by JOHN KINNEAR
This wasn’t my first rodeo. This was my second time around.
Newborns aren’t scary. Compared to a two-year-old, a newborn is just a cute paperweight with adorable tiny poops and a tendency to fart and smile at the same time.
If I can handle carrying a bowl of Cheerios and a screaming, back arching, 13kg toddler down two flights of stairs without killing us both, a 3kg toothless meat ball should be a breeze. Or so I thought.
I suspect it was the sleep deprivation that occurred during our first week home with my first child, but somehow my brain selectively forgot (or downplayed) these five things about having a newborn in the house:
1. He pooped… again?
We’re going through 10-20 nappiess a day. Why you say? Every nappy change entails the use of three diapers: the dirty nappy, the new nappy that ends up getting peed on, and the third nappy that actually ends up on the kid. Other things that end up getting peed on: me, the couch, the wall, my iPad, and anything else within a six foot radius. It’s like a freaking Blue Man Group show in my living room. I should give the first three rows ponchos. (No, Blue Man Group does not pee on the first three rows at their show. They just get wet.)
Instead, when his little baby fire hose starts going off, my strategy is similar to BP and the Deep Water Horizon well. I just start throwing things on top of it to stop the spill from spreading. Clothes, nappies, burp rags, anything to quell the whipping arch of urine that is soaking my living room.
Stevie thinks this is hilarious when it happens to me. HILARIOUS! So I showed her. This morning when she laughed at our baby pooping on me, I picked him up and chased her around the room pumping his legs like a Super Soaker trying to shoot him at my wife. It didn’t work, but she got the point.
2. Who needs sleep?
I was ready to wake up every couple hours. I wasn’t ready to wake up every hour and then spend 45 minutes getting the kid back to sleep. This has resulted in 2-3 hours of sleep every night for the last couple weeks. Stevie and I were taking it in stride for the first few days, but the lack of REM sleep is starting to creep into our daily lives in some very awkward ways.
Example 1: We went to the grocery store the other day. Stevie wanted me to lift her up to grab something on the top shelf (we’re both short.) I then loudly told her, in a crowded aisle, that it was a bad idea for me to lift her up due to her recent and unhealed circumcision. Circumcision. We got some strange looks.