By Michelle Tan of The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback
First time father, 26-year-old Alex Green, has doctors baffled as he has been confirmed to be the world’s first father to hear his newborn cry at night. The Green family knew something was very wrong the first night they brought their son, Vivian, home.
“We read all the baby books, and they all say that fathers can’t hear their babies cry,” said his wife, 43-year-old Drew. “It has something to do with male organs being smaller or something. So we were all prepared for me to do the waking up!”
That night, Drew had put baby Vivian to bed at 9 p.m. and both parents soon followed suit. It was 1:07 a.m. when Alex heard a tiny mewing sound. Alex thought that must mean only one thing — he had forgotten to save his game and shut down his Xbox.
“So I ran down, but the Xbox was turned off. Then I heard the mewing again, and I followed the sound, thinking it was a stray cat which had gotten in. The sounds then led me to Vivian.”
Alex was so stunned that he stood there for a few seconds. “I didn’t know if I was dreaming or what. But then Vivian just yelled, and I don’t know, it was like a reflex action. I just picked him up.”
Unconcerned for his own safety or sanity, this brave father ignored the natural urge to wake his wife up to tell her that the baby was crying and picked Vivian up on his own. He then did what he thought he should; he called his mother for help.
With her step-by-step advice, he managed to rock little Vivian and put him successfully back to bed while Drew slumbered on peacefully. He congratulated himself on this incredible feat and fist pumped into the air.
But when Alex was woken up again at 3:32 a.m. and then at 5:57 a.m. by Vivian’s mewing, he stopped congratulating himself. In fact, he became very grumpy and almost desperate as he fought off the temptation to have a glass of wine at 7:07 a.m.
“It was horrible…simply horrible,” said Alex. “I so badly wanted a glass of wine at 7:07, then a whiskey at 7:09, and then bourbon at 7:13. Instead, I settled for a coffee with full cream and four sugars at 7:17 a.m. I knew then that something was wrong. We became so worried that we immediately booked an appointment with Dr. Manners.”
It was a very tired, grumpy, distraught and sugar overdosed Alex who limped in with immaculately dressed Drew.
“It was incredible,” said Dr. Manners, a sleep specialist. “In all my years of practice, I have never heard of such a thing. Whoever has heard of such a thing? A father hearing his own child cry at night? I asked him if he was doing drugs? Taking medications? Smoking weed? Anything that could explain this, but he was not.”
Dr. Manners explained that men simply do not have the auditory capabilities to hear a high-toned screech, or what men would call “nagging.” Studies have proven that:
- Male babies cannot hear mom’s “NO! Don’t BITE me!”
- 5-year-old males cannot hear mom’s “Don’t LICK that!”
- 12-year-old males cannot hear mom’s “Go have your shower!”
- 17-year-old males cannot hear mom’s “Go have your shower!”
- 25-year-old males cannot hear mom’s “Go have your shower!”
- 32-year-old males cannot hear a wife’s “Don’t BITE me! Go have your shower first!”
- 44-year-old males cannot hear a wife’s “Don’t LICK that! And for God sake, go have your shower first!”
“The male sense of hearing has evolved to shut out any high-pitched screaming so as to preserve their highly evolved hunting skills by using their Xboxes and watching sporting matches,” explained Dr. Manners. “It’s just not our biology to hear such things…A car alarm, yes…An Xbox ping, definitely, and our Twitter notifications, 100%. But never before, a baby crying. That’s like saying women can understand the rules of football. It’s just not natural.”
Dr. Manners will be putting Alex through another week of rigorous testing. He will be tested while watching Netflix, playing Xbox, and watching the World Cup at night.
“This could make medical history,” said Dr. Manners. “If he agrees to be further examined and studied, Alex’s body chemistry and his genes could very well hold the answer to ending maternal sleep deprivation. We may even develop a drug or something that can turn the male switch on to hear babies at night.”
While Alex Green is being hailed a hero by mothers all around the world for giving them new hope that they may never have to go through sleep deprivation with a baby alone again, he has already received death threats from some fathers who have started campaigning for “My Body, My Xbox, My Choice.”
While Alex is still undecided about his future, he continues to wake up to help tend to the baby, but he just doesn’t know how long he can continue.
“I can handle most things, like being grumpy and foggy-brained and even the booze but, NOW,” said Alex as he shook his head, “I want…I want…cake…for breakfast. I imagine going to work, and my workmate saying, ‘Green-o, let’s have some chow!’ And I say, ‘Sure, mate, princess cake?’ I know if I do break and have that princess cake for breakfast, I will never be able to look at myself in the mirror again.”
The ultimate price to pay for ending “maternal sleep deprivation” might just be too high, even for courageous Alex or any father, to pay.
About the Author
Michelle Tan is the absurdist comic writer and certified life nonsense expert behind The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback, a fictionalized blog about a newbie mummy’s nonsense in trying to survive the world’s most dangerous place in the world — the school playground. Some call her genius, some call her dribble and some, like her three children, just call her “Mummy.” Her nonsense has also been published on HuffingtonPost and Babble. Catch more of her shenanigans on Facebook and Twitter. She is determined to be the World’s First Nonsense Blogger in Nothing Important.