Monday, June 14, 2010

Time Suckers

            I’m a father of two now. Have been for four days. And already I’m wondering how to find time to tie my own shoes. It amazes me that people all around the world have done this, this massive undertaking, and somehow the rest of us have had absolutely no idea of the sheer amount of work they’ve been pouring into it for all these years.
            We’ve all been sitting back sipping our piña coladas and wondering what all the fuss was about. We’d watch a family pass by, and when one child would start to scream we’d think, “Ah, those parents aren’t raising their kids very well. They certainly don’t have them under control the way I would do it.”
            And then we’d go back and take a sip of our lovely drink and think about something esoteric, amusing, or not even think at all. Why not? We had all the time we wanted on our hands. We could read meaningless novels, go to movies, stay up late drinking with our buddies. Heck, we’d even blow big cash on completely unnecessary items just because we could and we felt like it.
            Ah, those were the days.
            I suppose looking back, there were some warning signals. Friends with kids who would talk about sleepless nights. The dark rings planted under their puffy eyes. Or the very fact that none of the parent-friends in my life would be the ones hanging out late playing poker or spending money on frivolous items of the non-diaper variety.
            With one child I felt like we had our hands full. But what I didn’t consider is the fact that we could trade off. One parent could always take a break while the other took on child duty. With two kids, there are now many moments where having two of us doesn’t quite feel like enough. Right now I’m thinking we could really use a third person to cook, clean, do the laundry, and catch up on some of my sleep for me, because I certainly don’t have enough time to do that!
            In between running to and fro, I have managed to stop and gaze at the little sleeping face of my newborn son. Every time I’m blown away by just how tiny he is. I thought my daughter was still tiny. I thought she was barely not a baby anymore. But when I see the two of them together, she’s huge. I can’t believe an entire person fits into that little dude. His fingers are smaller than french fries. His eyes smaller than olives.
            Sometimes I pick him up and lift him too quickly because I’m thinking he must weigh more than he does. Seven pounds. It’s like a big sandwich. It’s practically nothing at all.
            Not only am I amazed that he can be squished into such a tiny frame, he looks pretty squished. I guess living in a small sack for nine months will do that to a person. I don’t think he looks like me or Michelle at all.
            At least it seems like Celia is taking to it well. You never know how the older kid will like having a newborn around, especially when they’re used to having all the attention to themselves. I’m just hoping a big bout of jealousy doesn’t kick in soon.
            I’m trying my hardest to make her feel like this is her responsibility – being a big sister is what this is all about. My theory is that if I make this all about her, and not the new guy, she’ll take to it better. Every time we give little Joshua a kiss, we’ll say, “Celia, come here and give your brother a kiss, like this.” Every time we need to attend to him, we’ll say, “Celia, come help us make your brother happy.”
            I figure if I can make her feel like she is the center of attention, she’ll have a much easier time with allowing this enormous time sucker into our family. And who knows, maybe she actually will become helpful with all the things I ask her to help with. Maybe a year from now Celia will be changing the diapers and giving Joshua the extra attention while their daddy sits on the porch sipping his well-earned piña colada and reading some mind drivel to pass the time away.
            A man can dream, can’t he?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ephie! Brenda here! This is just fantastic writing! Its been ages since we connected, but I am soo happy for you and your growing family. I'll keep the tips you have in mind as I sip my pina colada and try not to judge the next family I see...while I still have to read meaningless novels...and then soon, we'll have conversations about the good ol' days when we sipped pina coladas and stayed up to late hours. The best to you Michelle, Celia and Joshua