four months of fatherhood: the lessons (more or less) learned
four years ago mrs nice guy and i were unwed, living in sin AND in boston, which is a sin itself, so we were living in sin-squared. since 9/11 we have gotten married, moved to new york (there's that hubris again), gotten shmancy jobs, bought an apartment in the nastiest apartment-buying-environment-ever (hubris, anyone?), and made a tiny, screaming, non-napping infant. we're absurdly blessed. life, despite how wisp-thin we're constantly reminded it is, goes on.
so, yes. four months of fatherhood. what i have learned about myself in the past four years has been sobering in itself, but these past 17.5 weeks have been eye-opening on an entirely different level. feel like learning everything you didn't want to know about yourself? have a kid.
honestly? i still don't feel like a dad. i see toddlers, walking and sort-of-talking, and i think you mean my kid is going to turn into that? my barfing non-napping lunatic? i feel more like the proud owner of some rare pet: a wild drooling hairless north american simian dwarf. she's cute, but a human? you have yet to convince me.
anyway, here, in four-part harmony, is a brief breakdown of what mr nice guy now knows about himself, whether he likes it or not, thanks to a tiny, unfurry chimpchild:
- when you wake up every day at 5:30 am, it makes total sense to be drinking your first beer by 10.
- a person who weighs less than 20 pounds can send me into such paroxysms of rage that i (a tiny-penis-having, card-carrying, junior flyweight pussy) am seriously considering joining an illegal kickboxing fight club in some chinatown back alley somewhere. must. punch. something.
- i am capable of growing some really beautiful sideburns.
- this same hairless chimp that throws me into apoplectic fits of fury is also capable turning me into its dancing, clapping, imbecilic noise-making bitch in my pathetic, dehumanizing attempts to coax a smile onto her unbearably cute face.
- my wife's tits are so powerful that they can sustain life for months at a time! i knew they were impressive and all, but this child has put nothing into her body for her entire life that hasn't come out of mrs nice guy's recently-ample bosom. it seems i have underestimated her strength.
- you have to give them credit: babies really know how to barf it up.
- apparently i will never get eight consecutive hours of sleep again, and you know what? the hallucinations i have been enjoying lately are beginning to suggest that 4-5 hours every night just doesn't quite cut it. something has got to give and since i let go of my sanity weeks ago, i am terrified to learn what that will be.
- watching a baby take a giant, gurgling, earth-rumbling dump just never ceases to be funny ...
- ... until it leaks through her diaper and gets all over your sheets ...
- ... and even then, it's still pretty funny.
- drinking alone at home is almost just as fun as going to a bar with my friends. ok, that was a lie.
- attempting to make sweet, sweet love to one's spouse while one's baby is screaming in the other room because she woke up sooner than she should have is stressful. also: it actually is possible to be too tired for sex (ok, seriously, someone please kill me right now).
- it turns out i am exactly the type of psychopath who will walk up to you and your baby on the street and try to strike up a conversation by saying something deranged like "oooh, isn't he handsome" because, obviously, we are the only two people on earth who have ever procreated ever.
- even though my head totally feels like it will explode if i have one more cup of coffee today, it actually won't.
- i would never have guessed that i am perfectly capable of killing someone for merely breathing wrong on an infant. and yet there it is.
- i really care about my baby's naps. remind me: why do i really care about naps?
- i CANNOT WAIT until this child is 13-years-old and mortified that she sprung from our loins. there are untold joys waiting for me in those days when i can utterly embarrass my daughter just by wearing the wrong shirt or telling some dumb joke. oh sweet, sweet revenge, thou shall be mine in spades!
i grow weary of this exercise. you get the point. fatherhood is fun. and hard. and ennobling. and drunk. i recommend it. in fact, you can have my daughter. haha! joking! no you can't.
yes, actually, you can.
no you can't!