Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Update on Max

Wow. So we have a new president, the first African American since the second season of "24." Wow.

Alright, I'm past it. What are his policies? All the ones I've seen scare the hell out of me and for those of you that voted him into office, I'm going to laugh hysterically while Rome burns should he turn into Jimmy Carter II. He could be a great president. He could be an awful one. What is undisputable is that he was the best marketed president ever. Hopefully he won't turn out to be the New Coke of presidents, but that's what I've pegged him as for a long time now. I won't argue that I'd love to be proven wrong. I just don't think I will be.

And with that you will not see another political comment here unless it's in the comments sections under certain posts. Forthwith, on with the real show.

My Fair Lady has been hounding me of late to blog about Max and what he's been like, but honestly I have had neither the time nor the inclination. I'll be candid here so if I say anything that boggles the mind, believe me it won't be the first time I've done so by expressing either my opinion or my experience. Max was afflicted with colic for the first several weeks and this is where the brutal honesty comes in and could sting all prospective parents - life is pure hell for that first month.

I snicker now thinking to all those who said, "Oh, your life is gonna change in ways you can't imagine." No kidding. Try holding a three week old infant in your arms as they're screaming at the top of their tiny lungs for no discernable reason. Then have that start every single night between 8 p.m. and midnight for four weeks straight. You come to actively dread nightfall, as if your baby will suddenly morph into Mr. Hyde once the clock strikes 8 p.m.

So no, I haven't had the inclination before now to write because I knew if I did all I would do is vent and seeth and rage and come off as someone who actively regretted the decision to have a child which is not true at all. It felt like it at some points, but that's when you pass the child off to your spouse and go somewhere else to calm down for an hour. If nothing else, my belief in the strength and fortitude of single parents everywhere has gone to the sky because I honestly don't know how either My Fair Lady or I would have survived without the other.

But then a funny thing happened - he started getting better. Then one day he actually smiled. Not only that but he looked at the two of us as we changed him, our eyes bleary from another exhausting night battling the dreaded colic and having our own emotional meltdowns, and then smiled. Ear to ear, all we saw was this gummy baby smile. Then he cooed.

We felt the pain and the anguish melt away. I mean that literally too. It was like an 800lb. gorilla finally climbed off our backs and left the building. That one little smile, followed by a coo was exactly the sort of inspiration we needed. As night approached, we hunkered down in preparation. This was war, we decided, but our happy son was in there and we had to save him. So we decided to try to feed him until he couldn't feed any more and see what happens. Prior to this we'd tried to stagger his feedings to every three hours like in the hospital.

He woke up and started screaming. We fed him a lot. He calmed down. He cooed. We changed him. He cried. We fed him some more. He passed out. For the next three hours, we actually had peace. One cannot begin to imagine the sense of calm and serenity that passes over you under such conditions. Outside of a war zone, I'd be hard pressed to find a scenario more stressful than the first month of parenthood.

Over the weeks, he's grown and gotten much better. He doesn't meltdown at night anymore, and the closest he's come lately is wanting to stay awake at the 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. feeding. But aside from that, he's modestly fussy but only when he's either tired or hungry. Outside of that, he's begun to smile regularly, coo when he's happy, and he recognizes us. He actually tries to find us with his eyes now when he hears our voices, which is something more joyous than words can describe.

My parents are particularly fond of their first grandchild, and watching my mother repeatedly exclaim how precious and beautiful he is makes us both proud. We definitely did good, as they say.

But holy Mother of God the diapers. It's like an A-bomb of poo explodes out of his rear end whenever he's relaxed. Oh, and for all of you who are expecting a baby boy - buy three of these right now. Do not question me. You think you have your baby covered, then you look away for a split second. You turn back and a stream is arching across the room and into his crib.

On the other side of the room. Just wanted to repeat that in case it wasn't quite clear the first time.

The other day I changed what had to be the worst diaper ever. It smelled like death. I no longer fear walking into a morgue for I have smelled death and it lives in my baby's ass. What I am afraid of is when it comes out to play. When I changed his diaper, he decided to wait until I had strapped on a clean diaper before he went #1. Then for good measure he spit up all over himself. Then smiled up at me as if he felt so much better.

"Are we all done now?" I asked.

"Guh." I took that as a yes.

I cleaned him up, then handed him off to My Fair Lady for a minute, then went and set fire to my hands to properly santize them.

We took him to the doctor today for his two month check up and he's now 12.4 lbs. and 23 inches long. He also got two shots (one of which was a three-in-one cocktail) followed by a sugar water innoculation against rotovirus. If you want a first hand account of the havoc rotovirus can wreck on your child, check out the stories at Dubious Quality right here. I guarantee you won't be able to finish reading them before deciding to get the vaccine for your child.

But Max handled it like a trooper. He seems to have inherited My Fair Lady's unusually high pain threshold (which explains how she's stayed married to me. Zing!) so he didn't even blink at the first shot. The next one got his attention though and he screamed then cried for all of 30 seconds before calming down. After rocking him for a bit in his car seat he was fast asleep. He spent most of the day alternating between My Fair Lady's arms and mine. She was watching the inaugural events. I was playing Left 4 Dead.

Sort of like the Republican party after this election. NO! BAD MITCH! NO MORE POLITICS!

We're anxious to watch Max begin to take shape as a person. It's already been decided by my parents and My Fair Lady that he's my clone, right down to the crooked smile and the way he curls up when he sleeps. I warned her for years that a mini-me would be a bad idea based solely on how much of a hellion I was growing up. Apparently, I get to witness first hand (again, sort of) what I was like to my parents.

God save us all.

In the meantime, I'm already organizing the coterie of films I plan to introduce him to. This child will have a healthy appreciation of cinema as he grows up and will understand the wonder that is "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" and know why it is the greatest Western ever made. I don't think My Fair Lady will let me pass off "300" as a children's film about coming together for a cause you believe in, but you never know.

I plan to start posting more frequently about Max, especially now that I have more time on my hands. An explanation as to why is coming up in the very next post.

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