You know that old expression, “time flies when you’re suddenly in charge of keeping a screaming, snotting, perpetually eating and shitting bag of adorableness alive because you love it and hey, you’re a parent now, like you even have a choice in the matter”?
It’s totally true.
The last time I wrote for this site, my wife was an overstuffed chile relleno who would interrupt a “hey, how was your d-“ with an “I gotta pee.” She ate Sour Patch Kids by the pound and it took her 10-15 minutes to get out of the bed or off of a couch. The baby was still inside of her butt (I’m still not clear on the science) and the house was quiet; sleeping in on the weekends wasn’t my wildest fantasy: it was a natural occurrence that I took for granted.
And then one night, I had like, eight beers and went to bed at midnight. My wife woke me up at 3am.
“BRANDON. I THINK MY WATER JUST BROKE.”
I thought it was a joke, and told her so.
“SERIOUSLY. GET UP.”
So we ran around the house shoving shit into bags—(Hot Pockets, Reader’s Digest magazines, several Blu-Ray copies of Madea Births a Kid for consultation purposes)—and before I knew it, we were at the hospital. We spent 18 agonizing hours in a room that reeked of placenta and takeout Chinese. We watched that one movie where Sandra Bullock and George Clooney float into outer space and I slept on a vinyl torture device in the corner. My in-laws came many, many hours before the baby did, which I think probably happens a lot. (They brought me a cheeseburger even though I said not to because I knew my wife would be tortured and pissed; she was.)
And then late at night, the baby came out. She was purple and gooey, not unlike a saltwater taffy that had been carelessly left in the sun. They slid her onto my wife’s chest and we both cried. The baby went from purple to a little-less-purple and then began wailing. Her eye was smooshed flat and my wife later admitted that she was worried the baby was a Cyclops, but that she also felt terrible because she was worried about something so trivial and unimportant. (For the record, my baby is not a Cyclops… yet. Now that she pulls herself up to a standing position, she hits her eye on a lot of shit, so I kind of think it might just be a matter of time.)
We spent two days at the hospital with a litany of nurses coming and going. There was Mary, who rasped like an old Cajun swamp-dweller and called my daughter “best girl.” There was the very chill hippy nurse who drew things like “heeeeyyy, girl” out to comedic proportions. There were 8,000,000 others who I’ve long since forgotten, but who were all terrific and friendly and helpful. (As well they should be—holy SHIT is the actual act of birthing a child expensive. For what we paid, we should have been given complimentary chicken tenders and foot massages, but alas, we were not.)
Eventually, our time ran out. Gone were the salad days of Mary helping to latch the baby onto my wife’s boob and the free summer blockbusters from two years ago playing softly in the background. They gave us some free formula samples, a small piece of paper with baby instructions (“by the third week, your baby’s stool should look like an expensive German mustard”) and some pats on the back.
We drove 10 miles-per-hour the whole way home.
Stay tuned for Part II of the hilarious New Daddy Chronicles…
Latest posts by Brandon Leftridge (see all)
- New Daddy Chronicles, Part II: Now the Baby is Home – Year One - August 21, 2016
- New Daddy Chronicles, Part I: Here Comes the Baby - May 28, 2015
- Infant Care Class (aka: A Very Important Saturday That I’ll Never Get Back) - February 13, 2015