Blog Archive

Friday, November 22, 2013

Baby's first smile

Baby's first smile is supposed to be this super amazing milestone that just melts your heart and makes it all worthwhile. The first intentional smile will appear between 6 weeks and two months of age (babies will smile in their sleep from birth, but those don't count), and new parents look forward to it almost as much as they look forward to the kid's actual birth.

But here's the thing -- baby's first smile is, like most baby-related things, totally anticlimactic and not nearly as romantic as it's made out to be. At least for us it was. Here's how Audrey's first smiles went down:

The first smile will be delivered to someone totally undeserving

From various conversations with people, I've gathered that this is pretty common. You think that your baby's first smile is going to be for you -- the person who gets up in the middle of the night to clean poop out of her diaper and the person whose shirt is always covered in baby puke. You feed her, you kiss her, you play with her. You have earned that smile.

But does the baby give a shit about that? No, of course not. She will smile at whomever she damn well pleases.

In our case, Audrey's first smile was for Jesse's boss, a woman she had never seen before in her life. I had a doctors appointment at the hospital so I dropped the baby off with Jesse, and he took her up to his office where the little bugger gave a big toothless grin to a complete stranger. I wasn't even there to see it.

Subsequent smiles will be reserved mostly for toys that the baby enjoys

Audrey's second smile came the next day, while I was playing with her on her toy quilt. She was lying there on her back and I was shaking various rattles in her face when she busted out ol' toothless for some piece of crap stuffed bear rattle I bought at a thrift store for $.25.

One might argue that she was smiling at me, but I was there and know the truth. She wasn't even looking at me. She was looking directly at the rattle.

I tried to make the rattle do the next night-feeding, since it was apparently so high on Audrey's list, but the rattle refused. Dick.

Once baby gets the hang of it, she will become the biggest smile-whore of all time

The first few smiles are a bit of a challenge for the baby, as she's not really too sure what she's doing. But then there will be an a-ha moment when she finally gets it, and she will want to practice smiling as much as possible for a couple of days.

This is when you are likely to get your first real smiles. Yes, the delightful darling will smile at you ... as she smiles at a picture of a circle, a stuffed dog, a spoon, a spot on the wall, a light, her bottle, and absolutely nothing.

You rank up there with "absolutely nothing" in terms of things that are worth smiling at.

Incidentally, if you are trying to get a good picture of the baby smiling, these couple days of smile-whoredom are the time to do it. She'll probably give the widest grin you've ever seen when you hold up your phone or camera, because those things are cool.

Much cooler than your stupid face.

Eventually, finally, the baby will start to smile AT YOU and not just at everything she sees

At long last, you will get what you've deserved this whole time: some good smiles saved just for you, given because the baby loves you. Audrey and I have a bit of "smile time" every day, where she just lies on her quilt and I look at her and mimic all her facial expressions and sounds. For some reason, she finds this hysterical and will smile to the point of almost laughing. It makes me feel pretty darn good, I must admit.

But the baby will still like her toys better than you

We hung these stupid cylindrical animal toy things in the laundry room where her downstairs changing station is located, and she frickin loves those things. Like, she LOVES them. She could be in full-scale five-alarm squall mode, where nothing I do can comfort her and she hates me and wishes I was dead, but as soon as I take her into the laundry room and lay her down on her changing pad, she looks at her hanging toys and smiles and laughs silently. She flails her arms and kicks her legs and is just thrilled to be reunited with her friends the toys.

The toys don't even do anything. They just hang there.

And she smiles. Every time.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Poundings: Multitasking and how Bruno Mars sucks

I've been working on another post all week but I kind of hate it so I'm not going to publish it just yet. I think trying to force myself to work in categories is really restricting my ability to be funny ... so I'm just going to shart out some random posts for a while until I really get back on my feet! And so, Friday Poundings return! They might not always be on Fridays. Don't let that confuse you.

For this issue of Friday Poundings, we'll start with some old news: a song that really annoys me.

I hate Bruno Mars. I mean I hate every single song of his. Universally. Plus he looks like a douche with his stupid hats and his stupid hair.

But the Bruno Mars song that pisses me off the most is his old favorite "Grenade." I was lying in bed last night desperately trying to fall asleep before the baby woke up again, and that stupid garbage song was playing on repeat in my head. I don't know where it came from, but it made me mad so I'm going to share my anger with you.

That song is retarded. The lyrics make no sense.

Why? Because none of the things he says he will do for you are actually going to benefit you at all.

I mean ... let's talk this through. He starts with "I would catch a grenade for you."

Okay ... one surefire way to win a Medal of Honor in war is to jump on a grenade thrown into a group of soldiers. You sacrifice yourself to save the lives of everyone else. That's heroism in its purest form.

But ... catching the grenade?


Good job, buddy.

Then the next line is even more baffling. "I'd step in front of a train for you."

I'm absolutely wracking my brain trying to think of a situation where a person could benefit from someone else stepping in front of a train. I mean, it's not like you're going to STOP the train. You're pretty much just going to commit suicide by train for no reason at all.

Here's some relationship advice: if the person you're with asks you to kill yourself (and they're serious), it's probably time to look for a new partner because this one isn't working out.

I mean, I tell Jesse to kill himself all the time, usually when he makes a bad pun. But I don't actually want him to follow through on it. That would be pretty rude.

Bruno Mars, you're an asshole.

And the second topic I want to cover today is multitasking. Mothers always say they're the best multitaskers, and it's really annoying when they say that because how the hell can you even judge that? Only a moron is incapable of doing more than one task at a time. So if we can all do it, then why should we be impressed that mothers can "do it best"?

Well, here's what I've learned after becoming a mother: we are furiously efficient multitaskers out of pure necessity. And here's why:

The only opportunity I really have to do much of anything around the house is when I don't have to hold the baby. That means either while she's asleep or while she is occupied in her swing or bouncy seat.

But she only enjoys swinging in her swing for ~10 minutes max, and the bouncy seat for even less. And as anyone with young baby experience can attest, their naps come in two lengths: an hour-plus, ... or seven minutes.

And so you always have to assume that the nap is going to last for seven minutes.

So here you have seven minutes to start racing through your task list. And there are like five tasks that are PRIORITY ONE. Say you have to wash all the bottles because there are no more clean ones, and you have to poop, and you're starving, and you have to start a load of baby laundry, and you really need to brush your teeth. How are you going to do all this in seven minutes?

Well, simple: You throw on the faucet to try and run all the cold water out of the pipes and you put all the bottles into a big bowl. And then you toss some food in the microwave and by the time the microwave has started running, your water is hot so you can fill the bowl with hot water and soap to wash the bottles. And then once the bowl is full and the bottles are soaking in their hot soapy water, you still have 45 seconds left on the microwave to put the laundry in the washer. And then the microwave beeps so you take your food and run into the bathroom.

And then you sit on the toilet pooping while eating whatever food you've warmed up, wondering where you went wrong in your life that would leave you eating breakfast on the toilet.

Because that, my friend, is a low point.

Moms: professional multitaskers.

And then of course this is going to turn out to be one of those hour-plus naps so all this rushing around will have been for nothing. You could have eaten breakfast at the table ... like a human. But instead, you ate while pooping. Like an animal.

Because your kid hates you.

Haha she's cute though so it's okay.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

An ode to catheters

When I told you I was going to ease back into writing this blog, I guess I really meant it. I hoped to write a post a week, and I'm already behind on that. For that, I blame the baby. We've both been fighting a cold and let me tell you how much fun it is dealing with a baby who is sick while you are also sick. It's awesome.

Anyway, after the world's whiniest morning, she is finally taking a proper nap so I'm going to attempt to shit out a blog post in record time. She's due to wake up and eat at any moment now so if this just cuts out in mid-sentence, it's because I had to feed the baby and I thought you'd prefer a half-finished piece of crap post over nothing. I'm probably wrong about that, but it's what I figured.

Okay, so in today's post, I will attempt to sing the praises of a little medical trick called a catheter. Because catheters are amazing, and if I could, I would just have one in pretty much all the time.

If you're not familiar with the concept, a catheter is this little tube they put up your pee-hole into your bladder, and then they inflate a little balloon thing or whatever to hold it in place, and it makes your pee drain out all the time into a bag so you never have to go to the bathroom. 

Due to the traumatic nature of baby Audrey's birth, I was granted a catheter for over 24 hours after she was born, and in some ways these were the best 24 hours of my life. This was partly because of the joy of birthing my first child, but at least 80% because of the joy of having a catheter.

Here are the main reasons why having a catheter is DA BOMB:


I can't overstate how fantastic this is. Anyone who has suffered a physical injury that makes walking difficult can attest that going to the bathroom is one of the worst parts of the experience. If you have a sprained ankle, you don't want to have to keep walking to the bathroom every hour or two. So you try to drink as little as possible to avoid having to pee. And when you feel the beginnings of an urge to urinate, you get stressed out. You know you're going to have to get up eventually, and it's going to be awful. How long can you last before you need to give in and make the trip? How much pee can your bladder hold? How much bladder pain are you willing to endure in order to avoid the ankle pain of walking to the potty?

A catheter relieves you of these concerns. You can drink as much as you want -- all the 32-ounce Gatorades your busted-ass body can handle! You can get hammered on beer if you want, and you don't have to worry about breaking the seal. The pee just continually pours out of you, and it's great.


Catheters are a teensy bit annoying, I must admit. Because leading out of your underpants is this tube that's taped to your leg, and it is like 6 feet long and leads down to the collection bag where all your pee piles up. If you wanted to get up, you would have to carefully move the tube everywhere your leg goes, making sure not to trip on it because that could make it detach and pour pee everywhere. And then you have to carry your collection bag with you anywhere you decide to go.

Who can be fussed to deal with all that??! Certainly not me. And in fact, the nurses in the hospital EXPECT you to be lazy as shit, using the catheter as an excuse.

After giving birth, the baby was kept in a high bassinet next to my hospital bed. If she started to cry and needed to be fed or held or whatever, guess what I did? Did I carefully maneuver my pee-tubes to get up and grab her? Ummm, no, dumbass. Of course I didn't. I just pressed the nurse call button on my hospital bed and made them hand me the baby. And when the baby was asleep, I would press the call button again and make them put her back in the bassinet. It was sweet. If they had any objection to it, I could just say something like "I'm not too sure on my feet just yet and didn't want to trip on the catheter tube." And then they'd realize that me tripping on the catheter tube would make WAY more work for them (pee everywhere; me with a busted face ... so much liability) than just handing me a baby every few hours.

I have never in my life had such a free pass to be unceasingly lazy.


Guess who got to empty that collection bag? Was it me? F*** no it wasn't.

Oh, and here's a bit of neat trivia: a significant part of the weight women gain during pregnancy is additional fluids in their body to support the baby. In the first days after birth, all that fluid gets flushed out of the body. In the form of urine.

Yeah, I was filling that collection bag every few hours like it was my job. It was such an impressive volume of urine that the nurses -- who work at a hospital and empty catheter collection bags on a regular basis -- had to comment on it. 

Imagine how many trips to the bathroom that would have been. 

That would have sucked.


Sometimes, people resist having a catheter put in because they think it hurts. These people are idiots. It didn't hurt a bit, and did I mention that I didn't have to get out of bed for any reason for over 24 hours.

So, in conclusion, catheters are the greatest invention of all time and if you're ever in the hospital and the idea gets floated that maybe you should get one, DO IT. DON'T BE A FOOL.





I was going to draw more pictures, but I don't really know what to draw and this mouse sucks and the baby is starting to wake up so that's all I got for today. Like I said, EASING BACK IN DAMMIT.

Give me a break. I have to go to the potty on my own now. It is very taxing.