Other than breastfeeding, things went reasonably well in those first few weeks. By his second day home, I was already taking our son for a walk around the block. However, since he was born in early November I was only able to do that for about three days before the polar vortex showed up and ruined everything.
What do you do with a baby in the cold weather? Definitely don’t put it in a microwave. That is a bad idea, no matter what it says on Goop.com about cleansing your baby’s toxins. And your baby doesn’t want to help with your bank heist. The baby knows that you are your team have a bond that was forged in the Vietnam War, and it can’t just wander in and expect to be accepted by the other guys. You could make him fight a wolf, but that’s really an activity for older kids.
So, you should probably take the kid to mall. I know the mall sucks these days. They don’t have bookstores or music stores there anymore, and you can’t walk past the Aerie store without worrying about Chris Hansen. The store sells underwear for teenage girls, and they have giant pictures of teenage girls in their underwear right in the shop window. How is that even legal? And don’t get me start Spencer’s Gifts. I’m no prude, but when did it turn into Dildos-R -Us?
But the mall is warm, and you can stretch your legs, and you have to teach your baby about Chick-Fil-A or else he’s going to learn about it on the streets. The only downside to this was that we had to take the stroller. There are strollers than are small and can be carried in one hand, but those are for older kids. Newborn strollers are built like ED-209. We had a Honda Fit, and it was no fun trying to put that in the trunk. As soon as he was old enough, we got a jogging stroller, and that worked out a lot better.
They tell you to narrate your day so your child can an acquire language. And that’s a great idea, but it also gets boring really fast. We got a whole bunch of books for the baby, but newborns have zero interest in reading books. So, I decided to read him something I would like, which was Terry Carr’s Treasury of Great American Fantasy. It had a great list of authors, and I had only read some of the stories included, so I thought it would be a great way to bound with the baby. The first story in the anthology is the classic H.P Lovecraft story “The Rats in the Walls”, which features a cat whose name contains an ethnic slur. So, after promising myself I would never lie to my child, he was about a week old and I’m already telling him the cat’s name is Steve. The rest of the stories didn’t have problems like that, so it was a fun bonding experience for all involved.
Before long, my wife was accusing me hogging the baby because I carried him with me almost all the time. I liked holding him so much that I couldn’t put him down. Also, he didn’t take naps during the day, so I didn’t really have a choice. Before he was born, I was so nervous holding babies. One month after he was born, I baked a cake holding him the entire time. That’s right, I managed to bake an entire Betty Crocker cake while holding a baby. Suck it, moms in Africa who have to travel 10 miles every day to get fresh water. I’m totally dominating you in the parenting game. The transition to being a father was a lot easier than I was expecting. While there was certainly not a lot of sleep going on, those first months were some of the most blissfully happy times of my life.
The end of my wife’s maternity leave was coming to end, so we had to decide what to do about looking after the baby during the day. During her pregnancy, we had sot of toyed around with the idea of me being a stay at home dad. I was hesitant because I felt really uneasy about leaving my job,. But then the baby came along, and it was hard to imagine leaving him every day. We also got some news that made me being a stay home dad pretty much a necessity.