Your child’s due in a 8 short months. You’re already feeling overwhelmed with your first real test at parenthood; how do we decorate baby’s room? You start off with the necessities like the changing table, crib and rocker. You then move on to the more critical items like color scheme, room theme and wall decor. You spend hours upon hours, which then turn into days and then turns into weeks, making the touch decisions, assembling all of the furniture and hanging up all the shit your newborn will not care about and will not remember.
It’s go time! You’re bringing your baby home and then you come to the realization that it’s all wrong. You can’t have your newborn sleeping in her own room. You end up removing your crib/bassinet from her room and into yours. You go out and buy those furniture movers so you can put the rocker next to the crib, which is now in your room. The only time baby spends any time in “her” room is when you need to wipe her dirty ass down or change her clothes. Other than that, she doesn’t even sniff her room. Then you come to the realization that setting up the baby’s room was for you and not her.
Don’t ever leave the hospital. Don’t ever think, for a second, you’re ready to go home. You’re not. The hospital feeds you, cleans up after you, watches your baby when you need 30 minutes of sleep and they know how to swaddle.
As we left the hospital with 2 middle fingers high above our heads, we could not have been happier. Thank you nurses and doctors for all that you’ve done, but we’ve got it from here. There’s not much more we can learn from you all. We’ve been parents for at least 2 days already, so if you would kindly go fuck yourself, we’re pretty much experts.
You never know what you don’t know until you realize that you don’t know. 15 minutes after walking through the door, she starts screaming. 5 minutes later, we’ve given up on swaddling and have resorted to carrying her. Good luck trying to get anything done. It’s probably a good idea to have one of those newborn carriers. At least you won’t lose your arms. As is a recurring theme; learn how to swaddle.
If you don’t like the sweet serenade of a screaming baby at 2 AM, you’re probably going to want to learn how to swaddle and swaddle well. Your baby is extremely irrational. They like to be swaddled, but will fight you and make your life difficult. Not only will she fight you while you’re swaddling her, but she’ll fight to get out of the swaddle once she’s in. Why? I don’t know fucking know. You’d think that if I needed to get tucked in at night, I wouldn’t swing at you while you’re tucking me in and then untuck myself once you’re done. She’ll do it though. She’ll flail her arms, scream at you and make sure you know how shitty of a parent you are at that very moment. Learn how to swaddle, but don’t limit yourself to the American swaddle. Learn how to roll a burrito. Learn how to roll spring rolls. Diversify your bank of knowledge and experience. Do everything you can to be a master of swaddles. Do it…or suffer the consequences.
For 34 years, I have prided myself on the fact that I’ve never changed a diaper. The closest I’ve come to changing a diaper is wiping my own ass. Now, I’m responsible for making sure somebody else’s butt crack’s clean? I mean, you have to get way up in there and keep going at it until it’s spotless. It sounds like a nightmare for you and the other party involved, but it turns out that it’s not. Sure, the first 100 times are going to be a struggle, but you’ll get used to it. You’ll become more efficient and your baby might even start to enjoy it. 10 weeks in, diaper changes have become a way to bond with my kid. She starts wining because she’s sitting in a pile of her own shit, so I take her to the table and she immediately calms down. She even gives you a little smile, because she knows what’s about to go down. Not only are you providing a sense of relief to the discomfort she was feeling, you get to pretend like you’re Picasso with one of those butt brushes. Of course, your baby will fuck with you. She’ll wait until you’re just about to wrap up and then release whatever was in her bladder. Always be ready for it. Always.
People talk a lot of shit about making sure your carseats are installed correctly. They even recommend you go to the local fire station to make sure you’re good to go. I ignored all the haters and did my own thing. I watched youtube vidoes on how to install the base and did it on my own. Make sure the bubbles are within the lines? Check. Make sure the base doesn’t move more than an inch in any direction? Check. Make sure the car seat fits? Get out of my face; check. They don’t, however, warn you to check the straps to make sure your baby can fit in the car seat. Unless your baby’s made out of toothpicks, the little thing isn’t going to fit in your car seat unless you loosen the straps. You’re not going to loosen the straps unless you know how to loosen the straps and there are surprisingly very few videos about the nuna pipa lite and how to loosen the straps and when I say very few, I mean zero. Trust me, I stood outside my car with a hungry baby and hungry wife for 20 minutes trying to LOOSEN THE FUCKING STRAPS! Get your car seat base installed, make sure your car seat clips into the base and make sure you learn how to loosen the straps. Unless, of course, you’re the kind of person who likes high pressure situations, don’t do any research and trust in your abilities to problem solve while two angry and irrational people wait for results.
Shit is the most disgusting substance on this planet. It comes from you body, smells terrible and smears all over everything. Nobody enjoys any aspect of poo, except if it’s contained in a well placed joke. Actually, it’s pretty funny to watch somebody smash a flaming brown bag of feces with their foot. I guess I should be more clear. Nobody likes cleaning poo. It smells the way it looks and there’s a high probability that it’s going to make contact with your skin. I can’t even wash my own butt crack without wincing at the fact that I could be touching my own shit with the very hand I’m using to clean myself. It’s a never ending cycle and here I am, six hours into fatherhood and I’m cleaning shit off my kid.
My first experience changing a diaper and it was disastrous. Not only was it all tarry, but she showed her displeasure with my performance by throwing a few more obstacles my way. As if a diaper full of baby poo wasn’t enough, she put her shitting skills on display. Of course, she would wait until I made her butt cheeks spotless before she put on the show. Yes, it was a show. I had always thought that babies were weak, but she put that myth to bed. They might be doughy, but whatever muscles that power their intestines is rivals that of any Space X rocket. I didn’t know poo could fly that far. I must admit, I was impressed. It was hard to be mad at her. The first thought that ran through my head was, “That’s my girl!” Of course, that quickly faded as I realized my hand turned black. If you’ve never changed a diaper, I suggest you throw on some gloves. It’ll save you a hand wash or two.
They laugh and tell you to catch up on your sleep now. They tell you how hard it is. They tell you how much fun it’ll be. They can give you all the advice in the world, but nothing will prepare you for what’s about to slide out of your significant other. 11 weeks ago, I became a father. It was one of the weirdest experiences of my life. Not the whole birth of your child thing; being called a dad. For 34 years, I’ve obliterated my body with beer, whiskey and fast food. Now, I’m expected to be the responsible one between me and this person I made. They make you get a license to drive but anybody can be a dad. God have mercy on my daughter.