Monday, April 4, 2011

First World Problems

We've hit that point in the semester. My wife is... grading. A lot. And she stayed up late to try to finish, so she missed her window for going to sleep, so she stayed up later. Right before I went to sleep, she told me: "I may need you to hold Secondborn so I can send an e-mail in the morning."

(On the days when she teaches, she gets up quite early. Secondborn - he'll have his first birthday in about a week and half - does not like sleeping alone. He tends to wake up and start screaming. Usually, if that happens, I hold him for a few minutes while my wife finishes getting ready.)

So this morning I spent at least an hour - maybe an hour and a half - in Secondborn's bedroom, half-dozing, and rousing myself enough to comfort the baby every few minutes. He might have been calmer if we hadn't had a massive thunder storm raging outside the house during this time. After a while, the child struggled up to a sitting position and voiced a particularly loud complaint - Toddlerese for "I am done sleeping now, so quit trying to settle me down" - so I picked him and carried him to the back hallway. Where I stood on the tile floor, rocking the baby, while my wife finished loading the car. The baby was the last item to get loaded.

So I headed back and flipped the switch on my alarm clock - and in the process discovered that I had a whole minute and a half to spare, before it would have gone off and (doubtless) awakened firstborn. So, fine. No more sleep for me. I made myself breakfast, then went and showered. Then I went back to wake Firstborn and get him ready - usually just a matter of putting pants and shoes on him - and discovered that he'd created a mid-sized lake in the middle of his bed.

Fortunately, we keep a waterproof sheet on the mattress. Unfortunately, that still meant chasing the boy into the shower, gathering up his clothes, stripping the bed, and completely sterilizing my hands. Once the boy was clean and dressed, we got into the car and went on our way.

So now I'm at work. Also, I'm grumpy. This is not exactly how I wanted to start the day.

Still... First World problems.


  1. Not exactly a great start to a Monday morning, but I think that sounds like the perfect definition of a beautiful mess.

  2. I'm sure that in a little while, once the cognitive dissonance sets in, I'll see that these are the moments where the true, luminous joy of parenting is finally revealed.

  3. Sure you will. Later, when you get home, and firstborn gives you a big hug or does something otherwise adorably irresistible(like make some kind of lego monster) you'll forget all about the river in the bed this morning. :-)

  4. Oh, don't get me wrong - I've got a great wife and two great boys. We're just hitting that point in the semester where everything gets a little insane. And while I'm displeased with the timing of this morning's mess, and with the laundry I'll have to do tonight as a result, I certainly don't have any plans to sell Firstborn to the circus.

    On the other hand, I don't think it hurts anything to point out that being a parent is frequently a lot of work, and occasionally not a job for the squeamish. 'Cause, you know, that's pretty much how it is.

  5. This is exactly why I will continue to insist that parenting, like the military, requires voluntary induction, rather than a draft.

  6. Okay, so maybe you won't forget about said river. And you're absolutely right. Parenting is A LOT of work. Things do get kinda crazy every now and then. I'd like a couple of my own, but every now and then I wonder if I have what it takes. :-) I like your family sharing. Doesn't hurt a thing!


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