“Be sure to enjoy it while you can!”
“It goes by so fast; enjoy it!”
These are the admonitions my wife and I receive whenever we tell someone new of our recent delivery (alas; still no DiGiorno…). Recent…well, I reckon today it’s a month! How about that? On one hand I find myself wondering where the time went and on the other I dreadfully realize: it’s only been a month.
As you could see in previous posts, the first week or so at home was pretty rough. Up until the grandparents relieved us for an afternoon and early evening I thought Jenn and I were both going to eventually lose our minds.
And if you follow me on Facebook, you’ve seen me post stuff about home life with a baby that isn’t necessarily up to socially acceptable code. It seems as though there’s a prescription for doting on one’s child and posting pictures with captions that are all about how cuuuuuute and looooooving their little humans are, and just how precious and sweet one’s offspring is.
He also seems to have this internal timer that goes off any time Jenny and I, or just I, sit down to eat together (or by myself), after a bout of crying, diaper changing, and feeding, to start crying again before the first bite can be taken. WITHOUT FAIL, PEOPLE.
And then a couple nights ago…he’s fussy. The indicator stripe on the Pampers diaper is blue. Time to change.
Stormy’s actually not too fussy once he’s on the table. I’m like, cool.
Undo the diaper; start to wipe down the peethenBAM!! What would normally be a benign fart was actually a piñata of poop that burst forth its fecal candy on the table, on the paper towel roll, on the diaper genie and accompanying trash can, and my freakin’ hand.
Jenn, of course, had just sat down to eat her soup and was yukkin’ it up at my turn of fortune.
Now, for the sake of full disclosure, though the explosion had spread, it was fortunately enough light on intensity. So there were little dots of green, but that was it; no chunks or lumps or anything like that. Just little specks of Stormy poop that needed wiping.
Before I can finish cleaning – one-handed, mind you, as I have his legs up to keep him from getting anything on him – this little play-doh pusher starts a right good movement of the bowels.
“OMYGOD!” I say, giving Jenn the play-by-play, who is choking on her soup for all the laughter she’s indulging in.
Thankfully there was a paper towel beneath him to mitigate the staining of the changing mat.
So, I start to clean that when suddenly Stormy fancies himself a bit of a wiz’, and has his infantile junk positioned in such a way as to bypass the paper towel pee guard and get that out on the table, too.
Jenn’s ROFL’ing by now as I’m clambering about, trying to keep this natural disaster and potential biohazard contained.
By the time I’ve replaced the paper towel beneath him and start to dry off the droplets of his biological sprinkler system he’s begun his second movement of green, oozy, babyshit.
All I can do is stop and watch.
Stormy isn’t fussy at all; it’s like we’re both just resigned to the fact that some serious shit is going down and there’s nothing we can do about it in the moment.
He finishes; I clean; he pees AGAIN. Every time it catches me by surprise and I celebrate with a punctuated colorful metaphor and Jenn follows up with breathless laughter.
Our Nightstorm lies there and I don’t even get to the paper towels when suddenly a clean, vertical shoot of clear liquid (our boy is hydrated) springs up, perfectly perpendicular to the earth, and he’s engaged in his third movement (Beethoven wishes his movements were so moving, affecting the very bowels of a newborn) of green goo and all I can do is shout profane-sounding gibberish in shock and awe at the amazing feat my son has just pulled off.
Jenn finally catches her breath and asks if I need anything.
A third hand, I say.
I’m fresh out of third hands, babe, I say.
Oh, heehee, she says and asks how she can help.
I take Stormy over to the sink to wash him off and she goes to swab the Poop Deck.
After four shits and three pees, Stormy’s finally in his new diaper and suckin’ on a fresh bottle before burping and going down for the count (of about 20 minutes before starting it all over again).
And he was one Fussy McFusserstein once Jenn went to bed. The moment I’d start to nod off, thinking he was sleeping, he’d start that malcontent engine revving with little nasal whimpers, cresendoing into his crying forte.
So on Facebook and in this here blog I try to keep it real.
Sometimes I think the people who say, “Enjoy it” are either sadists getting off on some sick schadenfreude knowing Jenn and I are getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night or masochists who genuinely enjoyed the incessant crying, fussing, etc. and are trying to spread the love.
And then I go and listen to Episode 99 of the RobCast and hear the heartbreaking story of a mother whose 9-yr old girl finally died after being born without a brain.
I read a Facebook post or two of friends who lost children in the womb, or shortly after birth, having experienced the thrill of hearing the heartbeat and seeing the life movements of their unborn children only to hear the sickening silence a week or so later and see the fuzzy outline motionless on the computer screen; or to have their tiny child pass to the next world, still in the hospital under the care of those who try their hardest to preserve life.
I remember that Jenn and I are still in the SIDS window and that no moment is promised to any of us, and sure, I’ve made it in this world these almost 36 years and Jenn’s almost made it to 27, but Stormy…I’ve seen the young of birds eaten by snakes on National Geographic…why should Stormy make it past one month? What unseen forces of nature may be conspiring to take him; not out of any inherent malice, but just because that’s the cold, fucking, hard reality of the world?
I think of stuff like that.
I sure as heck don’t enjoy the crying and sleep deficiency, but I’m ever so grateful Jenn and I have a healthy kid that can cry and keep us awake.