A couple of notes on fatherhood, two weeks in

27 Dec

Some notes on what’s being learned so far. Also, there are some things I ‘knew’ in the sense that people told me that they would happen, but that I didn’t know in the sense that it’s different when it’s your kid:

  • The breathing, or lack thereof. People told us that newborns can sometimes stop breathing while they sleep, even for up to 10 seconds. And, you know what? WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT??! What kind of insane evolutionary joke has the baby playing dead at, say, 4am, when I’m cross-eyed from lack of sleep and now poking vigorously at my baby’s foot to get some sort of response. There’s nothing quite so deadpan as looking back to my wife, who is now sitting up board-straight in bed, and giving her the thumbs-up: No problems, sweetie. He’s still breathing. Not dead yet!
  • The peeing. Changing the diaper of any newborn basically entails buying a lottery ticket, except here the winner doesn’t get projectile farted at, shat at, peed on, or poop all over your hands. A little bit of luck, indeed. But with a boy, you get the extra-super special bonus of having a rogue firehose pointed at you during the entire changing process. You with girls can laugh now, but we should talk again when your baby girl starts having her period.
  • The circumcision. I found the bris lovely, and the circumcision not at all harrowing (baby mama was just a bit more anxious than me). But the after-care is pretty harrowing indeed. Bacitracin, Aquaphor, and a little bit of hope. I’m expecting this to be temporary, but in this temporary moment, routine diaper changes are giving me stress dreams.
  • The sleep deprivation. Everyone talks about it, and I’m feeling it, but not exactly as much as I imagined. Or rather, about as much as I imagined. My wife, on the other hand, is doing what I’m doing, but also recovering from, you know, a gigantic head coming out of her vagina, as well nursing the baby about every 13 seconds around the clock. On the one hand, it’s kind of awesome in the classical sense, to see my MBA wife reduced to basic brain stem functioning. Her frontal lobe is chillaxing down in the Caribbean someplace; she’s basically living on 1-2 hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time, and only has brain power for watching Disney movies and Party Down. Which, interestingly, she’s loving.

I’m trying to be social, but only intermittently succeeding. You should try to initiate contact with me/us. I want to talk and write and communicate, even on baby mama’s behalf. You could even – gasp! – comment on a blog post or two to remind me to call you or something. Because we will be back in the world before you know it, and not in a ‘baby did this, baby did that, aren’t babies fascinating’ kind of way, either. Well, maybe a little. But not wholly.

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7 Responses to “A couple of notes on fatherhood, two weeks in”

  1. Davin December 27, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    I think it’s fair to label that last paragraph as “desperate cry for help”. (evil cackle)
    At least he’s an adorable little thing. You guys are going to be fine…

  2. Peter December 27, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    No, mis-interpretation of last paragraph! I have been calling and emailing my heart out, but I’ve not yet gotten back to, say, writing letters. And I’m just worried that people are thinking that we want them to back off. Not feeling desperately isolated (or even just isolated, really), at least not yet.

    Now that bris is over, we have no more high-stress events on the horizon. So if, for instance, an anonymous person were to make an offer of food, etc. again, we would have more flexibility.

  3. Davin December 27, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    Gotcha. Once the roads clear, I think there will be a lot of interest in follow-up visits from Queenz. The Jackie Robinson runs pretty much straight to our house, it seems.

  4. Ivy December 27, 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    Remind me to tell you about the time that our dearest little darling peed right into his grandmother’s mouth. Yes, among other things, don’t forget to keep your mouth shut while diapering. 😉

  5. Peter December 28, 2010 at 3:07 am #

    peed right into his grandmother’s mouth.

    That kind of behavior is obviously a reflection on his parents, and their hostility towards older people.

  6. livingoutsidethescreen December 28, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Anonymous people are in CA dragging a 1-year old to Disney on the most crowded day of the year ever. I’m sure you are sitting there thinking, well, that’s something I’ll never do, but I’m looking forward to reading about that hell on your blog next year.

  7. Peter December 29, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    Anonymous people are in CA dragging a 1-year old to Disney on the most crowded day of the year ever

    I’ve always suspected you two were insane, but this confirms it. The cell phone radiation has somehow gotten to your brain.

    Per desires to go and take Baby to Disney, that’ll be interesting. I have virtually none, and wife has latent desires to do so, though she’s been cagey on the subject so far.

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