It’s been almost six months since Owen was born, and in that time, I’ve learned a lot about the world. Lucky for you, I have a blog, so I can happily share these life lessons with you. To keep things simple, I have decided to leave out the obvious lessons, like “You won’t need an alarm clock anymore” or “Golf is something you used to do, Rob” or “use a wipe, not your hand” or “moms lose baby weight; dads find it.” You know these things!
Lesson 1: The minutes are long, but the months and years are short
At every first birthday party, the parents stand up and say, “Wow, this year really flew by.” I’m sure that I will give that obligatory speech when my son hits one year. But what does it really mean for time to fly by? There are times when I look at my son and think, “Holy shit, he’s a little person. It seems like just yesterday that I was getting weekly email updates from babycenter.com describing his size as about that of a kernel of corn. So in some ways, yes, the time flies by. But sometimes I am equally shocked about how long certain moments feel. Like I bet you didn’t know that when a baby screams in your ear, you can sing the same verse of twinkle twinkle 14,221 times without the minute hand on the clock moving even once. Then after giving it all you got and check to see if the baby’s asleep, you look down and see this looking up at you:
I can sometimes hear him saying, “Nice try, dude.” When the year is done and it feels as if it flew by, don’t forget about how excruciating some of those individual moments were. There’s practically a life time in there. Take one of those long moments to reward yourself for a job well done. You (I) deserve it!
Lesson 2: Holding a baby is an amazing lower back workout
There is probably some medical reason why it’s bad to arch your back just so in order to support the full weight of a small human being on your chest But for now, I’m sticking with it. In fact, there are a number of ways that a small child can be used like a medicine ball or kettle bell. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which exercises lend themselves to the child as medicine ball approach, but here’s where I come out:
YES (Anne wants me to make it explicitly clear that she says this is clearly a no):
Lesson 3: If you’re going to use Habanero Tabasco Sauce, wash your hands before you put your contact lenses in your eyes.
This one has nothing to do with parenting, but it’s a valuable lesson nonetheless. You would also think that it’s the kind of lesson I’d only need to learn once. Not so! I once read that it takes 21 times to create a habit. So let’s just say that I’m well on my way to making washing my hands after Tobasco a lifelong habit. About 1/7th of the way there to be exact.
Lesson 4: Getting out of changing a diaper is an art.
Getting out of changing a diaper is a subtle skill, and I am lucky to be married to a beautiful, kind, caring, considerate, intelligent, gracious, tolerant woman who has mastered it.
Now don’t get me wrong, Anne changes a shitload of diapers. Literally. (Get it?) (Because the diapers are sometimes filled with shit) (You get it) (It was bad. I know). But, she still manages to be an expert at the diaper bomb, i.e., handing a fully loaded baby over to get out of changing the diaper, but couching it in terms of love, with some sweet saying like, “Ohhhh, do you want to do some daddy hugs??” which makes me feel so great! Well played, Anne. Well played.
[A brief note to my female readers: Please refrain from your inevitable comments about breast feeding, giving birth, the physical demands of pregnancy, blah blah blah. I get it. Anne does not deserve to be the butt of my jokes. Well, she can get her own blog, damnit. Because when she hands me our child in the name of love, but actually intended for me to have to touch shit with my bare hands, then I get to blog about that. Also, this never happened. Most of you know that, I'm sure. Anne is a saint. (But just to be conservative, I just purchased Annecomplains.com and AnneComplainsAboutRob.com. Suck it, Anne!!]
Lesson 5: When it comes to parenting, most people are completely insane.
The other day a friend posted an article on facebook about rear facing car seats. First of all, who cares what other people do? Second of all, I freaking read the article and all the comments. Third of all, the comments were the most amazing thing I’ve read in my life. Here’s a summary of the comments:
Person 1: A friend of mine recently switched the seat to front facing because her daughter was screaming so much that it caused her to get in 250 accidents. When we switched to forward facing, she never had an accident again and the kid went on to the Nobel Prize for Car Seat Safety. Do you think this is okay?
Person 2: @P1 - If your kid is less than 15 and is facing forward, you are a terrible person. I hope you rot in hell.
Person 1: @P2 – Oh really? Well you can’t argue with results and my friend’s Nobel Laureate daughter is so much safer now.
Person 2: @P1 – She might be safe now, but if you hit a pothole, her head will probably pop off. #RearCarSeats4Life #YouMurderousBitch
Person 1: @P2 – You probably realized it by now, but my friend is really me. I lied to you because I was embarrassed. Sorry I lied on the Internet.
Person 2: @P1 – I am calling child protective services. You’re a whore.
Person 1: @P2 – I hope your kid can sit forward facing in High School, assface.
Let’s put this in some perspective. When people argue about child rearing on the Internet, logic goes out the window. It’s completely acceptable to use the small sample size of 1 child as a valid defense to an argument. If someone says, “it’s bad to give an infant alcohol,” another person thinks it’s okay to respond with, “yeah, but we gave my son a little vodka in his bottle every day until he was 3 and he became a neurosurgeon.” Just because it worked for A kid, doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do. As Wayne Campbell once said upon receiving a gun rack for his birthday, “I don’t even own a gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack.”
Seriously, go read the comments. I am obsessed: http://csftl.org/rear-facing-car-seat-myths-busted/
Lesson 6: Blogging is Hard with a Kid. When in Doubt, Just Show Pictures.
I’m trying my best!