HOLY CRAP, I’M HAVING A BABY!
I had sex with my wife and it resulted in an impending and significant financial burden! Son of a bitch!
It’s true, my wife and I are having a baby! I know, I know, we’re not special. Lots of people have had babies. I mean, look around at all the babies. Everyone is pretty good proof that people have babies sometimes. To us, however, it feels like we’re the first couple ever to embark on this tender journey of pooping and destitution, and to say the least we’re equal parts thrilled and shell-shocked.
This baby will be invading my personal space sometime in late May, if all goes according to “plan”. Not long ago, news such as this would have destroyed me emotionally. I would have run screaming into the woods. Once there, I would have sat down on the least wet stump I could find (after carefully inspecting it for silverfish) and cried, keening and blubbering long into the night. Then I would have started feverishly looking around for the checkerberry plant (gaultheria procumbens), because it’s the only plant I know of that you can eat in the wild. It smells like gum, and tastes like gum mixed with a bad-tasting plant. From there, it’s hard to say what I would have done next. The plan never extended beyond identifying and masticating checkerberry.
But it was time to procreate or get off the pot. Actually, from what I understand it’s best to get off the pot and then procreate. Toilet procreation seems unsanitary and hard. That’s a little joke, you can laugh at it or not laugh at it. The ball’s in your court on that one. Anyway, I’d say these days I’m about 44% ready for a child, and that’s way more ready than I’ve ever been in the past. I think it’ll be fun to see what it does, what it thinks is funny, whether or not I stop calling it “it” once its sex has been established. There are books I should probably be reading that purport to tell me how to deal with my new child and what to expect in general but frankly I’d rather snap my own neck than look at any of that stuff. Besides, I already know many things about babies.
RULES FOR BABIES:
1) Do not drop the baby on the floor.
2) Do not put the baby in the stove.
3) Do not allow the baby to operate a motor vehicle, no matter how much it cries.
4) Do not put the baby in a “Perfect Plex”.
5) Do not throw the baby at people you don’t like.
6) Do not get the baby a tattoo. He may think “Handy Manny” looks badass on his bicep right now, but it’s not gonna do them any favors later on when they’re trying to get laid.
7) Do not lie down next to the baby and begin screaming, flailing, and shitting your pants to “see how it likes it”.
8 ) Do not (or try not to) vomit directly onto the baby’s crotch upon unsealing its dung-encumbered diaper for the first time.
9) Do not call the baby unkind names. If you must attack your baby with words, create cuter substitutions for the usual vulgarity. I plan on gently lambasting my child with the terms “chicken dinner” and “steak sandwich”. For example: “What I paid for these diapers could have funded a bargain-priced Wii game, ya little chicken dinner!” or “You’ve ruined my life, you fucking steak sandwich!”
10) Do not make your baby go to a psychiatrist, no matter how messed up they seem.
11) Introduce your baby to the work of Bob Newhart at an early age, that they might be more fully indoctrinated into the subtle nuances of his style of humor.
12) If you and the baby are indoors and the house suddenly catches on fire, do not defenestrate the baby.
13) Do not abandon the baby on someone’s doorstep with a saccharine note attached to his onesie. That’s hokey.
14) Do not allow the baby access to your Netflix queue.
15) Do not “pants” the baby in the middle of the mall and encourage bystanders to laugh and point.
16) Do not try to force episodes of “Arrested Development” on the baby. If it’s meant to be, the baby will discover and learn to enjoy this fine program on its own. The more you pressure it, the more it will resent the show on the basis of your badgering alone, however well-meaning you may be. Just give it time.
17) Ditto for “The Wire”.
18) If your fantasy football team loses, do not defenestrate the baby.
19) Set a good example for your baby by behaving in a calm and respectful manner at all times, being careful not to use coarse language and to always display an unselfish and empathetic attitude. Plus don’t beat your wife with the baby.
20) If your baby disrupts your slumber with loud crying, don’t call the police on them.
21) Do not “punk” your baby.
22) When reading aloud to your baby, avoid the works of Joyce Carol Oates. Babies HATE Joyce Carol Oates. Nope, not even “We Were the Mulvaneys”.
23) Do not let your mom teach your baby to call Target “Tar-jay”, like it’s a fancy French store. She didn’t invent that joke. Stop letting her think that she did.
24) Do not teach your baby to share. There’s no money in it.
25) Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Drain the tub as you normally would, then put the baby up for adoption.
26) Do not extinguish cigarettes on your baby’s fontanelle. Buy an ashtray! Jesus!
27) Do not try to get your baby interested in the stuff that used to be on TV when you were a kid. It will only hurt your feelings when your baby inevitably fails to exhibit the same enthusiasm for “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” that you once held.
28) I know you don’t like doing it yourself, but do not make the baby mow the lawn. It won’t do a good job. Your lawn looks bad, you look bad. It’s just a bad scene all around. There’s usually a neighborhood kid that’s looking to make a few bucks. Look around for handmade notices tacked in the entryway of your local store. Honestly, you’re better off in the end just leaving the baby out of it.
29) Do not dropkick the baby into a yawning crevasse.
30) Do not make your baby pay rent. It breeds contempt.
See? I got babies down. Whatever the case, it’s sure to be an alternately rewarding and horrifying ride, and I’m looking forward to the end result. Because right now my wife is barfing into the toilet every two seconds and making me drive out into the night to purchase pickles, peaches, and chocolate milk. So for both of our sakes, pray to whoever you might pray to that the next nine months go by quickly, as my wife isn’t big on puking and I’m not a fan of running errands.
Well, I’m off to enjoy a fitful night’s sleep interspersed with vivid dreams of babies either electrocuting themselves or tearfully confronting me about why I didn’t try harder in school so I could get a better job that would afford them cooler toys, better food, and more stylish clothing. Night!