The Way You Make Me Feel- Michael Jackson
A good friend of Ashleigh’s arrived in the NICU to visit Gracie for the second time. The first time was when Gracie was born and this time she was going to be in for a shock. We arrived early so we could change Gracie’s diaper. It never ceases to amaze me how much a diaper can hold. Shocked and awed would be an understatement to her immediate reaction. This was because she walked in on Gracie sucking on a paci like it was her last meal. There is just something rewarding about being able to hear your daughter suck on a paci while she is still in the incubator. It is a sign of development and progress, even if the entire NICU can hear her suck on her glorious paci.
Ashleigh’s friend brought in her husband’s Canon Rebel. Personally, I am a huge Nikon fan, but to each their own. The Canon had a high-powered zoom lens which was a little too much for the job. I later learned that her and her husband were out on a date night and he was sitting in the car playing with the Ipad. The Ipad was birthday present to her from her dad.
The husband offered to spend quality time with her on her birthday thinking that it would be a fantastic idea and present. I broke out into a hysterical laughter in the NICU. It was funny to me because there is an inside joke that Ashleigh’s friend married the male version of Ashleigh and Ashleigh married the male form of Ashleigh’s friend. The offer to spend more quality time on a birthday is what Ashleigh would give me as I would attempt to return the present. She shared with us how technology has played a role of infidelity within their relationship.
We joke constantly that the Ipad has become her boyfriend like her husband’s laptop is like his girlfriend in bed. One night her husband left his laptop at work and instantaneously became frustrated when he came home. Ashleigh’s friend immediately offered her laptop to him. He thanked her and went straight to bed without even touching it.
In my opinion, technology should never complicate human relationships. Ashleigh and I cherish technology, but we don’t attempt to personify it. However, I can completely relate on how technology can diminish the purpose of building human relationships. I am just as guilty as anyone, because I grew up and demanded this kind of technology. I usually am able to recognize the point of technology saturation, because I understand the importance of having a human connection with both friends and family. Technology is only a medium and not a replacement for human interaction. To me “lol” is just not the same as a real laugh or a smile when it shows itself from across the room, table or couch. An instant bellowing of laughter can’t be replaced with characters or a delayed freeze frame. Technology can’t capture the precise moment when an individual’s body language begins to unfold itself during an intense conversation. Having a conversation with your child from a hotel room from hundreds of miles away on webcam will never bring the same comfort as being there in that instant moment with her.
I already accepted that Gracie will be the type of daughter who will demand my complete and undivided attention, and I am willing to give it to her. She may never remember these moments, but she will always cherish the meaning behind them. Those are the small bonding moments which technology can never duplicate or replicate. ‘This will be something I have to share with Gracie at a later point through teachable moments.
The friend’s husband didn’t want to come in because he gets uncomfortable with babies, especially sick children. The friend recently had a baby as well and he was extremely cautious about coming around his own daughter. I can completely relate because I refused to enter her hospital room when she had her daughter; instead I paced patiently outside her room like a Swiss Guard. It didn’t help the situation either when I heard that she had some complications during her birth which almost killed her. Needless to say, I have never done well with hospitals, but all fears in life have to be confronted somehow and Gracie has done just that. New mothers and their babies no longer make me feel uncomfortable or wary.
Watching Ashleigh’s friend getting distracted with every alarm and baby in the room was like watching a hawk stare down its prey. She immediately was drawn to the meth baby who was breaking out into a hysterical cry. But, at the same time she had the innate desire to hold every baby in the NICU, possibly nursing and also regaining the desire to have another baby.
The friend was having issues using her Canon because of the technical issues. I had to find a way to manage to learn the ins and outs of the Canon UI system in under a minute.
Ash and her friend peered into the incubator and stared at Gracie’s foot which looked crooked. The friend immediately told her that all of her kids (3) came out bowlegged and the latest one had a mullet when she exited the womb.
Since we last met her family her son has become a male chauvinist. They do not encourage this kind of behavior, but it has become a part of who he is characterwise and it is impossible to alter. The daughter has outgrown the kissing daddy stage. So now the daddy is attempting to train his newborn to give daddy sugars. All of which can’t be influenced digitally.