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Thursday, May 26, 2005

fatherhood, week deux

today our grunting, runting child turns two weeks old. there is only one reason i am still alive: her grandmother. my father-in-law returns to new york to collect his wife today, which means the glory days of naps, meals and hygiene are about to come to an exhausted, starving and grimy end. this woman is a hero. when i crawl out of bed in the morning, there she is cooing in dutch to our child in the living room, where she has been for two hours, just holding the baby. i don't speak dutch, but i am pretty sure she is not saying things like "when i leave, you will scream for three solid days" and "no one will ever love you as much as me" and "never ever listen to your father; he lies." yes, i am almost positive this is not what is being said.

two weeks. like a tv dad from the '50s, i come bounding home after martinis work, pipe in hand, and announce "honey, i'm home." and then i must bribe whoever is holding my child to let me see her. as i pick the peacefully sleeping baby up and cradle her in my strong fatherly arms, it is then that she realizes the horror of her predicament -- that she is MINE -- and she begins simultaneously screaming, wriggling, crapping, grunting, flailing, barfing and begging to be returned to the arms of her mother or her grandmother. or at least one of the cats.

but i resist! precisely because she is MINE i swaddle her ever so gently, sing to her and even occasionally offer her my nipples for a little non-nutritive suckling action. as she nurses at my empty breast, i look for ways that she is undoubtedly related to me. and i find them. here, in the form of a catechism, are the clues that she could be no one else's daughter:
  • when we bathed her last night, did it not take exactly three towels to dry her because she kept crapping on them? happens to me all the time.
  • when she is presented with mrs nice guy's breast, does she not lunge forth hungrily, frantically even, to latch onto the goods? indeed, so do i. so do i.
  • when the child is on the breast does she not grunt like a potbellied pig? when she is pulled from the breast does she not claw at her eyes in despair (unless she is sated, in which case does she not fall instantly asleep)? man this all sounds so very, very familiar.
  • every time she sneezes does the child not soil her shorts? the acorn, she does not fall far from the tree.
  • who is obviously happiest when not wearing any pants at all? i myself have gotten fined at work for this proclivity of mine.
  • does the child not dread sleep, opting instead to spend the hours between midnight and 4 am vocalizing her tiny animal fears of infinite darkness through piglet grunts, cricket chirps and kicked-puppy whimpers? now her night-owl father finally has an excellent excuse for napping under his desk.
  • who else besides this child has not changed his socks in three days? no comment.
  • she really is a stunningly beautiful child. could she have been sown of any other set of loins?

(did i mention the grunting? this child doesn't really cry. if she gets really pissed, she'll shriek once, but mostly she just grunts away. usually when she has gas. it's actually kind of hilarious -- she is a tiny 80-year-old misanthrope in a stained t-shirt.)

even though she is the closest thing i shall ever come to attaining IMMORTALITY, it actually pains me to witness such a resemblance to her fat, lazy and dull father. i wish she would begin to take after her generous and industrious grandmother. after all, wasn't the original point of having kids -- i am talking about waaay back in the day -- to help out on the farm? to achieve this end, i will begin calling her ChoreBaby. as in, "ChoreBaby, the floors need scrubbing!" "ChoreBaby, make me a sandwich!" and "who let ChoreBaby out of the storage closet?" yes, having a child may be the smartest thing i've ever done.


Anonymous Gerah said...

Mkay, you've frightened me by saying you're letting her suckle your empty breast.

5/26/2005 2:46 PM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

anything to get the child to sleep while we go on our cocaine binges.

5/26/2005 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Becky said...

damn...a bit of sleep deprivation and a new toy make for some insanely funny posts. :)

5/26/2005 4:51 PM  
Blogger Moo Moo said...

i have just picked myself off the floor. Oh I think you are so funny. I wish I was a fly on your wall.

5/26/2005 5:35 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

When your mother-in-law leaves, just make sure to keep yourselves alive until ChoreBaby turns 6-7 weeks old. That's when the smiling starts. And then, boy will YOU be in trouble!

Related: when I ask my 8 year old to do SOMEthing (pick up his underwear, set the table), he asks, "Why?" in that whiny way only an 8 year old could. I say, "Because I had kids so that I wouldn't have to do any work anymore." He half believes me. Oh just wait, little man...just wait.

5/26/2005 7:54 PM  
Blogger desertUndine said...

I love your blog - very funny - I just can't wait until you have a toddler. Keep an eye on those little fingers because you'll soon be wrapped around one!

5/27/2005 2:15 AM  
Anonymous Paloma said...

Ah, children. They're so wonderful! My daughter (6.5y) piped up last night with, "Mom! I think (younger brother, 1.5y) needs to start talking now!" Me: "Oh?" Her: "Yeah! So he can tell you that you are the WORST MOM EVER!"

I'm gonna start working on my acceptance speech for the award ceremony...bye!

5/27/2005 2:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

reading your stuff is like looking back through the mists of time to when i, too had a tiny newborn. mine has been alive for 7 wks - seems like a year & a half.
Our mantra, to quote Homer Simpson:

"Kids! You can teach them to hate all of the stuff you hate, & they practically raise themselves!"

5/27/2005 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Dad to be said...

This article says your breast doesn't have to be non-nutritive. No comment on the sanity of these people.

5/27/2005 10:17 AM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

dad to be: holy crap!

5/27/2005 11:15 AM  

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