Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Suffer the Children. Suffer.

After staying home with the baby for a couple months, I’ve learned a few things. None of this will be news to you parenting vets, but perhaps those of you who haven’t had kids yet can benefit from my experience.

Babies are to lazy social isolates what human shields are to bank robbers. There is nothing a baby can’t get you out of. Social functions, yard work, even church – praise Jeebus, babies can even get you out of church. You still have to go, but at the first peep from the baby you get to jump up and take the baby out of the sanctuary, leaving the suckers to suffer through the Nicene Creed and another sermon on chastity.

Take a baby into the grocery store and you’ll get all sorts of approving looks from women and even some men. Pick up a six pack of beer and the approving looks stop. Pick up a case of cheap domestic macrobrew and feel the cold judgment of a hundred shoppers. Even the cashiers treat you like a leper.

Aside from your wife and maybe the grandparents, nobody thinks it’s cute when your baby takes a huge dump. Nobody.

Just because you’re exhausted by the end of the day doesn’t mean you actually burned any calories. Like a bear preparing for hibernation, your body somehow captures and conserves every fat and sugar globule you eat. And “eat” is a very generous way of describing what you do to food while taking care of a baby. It’s more like what happens in the pie-eating contest in Stand By Me. You get as much food in your mouth as you can and just hope it ends up in the right place.

Photos and videos seem like a great idea, but they can be used against you in the court of motherly and grandmotherly disapproval. You take a picture of the kid being cute in her bouncer, and all grandma sees is that you failed to attach one of the 17 restraining latches. Videotape the baby rolling over for the first time, and all momma sees is that the baby is only six more rolls from leaving the mat and – gasp – touching the floor!

That's it for now. I'll report back as events warrant.

8 comments:

S.W. Anderson said...

Yeah man, I know what you mean.

Here's a recollection from another vet.

Baby has an amazingly good, happy day. Happy all morning, happy to play, happy to take a nap. Happiness continues into the afternoon, when you load him/her into the car to do some shopping. Still happy on the way to the store, in the parking lot, going into the store.

But soon enough, once in the store and shopping, UNhappiness takes over. Suddenly, everything's sad, bad and very unhappy. Waaaaaaahawhaa!!!!

And then, you're unhappy and fellow shoppers within, oh, 30 yards are unhappy too.

So, you finish shopping doubletime and make for the car. Baby's still sad and mad — Waaaaaaahawha!!!! Makes heavy-traffic driving especially nerve-wracking.

You get Baby home, tend to diaper, offer bottle, unload goods and start putting them away. You notice Baby's sleeping. Looks so peaceful, even happy.

Mama walks in, looks at Baby sleeping, asks how the day has been going. If you tell her about Baby's unhappy spell, all the hollering and loud crying, and how other shoppers looked at the two of you, Mama asks the question:

"Well, what did you do to him/her?"

Gets to you every time.

Mike said...

Bu-bu-bu-but??? Disapproving looks when you buy beer?

How do they expect you to calm your frayed nerves?

Thrillhous said...

Man, SWA, you said it. The crying in the store thing followed by sleep has happened to me several times.

I already have a policy of don't ask, don't tell when it comes to crying spells. It may not work for the military, but it works great for me.

Mike, I think there's a number of ways people deal w/ the stress. Affairs, shoplifting, prank calls to the senior home. I've tried them all, and beering it up is just easier.

Smitty said...

The disapproving mother looks only get worse as your kid gets older. Mine is 2. He performs death-defying acts of acrobatics and climbing structures otherwise unclimbable. He does so at great joy to his father, who consider climbing up things "fun." Mother, however, views the same activitries as "dangerous."

Many an evening, my wife has come home and said: "Helllo! How's my cute little boy. Come see momm...HOW DID HE GET THAT SCRATCH ON HIS NOSE??????"

Tom Hilton said...

Pick up a six pack of beer and the approving looks stop....Photos and videos seem like a great idea, but they can be used against you in the court of motherly and grandmotherly disapproval.

We took a picture of my son in a Santa hat holding a Rolling Rock when he was 6 months old. Definite lack of approving looks, plenty of grandparently disapproval....

Studiodave said...

Where is IRod? IRod has cornered the market on breastfeeding jokes.

And when I say joke, they are more phrases which are not so much funny, but awkward to the point of pain.

Please note - it is when IRod is the least funny that his true comic genious shines. He is our Andy Kauffman.

(Note this weekend's argument for nationalize healthcare where he simply thrust his hips in a dirty old man way. Again, genious)

Otto Man said...

Note this weekend's argument for nationalize healthcare where he simply thrust his hips in a dirty old man way.

Man, that was awkward. So much shame.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

"I don't care. I have nationalized health insurance."