Tuesday, November 18, 2014

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7 Things I hate about the first year of life


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I often call the first year of life “new baby hell.” I have three kids, and I love them all, but the first year of life I could do without. I know that a lot of parents complain about the toddler years, but at least those kids can walk and eat with their hands. Honestly, I love years 1-5. After that they get lippy. Anyway, here a few reasons why I hate the first year of life.

Sleepless nights: Babies just don’t care. They sleep when they want to. They poop their pants in the night. They puke in the bed. They keep me up all hours, and then sleep during the day. They don’t have jobs. They don’t pay rent. I’ve had a few drunken friends with the same attitude, and all were kicked out of apartments for this behavior. Yet, with a baby, I just have to deal.

No personality:  For the first four months, all a baby can do is poop, pee, and cry. They can’t even support the weight of their head, let alone smile. And I know that people often say that new babies are cute, but I just don’t agree. My newborns look like little black-eyed toothless shriveled up trollish things, with purplish skin and wrinkly hands. It’s like trying to love Darth Vader without the mask.

Blowouts: With a new baby in the house, it’s best to stock up on Spray and Wash and invest in upholstery and carpet cleaner. Babies live on a liquid diet. This means that they only produce watery poop that cannot be contained. Nasty.

Little to no sex: Few things wake a baby like loving parents sneaking into their bedroom. Our baby could be sacked out, but the second we lock the bedroom door, she starts crying. There is also the fact that I want to have sex, but usually am too tired from getting up in the night to actually put in the effort. I cannot tell you how old this makes me feel. Most of my young life, when I had to choose between sex and sleep, sex was always the victor. But with a baby, that isn’t the case anymore, and it makes me feel like I’m loosing my mojo.

Baby daddy hatred: Our current baby hated me for the first several months of life. She loved mom, brother, and sister. She even loved strangers. But for some reason, she hated me, and it made me feel like trash. I tried not to take it personally. I understood that she was just a baby. But honestly, how can I not feel crappy when my own daughter looks at me with big, horrified, eyes and screams hysterically every time I hold her?

Immobile: Baby legs are basically fat and useless. All they are good for is kicking, and even that is pitiful, rhythmless jerks. I think that children don’t really become interesting until they can walk. Before that, babies just cling to me like a little 12-pound drooling and pooping bowling ball that makes my back ache.

Worthless Communicators: Babies can cry. And they can be quiet. Crying bad. Quiet good. This binary communication is the reason I daydream of wandering off into the woods. It’s all about trial and error. But what I can say is that when I do get the baby to calm down, and around month five, when the cooing starts, there are few things more satisfying than figuring out what a baby needs and being able to give it to her.

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Clint Edwards was blessed with a charming and spitfire wife, a video game obsessed little boy, a snarky little girl in a Cinderella play dress, and an angry baby girl. When Clint was 9-years-old his father left. With no example of fatherhood, he had to learn how to be a father and husband through trial and error. His work has been featured in Good Morning America, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, Fast Company, and elsewhere. He lives in Oregon. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter