So, my wife and the baby are both finally asleep. I should be sleeping, too. That’s what they tell you to do, sleep when the baby sleeps, but I have to read to her. I read to her in a whisper as not to wake her, but in hopes that the information will reach her somehow. (Sure she doesn’t even know what her fingers are for yet, and she still regularly punches herself in the eye, but I have to try).
I read the baby books that my wife and I read. The ones that say she’s supposed to sleep for 16 ½ hours a day. The ones that say she’s supposed to eat every three hours. The ones that assure us that she will eventually learn the difference between night and day. She needs to know this stuff or else the system, devised by two wonderfully analytical parents, will break down.
When we found out we were pregnant, my wife and I couldn’t have known that we would one day be inviting a 9-pound, manic/depressive, abusive milkoholic into our lives. And now we have to think only happy thoughts or she’ll blink us into the cornfield like that Twilight Zone episode starring the kid from Lost in Space. Or worse yet, she’ll poop stone ground Dijon mustard on us.
For being so immature, she’s devised a brilliant method of making us remove her diaper so she can freely loose her cannon-like bowels, unencumbered by any form of absorbent barrier.
Sometimes she’ll make a face, and my wife will say: “Do you think she’s pooping?” Countless times she has lured us into removing her diaper right before she turned her changing pad into a monochrome Jackson Pollock. But we’re getting wise. Now we listen for that hearty sound; the sound of someone with a mouthful of cream cheese blowing it through a harmonica. That’s when we know it’s real.
I must go now; I hear her stirring and she will want to feed. Over and over again I tell her that Daddy can’t lactate, but still she sucks holes in his tee shirts seeking sweet sustenance. In that dark place, I know that she will not stop until she bends Nature to her will, and her beleaguered father weeps man-milk from his furry bosom.