September 08, 2005

Lessons From Dadhood: Episode Two

...picking up where I left off...

Lesson Five: Time Flies When You're Having _____
It's a good thing God/Intelligent Design/Science/The Aliens/Elvis made infants develop so rapidly. It reminds parents of the old axiom, if you snooze you lose. A few weeks back Mia, while incredibly cute, was a chubby pooping machine. While still far from solving quadratic equations, Mia's now awake, vibrant, paying attention to everything and even smiling. Of course, she still poops like a champ but get a load of all this development on her. What I'm trying to say is that the earlier you notice them growing, developing and reacting, the harder it is to forget that they're growing whether you're watching or not. And, with this knowledge, I think you're more apt to watch.

Lesson Six: Babies Make You Forget Lesson Six
There have been times over the last six weeks in which I've legitimately forgotten my name. Someone asked me how old I was (rude bastard) and my response? "Uh." A lot of this might be due to a lack of sleep. Yesterday morning I was on my way to work, stuck in traffic, tired, stretching out behind the wheel, trying to wake up. All of the sudden some asshat starts honking. Like, really leaning on his horn. Everyone stuck with me is looking around...I'm looking around...and then I realize, hey, that asshat is me! I didn't even notice that I was leaning on my steering wheel. I was just tired. And, even though I knew they were asleep, wondering what Beth and Mia were up to. At least, I think that's what I was pondering. I forget.

Lesson Seven: Babies Come with Pre-Installed Slack at No Extra Cost
No one ever tells you this because they're really more concerned with telling you about how hard parenting is and how little sleep you'll get (they're not lying though - it is hard and tiring). But I'll let you in on a secret - when people hear that you have kids, they cut you a little more slack than they ordinarily might. This is especially true, I'm guessing, for first time parents. Here are some helpful examples:

Me: Sure is quiet around here today. And its a gorgeous day out there.
Boss: Yeah. Pity we're stuck inside.
Me: What I wouldn't give to go home and see my kid.
Boss: Oh, that's right. You know what? Take two weeks off.
Me: Neat.


Me: Is five scoops of ice cream too much?
Conscience: Nah.
Me: You sure?
Conscience: You have a kid.
Me: Right-o!


Me: How fast was I going officer?
Cop: You were doing 115 in a 25 zone.
Me: Gee, I'm sorry. Not that you could tell because I'd never drive that fast with a kid in the car, but I'm a first-time parent of a newborn.
Cop: Oh, why didn't you say anything? Let's get you out of here. Need an escort?
Me: No. But that old lady I hit back there...
Cop: Think nothing of it. Let me get that walker out of your grill and you can get on your way.

As these are fictional examples (except for that ice cream thing), the real-world limits of parent slackerdom might vary from parent to parent and prove somewhat more restrictive. However, people do seem to give you a break when they realize you're under the thumb of an infant.

Posted by Chris at September 8, 2005 07:12 AM

hit an old lady?? jeesh, lol. you really must be tired ;p

Posted by: lizabetty at September 8, 2005 07:31 AM

hee hee, "tumb."

I guess you really are sleepy...

Posted by: Boutros at September 8, 2005 07:58 AM

You ASSHAT! LOL. The whole horn honking episode is great. Love the updates on Dadhood. BTW, when you are ready to be a rockstar (not that you aren't in your mind), let me know and I'll get my drums out of storage.

Blog on!

Posted by: Sam at September 8, 2005 08:04 AM

And you can play the parent card for quite awhile.

"I'm sorry I was late getting to work, I had to get the girls off to school"
"No problem Jeff, heck why don't we just change your start time?"

Of course they changed it to never but hey at least you get one morning thing out of the way!

Posted by: Jeff A at September 8, 2005 08:59 AM

bwahahaha... asshat! and by the way... the ice cream thing? not just for first time parents. Also very good for pregnant ladies! :-D and husbands of pregnant ladies.... and about the whole time flies thing? Watch out... pretty soon your daughter will figure out how to flirt. They learn verrrrryyyy early... yes, flirting is next sir. That'll be fun to watch you blog about.... they day your daughter flirts for the first time... with a man other than you :)

Posted by: Corinne at September 8, 2005 10:03 AM

Kids are also great from getting out of things you don't want to do. "Sorry, NIcholas has explosive diarrhea with projectile vomitting, I can't make your excrutiatingly boring dinner party with people I hate." I have friends who think The BOy has an immune deficiency. Eventually they stop calling.

And "I fell asleep, and forgot to pay the mortgage" does not work for the fine folks at the bank who own more than half my house. Just an FYI.


Posted by: Nat at September 8, 2005 10:49 AM

heck, i have more ice cream because i don't have a baby. i'm single, i live alone, i deserve more ice cream to comfort me through my lonely existence. :)

Posted by: jodi at September 8, 2005 10:52 AM

Thank you for some much-needed humor this morning. That horn honking thing sounds a lot like something I would do. It's one of those times you wish you had a bullhorn so you could scream I'M SORRY!!!! to everyone around you :D

Today (and yesterday, come to think of it) I drove a considerable distance with my blinker on. In rush hour. So the people in the lane next to me kept leaving space and I was like...motherfu...what? Then I realized that hey! My idiot light is on! Oops...

Posted by: Rhonda at September 8, 2005 11:13 AM

I used to have a car that seemed to honk anytime my hands were even near it, so I've been the accidental asshat too. It sucks.

It's amazing how the littlest creatures can get us to do their bidding. Babies, cats...when will the insanity stop? :)

Get some sleep, dude.

Posted by: Spring at September 8, 2005 12:08 PM

Wouldn't it be awesome if the first example wasn't fictional...

Posted by: Kitty at September 8, 2005 12:13 PM

The horn thing reminds me of the time not too long ago when I was driving home really late from school and everyone was blinking their lights. Everywhere I went people were flashing their high beams or tapping their brake lights in front of me and I'm looking around to see which moron they are trying to pass hints to. You know where this is going. When I drove up my street, I thought it was incredibly dark and when I pulled into my parking space at home, I realized I had only my parking lights on. I only drove about 25 miles like that. At 10 p.m. Going about 80 mph. The tiredness never ends!

Posted by: Ms. Q at September 8, 2005 12:23 PM

Horn are sweepy!

Posted by: Sue at September 8, 2005 12:24 PM

I'm kind of discovering that there is extra slack with being preggo too.

Posted by: Jessica at September 8, 2005 12:42 PM

Maybe there's something that could be a little extra for us single parents too?

Posted by: Queen of Ass at September 8, 2005 01:39 PM

sleep is for old people and babies....which you are neither.
So just roll with it.
Treat yourself and find courage.
I know you may not believe this, but you really do adapt to getting less sleep and still feeling refreshed. I know it's nuts.
Now that our little guy is almost 10 I've went back to getting my full 8 hours of sleep. DearHusband on the other hand, has never changed since the babies and gets about 5-6 hours a night and works like a dog. However, the man cannot sit down without falling asleep. it's the family joke. But catnaps never hurt anyone.

Posted by: dazeymae at September 8, 2005 03:35 PM

'Let me get that walker out of your grill.' Too funny. Glad to see you are enjoying fatherhood.

Posted by: Milly at September 8, 2005 05:58 PM

That card is especially good the first five years and then it picks up power again around ages 13-18. You can turn into a dysfunctional lunatic and if you have a teenager, everyone understands.
BTW- looked at the Labor Day and other pics. That Bean is terribly cute, especially when she's sleeping all crooked mouth. In profile she looks like Beth but that hair...

Posted by: Vicki at September 8, 2005 06:20 PM

Your fictional conversation with a cop reminds of my real conversation with a cop. The one I had when I was pulled over on my way to the hospital after getting the call from my wife that she was being induced. (He nailed me for driving on expired tags). Ended up only getting a fix-it ticket. Gotta love pullin' the Baby Card.

Posted by: Jason at September 8, 2005 07:06 PM

LOL...I loved the horn bit. I don't have any kids yet and you're really scaring me with the lack of sleep bit. I've heard that repeatedly that parents of babies and young children don't get much sleep. Ack!

Posted by: Colleen at September 9, 2005 12:40 AM

Re: Lesson 7--How do you think I became the PROFESSIONAL SLACKER. ;)

The car honking story cracks me up. It's like frantically searching for my glasses which I'm currently WEARING! DUH.

Posted by: A.K. at September 9, 2005 12:04 PM

I went grocery shopping and was having such a hard time with The Roommate/The Friend's baby, that a lady that worked there offered to carry him around for me while I shopped. Then she helped me put the groceries in the car. That was so awesome. You're right some people really are nicer about things when you're toting an infant.

Posted by: jessica at September 14, 2005 12:59 AM