Current Score: Little Baby 187, Parents 0
A kid can make you feel really stupid. If anything, a child highlights the dumb in things you once thought to be fairly harmless. For example, just a few days ago I could have excitedly announced a lopsided football score and the exuberant exhale would have lived just long enough to die of neglect, perishing at my wife's feigned look of interest. Raising a manchild can take its toll.
And since I did not experience the total man-ization that one is supposed to undergo after watching his child come into this world (I was kind of expecting something instant. I'd hear a Disney chime and immediately yearn for Wall Street Journal), today I gleefully declared that Oklahoma had beaten North Texas 79 - 10. This while my wife tried to get our screaming child to latch on. It turns out that at that very moment the success of the Sooner football squad was the least necessary information in the universe.
The raw power of a new father's uselessness is very motivating. I sprung into action.
I joined Sarah in one of those bungling rookie parent moments. We needed to apply Vaseline to our son's newly circumcised doodad. If you've ever tried to spread cold peanut butter on moist bread than you've only begun to experience the difficulty. In all our gentle attempts to help Quin we did more damage to his psyche than we could have ever done to his delicate and brightly irritated little manhood. Years later he'll explain to a therapist that he screams whenever he sees a red Christmas bulb.
I know I will.
But today he was unable to articulate complaints about his screwed up childhood. Sarah and my four adult hands tangled with little, flailing legs and diaper small enough to fit a squirrel. Our incompetence was en fuego. Tomorrow we're going to practice parenthood by wearing mittens and counting change.
So Quin is screaming and wondering why he's being punished when he hasn't even had a chance to taunt Karma, and we're on the verge of biting each other, when suddenly Sarah gets this real quizzical look on her face. She's all puzzled and curious when she says, "what's that?" She's almost smiling, like whatever is sprinkling her, while mysterious, is a pleasant break from the chaos. A neat little mystery. That's when I looked down to see The Mighty Q shooting a magnificent inaugural piss. It arched over his head and at least two more baby-lengths beyond to mist my wife's foot. As his load decreased and the stream receded, our boy left a golden trail up the bed, across his binky, his chest and it bubbled to a stop on his freshly peeled penis.
He turned up his squelch and let it be known that, for no fault of his own, his innocence had been bruised. His clean record quite literally soiled. Or he could have been screaming for competent help. I'm not sure. We're having some communication issues. His evil parents laughed. We might even have fell a little deeper for each other.
But Quin could give a damn about our little love story. To him we're large and lumbering, and he never once cried until he met us. He let us have it until Sarah and I swaddled him tight and discontinued our fervent attempts to get him to breastfeed.
Aside from planting the seeds of deep mistrust in our child, the tribulation resulted in a pitiful diaper application. It could very well be on backwards. We were so desperate to get him dressed for all I know we wrapped Sarah's hairbrush up in it. But now he's quiet, some guy in a neighboring ward is out of a coma and mom and baby are ogling each other.
But turn up your TV. Stuff your earpods. Team Suckle is about to try again.
And North Texas limps back onto the field...