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Adam Had'em (A Parenting Diary pt.1)

photo by Adam O. Thomas

By Adam Thomas

Wednesday April 8, 2009

1st Month
Dear Diary:

It’s all so different than how you think it’s going to be. But then, it’s also kind of eerily familiar. All the pieces you imagined are there. The crying, the prepping, the pooping, the crying. Gone are the old days, the old ways. But you had already counted on that.

You’d seen some of your friends do it. Factored it all in when you thought about what it was going to be like. But it’s more than anyone could much more…all the time…like ALL the time. There really is no way to actually know what it’s like to have another life depend on you completely until you have a kid. A pet is not the same. Cats and dogs will survive on their own, they’ll figure something out. They’ll eat you if necessary. And fish or whatever don’t count. No, a kid; a little human, is sooo ridiculously unprepared to be in this world, it’s heartbreaking.

For one, their stupid necks are so wobbly and weak you worry every time you move the kid, especially when you pick it up, which is a lot – there is a lot of picking up and putting down, that its head will just snap forward then back so quickly that the little hairy thing is going to pop right off.

You’ll have to scramble around the room after the baby’s rolling head, then try to snap it back on, it won’t fit, you twist, push, jab. Her mom’s gonna be pissed. You’ll have to go to the baby head store before she gets back from the bathroom, go get a new one that matches. Bring it home, it’ll be the wrong one, should have checked exactly the kind. Luckily your wife’s reading some magazine in there. You’ll have to go back out, exchange it, run home and put the head on, straighten the cute little hair, or mess it up just so, just as she flushes.

And the crying. Way worse. More frustrating and funny than you’d ever know. And it can be a bit overwhelming. But all you need to know is that really there are only five kinds of crying, so that helps. First, if a baby is crying it means they are hungry. Simple. Or next, they have just peed or pooed all over themselves and are sitting in wet, pooey drawers, which obviously sucks, otherwise why would we teach them to stop. Like if it was so awesome we would all still be walking around pissing and shitting in our pants and then going on dates and making babies with crap and piss all mixed up in our pants and panties. Third kind of crying is gas. Baby’s got gas and a not totally formed digestive tract yet. Smart. Be born, not yet ready to process the only food you eat. Nice skill set. Whatever ‘cause you’re sooo cute and helpless; and actually really cute. And honestly so amazingly precious and it’s wild when you see little traits of yourself in the way she holds her fingers. How she sleeps, with her arms back. When she looks up at you, sees you. Her little smile. Oh, that’s probably just gas. So yeah. Gas.

The fourth kind of crying is just because they are babies and that is what they do. Get used to it. Which you can’t unless you have a kid, and then it’s terrible. But don’t bother asking it what’s the matter. A baby can’t talk. It’ll cry about whatever it is that’s wrong, but it can’t tell you or gesture, or indicate. Just cry. Oh those tears. And the fifth kind of crying is the super what-the-fuck-is-going-on, kind of crying that makes you think it is dying. Like you, by doing something or not doing something, are killing your baby. It is crying because it is dying – kind of cry. It probably isn’t, but if your baby is bleeding, choking, turning blue, has got a fever, is sweating too much or freezing cold, puking (different from spitting up) or if its head has just snapped back and forth and popped off leaving you with a crying, headless baby torso, you should probably go the doctor. Even a baby doctor, apparently known as a pediatrician.

Which now we know, is not, as originally thought, a foot doctor.