Thursday, December 4, 2014

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Strange things that happen when up with a baby

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My wife and I have a 6-month-old. She is starting to teethe, which means we’ve been having some long nights. Strange things happen in the night when up with the baby. It’s a mix of emotions and exhaustion that I’m pretty sure leads to madness. Here are a few of the strange things that can happen in the night.

Around 4AM Baby Einstein goes from irritating to psychedelic madness: Oh, wow! The train runs in a circle. I get it now.

Deep epiphanies on life: “What if life is imaginary and this crying baby is merely a construct representing the baby inside me longing to travel to Brazil.”

Irrational partner blaming: “How hard is it to find a binky you stupid jerk?”

Attempting to reason with a baby: Daddy needs sleep. Okay. I can’t sleep if you don’t sleep, so stop crying and go to sleep. It’s the polite thing to do.

Unexpected fits of rage from both baby and parent.

Unexpected burst of laughter from both baby and parent.

The MacGyver plan: I’m going to place the baby in the bouncer while swaddled, line it with rolled blankets so she will feel cozy, hold the binky with my left hand so she won’t drop it, and bounce her with my left foot, while holding a movie on the iPad in my right hand. Once she is asleep, I will put a beanbag in an oven mitt and place it on the baby. She will think it’s my hand, and then I will go back to bed.

The decision that this will be the last child you ever have.

Discovering that you can fall asleep while holding a baby if you place your elbow on the sofa arm, helping to support the baby, and rest your head against the bookshelf.

Paranoia: What was that sound? Is someone breaking in? What would I do if someone broke in? I’m in my underwear. I should check the locks.

The terror of realizing that you are not tired anymore, and have most likely crossed some line from exhaustion into madness. 

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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