My wife and I had a baby in early May. We named her Aspen, and she is a sweet and wonderful little baby girl. But let's face it, having a baby is exhausting. It makes you sleepy and moody and sometimes, it makes you hate life and everyone around you.
To top it all off, people like to ask obviously stupid questions about the baby. They are always well intentioned, and outwardly, I always answer them graciously. But after a long night of being up with the baby, there is a sinister side of me that wants to lay into these people...
1. "You look exhausted.Are you going to try and get some sleep tonight?" Eat my shit! You know what, yeah... I do look exhausted. That's because I was up until 3AM last night trying to resist the urge to tape the dummy to my newborn's face. The rest of the night is a blur of light snoozing, poo and wet wipes.
I will not even try to get some sleep tonight. I will not try to get some sleep for the next year, because it isn't going to happen. Shut your stupid face with your quiet bedrooms and only one butt to wipe in the night... your own.
2. "What's that white stuff on your shirt?" Puke. It's always puke. Tomorrow, there will be puke on my clothes again. If the stain is something other than white, it's probably piss or shit. Deal with it.
3. "Does the baby cry much?" Really? It's a baby. Yes. She cries. All the time she cries. She cries when she's hungry. She cries when she isn't hungry. She cries because she doesn't have the strength and coordination to lift her head off the floor. Most of the time, I don't understand why she cries. Sometimes, I cry.
4. "Are you making sure to help your wife?" You know what, it's the craziest thing. Now that she's had the baby, I just don't care about her anymore. Her job is done. Why treat her like something of value? She had a 7lb baby ripped from a gaping wound in her stomach (C-section), and ever since she's been home from the hospital, I've been having her spend long hours in the kitchen making me sandwiches.
The answer to your question is, yes! I have been very caring to my wife. In fact, I witnessed what the doctors did to her in order to make this little miracle happen. It was brutal. I almost passed out. And once it was all done, I realised that she's the strongest person I know.
5. "Do you think this will be your last kid?" Don't ask me a question like that. Look at my bloodshot eyes. I'm in the throws of hell right now. Your question is like asking me two weeks after getting food poisoning when I plan to eat at Taco Bell again. Ask me that question in a year.
6. "I know it's not exactly the same, but I got this new puppy, and it's been keeping me up all night whimpering. I totally feel you!" (I know this isn't technically a question.) No. Your new dog is not the same as my newborn baby.
You can put your dog in another room, shut the door, and call it a night. No one will think less of you. You can leave it in the garden with some food and a water dish, and it will feed itself. Your dog can walk, eat, and lift its own head without assistance. When it comes to physical development, your puppy is a good year ahead of my newborn. It won't always be this way, but for now, congratulations!
7. "Does the baby look more like you or your wife?" Right now, the baby looks like a shrivelled up Papa Smurf with black eyes and wrinkly hands. In three months, she will look like a toothless Alfred Hitchcock. I have no idea who she will look like at this point. But what I do know is that she coos a lot, and it's sweet, and when I hold her, even though I'm tired, I can't help but love her.
More on Parentdish: First year with a baby - the highs and lows