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I would love to do whatever it is that you’re doing, or plan on doing, or whatever it is I did before I had the third kid, but I have to hold the baby.
Everything now revolves around the world headquarters for life that is my house. You should know that. And I’m more than okay with that. I love it more than anything. Seriously, anything. I am, after all, holding the baby. I’m holding the whole universe in my arms, and she only reaches from my navel to right above my heart. I want to hold the baby.
Recently I was given the most brilliant insight into being a newborn dad by another father of three. He simply said that all his time was taken up by holding the baby. It made total sense and gave me a new maxim, excuse, and principle to live by:
I CAN’T. I HAVE TO HOLD THE BABY.
This is useful for the following situations:
“Hey man, how’s your novel going?”
“I CAN’T WRITE, I HAVE TO HOLD THE BABY.”
“Hey man, want to go out for drinks after work?”
“HA HA YOU’RE DELIRIOUS OR CHILDLESS…YOU KNOW I CAN’T, I HAVE TO GET HOME TO HOLD THE BABY. PLUS THERE IS NO DRINKING MONEY UNTIL LATER IN LIFE. ASK ME IN EIGHTEEN YEARS OR SO, OR MAYBE WHEN I’M RETIRED.”
“Hey bro bro, want to catch a movie?”
“That’s nice. That’s also what DVR, Netflix, Hulu, Redbox, YouTube, and HBO GO is for. I’m in bed by 9. And most of the time, I’M HOLDING THE BABY.”
“Uh, by any chance do you want to catch my friend’s band? They play at 12AM on Tuesday night.”
“Uh, I wouldn’t even do that in my baby-free 20s when I was playing the same night at the same place. Sorry, friend.”
You see, holding the baby is exactly what you’re doing when people wonder why you can’t go out anymore. Yes, we know that babysitters exist. Yes, we know that there is a whole race of people going out all the time with kids at home. Yes, we know that people have been having kids for millennia. But, you see, I have to hold the baby.
…Because I love her. Because her head smells great. Because because because…in a few months and years I won’t be holding her as much, and then there will come a time when I never get to hold her, or at least not as much. And soon I’ll be an old man looking back on my life and wishing I had spent more time holding the baby. And then I’ll want to hold my children’s babies but won’t be able to as much as my own, and it won’t be the same.
Here’s how life breaks down when holding the baby:
Disclaimer: “Holding the baby” includes and refers to all the following but is not limited to:
- relieving the mother by holding the baby,
- holding the baby after a diaper change,
- sitting in front of the bouncer seat the baby is in,
- holding while rocking said baby to sleep,
- letting the baby sleep or sit next to you while you’re NOT moving from where you are,
- and anything that resembles holding the baby or spotting while other people hold the baby (although at this point with three kids you’re always ready for someone else to hold the baby).
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All of this applies to being in public while with or while holding that amazing bundle of joyous eternity:
- Wake-up: Hold the baby, put baby in seat or with mother while getting ready for work.
- Work: 8-10 hours. Think about holding the baby. Look at baby’s picture and think about getting to hold her when you get home.
- Home: Roughly 6-9PM. Hold the baby any chance you get in-between feeding and showing interest in other kids, including diaper changes, spit-up cleanup, holding the baby just to calm her before putting her down, and holding the baby during any opportune time.
- Bedtime: You’re probably going to hold the baby at some point, maybe in the middle of the night, maybe not. You’re ready.
Things you can do while holding the baby:
- watch t.v. or read a book
- anything where you don’t move as to wake her. DO NOT WAKE HER.
- anything you can do with one hand, or both hands while balancing the baby on your chest or on your arm
- anything where you can kind of put her down for, like, a minute while doing something else
…and I’m actually holding the baby right now. She’s the greatest. What the world needs more of is people holding babies. The revolution starts tonight, or whenever she gets a little cranky after a feeding (who needs a burp?), and then I’m too busy because, well, I’m holding the baby.