Friday, December 3, 2010

Oh Man! My Baby is Going to Grow Up!

Being a daddy is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I absolutely love it, but that doesn’t mean that there are times when it doesn’t get a little nerve wracking.  A lot of you know what I am talking about.  For those of you who do not.  Picture yourself napping on the couch with a beautiful little baby boy, and then you are suddenly awoken by something wet.  Then picture the wet stuff as brown and all over the place.  I mean it is in the couch cushions.  It’s all over you.  It’s even in your hair.   Then you look at your darling baby, and there isn’t any on him or even in his diaper.  What the hell happened? 

I’ll tell you what happened.  You put the freakin’ diaper on wrong and it twisted around so he could poop out the leg hole.  This has happened to me on multiple occasions.  The first time that it happened I thought that there was some magical occurrence happening.  I guess it wasn’t magical after all, but man does it stink.  When a diaper twists around, I can never figure out how he manages to shoot a turd out his leg hole without browning his drawers at all. 

Anyway, now back to the waking up to wet stuff.  So, as you are realizing all this while you are in the process of waking, imagine that you can hear a maniacal giggling coming from somewhere in the house.  Here’s a hint.  It is not coming from your baby.  It is your lovely wife running to grab a camera before you can clean yourself up.  Yeah I know.  She is really evil.  If you are a parent chances are you are saying to yourself, “That’s nothing!”  I know it isn’t that traumatic of an experience, and, yes, it is actually fairly common place in our house too.  I can’t tell you how many times the little man has pooped right out the side or up through the top of his diapers.  It is a little unnerving until you figure out just what the hell is all over you.  But, hey poop happens.

There are also those frustrating times when you and your spouse chat about what will be acceptable or unacceptable for your child’s future.  That is sure to bring out an argument in my household.   For instance, I don’t see anything wrong with allowing my son to play sports, but my wife is dead set against it.  We don’t even know if he’ll want to play sports yet and we are already arguing about it.  I guess it is good that we are trying to work out this issue before it is a problem because then we will be able to provide a united front.  But aren’t we jumping the gun a bit? Then there’s the biggest problem that I personally have and find the most unsettling.  That is the fact that sometimes I can’t tell what my son wants when he cries.  

Most of the time I can figure out why he is crying myself, but there are occasions when I just can’t do it.    Luckily, those occasions don’t occur very often, but when they do I get a little frazzled.  I don’t know how many times I have said this to other parents and I get a typical  response of, “Welcome to the club,” or “Now you know what it is like to be a mom” or some such nonsense.  Har har har,  that’s funny because I’m a man.  Yeah I get it.  You sure got me there.  Thanks for that, but I don’t find it really all that useful.  What would be useful is some sort of device that deciphers what a baby wants, and I don’t mean having some knucklehead come over to tell me what he or she thinks my baby wants.  That has proven to never be helpful.  When I succumb to the knuckleheads, most of the time my little monster either cries harder or stays crying at the same level.  What good does that do?  Yes, invariably he eventually stops crying after a half hour or so, but that has nothing to do with whatever anyone is doing for him.  I think he just gives up, and probably thinks to himself, “This guy is an idiot.  This is all I wanted.”  Whatever, this is.  I know that I am not the only one who has a problem like this every once in a while.  As parents we all want to give our children what they want and need, but what are we supposed to do when our kids can’t tell us what they want?   Play it by ear I guess.

I am practically willing to try anything to make my little man happy when he is crying.  Most often he is either tired or hungry, but there are times when he definitely needs something else.  So, I start my pre-flight check list.  First I check what’s going on in diaper town.  If diaper town is all in order then I check his hunger situation.  If he won’t eat after a while that probably means he isn’t hungry, no brainer, so I move one to see if my little Mr. Sweety is really a Mr. Sleepy pants.  Usually it is this. So I lay down with him until he either falls asleep or he doesn’t.  If I find out that he isn’t tired then we start improvising.  I grab a book and we read for a little while or we walk around and bounce for a bit or any number of things.  Like I said, I am willing to try just about anything to make him happy.  So if that means dancing with him to Bollywood music so be it.  Yes, I’ve done that before too.  It really isn’t all that bad.

Sometimes the little man just needs some vigorous play time.  Dancing with him is a perfect remedy for that.  I say remedy, but I don’t really mean remedy.  I mean that dancing is a sufficiently energetic routine that we do.  He really enjoys it.  I really enjoy it, and I get a lot of exercise while we dance.  That and dancing with the little tyke is a little like an upper body workout too because the little man here is getting heavier every day.  Therefore, I can justify it as a manly workout.  I mean holy cow is that boy growing!  I just realized that nine months ago he came home at around 7 pounds.  It is hard to believe how much he has grown since then.  He weighs about twenty pounds now.  Man time flies.  Now I know why my back is starting to ache after we rough house.  Just think, pretty soon he will be arranging the furniture to make room for a foosball table or something. 

Thinking about the little man growing up makes me kind of sad.  I am just not ready for that yet.  Yeah I know, I don’t have a choice.  But does it have to happen so quickly?  Soon I will either be walking him to or dropping him off at school and then he will be off to college and so on and so on.  I am not ashamed to say that this makes me nervous and sad.  I even start to feel like I am hyperventilating a little sometimes.  I think to myself, “What if he doesn’t make any friends or what if he has a hard time?  What am I going to do when he gets into trouble?”  Yada yada yada.  Of course the obvious answer to all this is to do what my parents did and probably what your parents did.  Deal with it when it happens.  There is no sense in worrying about it now, so until then, enjoy yourself and the time that you have with him while he is small.

With that in mind it makes it easier to live with the constant pooping and peeing all over the house.  Hell, that never really bothered me anyway.  I guess I don’t even mind it so much when I wake up from a sound sleep with baby poo all over me.  So go ahead little man, poop my couch another time or one hundred times.  Soon you won’t be doing that anymore and I am dreading that day a little.  I am not dreading the day that you’ll be able to tell me what you want or need while you are crying, but it does make me sad to think that that means you are getting bigger and older and won’t need your mommy and daddy as much anymore.  Well, if we are doing our jobs right, you won’t anyway.  That will be comforting I guess, to know that I haven’t completely screwed up your life.  I’ll just have to wait and see, and hope that you turn out alright despite having screwy parents.  However, no matter how independent you are, your ma and da will always want to help you.  I promise you we will only ridicule you a little bit when you need us too.

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