Yesterday marked the fifth week in the life of my son. Holy shiitake I’m tired. For all of my friends and family who warned me that having a baby would be “the end of your life as you know it” I apologize. I shouldn’t have ignored you. You were dead on. My only question is, “Why the frak didn’t you tell me how it was all going to go down?” Is this some kind of hazing ritual? Like because no one told you and you had to do it that you shouldn’t tell anyone else so they can suffer? Is that what it is? Man, I hate you for not coming clean. Well, I’m not joining your little secret society. I’m letting the world know what they should expect.
That’s right newbies. Beyond the happy moments: the smiles, toots, giggles, and outright cuteness, there are moments that will keep you up at night and test your sanity. Keep reading…
Crying. I’ve mentioned crying in another post, and I’m bringing it up again for obvious reasons. Crying continues to be the only means of communication between my son and my wife and I. When he cries we turn into Holmes and Watson as we attempt to solve the Mystery of the Needy Baby.
WIFE: No, just fed him.
WIFE: No, he slept all day.
WIFE: Nope, just changed it.
ME: Cold, hot, bored, lonely?
WIFE: No, no, no, no.
That’s pretty much how it goes every day and every night; a guessing game we’ve yet to win. On occasion he’ll respond to holding him under the armpits and bouncing him in the air. It’s a workout and eventually my arms get tired (hopefully after he falls asleep). The suckage doesn’t stop there as my wife just shared with me that infants cry more during their second month than at any other time. FML!
Eating. This one has been more of a chore for my wife than for me (as I have only just started bottle-feeding to supplement the breastfeeding). I don’t know about other babies, but ours eats every 2.5 hours. The little guy just won’t put down the bottle (no, he doesn’t get that from me). Every 2.5 hours the alarm sounds and my wife heads for the bed, recliner, or chair to get prepped. She puts on her favorite internet soap opera and I wake my son from his slumber (or just get him if he’s crying). Forty-five minutes later it’s burping time. My wife uses lanolin and resets her alarm, and I work the air out.
Diapers. About once a week my wife sends me a text that reads, “Pick up diapers.” Sweet mutha! We’re burning through diapers faster than they can be stacked in a landfill. Pee. Poop. Pee and poop. Quick aside: There have been times when he poops as he’s eating. What a life. So the diaper thing. I can only liken it to a NASCAR pit stop. Air guns blow in the background while I work to get him back on the track: unbutton onesy, remove diaper, wipe bum, lather bum with Butt Paste, new diaper, button onesy…TIME! That seems pretty easy. Really? If you have a boy you’re liable to get pee in your eye, nose, mouth, hair, wall, floor, etc. And, if you’re really lucky your child will shoot poo like a geyser spreading his love all over his clean diaper, clean clothes, the changing table, and you. Yeah, awesome. The best part…you get to repeat this process about every 2 hours (or 12 diapers a day). FYI, a case of diapers has 96 diapers which is about 8 days +/- a day. $28 x 52 = ~$1,500. FYI2, if you stack the 52 cases of diapers on top of each other you could grab one from the top of the Empire State Building.
Sleep. I’m not talking about the baby here. This one is all about the parents. If you figure that my son eats every 2.5 hours, and poops every 2, then you’ve determined that time is an issue. Additionally, he doesn’t care if you’re sleeping. When he’s ready for changing, eating, or w/e he lets you know. And, you must attend to his needs or you will never sleep. The first two weeks I averaged 2 hours of sleep a night. The last three have fluctuated between 2 and 6. Keep in mind, when I say sleep I mean naps. There’s not a lot of continuous sleep going on. Every time my wife wakes up, I wake up. Every time I wake up, my wife wakes up. And every time he wakes up, we all wake up (dogs included). What this means for dads is, if you return to work you will suck at your job. You will be punchy and grumpy (so be very careful when talking or making decisions or doing just about anything). Moms, you will be drained. Not just because you aren’t sleeping ever, but because people will stop by to say ‘hello’ and you will be robbed of a possible powernap. To the both of you, actual sleep is something you will not get for a long time. If the opportunity presents itself, stop what you’re doing and lay down. If you don’t you will kick yourself later for doing whatever it is you thought was more important (like writing a blog post).
These are really the hardest parts. And though I whine and complain all the time there’s really no greater moment than when I hold my son (well, when I hold him and he’s not crying). I love having him and being a dad. I just wish he would learn a more efficient way of communicating (or at least a quieter one).
I can’t wait ’til my son goes camping or understands football (not soccer). Have a comment? Leave it below or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.