Childrearing

10 Absurd Things I Never Expected To Say To Or About My Newborn

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 "Did I just spit in your eye?"
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Unfortunately, the answer to that one was "yes." I was making faces at him (which the childcare books said to do!), and got a little overzealous. Anyway, we'll call it even for all the times (note: timesssssss) he pooped, peed, or vomited on me. In our house, love means never having to say you're sorry for spilling your bodily fluids on someone else.
 "He has your septum."
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My husband and I tried not to fall into the trap of scanning our newborn's face for traces of ourselves. We failed miserably. Although we had no doubts about our kid's genetic origins, we still spent hours trying to figure out whose nose, whose eyes, whose mouth, whose hairline, and, yes, even whose septum he has. Answer: my husband's. Definitely.
"You can have the car / stay out late / take my checkbook, if only you'll go to sleep now."
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No matter how much I pleaded, my newborn ignored every offer, preferring to wail the night away. I reminded myself that a three-week-old doesn't have the mental wherewithal to be manipulative. Yet I couldn't help but think he was holding out for a better offer, such as me letting him ride the subway alone or buying him that deluxe i-Whatever he'll no doubt be wanting in the next ten years or so. And that made me a teensy bit proud.

 "What in God's name was that?"
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We'd read that babies can be noisy nose breathers, but I was entirely unprepared for my son's oinks, rasps, huffs, pants, sighs, grunts, snores, hums, coos, squeaks, honks, and slurps. Sometimes he creaked like a door or wheezed like someone letting the air out of a balloon. Often he sounded like nothing so much as an 80-year-old. Once he attacked my breast with the gumption of a pit bull going after a bone. He was so, well, vigorous, that I had to check to make sure my baby hadn't been replaced by a hell monster.
"I missed you."
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Naturally I expected to miss my son after being away from him for hours, no matter how excited I initially might have been to put on a shirt and leave the house. The sappy truth, however, is that I missed him after just a few minutes of being away, shirtless or not. What can I say? I like looking at him, even if his head is shaped like an overripe cabbage.

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