My brother-in-law has been very sick for the past week. And because of this the family has pitched in and to watch Mason, his and Jami’s son, while Jami has been at work. Jesy and I have helped out when we could and that has meant taking him last Friday night and also last night. In doing this there are a couple of things that I have come to realize about having a baby around that I think I knew before, but really comes to light when you have a baby around all day.
- Just because you think you are ready to be a father doesn’t mean you really are. Ever since turning 30, I have felt ready (“finally” as Jesy would probably say). I thought that I had gotten all the selfishness out of my system, or at least most of it. I thought that I had learned how to control my temper enough to give a child a fighting chance, I mean I have to deal with Carson everyday, how much more trying can a kid be? The temper still needs work. It will probably be something I struggle with the rest of my life, I just hope I can learn to control it enough to not let it severely affect my child’s development.
- My patience still needs a lot of work too. What is that old saying? There’s nothing in the world that’s better than the sound of a laughing baby? Well conversely there is nothing in the world more aggravating than a screaming baby and no solution for what ails the baby. Twice now in the last few days I have gone to pick up Mason and steal him from the living zombie that is Matt and twice now Mason has screamed like he was being murdered by his car seat the entire ride to my house. I thought kids loved riding in cars? I thought car rides put almost any kid to sleep? Not Mason, at least not for me. And what could I do, I was driving, it’s not like I could reach back and shove the bink (pacifier*) in his mouth, although he would have more than likely spit it out anyway. So I tried music, not too loud, although I wanted to just to drown out the screaming. I tried The Beatles first, they have a lot of calming songs plus it was music that I would love too. Of course the first song was Revolution, probably the least calming song The Beatles have other than maybe Helter Skelter. I quickly changed the song, ahhh Blackbird, that is a good one, but alas the little man was still doing his best impression of a banshee. After a couple more tries with The Beatles with no success I try a different tactic. What is something he would be used to listening too? Matt and Jami have pretty different tastes in music than me, but I do have some Ludacris on my iPod, so let’s try that. Nope still nothing. It wasn’t until five seconds before we pulled in the driveway that Mason finally ran out of steam. It’s a long trip from Liberty Township to Sharonville with an angry baby. Road-rage would have had nothing on me. Situations like that are why people start smoking. I felt helpless and the more helpless I felt it seemed like the louder he got, it was enough to make me want to stop the car and just get out. By the time I got home and he had just stopped I just sat in the driveway with the car on letting him sleep and letting me regroup. That is when it dawned on me that I need to keep working hard to get better with patience, it is still a long road, but one I need to travel.
- Our house is still nowhere near ready for a baby. We have nothing to entertain a kid, or worse to put a kid while he/she sleeps so that we can get things done while said baby is sleeping. When Jesy was home we took turns holding and watching Mason while the other did stuff, doing dishes, making dinner, whatever. We have no pack and play, no bouncer, no real toys, nothing that would entertain the baby that would give both of us the opportunity to get things done. Likewise we have nothing to hold the baby or tether it to us making multi-tasking nearly impossible. All we have is a high-chair, and while that has certainly come in handy it is not nearly enough. You would think with as much as we have watched my best friends baby, Aayla, and now with Mason we would be better prepared, but we aren’t, and it was no more glaringly obvious than last night.
- Jesy will make a superior mother. Is there something better than superior? Seriously, I was amazed, as I often am with the ease at which she takes on a motherly role. It was like she was born to be a mother. Despite the crying and screaming she was calm and did anything and everything to calm Mason down and he responded quite well to her on most occasions. She also brought the best out in him. He played with “us” for like an hour before he fell asleep and she was brilliant with him that entire time. She found little things that he loved to do and would always be interacting with him and making him smile and “goo.” I don’t know that I had ever heard a baby “coo” and “goo” like Mason was last night, it was incredible and Jesy was 99% responsible. And I guess that is what makes what we went through recently even more baffling and upsetting to me. There is not more perfect person to be a mom than Jesy and for her to have gone through what she went through is unfair to anyone, but especially someone who will be such a good mother as her.
- Mason farts like his father and sleeps like his mother. I was sitting several feet away and I could hear Mason farting like he was cast in a Fatties movie with Jack Black. Some people have stream of thought, Mason has a stream of fart. Is that an earthquake? Did a train just go through our backyard? Is there a T-Rex loose in our house? Nope Mason is just farting….again. The kid is a champion. But lets face it, he’s just carrying on a family tradition, congrats my boy you are a Wenstrup. And how a kid can feel rested after the way he sleeps is beyond me. Half the time I was holding him while he slept he looked like he was trying to go ten rounds in a ring with Mike Tyson. The kids arms were moving and swinging with a quickness that Ali would have been proud of. I know Jami is more known for her conversations in her sleep, but it looks like Mason has decided to take it up a level and do some shadow boxing in his sleep. I feel sorry for any future girlfriend.
- A baby is exhausting. I know every mother will scoff when they read this and will just laugh it off as me being a typical man, but I had no idea a baby was so tiring. How something that only eats, poops, and sleeps can wear an adult out was beyond me. But then it dawned on me, this little human is relying on me for everything, so I’m constantly on and that is after working for 8 hours already today. So calm down ladies, the light bulb just went on. A special shout out to all the single mothers/fathers out there. Wow, I have no idea how you do it. Jesy and I tag teamed Mason pretty well last night (does that sound as bad as I think?) and he wiped us both out (yeah it does).
It would seem I have learned a lot in a couple of days, and thank God I did. There are some things I definitely need to work on, I just hope I can be better. It’s tough to teach an old dog new tricks. The good news is that where I fail I know Jesy will be there to pick me up. My only fear is, and it has been a fear for a long time, ever since we started seriously talking about having kids, will I be good enough? Looking at Jesy I know she is ready and I know she is good enough, she will be fannnnnnnnnntastic. I just hope I can do half as good, because I’m scared that I might not be able to be better and our kids will have a broken dad.
*This little footnote is about the pacifier. How many names does that damn thing have? Bink, binky, pacifier, paci, mouth plug, scream stopper, fake nipple, nuk, baba, nibbler, and Vin Diesel. I’m sure there are 100 more as well, but these are the most common ones I have heard. No wonder English is one of the hardest languages to learn, we give something like a pacifier 2,000 different names. Good luck kids!