Tell me it gets better

This post also appeared on in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

We are reaching our breaking points.

The signs of an impending explosion of pent-up frustration are all around us. The baby is constantly hungry and perpetually crying. Even when he’s sound asleep, he’s still whimpering. That has put sleep at a premium, as MJ and I look like zombies from hell. We’re both so tired right now that we’ve let everything else go. One look around the house will tell you just how bad things are. The dishes are piled up, the floors haven’t been swept and the vacuum hasn’t been removed from the closet in more than a week. Granted our condo is small, but these days it feels downright claustrophobic. Will’s stuff is EVERYWHERE because we just don’t have any place to put it all.

His swing juts out in front of the entertainment center and his “Tummy Time” doohickey is currently upside down and resting on top of it. His little vibrating chair is directly in front of the couch because we got tired of carrying him to it, so we figured we’d just leave it right where we need it. Half of his baby clothes are in a basket on the other end of the couch, and the other half are folded and sitting on the coffee table. And the coffee table is littered with his books and blankets.

Not to mention there are pacifiers EVERYWHERE! Honest to God I think they boink like rabid bunnies in the night and multiply during the 90 minutes we actually get to sleep. Oh, and I forgot to mention that everything of importance has to be placed way up high on a shelf or in an enclosure, because the dogs will eat everything they can get their dirty little paws on. So far they’ve eaten my new sandals, a host of pacifiers, a baby bottle and Will’s “Hippos Go Berserk” book. They also got into some of Will’s formula and dragged the powder all over the house. As a result, it looks like we’re expecting a flood in our condo because everything is up high out of the dogs’ reach.

Just a quick little story from last night that I think encapsulates being the parent of a newborn…

I had a rough (and loooong) day at work yesterday and I had to skip the gym. When I finally got home I relieved my wife of Will, who had spent most of the day awake and screaming. I made the idiotic mistake of saying that the house looked like someone had dropped a bomb in it, which pissed my wife off. I really didn’t mean anything by it, but I was too tired to argue. So I changed into my workout clothes because I was hoping to hop on the elliptical machine, and then I gave Will his bottle. As soon as he finished it he let out a series of farts so severe they actually made him scream out loud in pain. But as I was quickly able to smell, he did a little more than fart. So up I went to change him and sure enough, he had nearly filled his diaper with mustard yellow poop. By the way, if there was any doubt he is my son it has been quickly erased with his mind-bogglingly large dumps. This kid is gonna stop a few toilets in his day let me tell you. So of course, just when I have him all cleaned up and I have the new diaper on, my little Mount St. Helens baby erupts again. So I get another diaper and wipe him down again. Then I sat down on the couch to burp him before setting him down for a nap. Well, I got a lot more than a burp. Will decided to upchuck half his bottle on my face and chest, covering me in sticky, smelly, half-digested formula. Before I can even move, both dogs come over to lick the formula off of me.

My loving wife giggled quietly on the other end of the couch. Hey, at least she’s smiling.

So in the span of 20 minutes I pissed off my wife, changed two atomic diapers, got drenched in spit up by the exorcist baby and suffered the indignity of being licked clean by the dogs. But I wasn’t done there. You see even though I somewhat cleaned off my shirt, I forgot to change out of it before I went on the elliptical machine. So halfway through my workout I nearly vomited from the smell of fat sweaty guy mixed with regurgitated formula.

Anyone in the area feel like babysitting??

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3 thoughts on “Tell me it gets better

  1. I think every parent feels for you. This was how it was when my daughter was born, minus the dogs.

    You get into a bit of a routine and as you get more sleep, things become more manageable. I remember when I got my first full night’s sleep, I couldn’t believe it. Things just got better after that.

    Little hint on all that baby crap: You don’t need it. I’d chuck the tummy time thing and just put a blanket down. (Those suckers NEVER FOLD!) Keep jus what is REALLY used and toss the rest. Your floor space will thank you.

    It will get better, I promise you. As someone who had two within 18 months, if I can survive….so can you guys!

  2. It does!!! It gets better, then you go through teething, but then it gets GREAT when they start talking. There was a point when I promise you we had nothing but take out containers and ketchup in the fridge and the dog was drinking out of the bathtub before I remembered to grocery shop and fill the water bowl. Just watch that happy, healthy baby and know that it is worth all the mess and insomnia.

  3. Sigh, just focus on the enjoy MJ must have gotten out of it. There is nothing worse than having a not so great day with the kids to have your husband come home and take over and suddenly everything is smooth sailing. I have had it happend and it really pissed me off. I promise you it satisfied her that you had dealt with all of that in 20 mins. Do you have a baby bjorn? You should let him ride with you on the eliptical. It would probably lull him and the added 10 pounds or so will only help our work out and of course give MJ a little bit longer of a break!

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