Having a baby is the most life-altering thing any human being can do. Man, woman; gay, straight; single, married, it doesn’t matter. Whether it’s your genetic material or someone else’s, having a baby in the house is going to fuck your day up. These days you can’t throw a rock and not hit a blog post or book or article about the trials and tribulation of having a baby. But no one talks about what happens when they’re not babies anymore. I mean we all know teenagers suck, but what about those wonderful school-aged years when the only they’re doing at the speed of light is learning what not to do. Not to mention, being influenced by other kids. Correction, other, shittier kids. You know longer have full control over what they learn and how they learn it, which totally sucks!
My oldest son recently turned 8. I, believing the lies told me by my parental predecessors, thought things would be getting easier by now. We’d be able to have a meaningful conversation, common interests, and even a developing sense of mutual respect. Boy was I wrong. What I got were conversations that contain the word “um” approximately 8,000 times about people I’ve never met and things I’ve never heard of, the constant demand to fain enthusiasm 24/7, and a never-ending need to talk myself out of striking a child. You spend years teaching your child to talk. Then, you immediately regret that decision. They never stop talking. Never. Ever.
He’s reached the age where he is trying desperately to understand adult conversation and nuances. However, he has the attention span of the fruit fly so he zones out halfway through the answer to a question he just asked. So when he says the words “Ooooh! Now I get it.” That means he has no idea what the fuck I’m talking about. He’s just moved on to whatever random thought just came into his head like, I wonder if now is a good time to bring up that thing I did at Grandma’s house months ago that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about right now.
And I swear to God listening to this kid tell a story should be illegal under the Geneva Convention. It is the most torurous experience in my life. “Mom. I, um, went to Jack’s house and um we played this game um that has this um thing and you have to do this other thing to um make this one thing happen. It’s just like the one I played at um I don’t remember his name’s house. You remember?” Ummmmmmm……what?!?! For Christ’s sake. I would almost rather work at a college bar on a Friday night full of Sorority bar crawls that’s four deep with dumb bitches who have never had anything stronger than Malibu….almost. But of course I can’t tell him that. I have to pretend to be interested and care, because he needs validation. I need a boob job and a wine of the month membership, but you don’t see me bitching!
So, if you’ve just had a baby, enjoy these moments when they sleep all the time and don’t speak. Trust me the spit up and shit is worth it. Just remember, the day is coming when you will have to interact. And they won’t be like those cool kids on sitcoms. Rudy Huxtable isn’t real. (Too soon?) Kids don’t make witty jokes or say the funny thing at the right time. They will, however, rip ass in the middle of the grocery store and laugh relentlessly. So, it’s not all doom and gloom.
As for me and my first born, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The other day I made some smart ass comment and he goes, “Is that sarcasm?” I’ve never been more proud as a partent. He’s such a great kid with all kinds of creativity. He’s sweet and kind and thoughtful and a great big brother. He has more love and generosity in his little finger than most people do in their whole bodies. But if this phase doesn’t pass and soon, I would recommend buying stock in duct tape and Pinot Grigio.