Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Eye of the Diaper

If a Mongol horde was galloping around your living room, swinging their swords in vertical circles and occasionally lopping the heads off of your floor lamps, you’d probably have a hard time thinking about much else. Having a baby is pretty much the same thing.

The reader(s) of this column may have noticed that since my son Evan was born six weeks ago, this space has largely been devoted to our frenzied experiences with first-time parenthood. At least I think that’s what it has been about. When you’re running on two hours of sleep a night, reality can be difficult to discern, which is exactly what I told Newt Gingrich as he rode his yak across my backyard yesterday.

My buddy Johnny, who doesn’t yet have Mongolian horsemen riding circles around his coffee table, called last week and asked, “What’s new with you?”

I tried to think of something non-baby-related to tell him, but I couldn’t do it. A man can only share so many breastfeeding anecdotes with his buddies before the phone calls dry up altogether.

I’d just spent the better part of that afternoon fending off unwanted advances from our child. Evan was opening his mouth like a little bird and then plunging his face into my chest.

“Dude, what’s he doing?” I asked my wife Kara.

“It sure looks like he’s trying to breastfeed on you,” she laughed.

“Seriously? Have my man boobs gotten that bad? This is insulting,” I said.

Undeterred, Evan squeaked and tried to go in for the kill again, mushing his forehead into my T-shirt. It was a strange experience, being objectified by a six-week-old. It was also the first time I’d ever had to say, “Hey, Buddy, my eyes are up here.”

Johnny would have been chagrined if I’d have admitted to him that I now spend most of my limited time outside of the house scoping out other people’s minivans, a thought that would have been abhorrent to my childless self only recently. Say what you will about minivans, they’re honest about what they are. SUVs lie to the world, bragging about mountaintop expeditions on the outside while their insides are full of cupcakes and Lunchables.

You never think you’re going to be a minivan person until the day you try to squeeze a car seat into the backseat of your Toyota Matrix, forcing you to slide the passenger seat so far forward that you could crack a peanut between the headrest and the windshield.

“Is this going to work?” I asked Kara as she wedged herself into the remaining space.

“I guess, as long as we wipe off the dashboard. It tastes dusty,” she said.

And even if Johnny would have wanted to hear about any of that, he certainly wouldn’t have wanted to know that Kara and I pass the time and stave off the encroaching insanity by changing the lyrics to the songs that we sing to our wailing child.

Yesterday, I snuck up behind Kara to hear her singing “Where is Thumbkin?” to Evan, with the modified lyrics: “How are we today, Sir? Very tired I thank you.”

It can only be due to exhaustion that Kara and I found ourselves tag-teaming a recent diaper change, singing, “It’s the eye of the diaper, it’s waking all night. Rising up to the challenge of our chi---ild.”

Incidentally, in doing thorough and exhaustive research for this column (i.e., Googling “Eye of the Tiger lyrics”), I discovered that there are a lot of people in the world who actually believe that the lyrics go “…eye of the tiger, cream of the fight,” rather than “…thrill of the fight.” I have no idea what the cream of the fight is, but I’m almost positive I don’t want any in my coffee.

You can fill Mike Todd with cupcakes and Lunchables at


  1. LOL! Well, for what it's worth, you're doing a bang up job of making all that insanity sound very amusing from this end. :)

  2. Think making up song lyrics staves of insanity? HA! Wait until someone asks you if the tune you are humming, is a new radio hit, and then you realize it's the Wiggles Big Red Car and you can't think of the last time you actually LISTENED to your own music.

    It's all good.


  3. Three weeks after my son was born, I had a full blown conversation with Frank Zappa in the back seat of my imaginary Limo eating imaginary microwaved Sushi.

  4. Perlson resorted to some heavy drug use for the first few months after Issac was born... the sudden added responsibility was overwhelming for him.

    Wait til he tells you the story of when he and I were taking a bubble bath together when a crocodile came and served use Peach milkshakes from Chick-fil-A.

  5. Congratulations on your baby boy! I had my baby almost three months ago, so I can relate to all of these recent posts. My cousin, Jim Ground, sent me here.

    As far as I am concerned, the lyrics are, "It's the thrill of one bite" because nobody did it better than Weird Al.

  6. Bro, I honestly think this is the funniest column you have ever written. I fell off my chair laughing at least twice. Sleep deprivation becomes you... good luck and keep on truckin'! You can make fun of us before too long for sounding so optimistic, I'm sure we'll be in the same manic state soon enough.


  7. Dude, we'll talk finance again soon, but I think you're a little preoccupied at the moment. I guess you could take a home equity loan and trade in your clunker for hybrid minivan and quadruple dip on tax advantages.

    I wonder if Evan would have sucked on your nipples with all that hair on your chest.

  8. ZenMom -- Newt, is that you?

    Nancy -- Oh, dude, we're still in Phase 1. That sounds like about midway through Phase 3, no? I still don't know any Wiggles songs, so at least I've got that going for me.

    Perlson -- Microwaved sushi - nicely done. I would have been tempted to go the burrito route.

    Jered -- Dang, that was a good one. If only you'd mentioned Hollandaise sauce, it would have been the most random comment ever.

    Supergoob -- A celebrity was here!! I was listening to your CD years ago - Jim gave me a copy of "Were you prom queen?" Love your music, and now your writing too. I shall commence lurking on your blog immediately. Good luck with both of your new releases :-)

    Anon -- You're my favorite big sister ever. Now crank out a baby already.

    JP -- Dude, that was a scarring image. But he did just put the moves on me again tonight. That weirds me out. Anyway, I just opened a 529 account for him, so that should be good for at least half an hour on our next call.