Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Day in the Nerdery: Baby Anecdotes

A Day in the Nerdery: Being a nerd is fun. There's a peculiar level of joy that can only be enjoyed by someone who knows how to properly visualize 'power armor-shattering pelvic thrusts', 'brace-for-impact bathroom breaks', or 'thing-foot'. I'm here to share that joy, whether you like it or not.

Yeesh, another long gap in posts on the blog here. Believe it or not, I am writing blog articles on a regular basis right now, but none of them has had that 'back to blogging' quality that I would like to have. So, I figured I would share a few real-life anecdotes of what life is like in the Nerdery. Specifically, what it's like for a certain baby who has warped my sanity with his pate-addling cuteness like a Chibi-cthulhu on a sugar high in a pillow factory.

My son is going to be a super-nerd, the likes of which has never been nor will ever be again, and he loves it. The first night home from the hospital, I put my wife to bed and sat up with my baby on my lap as we watched Monsters on Netflix. It's a steaming pile, and my son slept through the whole thing. If I weren't knotted up like an embroidered doily I would've done the same. But when did my boy wake up? To stuff his diaper with a gurgling doody right during the supposed climax of the terrible non-invasion movie--when the two Americans kiss after watching the alien squiddies dance and exchange rave light-shows. Thank you, son. That's a welcome distraction.

Later, my son watched Battle: Los Angeles with my parents, my wife, and I. Granted, most of the time my son was watching his mother's face and south, but he did spend a little time quietly watching the film. He made virtually no noise for the entire movie--probably still basking in the glowing praise he'd gotten over lunch beforehand--but at a tense moment in the third act of the movie, bright flashes of electric arcs caused him to suddenly raise his hands up in surprise. He didn't make any noise or move for a moment, but it was clear: he was ready to surrender to the alien invaders.

More nerd indoctrination. My son has sat through several RPG and board game sessions with my wife and my friends. Despite my fear that he'll spit up on my game pieces or ruin someone's character sheet, his interaction is to usually stare intently at the pieces in the middle of the board. One might say he's just spacing out, but that'd be an ignorant comment, as my son has now picked up enough to laugh with us during critical successes, and he enjoys providing ambient sounds when I turn on our iTunes for a gaming soundtrack. His favorite way to contribute? Wait for his daddy to make aggressive NPCs talk in gravelly, intimidating voices and punctuate that with "Whoooo...gla-la-hooooo..."

My son likes his daddy, sure, but he loves his mommy. That's because there are two functional differences between us. The first shouldn't need to be mentioned: if you can't guess, just keep reading the first sentence of this paragraph until you figure it out. The second difference is that my hands are normally cold due to the fact that they take forever to warm up. It's not uncommon for me to start a work shift in the winter and have my hands still be frigid when my shift ends and I go back outside. I'm used to this, and in fact I appreciate it when comes time to romantically antagonize my wife. My son, however, does not appreciate it. It's not uncommon for my wife to pass me my naked little clone who is hiccuping mad over something. He wails, his eyes squeezed tightly shut, his mouth puckered into a Winston Churchill expression, settling down even as he's passed over to me to be nestled directly against my chest. Soon he settles down, except for the hiccups, and begins making gooey eyes at me as he gives me a sheepish smile. I laugh as my wife says something to the effect of me being the baby-whisperer, and I pass him back, hands slipping beneath his shirt to touch his potato belly. Suddenly, Churchill is back and throwing an exorcist party, screaming red-faced at the icy touch. I laugh: at least his hiccups are gone.

Got to experience a new type of being 'spat up' on the other day. Winston Churchill seemed to have some gas, so I of course was in charge of burping him since the wife claims he never burps for her. I no longer believe this and think it's part of a vile postpartum plan, as after the little spud's second little burp I hear, 'glap!' I look at my chest to find a thick mass of puke the consistency of back-of-the-throat loogies, which is still hanging from my beloved son's mouth in a thick off-white tendril. I freak out just a bit, at which point my son decides that the regurgitation was so relaxing that he should just rest his little head...in the puke. The gummy gurge sticks to his face as I frantically try to shift to quickly get him out of the spit-up, but not before he gets a nice c-shaped cake of slime on his eyebrow and cheek. This, of course, is worthy of a cheerful giggle, probably in response to Ymir's grossed out facial expressions.

Babies are devious critters, and they are not innocent--they just have an impaired ability to offend, requiring cunning and dedication. Case in point: I was changing my son's diaper--an unrighteously ripe dump that he had squeegied around into his chubby thigh folds--when I notice that his normal funky jock-strap smelling head now smells like an old carton of milk. That means he's been spitting up, so I decide to change his rank onesie while I'm at it. My stripped son looks up at me happily, cooing as if to say, 'Thanks dad, that stuff was getting in my way...' He leans towards me, smiling in order to lull me into a false sense of security, swings his leg out--not making this up, he really did--and lets fly a torrent of pee onto my stomach, leg, and foot. Laughing all the while.

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