Its been 11 months since Teddy was born, but it feels like it was only yesterday. Such a corny thing to say. But I’m super corny now, I have to be, Im a dad! Every parent will tell you(which is annoying) that your kid grows up overnight. And its really true. Maybe its because time flies when you’re having fun. Maybe its because I’m so tired that all the days just blend together. Either way, finding the hours in a day to get shit done is an art form, and I am a struggling artist.
Now I can only speak from my experience, but the first 3 months raising a baby is a piece of cake. Maybe we got lucky. All Teddy did was eat, sleep and shit. He also blew out some of the most hilarious farts, but thats it. Easy peasy. I will admit, waking up in the middle of the night kind of sucked, but that was easy to get used to. I’m sure Kristin will tell you otherwise, seeing that she was Teddys food source and her job was a lot more strenuous and important than my getting up and changing his diaper. But thats not the point here. My point is 0-3 month old babies are easy. If yours isn’t, its probably an early warning that your kid is gonna grow up to be an asshole. Just kidding. But getting things done in those first 3 months was really easy. Then all of a sudden, life wakes you up with a swift kick in the nuts. No more sleeping, a lot more crying, same amount of shitting, and more dishes stacking up in the sink. My time was now Teddys time.
The worst part about babies is that they go through “leaps”. Leaps are basically physical and mental milestones the baby hits, and all I have to say is fuck leaps. Just when you think you have your kid figured out, they hit a leap, and they are usually brutal. The 3-4 month leap was by far the worst. There are 24 hours in a day, and during this leap Teddy might have been awake for 19 of them and out of those 19 he cried for 17. The only way he would sleep is if I held him. You can imagine that getting anything done was impossible, and you’re right. This was at a pretty tough time for me because I was transitioning from going to work everyday to staying home, learning how to take care of Teddy alone, while also trying to get work done. Being tired is an understatement. Complete exhaustion is an understatement. Being completely confused as to why your child went from a perfect little angel to a screaming banshee devil child is an understatement. But as the time past Teddy and I slowly figured it out.
The Bear(Teddy) finally got back on a somewhat normal sleep schedule. Normal enough to start a kind of routine anyways. He would take long enough naps to get the dishes done, or the laundry, or even long enough for me to take a shower. But for some reason, as soon as I opened my computer to get to work he would wake up. I realized that working during the daylight hours was going to be next to impossible.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to work from home while also taking care of your spawn, get used to staying up really late, and getting up really early. My day starts around 7:30 when Kristin leaves for work. Im lucky enough that she takes care of Teddy for the first couple hours he’s awake. And I know what you’re thinking…”7:30 is a pretty normal time to wake up.” Ya it is. But when you work until 2:30 in the morning though, 7:30 is a nap. Working from home is awesome. However, I don’t get paid until work gets done. I wear headphones when I work because I need to watch and listen to what I’m doing. And yes, this is dangerous to do when you have a ten month old that is way better at crawling than he was last week. And this is why i get all my work done when everybody else is sleeping. Im fucking tired.
Running errands is also a skill to be learned. Anyone with a baby knows that life revolves around nap and feeding times. You learn quickly that getting everything ready ahead of time is crucial for getting out of the house and back before the next nap. Its comparable to the countdown of a space shuttle. Anything goes wrong and you might as well just abort the mission for everyones safety. The other day we had to go to the grocery store. It was around his nap time so I tried to put him down for a nap. He wasn’t having it so we just went. Sure enough, he fell asleep in the car 5 minutes from the store, so I spent the next 45 minutes or so sitting in the parking lot while he slept. that trip should have taken no longer that an hour, but instead that time was doubled. “But why didn’t you just wake him up and go in the store?” Because I’m not about to be that parent walking down the aisles with an inconsolable, overtired child because that shit is the worst. I always feel bad for those parents though, because most of the time there is literally nothing you can do.
And I wouldn’t trade the lack of sleep, the days without showers and the endless dirty dishes and laundry for anything in the world. There are 86,400 seconds in a day. Every second I get to spend with Teddy is the best second I’ve ever spent in my life. Everyday I see him learn something new. He’s like a fancy puppy but instead of teaching him to sit or roll over, I’m teaching him how to clap, and dance, and say dada before he says mama. Im fucking tired, but its worth it.
I started this little blog without any expectations of anybody reading it, just as a way for me to write the words that I wanted to write. Kind of like a hobby. Incredibly, a few people have read it and they like it (most likely blowing smoke up my ass) and have encouraged me to write more. So I’m gonna try to write more…if I can find the time.