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I suck at babies

June 23, 2010

Some people are naturals around infants. They just seem to know what to do.

My wife is one of those people.

I am not. I suck at babies.

It was worse with Nolan, who I was pretty much terrified to touch for the first week. It’s…easier with Lola, as long as things go according to plan. I can hold her without (much) fear that she’ll spontaneously combust, or spontaneously become covered in olive oil, causing her to become all slippery and me to drop her (and Smith to lick her). I can change diapers without gagging. And I can sit there and hold a bottle like nobody’s business.

But when things go wrong, it all goes out the window.

See…with Nolan…now that he’s older I can usually actually figure out what he wants or needs. Every now and again I even manage to reason with him. This is actually amazing. Every time I do it I’m tempted to turn around and see if I can move objects with my mind, because it totally feels like I just pulled off a Jedi mind trick.

With Lola though…and with Nolan when he was little…there is no reasoning. There is no diagnosing wants and needs, because any kind of discomfort whatsoever defaults to screaming.

Every so often I’ll chance upon some random trick that will calm a baby down. But then five minutes or a day or a week later their little brains remap, and all of the sudden coolest trick ever becomes OMG why are you force-feeding me burning coals?!?! It’s like you’re driving a car, and then one day the brake engages the right turn signal and the window controls start adjusting the stereo volume. And the washer jets just stop working entirely. So in other words, dealing with infants is kind of like driving a Land Rover (well…they both leak fluids pretty much constantly…).

Now…none of this phases Jamie. She always seems to know what’s wrong, while I’m pretty much reduced to offering Lola $20 if she’ll stop screaming, then realizing that she doesn’t understand me, much less the concept of bribery, and that only stresses me out more.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2010 4:06 pm

    I’m sure you don’t suck at babies – I’ve seen you with Nolan!!

  2. June 29, 2010 3:59 pm

    Let’s just say I know exactly where you’re coming from. Love the Land Rover comparison. Ha!

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