Friends from work welcomed a new baby boy early this morning.
Of course, every time a new baby makes an appearance on the periphery of one’s life, it causes one to sit back, reminisce, and then assault the new parents with a litany of advice and rules (most of which we rolled our eyes at and chalked up to complete bullshit when we were on the receiving end!).
So, I’d just like to take a moment to welcome little Colton into the world and offer him some support as he makes this transition into the exterior world. So, little baby, these are the things I’ll tell your parents. It’s real-world advice that most people won’t discuss in “mixed company”, but I’m here for you. It’s really what I do best (and because after three kids, I still don’t really know shit about layettes and how many onsies a person should have–which may explain a lot about my parenting journey, but back to your parents…).
I’ll tell them that:
- You’re going to pee on things. Lots of things. Like, not even now, or when you’re potty training, but a few years later. Just when they assume it shouldn’t be an issue.
- In the first few months, as they transition into the sleep-depraved, coffee-fueled parents they thought only existed in sit-coms, the magic words are: Always cover the wee-wee. They may be too tired to take the extra step, they may think they can change a diaper fast. But nothing on earth is as fast as the sudden breeze that sweeps in from tinkle-land and causes a baby boy to respond. As fast as that stream is, it’s also multi-directional, and nothing will wake them up faster than the light tinkle of urine spraying the window blinds over their shoulder at 2 am.
- Never put the baby directly on the couch, bed or carpet. Always have a blanket or towel (cheap ones that you don’t care about, but not so cheap that they give off carcinogenic fumes when you burn them!). You may think a diaper and clothing serve as a barrier, but there will be blowouts of such magnificent proportions that you can’t get into the same room without getting some on you. Trust me people, poop travels…far!
- Speaking of poop–never, ever, ever again assume that something is chocolate.
- You will do and say things that will make them question their own sanity. You’ll also say things that–however innocent–will sound completely inappropriate. Usually in public. In a very loud voice. In that two-second time span when every other sound on earth has paused. And everyone will look at them with the judgiest of judgemental faces. And just when you have everyone’s attention, you just feel free to say one more thing to really tip the balance out of their favor (trust me, they’ll just smile and shrug. There’s really nothing else they can do!).
- They’ll have to make rules they never imagined they’d have to verbalize: a) You cannot pee on your brother; b) Sneaking food in your underwear isn’t a good idea; c) You can’t put sausage patties in a toaster; d) You can’t use the plastic bins just because you’re in the middle of a LEGO project–get up and go to the bathroom. (I’m really not profiling–a lot of things boys do just involve pee)
But despite the exasperating, appalling, confusing, and human waste covered moments they’ll never be the same. They’ll barely be able to recall a time when you weren’t in their lives, they’re first and last thoughts each day will be of you, and every cell in their bodies will be finely tuned to where you are in the world and will know on a cosmic level if you are safe, well, and happy. And if you do nothing else in the world, the fact that you exist has made them exactly who they are right now, and it is the very best of everything!