The Reluctant Napper

Last week was my first week of being a stay-at-home parent. This is a temporary situation as my spouse goes back to work. For the next two months, I’ll be looking after my baby, engaging her, feeding her, trying desperately not to accidentally drop her on her squishy head, getting peed upon, catching baby barf with my body, trying not to cry every time she smiles when looking at me, teaching her that farts are funny, and the most challenging: getting her to take a damn nap.

Drunk Baby MemeShe wants to take a nap. She yawns and half closes her eyes, but like the drunk college student on your couch who keeps nodding his/her head, once you point out that she’s sleepy, she defiantly tells you, “no, no you shuddup. I’m not asleep, you’re asleeping. No, no, fugoff, Sandm-burp-Sandperson. Go–belch–go sleep, sleepoopyhead. Lemmealone.”

On the other hand, I can’t nap enough. I can’t sleep enough. What I’m saying is, I don’t know if anyone has said this before, but caring for a baby is a lot of work. (I know, shut up, parents, that was sarcasm, everyone knows parenting is hard work, but people without kids can’t appreciate what it’s like any more than a person who hasn’t had cancer can possibly relate to someone going through chemo, so there’s no point in repeating how hard it is to parent to non-parents. Yes, I did just compare child raising to cancer. Am I wrong?) When I was about to go on leave, a higher-up in my office singled me out in a meeting and said that I was going on “babysitting leave.” To which I immediately, without thinking of the consequences, responded, “well, some people call it ‘being a parent,’ but if you want to diminish it by calling it babysitting, go ahead if it makes you feel better about your choices.” Thankfully, the CFO of my company took my side immediately and diffused the situation and we all moved on (meanwhile, I will have in the back of my head these next months that I’m coming back to a sound firing, yet another reason why I feel the constant need to sleep, to escape into anxiety-riddled nightmares that gnaw at my unconscious).baby middle finger

This situation of her defiant non-somnambulism has revealed a stark reality of my out-of-shapedness. She’s about 18 lbs./8.16 kg. That’s like carrying around a spare car tire (not my usual Fatty McFat-Fat spare tire) around, bouncing, wiggling, moving back-and-forth, dancing like a drunk Dean Martin to try and get that spare tire to stop clawing at my throat and just give-in to her yawning tendencies. Yes, before you ask, my arms are enormous, like The Rock just injected human growth hormone directly into his arms. Then, when I set her down, she’ll often give me a wry grin, like she’s saying, “yeah, nice try, see you in five minutes, ya walking sack of cell holocaust.”

Of course she sleeps when I’m holding her in the most uncomfortable-for-me position possible. And she’ll make the greatest facial expressions. Though, I’m not sure if those expressions are more, “gotcha, dickhead,” or more like she’s having very lucid dreams about boobs and hands smearing cream on her anus (like my own dreams).

These aren’t original ideas handed down by the goddess of muse, these are the deleterious gasps of the collective consciousness of exhausted parents wheezed through the generations.

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16 Comments

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  1. She’s already 18 pounds?? WHEN DID SHE GET SO BIG? I thought it was still a newborn. How long are babies newborns?

    The good news is, if you go back and get fired you’ll have a helluva lawsuit on your hands!

    I mean, I’m sure everything will be fine…

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  2. I remember those days. And they never ever sleep when you want them to, and then when you need them awake, they are out for the count. My oldest when older than yours would crawl out of his bed at nap time to play and fall sound asleep on the floor surrounded by toys. Obviously there is more comfort with your head jammed against a truck than a nice comfy pillow

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  3. I remember those days. And they never ever sleep when you want them to, and then when you need them awake, they are out for the count. My oldest when older than yours would crawl out of his bed at nap time to play and fall sound asleep on the floor surrounded by toys. Obviously there is more comfort with your head jammed against a truck than a nice comfy pillow

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  4. You had sex? That’s awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sounds like they need some sensitivity training at your workplace! And here’s my tip about napping — just switch her bottle from breast/formula milk to Bailey’s Irish Cream. And take a swig or two for yourself, you poor sod. Go on, you know you want to.

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  6. Have you looked into daycare? That way you can go back to work. It’s also tax deductible.

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    • It is!?! Day care is incredibly expensive. It made more sense for me to take unpaid leave than to pass her off to strangers in a warehouse, just to give you an idea. Also, most of the daycares around my neck of the woods are hyper-religious, which, fine if you’re into that, but we’re not. Besides, I’ve always dreamed of being a stay-at-home not working person. This is a chance to live the dream.

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  7. You have my sympathy.

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  8. I wrote a post a long time ago that said it’s not “babysitting” if you’re a father. You’re parenting. If they give you any grief when you go back to the so-called work that is so much easier than parenting, then let me know and I will swoop in to play giant baby who spends the day crying outside the office of the idiot who made that babysitting comment. I will need to have my diapers changed and boy can I take a gigantic dump. Of course, I’ll need to be fed, too. Someone will be very sorry for saying something so stupid. Now, at home, when little baby Hermione looks super sleepy, put her down with her favorite blankie and snuggly toy. Her crib is preferable, but an infant seat will do. Leave her alone. If she cries for more than five minutes, check her to see if she needs to be changed. Pat her back to bring up remaining burps. Then leave her alone again. You might turn on a music box or an album on low volume. Simon and Garfunkel maybe. Let it be (Beatles another possibility). She needs to learn that she can fall asleep on her own. She will learn. Keep me informed. I know many tricks of the trade. When my baby boy, now thirty-six, couldn’t sleep at night, we turned on the TV to Soul Train. I don’t know if Soul Train is still on at 2 a.m., but Soul Train knocked out that kid. He has never come to.

    Love,
    Janie

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  9. abeerfortheshower August 29, 2016 — 1:51 pm

    You know, at this point it’s probably not too late to just list her on eBay and cut your losses.

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  10. I was a stay at home mum in the days before Red Bull, and I like to remind my daughters of this as they can’t get through a day without Red Bull well two of them can’t one likes her coffee instead I don’t drink coffee so hand none of those things to help me stay awake and function I just had to deal it was the way it was

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  11. I had no idea you had enormous um… arms. But I’m pretty sure you did compare child raising to cancer. Well, I’m sure you’re doing a good job, little as blue guys can relate to green guys and vice versa. Let’s just say we’re trying.

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  12. Whoah what in the hell is going on here? How did I miss the part where Mrs. Pickleope was pregnant and you now have an 18lb baby gherkin? What the EFF? I subscribed a long time ago to follow this blog but I’ve never gotten a notification. Fix it! Because it can’t possibly be on my end and since it realistically probably is, I don’t know how.
    Also, did that office dip shit really truly call it babysitting leave?

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