I haven’t returned your calls, texts, or messenger pigeons. There are 43 of them circling my home as I write this. The sidewalk is covered in blobs of white, green, and brown, waiting to be washed away by the coming rain. Except, here, it feels like it never stops raining. There are screams, gasps, and cries that turn into screams and gasps, all accompanied by tears—so many tears that I swam to the kitchen to prepare breakfast this morning and it was the most exercise that I’ll get for some time.
I am a new father and I have not returned your calls, texts, or communicator birds, mostly because one day she’ll grow up and will need pets to keep her company.
I’m tired. My wife is tired. My wife is more tired than I am because we worked on this group project together and she carried the team. The baby is tired and we’re all gasping for air above the sea of tears. Still, I find your questions amusing:
Are you writing?
Are you sleeping?
What’s the baby doing?
No, no, and what the fuck do you think she’s doing?
That's an appropriate answer, but I don’t respond in that way because everyone said it would be hard and I have no right to complain. So I won’t. I want this. I want the late nights and long days. I want crippling anxiety, wondering if I did something wrong and why I’m able to do so many things yet I can't for the life of me get this kid to go to sleep.
I’m told that it’s worth it, which I can’t deny. I swoon over every milestone, the way that she grips my finger when we talk, the slobbery kisses or failed attempts at eating my face, and the smiles; oh, the smiles! I go crazy for the smiles, but most of all, I’m ecstatic over the little things that bring sighs of relief.
She hadn’t pooped for a week and we were losing it. What could be wrong? Are we not feeding her enough? Did we feed her too much and now she’s constipated? What do the almighty baby gods say about this?
And, then it came: A glorious mountain of smelly, wet, oozing yellow poo. It wouldn’t stop. Like a volcano that erupted and erupted, and erupted again, it kept coming and we loved it. Oh, we rejoiced, because she pooped.
Fun fact: Breastfed babies don’t poop very often because they pull all of the nutrients out of the milk and are left with very little waste. We were very excited to learn that.
Suffice it to say, my celebrations are shit. And smiles. And the way that she holds my finger, because those things make me feel like she loves me and that I’m not ruled by a tyrant.
This is the part of my life when time is measured in months between pediatrician appointments. This is the part that everyone says to cherish because I’ll never get it back and for some reason, I’ll want it back. This is the part where Kevin Hart asks for help, but I’m Kevin Hart. This is the part… fukk it, I’d rather nap than explain.
But I am here. I will get back to your calls and your texts, and I’ll release some of the pigeons. Until then, pray for me.
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