Babies are interesting, they said.
I agree, I said back.
Like, it’s super interesting to me how a soundly sleeping baby can summon a four-alarm-all-hands-on-deck-ear-shrieking crying jag as soon as my thrice microwaved scrambled eggs from last night come to rubbery-heated-completion a fourth time.
Babies should come with a standard disclaimer that if, said future parent-to-be, is having just a bit too much free time to eat, poop, or sleep when your body naturally requires these once-necessities-now-niceties and needs to curtail this behavior, have a baby.
Wait? They do come with that disclaimer? Our producer (Okayest Wife) is throat cutting me from the sidelines because SURPRISE that’s what babies do! They need you. They require you. You are literally their conduit to survival. And most parents-to-be process and accept this. Hell, many a baby-having-parent-being friends / family members told me this exact thing, to my face. Many times!
Okay. Okay. Relax Baby World! Maybe, just maybe, this Okayest Dad and Intrepid Adventurer (a lot like Indiana Jones in the looks and intelligence department, just saying) embellished and redacted a bit of reality in his father-to-be imagination; a world in which only existed the smiles, hugs, eventual sporting events and high-fives from a son which considered him second to maybe only Batman. (I plan on casting as much doubt as possible that Batman and I are not one and the same).
And given all of this, babies are still interesting, they said.
Prove it, I said back.
Babies are interesting in that they are teachers of things, they said. To this end, I will now agree, wholeheartedly and without-a-doubt. However, I never would have understood that prior to his arrival. While Okayest Baby isn’t making grammar corrections, penning a thesis or providing other notable writing critiques, he has been the catalyst for quite a bit of growth and some brain-getting-better stuff on my behalf.
Here’s one of a gagillion scenarios for you to ponder:
Okayest Baby came home from a doctor’s visit with a mild diagnosis of eczema. Eczema runs in the family, no surprise there, copy all Doc. We commence the bi-nightly post-bath eczema cream routine but Okayest Baby fails to see or tolerate the need for the sticky paste all over his body.
But Dad knows why, I says to him and a small smile cracks through the storm clouds; it’s because a proactive treatment approach is for his own good. Okayest Baby doesn’t understand a word I said. But he knows Dad said it and whilst any baby his age only wants to move and shake in their onsies after bath time, he now allows the ritual with little protest. It didn’t matter the words I spoke or the trial facts delivered; O.B. heard my voice and soothing tone and knew that all was well in Okayest Dad’s capable hands. (Until the following evening when he melted my face off with laser beam eyes and super-human-squelching cries because he hates eczema cream). But that’s beside the point…
Okayest Baby reminded me that you get more honey in glass houses and it only takes a moment to be kind; every moment of exposure between now and forever is not only a blessing but a teachable moment, for both of us; waste them now and I will undoubtedly want them back in the future.
Okayest Baby has been the most challenging and rewarding endeavor Okayest Wife and I have embarked upon. Through the ups and downs of a decade of marriage and the arduous nature of a military lifestyle, this without-a-doubt takes the cake. (Okayest Wife may disagree because she’s a mom and mom’s maintain levels of superhuman tolerance and patience.)
At times, it can also be the most frustrating endeavor. And that is Okay, she said. Given all my want and will to care for this bundle of often-confusing needs, sometimes the simple fix is a deep breath and and a deeper understanding that we’re all in this together and smiles always follow the cries. There are very few Hallmark cards, rainbows and unicorns (although I never really give up hope for the latter). It’s late nights, early mornings, fusses and cries at the exact worst possible times.
There’s also that smile of smiles, pure happiness, when Okayest Baby sees you for the first time that morning. And that, dear Friends, is better than Okay. That is what makes it all worth it.
(That and all the Halloween candy I’m about to bank as I stroller that little bundle of adorable through the full-size candy bar neighborhoods. Boomshakalaka.)