Sunday, March 25, 2007

And baby makes glee

If you ever find yourself concerned that America’s population isn’t growing fast enough to keep up with countries whose kids are learning how to calculate double integrals while our kids are trying to figure out how to disable the parental controls on the DVD player, I’d just like to assure you that my friends are doing everything they can to pitch in, procreationally speaking. They are like modern-day Rosie the Riveters – if you made of poster of them, they’d be flexing their muscles proudly and saying, “We Can Do It!” in an old-timey font, and by “Do It” they’d mean “Reproduce Faster than You Thought Our Species Able.” Then that poster would be hanging on the wall at Bennigan’s next to an old snowshoe and a rusty tricycle.

My wife Kara and I just returned from visiting the most recent one of our friends to take the parental plunge. The sensation of watching one’s friends become parents is a lot like standing behind the safety fence at an amusement park, watching the roller coasters go by as people scream their heads off high above, turning in gigantic loops and having the money shaken out of their pockets. Some of those people didn’t even mean to get in line for the ride, but they actually all seem to be having a pretty good time now. For the time being, Kara and I are content to stand by the fence and watch, letting our friends and the guy with the Megadeth tattoo on his neck get in line ahead of us.

Last weekend, I watched in amazement as my friend (whose name also happens to be Kara, so for the purposes of keeping this narrative semi-comprehensible, I’ll call her Cheetara) seemed so natural at being a mom after only having five weeks’ practice.

“Here,” Cheetara said, “You can hold him,” bringing her tiny little baby boy over to me. Baby and I eyed each other, both a little unsure of the impending transaction. Some people are natural born baby-holders. Kara, for instance, can hold a baby like nobody’s business. She could hold a baby through a carwash without waking it up. I get nervous just holding somebody else’s wine glasses for fear of breaking them. And wine glasses don’t wriggle around. Also, wine glasses don’t cry if they suspect that you are a bad person, leading everyone else in the room to think that maybe the wine glass has picked up on something they’ve been overlooking all these years.

Cheetara gently handed Baby over, and I did my best not to let him smell my fear. Luckily, his senses aren’t too keen yet. He went to sleep in my arms with his binkie perched in his mouth and his legs dangling in the air. He was just so peaceful and perfect, all I could think about as I looked down at him was, “Little Dude, I think there’s something terrible in your diapers.”

I quickly passed him back to his rightful owner. When I asked Cheetara about the tribulations of diaper-changing, she perpetuated one of the great lies of parenthood. “Oh, they’re not bad at all. He only goes number two about once a day, and it’s hardly even noticeable. It doesn’t look like you’d expect at all.”

I was soon to see the horrible truth. A dirty diaper looks exactly like what I expected. Worse, actually.

“Oh, naaaasty,” Kara said.

Cheetara deftly wiped him down as he just chilled out on a blanket on the floor wearing only a binkie and a smile. It works out pretty well that babies are totally cool just hanging out naked, because they sure do have to spend a lot of time like that. They’re like, “Yeah, that’s right. Check me out. I’m anatomically correct.”

You can purée Mike Todd’s carrots online at mikectodd@gmail.com.

11 comments:

  1. Excuse me while I run to the kitchen and throw out everything that remotely resembles a carrot!!!

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  2. Mike, you won't believe this until you yourself are a parent, but when it's your kid? It's really NOT that bad. It's like a consolation prize, considering how horrible they're gonna be after they turn 13.

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  3. OK...carrots are gone...now I can vouch for melodyann said, word for word, except for the fact my daughter is already horrible and she's only 12 ;-)

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  4. okay I'm sorta with everyone, but sorta not. When it's yours it's not that bad, untill they have that one sick day, that it gets all over the clothes, the crib, the walls, and you are cleaning them up and go down town to realize to late that it got all over you!!!!!!!!!!1 Oh the good times.

    And to think it only gets better as they get older, cuz they then start the back talking and slamming crap.

    I think duct tape and bull whips are perfectly good parenting tools. hehehehehhee

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  5. A sweet blog about parenting. The trials and tribulations of raising a baby. (a little sarcastic - see last lines of comment) I had to say that in case someone didn't read to the bottom - otherwise it sounded too sweet.

    They are cute, aren't they? I never had too much of a problem changing diapers except when we (guest)baby sat the neighbor's kid - god he stinked (or stunk)((or stank)) or all three. Something about his diet? I cringe just thinking about it.

    Just guessing; not doing too well on the NCAA's? - I was thinking success would have inspired a post, ha.

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  6. You're next dude. And for me.....probably not for a while.

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  7. You're at least polite about it. I, OTOH, find the whole baby/child business mind-numbingly boring, exhausting and expensive - in so many ways that I couldn't count - that I always marvel that having kids is the norm, not the exception.

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  8. Howzit* Mike!
    My little bundle of wetness and pooh arrived 4 weeks early on 07 March! I have named him Michael, I hope you appreciate the nod... :)

    Amazingly enough, at this early stage, the pooh ain't too bad. But I reckon that it is going to get nasty as his eating habits change.

    I have also alwasy been so nervous about holding newborns due to their seeming fragility, but amazingly enough, when its your own it just seems right. So far I haven't dropped or broken him, so I think I've past the 1st 2 weeks with flying colours... and a bit of pee on my shirt!

    * South African for hello.

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  9. Dirk Diggler3/27/2007 3:14 PM

    John Poole,
    Not for a while? Hopefully not for long while. At least until you stop burning holes in your shorts with your cigarettes while you're drunk.

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  10. melodyann -- You're right. I won't believe you. I saw what goes on in those diapers. And after they turn 13, can't you just buy them a PlayStation and lock them up?

    JL -- I bet she's horribly awesome.

    Burf -- Can't you just keep them in a duffel bag or something? Those are washable. Problem solved.

    Buster -- Dude, I haven't even been paying attention this year. Don't know why. That probably makes me a communist.

    JP -- You never know for whom the jimmy hat breaks.

    Your secret identity -- Dude, I totally figured out what OTOH means without even Googling it. Thanks for making me feel smart.

    tberry -- Congratulations, man! You have fantastic taste in names. Keep up the good work out there on the front lines.

    Dirk -- I think you have Johnny confused with...no, wait, that was Johnny.

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  11. kimu-is-child-averse4/02/2007 3:04 PM

    This is just a note from your company, standing by and by behind the metal fence around the roller coaster. We, too, feel not at all inclined to stand in that particular lineup. We just ate. And I hate seatbelts.

    Pass the cotton candy.

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