I have never babysat my baby.
I can hear my baby cry when you don’t and can tune his tantrums out when you can’t. It’s like spidey-sense except I can’t also shoot webs from my hands or cling to most surfaces, though I wish I could because this baby’s about to start crawling, and those would be helpful skills.
My clothes almost always have puke stains on them.
I had to piss while feeding him because when I set him down or took the bottle away, he screamed as if being mauled by fire-breathing pitbulls. After I finished feeding him and he fell asleep full and happy, I cleaned the bathroom floor because my aim isn’t very good when I use both hands and was terrible when I tried the “no-look.” If I ever smell like piss, I will blame it on the baby, whether it’s his or not.
I know I should have shaved two days ago.
I am incapable of having a conversation where I don’t mention the baby, his smile, his crazy coos, the girth of his poop, how we call him “the vagina destroyer” or “the tiny dictator.” To put it in non-parent terms: it’s like if you just downloaded a really great album that you can’t stop playing and you want to tell everyone how great it is, burn it to CD for your friends, Spotify that shit and then post that you’re listening to it on Facebook. Now pretend it’s the only album you’ll ever hear again and it can never be paused.
I haven’t emailed you back because I can’t type while changing a diaper, raspberrying the baby’s naked belly or combing through Jaime’s hair for chunks of spit-up with a washcloth and when I’m not doing that, the baby is probably sleeping, and all I want to do is sit on the couch with Jaime and dull my brain with reruns of “The Sopranos,” DVRed episodes of “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” and ESPN.com.
Breastfeeding isn’t an invitation to stare, ask questions, or roll your eyes. Babies can’t exactly pop a straw in the tit and feed themselves.
If you invite Jaime and I somewhere, the baby is always coming unless there’s an age or height requirement. Then we need advanced notice because six-month-olds cannot be left home alone–even if the dogs are there, too.
I will be late for everything because getting out of the house with a baby is like an episode of “Double Dare” where we always lose.
I finally cleaned up the hairball you noticed last time you were over. Every time I pass it I think, “I should clean that up,” but then the baby finds something more important for me to do.
Since you do not know, this is parenthood.
I am not sorry.
For spending 95% of my non-work life in sweatpants or mesh shorts.
For half-listening to you while I was trying to keep the baby from jabbing an iPod charger into his mouth.
For judging you because you don’t try harder.
For being disappointed when you didn’t invite me to your birthday.
For thinking you should grow up.
For imagining you as a parent and feeling better about myself.
For being jealous that you saw “The Hunger Games” in the movie theater.
For believing you’d come over more often.
For assuming you’d care about my baby.
For wanting to wake you up at 7 a.m. on the weekends and stick your hands in a pile of shit.
For not vacuuming the dog hair on my couch that’s probably still on your jacket.
For wishing you would just listen to me bitch about everything that stresses me out.
I am not a superhuman. I am just someone who didn’t pull out because he believed in the power of birth control and was failed and then, with the person who he didn’t pull out of, made a decision to bring another person into the world. I need your support, your patience, your understanding.
If you have a baby, you’ll understand why I wish we hung out more. Maybe we can have a beer and keep our babies from sticking their toys in electrical sockets. Maybe we can listen to rap music while our babies are still too young to repeat the lyrics to “Gin and Juice.”
Let’s smell their butts together and smile when they don’t stink like shit.
And we won’t care if they fart in our faces because we both know there’s no other ass we’d rather have pressed against our noses.
We have no one else we care about more.
And we have little left to give.