I've been a parent to Callum for two and a half years now. In dog years, that would mean he's around 25. A 25-year-old dog that picked up a piece of chocolate he found in the sand under a slide yesterday and ate it. As each day comes and goes, the more firmly I believe that the baby and parenting books Y has read, some of which I reluctantly skimmed, are a complete and total waste of time.
Books about no-cry sleep solutions and organic baby food don't tell you that having a child will change your relationship with your partner, and in the precise ways in which you'll feel that shift. There were people in our life that felt compelled to forewarn us that having a baby would "change everything." I remember their doomsday delivery as I thought to myself. Not us. Maybe it changed everything for you, but it won't change everything for us. They had to know that the concept of "change everything" could not fully be absorbed or understood before the child was actually here, yet something deep inside of them still cried out to sound the alarm. Get in the shelter, grab the flashlights, and make sure you have enough clean water. The twister is coming.
At some point your Pangaea bliss will undoubtedly rift. It might be over a failed attempt to secure the floppy headed child inside a Moby wrap without a PhD from cirque du soliel or prior experience as an aerialist. It might also happen while trying to install a car seat in your rental at Hetrz when it's 98 degrees outside. The first chapter of my future parenting book, by the seat of my pantsuit, will address the most important topics and issues that even Dr Sears was too afraid to pen.
Chapter 1: Don't even think about touching them.
My partner breast-fed our son. She was the Xena warrior princess of breast-feeding. Feeding covers quickly turned into extra blankets during diaper changes. Every restaurant in the city has seen at least one of her breasts. I suggested they name a brunch special after her at the Lowbrow called the Breakfast Boobrito, but was denied. She was able to whip em out of the trickiest non-nursing bras at a moment's notice. She'd even become an expert at contorting herself in the back seat to lean over and feed him in the car seat while I was driving. Watching my son on the boob one night during the second reading of I Am A Bunny, I noticed how much he was tweaking and pinching and torturing her other nipple. "God, that must hurt! Honey, honey. Could you please stop tweaking mommy's other nipple, that hurts mommy," I said. It doesn't matter, she said. "They're like pieces of old leather now. I can't feel a thing." Her boobs, a bountiful hillside where I was once free to roam, now cordoned off for the sole purpose of milking. To all the other non-bio moms out there, to the dads who sheepishly retreated to their man caves after being kicked off the mountain, I salute you.