Thursday, August 4, 2011

the first three months

Aaaaand, we’re back.

It’s hard to describe the first three months of your first child’s life to someone who’s never experienced it. If I have one piece of advice, it’s never rent a room to a newborn. They're loud, messy, and slow with the rent.

Wes’ first three months were defined by lukewarm takeout and prisoner lighting. Crissy and I rarely spoke. We lived in constant fear. We wept openly, but silently.

One of the worst things about the first three months is the conflicting Internet advice. Make sure he’s eating enough, but never let them overeat, unless he’s going through a growth spurt, which could happen between 1-2 weeks, 2-4 weeks, or 4-12 weeks. Keep him tightly swaddled unless he doesn’t want to be swaddled, which you’ll know when he either cries or doesn’t cry.

It was tough for us. We kept waiting for a sign that it was going to get better. And the longer it took, the more we wanted to punch all the people who told us it would get better.

By the time Wes was about 5 weeks, our days were loaded with weapons-grade frustration. If they could load that level of frustration into airplanes, and spray it all over Afghanistan, everyone would just quit. It would actually eradicate the concept of war as we know it.

It was probably the most painful for Wes, who was having a hard time swallowing and digesting his food, and therefore having a hard time sleeping.


In my bleary-eyed, zombie-like state, I started to think of my son as a tiny terminator sent back to earth to eradicate sleep for all mankind. I felt like Linda Hamilton every night, sweaty and filthy, desperately trying to extinguish the red light behind the evil machine’s eyes and avoid two crappy sequels.

And then one night, at about three in the morning, Wes looked me square in the eye, registered who he was looking at, and smiled so brightly I thought I was hallucinating.

Never has a smile seemed so extra-terrestrial. It felt like I was witnessing something I wasn’t supposed to see. Like I was catching a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster, alone, after a week-long whiskey bender, and nobody was ever going to believe me.

Suddenly, a wave of understanding gushed through me…

Everything’s going to be just fine.

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