Friday, November 23, 2012

Love Hurts

Something that has really surprised me about having a kid is how physically draining it is. I mean, obviously pregnancy is a MARATHON of misery. During your last trimester, just turning over in bed feels like a power-lifting competition. And when it comes to getting out of your car, it's honestly easier to roll out onto the ground than to step out. I'm ashamed to admit that probably for the first three months Ward was alive, I was happier to be not pregnant than I was to have a newborn.

And then there's the breastfeeding, which is also a MARATHON.

And the butt wiping.

And the bottle cleaning.

And the clothes changing OH MY GOSH the clothes changing.

Have you ever had to put clothes on a feisty baby? Imagine trying to drown an angry raccoon in a bathtub. While putting footie pajamas on it. That's what it's like to change Ward's clothes. And it's virtually impossible to get pants onto kicking legs, which is why he only wears pants about 10% of the time. Not worth it.

However, something I really didn't anticipate about having a baby was how often people are getting hurt. Either he is hurting you or you're hurting him or he's hurting himself or you're hurting yourself trying to prevent him from hurting himself. It's like your life has turned into one long Three Stooges skit. Someone is always falling off chairs, tripping over shoes, running into walls. And sadly, my own clumsiness causes a lot of it. I'll accidentally poke Ward in the eye while trying to wash his hair or I'll knock his feet on the crib as I'm hoisting him out. And I think I've bonked his head about 25 times getting in the car while holding him...which, while funny, is also sad.

A common way Ward hurts me is by grabbing something behind me while I'm holding him on my hip. Then when I start walking and he doesn't release his iron grip, we're both just at the mercy of physics. Sometimes I'm the stronger force, leading to the collapse of a store display or the tearing down of drapes. But more often I'm the weaker force and end up falling backward into a bookcase or refrigerator or HEAVEN FORBID a public toilet at the park that has a dead chipmunk floating in it.

And the hardest part of getting hurt by your innocent little baby angel is the fact that you are morally-bound not to retaliate. When your kid drops a can of soup on your toe or rips out your earring or bites down on your cheek so hard that you almost faint, you obviously can't punch or smack or throw them even though that's certainly the impulse you have when you feel that white hot bolt of pain rocket through your body. You can't even get mad and yell because it's SO SAD to see that slow-cry grimace begin to spread across their face when they hear you yell.

Learning all of this the hard way makes me appreciate even more that one time when I was out playing putt-putt with my family as a little kid. It was my first time ever doing it, and as I was getting ready to putt at the first hole. My dad was walking up behind me to help with my form, but I didn't need help with my form. I had watched enough TV to know that way to win at golf was to fling your club back and swing at that ball as hard as you possibly could.

And  that's how I knocked his teeth loose.

I remember that whole sequence with absolute clarity: swinging my putter up behind my back as hard as I could and feeling it thump against something with such force that it flew out of my hands. I remember turning around to see dad holding his mouth and stumbling backwards with this surprised look on his face and me laughing at first because he was being silly, but then me stopping as he fell to his knees and blood began dripping from between his fingers. Dad didn't yell or curse or even slam his fist on the ground as he huddled there. He just took it like a man parent. (If you're wondering, I really helped the situation by sobbing so hard my glasses fell off and mom had to lead me to the the car to sip on a Capri Sun while I calmed down.)

Now I don't want you to get the wrong idea, if Ward ever hits me in the face with a golf club, I will probably throw him out a window, because I'm not as manly as my dad. However, NOR am I as ugly as my dad. If Ward messes up THIS pretty face, there will be hell to pay.


  1. So funny and true. Nail on the head.

  2. Too funny because it's all too true.

  3. So funny! I feel like I should get a major award nowadays for getting Mileys pj's on, buttoned right at the first attempt. And I won't even go into the biting!

  4. Bad idea to read your blog during class. We are talking about the formation of different types of fog and I'm trying to hold in laughter (especially since I am in the front row...)


  5. "there will be hell to pay" hhahahahaha! seriously, i laughed out loud. thanks for that :)

  6. bahahaaha! One of your best! Parenting as it really is sometimes! Love it.