Saturday, November 30, 2013

1 Month Into Fatherhood...

Our baby boy was born on October 23rd.  7 lbs, 4 oz.  Labor started at 1pm, and the Atomic Wife gave birth at 7:06am the next morning.

"YOU'RE NOT ALONE" - From what I hear, all new parents share common experiences.  Despite what you may think, you're not the only person to ever be a parent.  Here are my takes on some of my experiences so far:

1. "SHHHHHHHHHH" - For some reason, having a newborn automatically causes your brain to assume that the "Shhhhhhhhhhhhh" sound we make with our mouths is a "magic" sound that will keep your baby from crying.  In direct defiance to the "say it don't spray it" mantra, I both "say it" and "spray it."  In my head, the "Shhhhhhhhhh" sound is the only thing that gets both the baby and I some rest.  Does it work?  I liken it to when I'm talking to someone who doesn't speak English.  When I find myself in that situation, I notice that I subconsciously talk LOUDER and slooooower in English to them… because if I talk LOUDER and enunciate each syllable, they'll understand me better… right?  I think it works.  The person on the other end probably thinks I'm crazy.  For those of you who are reading this that can't speak English, "I'M TAL-KING A-BOUT CALM-ING A BA-BY TO KEEP THEM F-ROM CRY-ING.  CRY-ING.  BA-BY".  (Now, I'm making rocking gestures with my arms and nodding my head to see if they understand what I'm saying.)

2. DIAPERS - The term "blowout" has become common diction in our household.  "It's a blow-out!"  Before October 23rd, I've never called poop "mustardy" or "seedy".  If you're going to be a parent, get used to these terms.  I also learned that some diapers have a yellow stripe on the front.  When the baby pees, the stripe turns from yellow to blue.  This is invaluable.  Spend the extra money on these.  You'll thank me later.
Yep, that's poop.  The color gets lighter as the days go on.

3. BREAST PUMPS - Valuable.  Invaluable!  (Invaluable means valuable?  What a country!)  You place the clear plastic cones over your nipples (well, not MY nipples…) and turn the machine on.  

The machine starts making noises like someone congested is hocking a loogie.  You know, REEEEEEALLY "snorting one back" to hock a good one.  It makes this sound over and over and over.  The machine sucks the breast milk out of your nipples, through the thing that looks like an air horn, and into the bottle.  The breast pump works great.  

The only opinion I have is how the folks at Medela (the manufacturer) managed to design each washable piece with the most folds and crevices possible, which makes the pieces difficult to wash and dry.  
Rough surfaces = Difficult to wash/dry
Plus, Medela only includes (1) set of "nipple suckers" with the pump meaning that if you don't run out to Buy Buy Baby to buy more, you're doing dishes every time you pump.  The breast pump is good.  Medela, if you're reading this, eliminate the crevices and include a few more accessories.  Just my opinion.  Speaking of opinions

4. UNSOLICITED ADVICE - Once the baby arrives, everyone feels the need to give you their opinions and advice, and follows it up with a comparison of their kid(s) to yours.  Most conversations begin with someone asking me, "How old is he?  Well, when (insert their kid's name here) was that age, he/she was alreeeeady (insert a verb ending in "-ing") because I (insert something they did that earned them that 'World's Greatest Mom/Dad' coffee mug)".  It's like playing Mad Libs.

On a serious note, I WILL give all of you one piece of unsolicited advice.  When there's a new baby in the room, DON'T turn to another young couple in the room and say "You're next!" because 
1.) They may not want kids and are tired of people saying that to them.
2.) They can't have kids, and they get stabbed in the heart every time someone tells them "you're next!"
3.) They were pregnant, something happened, and they're no longer pregnant… and you just became the jerk that reminded them of that.  
Keep the "you're next's" to yourself, jerk.  And while you're at it, go bail your kid out of jail.  Yes, the one you earned that "World's Greatest Mom/Dad" mug raising.  And thanks for the advice.

5. SLEEP - Right after someone tells you how they raised their baby "the right way", they ask you, "SO, are you getting any sleep?"  Look at my face.  Look at my eyes.  Look at the 2 different shoes on my feet and the formula stains on my shirt.  I just stare back at them and say "Shhhhhhhhhhhhh.  It's a blowout.  Time to pump.  Thanks for the advice.  Jerk."