My Life with a 9 lb. Terrorist

It is 3:54am and I am awake. I am not tired….I passed “tired” four days ago. However, being awake at this time of night does have its advantages. I usually have my moments of greatest clarity in the middle of the night when I am alone and the world is quiet. Tonight is no different.

I love this kid and he is truly amazing. BUT….I’ve been thinking about Garrett and what this new child has “inflicted” on us since his birth and I have come to one simple realization – my baby is a terrorist!! Even though he is two weeks old, he has managed to effectively use both psychological and chemical warfare on us. He has performed torture techniques on GWE and I that would make a Guantanamo Bay guard blush!

The psychological attacks came first and in two forms. The first was the sleep deprivation. Neither GWE nor I have slept more than a few hours consecutively since Garrett’s birth. I realize that I have less to complain about than GWE (since she was the one actually delivering our massive child while I sat nearby taking pictures), but damn it – I’m tired too! We started off with an hour of sleep here and there. Now we’re up to three consecutive hours of sleep – sometimes. Any normal person can handle that for a few days….but, after a few weeks it starts to take its toll. I knew I was tired, but didn’t realize it fell into the category of “deprivation” until I looked it up and realized that I had a number of the symptoms: muscles tremors, memory confusion (someone asked me for my cell number and I honestly could not remember it!), bloodshot eyes, irrational irritability (hey – fuck you, you fucking fuck!!), and malaise. There have been a couple of times over the past two weeks when I’ve had trouble retaining a coherent thought. I now know what Dr. John was singing about when he wrote, “Brain Salad Surgery!”

The second was “the crying.” With our first son, we decided to try using the “Dunstan Language” to decipher what he wanted. “Neh” meant “Hungry”; “Eh” meant “Chest Gassy”; “Err” meant “Butt Gassy.” It worked well and we were able to communicate with Justin from birth. Garrett has proven more of a challenge. All we’re able to hear from him is “WWWHHHHAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!” Yes, there are only three things that he could need at this point in his short life, but “WWWHHHHAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!” does not narrow it down. And, it gets louder and more intense in a short span of time. Within 5-6 minutes, it sounds like he is being stabbed! I don’t care how patient and understanding you think you are – the sound of this kid crying cuts through your defenses and it’s hard not to get affected by it.

The chemical attacks came next. (In fact, I am writing this after having just been blasted by “The Holy Trinity” – poop, pee pee, and spit-up.) I can handle the pee pee – no problem. I still have a five year old with aiming issues. I’m pretty sure everything in my bathroom has been pissed on at one point or another. Plus, Justin likes to have a conversation with me while peeing and he’s been known to forget what’s going on and turns his body to talk to me while still peeing. You get the picture. So far, Garrett has peed on me, the blinds, the rocker, and the lamp – all while lying on his back on the changing table.

Baby poop is disgusting, but predictable. Garrett makes a grunting sound when he’s going and you pretty much know when he’s done because he looks exhausted. Right now, it looks like dark mustard with seeds. (There is usually a “bomb” of some sort in his diaper. Another act of terrorism!) However, Garrett has sneak-attacked me with poop twice. He has waited until I’ve removed his diaper for changing AND I’m in the process of applying Butt Paste when he has decided to “unleash the hounds” and spray me with poop.

The worst is the spit-up. It usually happens when his head is resting on my chest and he is looking up. With no warning, I hear “BLEECH” and I immediately get a burst of hot, white, projectile, half-digested “milk” in my face, neck, chest, ear, etc. Gross does not begin to describe it. And, what makes it worse is his smile right afterward. I know he feels better, but that smile is just his way of rubbing it in my face – literally!

All in all, we are being tortured by the one we love. If I knew any state secrets, I would have gladly given them up by now. All that’s left is a good water boarding. I love this kid and would not miss these experiences for anything. However, they would be much more enjoyable after a hot shower, a clean change of clothes, and an Ambien!

1 thought on “My Life with a 9 lb. Terrorist

  1. Those first three months aren’t as far back in my wife’s and my memory as they obviously were for you and GWE when you decided to have another child, my friend. I’m guessing that, in another year or two, Wendy and I will also emerge from the post-traumatic stress to likewise forget all we went through during Jayden’s newborn period and decide he needs a younger brother and sister.

    Until then, though, I feel your pain, brother. You guys survived it once, we survived it, and humans in general have survived it for millions of years. Just keep your eyes on the prize: that magical moment when Garrett adds a fourth hour to his sleep schedule and your life suddenly becomes “luxurious” with time for an extra-long nap, a decent shower, or–God willing–checking your e-mail!

    This, too, shall pass…and maybe in another few years, you’ll again forget the exhaustion and torture and decide to have a third kid! 🙂

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