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July 11, 2010

The Printer Whisperer

I suppose it is only natural that new parents try to figure out character and personality traits in their children while they’re still in the womb.  Especially after the fourth or fifth month, when the baby has a visible presence and is already necessitating changes in both parents’ lifestyles, it’s hard not to try to imagine who in the world this little person is.

I am of the mind that you have always been exactly who you are.  Some experiences will change us some, of course, but I believe for the most part we each have an innately true self, and life is a journey of uncovering that, piece by piece.  With this in mind, once the baby started moving, I was looking forward to sneaking a peek at what makes our little Peanut unique.

Seven months along, though, the evidence isn’t as strong as I had hoped.  Everything the baby’s been doing is pretty much by the book.  On track and healthy, yes, but any insight as to personality is sadly lacking.

Basically what we know is twofold.

Observation number one: Our child does not, will not kick on command. When I feel it kicking, I tell John to put his hand on my belly so that he can feel it, too.  But the child seems to know that we’re waiting for it, and refuses to move again while we wait.  I have spent an inordinate amount of time (perhaps all mothers have?) watching my belly in anticipation of a foot swishing across it.  I try to be quiet now, and just let it happen, but I can never see the next movement coming, can’t seem to find any pattern at all, other than the child’s own whim.

Observation number two: It will, however, kick and wiggle more when my mom talks to it.  Hmm . . .

Conclusion: Our child has a shy, somewhat stubborn personality (which I suppose that should be expected of any child of mine) and it loves its grandma (which is something else we shouldn’t be surprised about).  Needless to say, this is not as profound a revelation as I’d hoped to have at this point.

On the other hand, there is one thing that is definitely unique about our child.

I don’t believe in magic, but in this situation, something strange seems to be at play. The network printer near my cubicle at work sometimes performs a cute little jamming routine, in which it will persistently fold single sheets of paper into accordions with smudges of ink in a single column down the left side of each page.  A message on the display gives directions on how to clear the jam (Open Door A, etc.), which a conscientious employee will do, only to have to repeat the whole process three or four times before reason gets the better of her and she gives up.

A few weeks back Emily, one of my favorite ladies in the office, did just that, and eventually went back to her desk, dejected and frustrated.  A minute later I got up to attempt to clear the jam, as I had a print job following Emily’s and didn’t realize she was unable to really fix the printer—through no fault of her own, of course.  The printer obediently finished her document and then mine.  When I called Emily over to tell her the job was completed, she was flabbergasted.

“It’s my baby,” I joked. “It’s a magic baby that has a way with printers.”  Ha ha, right?

Except that last week, it happened again.  Emily was struggling with another bout of the printer’s defiance.

“Come bring your magic baby over here, would you?” she asked.  The printer had repeated its jamming cycle at least twice at this point.

I walked over to the printer, stood in front of it, and what do you know?  The last seventy-five pages of Emily’s document printed without another problem.  This time, I was a little bit flabbergasted.

As much as we joked about the baby being a bodybuilder after those first ultrasound photos, and as much as I’ve recently thought about it wanting to participate in the World Cup, like right now, it seems there’s really only one thing for sure about our baby at this point: it’s like the horse whisperer, except for office equipment.

Well, nothing wrong with a future in IT, right?

  1. Mom says:

    Funny, funny, funny!

  2. Siena says:

    Ha! This is great! I sometimes have problems with my wireless printer in my apartment…I’m thinking, next time, I should just call and have you and the Peanut come over 🙂

  3. […] between preparing dinner for John and me and getting Jacob into bed.  I thought the little man had a way with printers in utero, and now he seems to have an unnatural ability to get hungry right as the buzzer on the oven goes […]

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