The reality of a newborn baby = screaming, crying, barfing, begging, pleading, and no sleeping.
Considering having a baby? Think babies are cute and just want to hold them all day long, do you? Like how they look in those Johnson & Johnson ads? Stop right there. I’m about to take you through one night with the Girl (who is now one week old). Before you decide to procreate and subject the world to your miserable offspring, read this. If you want to have children afterwards, more power to you—you’re batshit crazy, anyway. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
9:00 PM – “Time for bed!” I say to baby, who has been hanging out peacefully all day long and immediately knows that now is the time to start making the same noises a steam engine would make.
9:05 – Check baby’s diaper for shit. There is no shit. Feel a strange sense of disappointment, as if shit somehow would make things better. Feel around for baby piss. Smell finger for baby piss. Smells like baby piss. Wash hands thoroughly.
9:10 – Change baby’s diaper.
9:12 – Make formula.
9:15* – Start feeding baby. (*Note – during the entire feeding process, the baby is crying)
9:18 – Burp baby by holding her face down over my leg and smacking her on the back. They actually tell you to do this. The baby hates it. What a shock. She doesn’t burp. Consider giving her a Sprite, which makes everyone burp.
9:20 – Baby burps and throws up all over outfit. Change outfit.
9:30 – Resume feeding.
9:37 – Baby throws up all over new outfit. Begin writing letter to neighbors for when I leave the baby on their doorstep.
9:40 – Change outfit. Again. Fuck.
9:45 – Resume feeding. Cease caring that the baby is drooling all over herself and now looks like she’s been bitten by a feral wolverine.
9:47 – Feel immense shooting pain down back during feeding. Try to get baby’s head to hold still for the bottle, which involves clamping her head with my thumb and middle finger. There is no way any pediatrician would approve of what I’m currently doing. But screw them.
9:54* – Feeding is over. That was super fun, everybody!
9:59 – Change baby’s diaper. Again. Baby continues to cry. Become angry at my own penis for the first time since I got whiskydick that one time back in ’97.
10:02 – Baby keeps crying. Before I had a kid, I had always assumed that, while other’s people’s crying babies annoyed the shit out of me, I wouldn’t mind my own child’s crying as much. I was wrong. I was so wrong, I should be beaten to death with a kendo stick. My baby’s crying is just as head-splitting as any other random baby’s. You annoy me, baby. Cut it out.
10:05 – Dr. Harvey Karp, a noted pediatrician, wrote a book detailing the Five “S’s” that should help calm the baby down – Swaddling her, Shushing her, Swinging her, putting her on her Side or Stomach, and Swinging her. You must do all five of these at the same time in order, in just the right way, to get the baby to keep quiet. It’s like playing Zork, only more painful. I begin my attempt.
10:06 – Swaddle baby. Still crying.
10:08 – Shush baby. This keeps her quiet, unless I stop shushing her. Then she immediately begins to sound like a cat having its leg amputated.
10:10 – Place baby on her side and begin swinging her while shushing her. I need a glass of water. My water glass is downstairs. It may as well be in Kenya.
10:12 – Stick pacifier in baby’s mouth. Pediatricians recommend you not use pacifiers until the baby is a few weeks old. But screw them.
10:27 – Walk around, shushing baby, swinging her, and waiting for her to close her eyes and drift off into a heavenly, peaceful, deep sleep.
10:43 – Baby’s eyes are still wide open. The doctor at the hospital told us the labor process would all be worth it in the end. They tell you this for two reasons. One, so you forget what a crummy job they did at the hospital. And two, so you feel good about yourself for five minutes before the next 20 years occur.
10:52 – Baby’s eyes still wide open. Put her in bassinet anyway and hope she falls asleep on her own. No plan in history been more destined to fail. Not Custer. Not ‘Nam. Not even that Bette Midler sitcom.
10:56 – Get into bed and shut eyes tightly. Baby is still making little noises. She’s about to cry. I know it. I’m fucked.
10:58 – Baby makes a little gurgling sound. Is she choking? Have to check on her. She is not choking. Back in bed.
11:03 – Baby makes a slight cough. Possibly pneumonia. As long as she’s quiet about it, that’s fine with me.
11:06 – Baby again makes little tiny noises. She’s gonna cry again. Vow to self to never put penis in anything ever again.
11:08 – Baby, miraculously, stops making noises.
11:09 – Maybe because baby is dead.
11:10 – Check on baby. Is not dead. I will not be going to jail. Run back to bed.
11:11- Now would be a good time to sleep. Too bad my brain is cluttered with random bullshit that keeps me awake. Stuff like: “Hey brain, is there anything more disappointing than a bad orange? That’s a lotta work just for fruit!” My brain apparently talks like Jerry Seinfeld.
11:42 – 12:03AM – Sleep. Actual sleep. Holy fuckity fuck, I am asleep.
12:04 – Baby shrieks. I am no longer asleep.
12:07 – Turn on light, find baby’s head covered in her own vomit. Oh, shit. I AM going to jail.
12:10 – Call doctor. Turns out I’m feeding her too much and not burping her enough. I should also hold her upright for 15 minutes after a feeding. You saw how long it took to feed this thing. Now tack on 15 minutes to the end of it.
12:15 – End call with doctor. Relieved baby will not die. Realize doctors must get calls every five minutes during the night from retard parents like myself who have no idea what they’re doing. Am very glad I didn’t go to medical school.
12:16 – Hey, guess what? It’s feeding time for the baby again! Fucking sweet.
12:17 – And now, the best part of my night, handing the baby off to Mrs. Drew for her shift. Good luck, sweetheart.
12:17:01 – 2:59 – Sleep again. Am I really asleep? Holy shit, I’m asleep! I fucking love sleep! This is fantastic.
3:00 – Baby shrieks. Check clock. You mean I fell asleep? And now I can’t sleep anymore? But I was sleeping, god dammit! Well fuck you then, Jesus!
3:01 – Get up. Time for my shift.
3:02 – 6:44 – Repeat the events of 9PM to 11:42PM, only this time doing so with a massive erection from when I fell asleep. If you saw a grown man walking around a house carrying a baby with an enormous hardon, you might get the wrong impression. But you’d be mistaken. My penis, clearly, has no clue about what babies are, or even where they come from.
6:45 – Hand off, again, to Mrs. Drew. Glad Mrs. Drew exists. Seriously, if you’re a single parent, you are fucked for life. There’s just no other way to describe it. I got three hours of sleep during the night, and I’m ready to shoot people from a clock tower. You can’t possibly take care of a baby on your own and remain even remotely human. There’s just no way.
6:46 – 10AM – Sleep.
10:01 – Wake up somewhat refreshed. Go to play with baby. Baby falls asleep.
10:02 – Cry. Cry like a little bitch.
Originally appeared at Father Knows Shit.