Cranky Baby

I know myself fairly well. I know that, if I don’t get myself on a routine, I will waste away these days by cruising mindlessly through the internet and watching whatever bland show is on TV. I don’t want to do that though. I have plans on what my routine should be, what I want to accomplish each day. They are minor things, like doing the laundry and the dishes, reading, doing something creative, things like that.

Who know who doesn’t care about their daddy’s haphazard plans? Cranky Baby Abigail, that’s who.

Yesterday was not a great day to be a baby in this home. Abigail decided that sleep was for other babies, and she was going to wiggle and squirm every time her eyes closed. Today has been better, but her most comfortable position isn’t laying down, or hanging out in her swing. No, her most comfortable position is laying face down on my chest. After yesterday, I’ll take whatever sleep she’ll getting.

Faceplanted baby is much more preferable than cranky baby though. She was fine yesterday morning, but as the day went on and she fell further behind her sleep debt, it became a vicious cycle. Sleep for 20 minutes, wake up angry, cry and scream, eat a small amount, go back to sleep. Such a schedule makes it hard to do, well, anything except the basic necessities.

I knew that going in. It was tempting to think of being at home as being essentially “free” time, even though I knew that wasn’t going to be the case. It was tempting to think that keeping a routine would be easy. That she was going to sleep at certain times, eat at certain times, get a diaper change at certain times.

For that most part that’s not too off base. Looking at the past few weeks, Abigail usually eats at about the same time, and sleeps for a decent chunk afterwards. But then a day like yesterday happens, when, for whatever reason, she is Cranky Baby. And working with that to do some of what I want is going to take some practice.

Poop is Gross

Baby Abigail has decided that she will only poop for daddy.

At first it was like, ha ha, it’s kind of funny that she only soils herself when mom is out writing, or in the bath, or otherwise occupied. Surely it was just a coincidence that Abigail waited until I got home from work to start scrunching her face up, cheeks turning red as she tries to get her little baby bowels to work. She only defecates once every other day or so, and usually in the evenings, which just so happened to be when I was home. Now that I am home during the day and work the evenings, it will be mother’s time to change dirty diapers, surely.

I no longer believe it is a coincidence. But rather, a poop conspiracy.

Yesterday, just as Ashes was leaving for work, at 7:45 in the morning, Abigail looked me dead in the eye and started grunting an all too familiar grunt. I watched in disbelief as her little baby body shook just as I heard Ashes starting her car. One long shudder later, she did her adorably dumb baby grin that says, “Dad, it’s time to clean up my shit.”

Ashes is big on data collection. We have records of feeding, sleeping, and diaper changes going back weeks. Baby Abigail hasĀ never pooped that early in the day. This was a clear signal that crap cleaning time was still going to be daddy time.

I blame myself. This started because when I would hold her while sitting on the couch, I bring my legs up and let her lean back against them. This mostly vertical position is apparently an easier position for fecal formalities, and one that Ashes, with her shorter legs, is unable to hold. I believe the baby got used to pooping with me, and now my long legs have doomed me to several years of cleaning up shit.

I will spare you the details of the contents of these diapers. Just know that, when a baby only poops every two days, it creates as big a mess as you think it does. A goopy, stinky, mess. One that is my burden to clean.


Why a blog?

To blog, or not to blog?

The last three years of my life have been a whirlwind of change. I got married, my wife and I decided to have a kid, then we actually had said kid. I don’t always handle change well. In the eight years between graduating college and getting married, I lived in the same apartment and had the same job. I ate the same four meals, drank the same soda. I was a creature of habit, every day being pretty much the same. And I was one hundred percent okay with this.

Life is quite a bit different now. For example, between juggling my attention between an eight year old and a two month old, it took a remarkable five hours to write the above paragraph. And while having a built-in excuse to never get anything done ever again is nice, having so many major life changes in a relatively short time span is daunting when I take a step back and think about it.

The change that is messing me up the most at the moment though is also the most recent. This week, I am officially working part-time in order to stay at home with Baby Abigail while my wife is at work. Compared to getting married or having a baby, changing my work status seems a pretty minor thing. But for the past ten years-ish, no matter what happened, I was at least self-sufficient. It wasn’t always fun or easy, but I at least made enough money to keep the rent paid.

No longer though. Working part-time, I’ll at least ensure my half of the rent and bills are paid, but all the rest will be coming from my wife. Food, clothing, entertainment, all things I would normally spend my own money on, now come from someone else’s paycheck. This lack of self-sufficiency weighs on me more then being a husband or a dad, even though it is the slightest of these life changes.

Of course, instead of earning a paycheck, I’ll be taking care of a baby. Doing the whole “stay at home Dad” thing. I’m not worried about being productive or not earning my keep or anything like that. There’s just a deep, unsettling feeling about needing my own money. I could psychoanalyze myself and find some trust issues and a childhood of economic anxiety to blame, but I’d rather not.

Instead, I’d rather talk about this new baby I’m supposed to take care of. I’d like to talk about waking up and enjoying a cup of coffee instead of sprinting out the door to work. I’d like to talk about the arduous task of cleaning up baby shit, or trying to coax an incredibly tired baby to sleep, or doing anything else really.

So, a blog. A dad blog, even. I make no promises of quantity or quality of posts. I’m not super great at making blogs look nice, so don’t expect anything more than maybe a picture in the header and words underneath. In fact, it would be best if you didn’t have many expectations at all. Although if anyone has a better name than “Dad Blog,” feel free to send it my way.

Also, my wife bought the webspace, so I figured I better use it for something.