27 April 2012

Baby B.S.

You forget. Time passes, memories fade. It’s inevitable.

And also incredibly dangerous.

It has now been over three years since we had a newborn under our roof. Enough time has passed that we forgot—or intentionally blocked out—all of the negative elements of that scenario. Most days, we look at the Doozer and see him just as he is, often unable to connect present-day Doozer to newborn Doozer of three and a half years back. So just enough time has passed that you feel secure in having a new baby. You’re sure you can handle it.

And then it all comes flooding back.

Little Brother very quickly reminded me that babies are, quite simply, evil. Devious. Manipulative. Sure, you ooh and ahh all over them, they’re so adorable and funny and snuggly and they smell really nice. But it’s all a ruse. They’re on a secret mission to destroy you.

Or possibly not-so-secret.

It’s crazy how much of this I’d forgotten—or again, blocked out. There is so much baby bullshit to deal with. So much. And it just doesn’t stop. Ever.

For instance, you cradle the kid in your arms, gently rock and shush them to sleep. They pass out and you go to set them down. Gently, mind you. Extremely gently. Like Indy replacing the idol with the bag of sand in Raiders of the Lost Ark gently. And just as you tip your fedora, confident that the transition from arm to soft, comfortable surface was so smooth there is no possible way the kid could wake up, his eyes pop wide open and he stares you down, his expression clearly saying, Whoa, wait a minute, what do you think you’re doing? We’re not done here. Pick me back up right quick, pal.

And you must repeat this insufferable scenario several more times before he finally gives in and goes to sleep. It’s infuriating.

When the Doozer was a newborn, his thing was sticking his tongue in and out of his mouth at a rapid pace. We’re not sure why he did it. It was odd, but also endearing and humorous. Little Brother’s “thing” on the other hand, so far seems to be convincing us that he’s finished with his business, waiting for us to pull of his dirty diaper, and then, mid-transition to the new, clean diaper, unleashing another torrent of baby poop, so that he soils two diapers and you have to wait and get a third to finish the job. And he just stares at you blankly.

You’re not fooling anyone, kid. I’m on to you.

Like the swing. We get you this awesome swing with little animals on it, it plays nice music, it rocks you gently—and you scream like a banshee when you’re in it. But if I swing you—in the exact same fashion—while you’re in the car seat, you quiet right down and sometimes even go to sleep. Clearly you’re just messing with me here, you’re not even trying to be subtle about it. Frankly, I’m starting to resent it.

Not to mention your strategic deployment of baby cuteness. And those ridiculous old man faces that you keep making. You know we’re powerless against them and you seem to know exactly when to make them in order to defeat us.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that once you get used to life with a toddler, it becomes difficult to recalibrate to a newborn. Like getting dressed, for instance. With the Doozer, it’s become a two-man operation, I’m basically just assisting him in certain areas, but he can pretty much dress and undress himself at this point. And with Little Brother, he just lays there. And I have to remember now how to get a tiny arm in a sleeve—with no assistance whatsoever, and possibly even some resistance to the entire operation. How long does this last?

It gets to the point where you just stare at the newborn, flabbergasted, and you’re like, What is your problem? What is your deal? Do something. Contribute. Get involved. Seriously, you just f’ing lay there all the time. What is the deal?

Stop blowing bubbles. And why do you smell so nice? Knock it off. I’m on to you. I’m hip to your game. You’re not going to get me. I will not be destroyed. You will not destroy me.

Seriously, why do you smell so nice? What is that smell? And stop making that funny old man face. It kills me. You look like a retiree in Florida, getting ready to play shuffleboard. How do you do that?

You’re going to pay for this kid. I don’t know how. But you are.

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