balloon boobies. Or perhaps it was the realistic way Snooty's lips are parted to perfectly mimic a nursing baby. But I looked over at Arwen and did a double take. He had the toy elephant positioned realistically but he used one hand behind Snooty's ears to subtly move the head back and forth in a rhytmic motion. The effect was to make it appear as though this plush furry pachyderm was enthusiastically suckling at his breast. I mean, it was a little spooky. The darn thing looked like it was alive! He had all the dads cracking up. I guess if breastfeeding were up to Arwen, we'd have it in the bag. Maybe he can give me a few pointers when the time comes.


Anonymous said...

beautiful beard! beautiful tummy! beautiful blankies and booties! the fun's about to begin!

love, monica

Anonymous said...

Love the beard sprouting!!! (Arwen is a continual source of surprises isn't he). Love all the needlework-it will all be even more darling on our precious little girl. Love you all--Happy Valentines Day.

Love, Grandma Carolyn

stu said...

I think he needs some beard tips... It looks a bit patchy and thinned out...

he could also use some just for men stuff to take the grey out...

-Stu. Certified Beard-xprt. Fully Licensed Beard Criticiser by the Beards are not just for men Institute of Turkey.

Anonymous said...

Heather, this is the best story you've told on your blog. I mean, I like looking at pictures of your art and craft stuff but Arwen is a whole new category of entertaining. I vote for more Arwen stories in the future.


Anonymous said...

Stu! You are one to talk. You have crazy beard if I have never seen before (at least on the trail). And it is mostly grey!! Also, my beard is not patchy in any is fluffy, full and beautiful. Man I love my beard.

stu said...

grey! grey! it was blonde! pure unadulterated blonde, fabio was jelous!!