It has been almost three months since my wife gave birth to our son and in that three months I have been a mixed bag of emotions (a menopausal meth-addict comes to mind). For the most part, fatherhood has been an amazing test. There have been very few experiences in my life that can top the birth of my son and words cannot describe the feeling I get when he smiles at me. I could walk in the house, having just experienced a cat Armageddon, my shirt still covered in fresh cat blood and mangled fur, the thought of hundreds of cats hissing and meowing as they explode into flaming balls of guts all around me still fresh in my mind, and that gummy little smile of his would make everything better. That being said, I totally and completely understand why people shake their babies.
Imagine a Piccolo Pete that shits, pisses and poops all over itself a dozen times a day and only cares about titties and you’ll get an idea of what a newborn is like. (Here is a pop quiz for you: how does someone with a two-ounce stomach manage to drink six ounces at each feeding? Answer: they shit four ounces in the middle of it.) If you have never experienced baby shit before, it is the color of Snookie, the consistency and texture of chunky peanut butter left out on the dashboard of a Toyota 4Runner in August, and it smells like the inside of Brew-It-Up. Some days, I look like I spent the morning helping UPS paint their fleet of environmentally friendly natural gas vehicles or water skiing behind Willy Wonka’s magical paddle boat. My son has toys that he can’t play with because he shit on them. Our carpet literally has shit stains on it. It can be terrifying if you’re not prepared (i.e. babysit). In all honesty, you get used to it and eventually, you turn diaper changing into a sport (my PR is 19 seconds pee and 28 seconds poop and I have the trophies to prove it) and bath time ends when a spout of urine rises from the water.
That’s enough about shit and piss for the moment. One of the best things about having a baby is that he’s like a marionette puppet. One of my favorite things to do occurs right before bath time. I undress him down to his birthday suit, pick him up so that when I walk with him his ass is leading the way and his balls are dangling, sneak up on my wife while she’s doing dishes or folding clothes, put his balls right up to her head, have her turnaround, and yell, “Balls in your face!” We both laugh hysterically as my son just stares at the light with a confused look on his face. I also enjoy putting him on the dog like a jockey, making him salsa dance while I sing Gloria Estefan, and testing out hair-growth products on him that I buy over the internet from Cameroon. So far, he has not shown any ill effects from the product testing. Although, a couple of weeks after we brought him home from the hospital, the hair on the top of his head fell out, leaving him looking like Dwight Yoakum for a month or so.
Around the same time that his hair started thinning, he also developed the ability to fart. He stops whatever he is doing (usually eating or flailing his arms and legs about), curls his bottom lip under, tightens his brow, and then lets one go. Once the fart has cleared his bowels, he’ll start smiling and rolling his head from side to side. At that moment, I am not sure who is more proud, he or I.
It’s not all fart games however. Parenthood is fucking hard. It is one of the most difficult, stressful experiences I have been a part of and I was in Nam, man. I would compare most nights to the scene in “A Clockwork Orange” when Alex goes through aversion therapy and is forced to stay awake and watch loud, abrasive film clips. There have been studies done that compare the decibel levels produced from a baby’s cry to a jet engine fucking a hyena (or something like that). When I had my decennial physical a few weeks ago, I had the doctor check me for a perforated ear drum because I get this rattle in my ear when I hold my son and he’s crying. I thought for certain the crying had blown my inner ear to bits (turns out it was just ear wax caked on my ear drum). The rattling in my ear drove me mad. When we first brought him home from the hospital and after a long night of crying and a rattling ear drum, I called my son a dick. I called a two-week old a dick. A dick! He won’t know what that means for like three years.
All the horror stories aside, parenthood is rad. You have this little being that you can mold and shape into whatever you want who relies on you for everything. It is not all crying a shitting. Most of the time, he’s alert and smiling and staring at me like I am the most interesting thing on the planet (next to mom’s boobies). Better yet (or maybe not), he looks just like me. Watching him try and put his hand in his mouth for two straight hours makes me think of how simple life can be and once was for all of us (of course we don’t remember any of it). As a parent, it can be extremely therapeutic to just take a step back and realize that some things just don’t matter. This little person’s entire existence revolves around milk. When all you give a fuck about is milk, you have reached enlightenment. (I suppose if you were to substitute milk for vodka in those previous sentences you’d have PWeekly.)
I used to think that having a dog was harder than having a baby because you could put diapers on a baby and eventually the baby learns to speak English (or Spanish or whatever) and use the toilet. Whereas, a dog will shit everywhere and fuck up your house and yard until they die.
I am an idiot.
Author’s Note: I am trying to cuss less verbally so I use this space as my creative cussing outlet.
Fun Fact: Did you know Alex from “A Clockwork Orange” was played by Malcolm McDowell who also played Terrence, Sloan’s father, in Entourage?
Fun Fact #2: Entourage was responsible for cat Armageddon.