Having a newborn back in our house has reminded me of a whole slew of details about being a parent that I’ve somehow forgotten along the way. My suspicion is that, on every child’s first birthday, one of the Men in Black stops by and does the flashy thingy to new parents, completely erasing all recollection of hardships or trials. Otherwise, every family on earth would have exactly one child.
Luckily I’ve outsmarted the system. Up until now I had no written record of the craziness that can take place when raising a newborn baby, but today that changes. Today I’m going to share with you a list of some of the things that I had forgotten about taking care of babies. Not only will I be doing a public service by sharing these details with anyone considering having a child, but I’ll also have this as a record to reference in case Jackie ever makes those “let’s-have-another-baby” eyes at me.
- Baby clothes are complex – Dressing a squirming newborn baby is hard enough as it is. Take into account that baby clothing designers moonlight as professional escape artists; it’s no wonder that baby clothes have no less than fourteen buttons, a complex velcro matrix, and a sophisticated pulley system. It’s also a known fact that it’s impossible to know that you’re matching the wrong buttons on the baby’s clothes until you get to the very last button and realize things don’t line up the way they should. Plan on anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to dress a baby. If you’re lucky you’ll finish putting the baby’s clothes on just in time for he or she to puke on them again.
- Nothing is safe from vomit – Nothing.
- It’s easier to file for citizenship in Mexico than it is to request a U.S. birth certificate - We strongly contemplated giving our son the name Patricio Gonzalo De Los Reyes because the paperwork would have been quicker and less painful. Each U.S. birth certificate form has to be filled out with blood and traced again with #2 pencil… in triplicate. By the time I finished I was so incredibly light headed that I think we named our son Patricio Gonzalo De Los Reyes. I’m actually not sure if I’m joking or not.
- Babies are socially awkward – Basically you’re raising the Bubble Boy (or Girl). Especially if your child is born during the winter, there’s a general consensus that no one is allowed within 30 feet of your child without wearing a specially filtered facemask. To avoid the hassle and the awkwardness of telling friends that “you can’t hold our baby because we think you’re a potential hantavirus carrier,” you’ll end up staying at home and becoming a recluse.
- Babies make you stupid - Studies have shown that decreased social interaction paired with talking “baby talk” will actually render a person borderline imbecile if not treated within six months. If you understand this risk and still want to have children, a heavy dose of going out on dates paired with complete avoidance of Wonder Pets is the only proven treatment.
- You’ll never go on another date again – This actually isn’t entirely true. The term “date” is so subjective. Sure, dinner and a movie followed by a night of stargazing or a walk on the beach may have been the norm previously, but there isn’t one thing wrong with loading up the minivan and taking the whole fam damily to Costco to get a swirl frozen yogurt right after stocking up on diapers and toilet paper . If that’s not romance, I don’t know what is.
- Your sex life wi— BWAHAHAHA! Sorry, I couldn’t finish it. Sex life. WHEW! That’s rich…
- Sleep is your most valuable asset - Not long after your child is born you’ll begin bartering for sleep with your significant other. Cleaning out the rain gutters suddenly becomes a very appealing chore when it can potentially be traded for an extra hour of sleep. Before long you’ll find yourself truly understanding the term “The Walking Dead.” And believe me; a sleep deprived parent of a newborn is MUCH more frightening to me than any zombie ever could be. Note: If you really want to make a killing in the business world, let people trade in their grandmother’s gold for a quiet place to take a nap. Cash 4 Gold isn’t anywhere near as attractive as Sleep 4 Gold would be.
- You’re broke forever - Broke as a joke who smokes dope on a rope. Truthfully I don’t even know what dope on a rope is, or what smoking it has to do with financial stability, but the fact remains; you’re probably never going to have money ever again. There are a few who become professional athletes or win the lottery, but most of us buy off-brand breakfast cereal and wash our cars at one of those places where you have to deposit handfuls of quarters every 45 seconds to keep the hose running.
- Having a new baby in your life will bring you more joy than anything else on this planet. Period.