Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Day in the Nerdery: Parent Wardrobe

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.

A free bit of advice to all new parents: wear shirts that are one size bigger than to which you're normally accustomed.

Several days ago, I was at home with the boy while my wife was at work. Normally, any time my beloved son and I are alone for an extended period of time and our only car is unaccessible, he takes it as an opportunity to throw an unrighteous fit. This particular time, however, he was being surprisingly pleasant.

That would have warned off a wiser man.

Now, a big part of being a father for me is that I constantly forget how delightfully cute and amazing my son is. As I stayed at home with him and turned on an episode of Battlestar Galactica, I reveled in the chance to cuddle with my offspring as he gurgled along with his father who was mouthing the words of the series pilot in perfect rhythm with the tv. The eighteen pounder snuggled against me, chomping his gums into my collar bone and moving in delightfully spastic motions that put me in mind of Yoda curling up for his dirt nap in Return of the Jedi. It was a supremely endearing moment, despite all that would follow.

Now, another big part of being a father for me is that I constantly forget how disgustingly vindictive and gross my son can be. As I stood up to go get a snack before Lee read Tigh the riot act, my son ejected a steamy mass of approximately four ounces of second-stage breast milk and stomach acid directly onto his father's chest.

To his credit, the projecticle biohazard didn't touch himself--he'd managed to place the entire mess squarely on me, and he kept leaning forward such that the sticky mash that proceeded from his cry-hole created a flow of vomit going down my front. Not wanting to get the bilious mass on the apartment floor, I grabbed the hem of my t-shirt and lifted it up and away so that the putrid mess could pool in the trough created.

Relatively speaking, this was an extremely manageable mess. I was holding my son in my left arm, leaning him against my armpit and the side of my chest. My right hand was holding my shirt hem to contain the gut-spill. If I put my son down and changed my shirt, it wouldn't be all that bad.

Again, that would've warned off a wiser man.

The darling baby then decided that was an excellent time to stretch. When my son stretches, he emulates some of the ragdoll physics you might see a falling deceased character use in your average video game--his elbow stiffens as he positions his arm at full extension, followed by a backward shrug that turns into a quick forward rotation that resembles a lifeless flop.

This arm-flop led directly into the river of regurgitation slickly plastered to my shirt. And the awkward extension of his arm evenly distributed the effluvium from his doughboy shoulder to his pudgy wrist. He stiffened and slowly contemplated the strange sensation of the cooling mass of ejected material before deciding upon his course of action: a seizing wail accompanied by the all-too-familiar Winston Churchill face-of-rage-and-discontent.

At that point, my son had instituted a time limit on my solution to his problem. I had until my ears started bleeding to make my boy happy or he'd move on to more devastating tactics. With careful sideways contorting, I lifted the barf-skin bag that once was my shirt to wipe off my son's arm. Unfortunately, there's no known off switch for my boy's moods, and he continued to rave as I gingerly put him down on his play mat to take off my shirt. Curling the bottom of the shirt up to trap the puddle of puke in a roll of wretched cloth, I couldn't get it off without dragging it across my face. Sneering and trying to get it over with as soon as possible, I tug the shirt off and over my head, a snout-full of vomit depositing itself through the soaked cloth to my nose and upper lip.

My son got to hear me wail a bit at that point.

So, bottom line: when handling my darling progeny, I need to wear shirts one size larger in the future. And if you have infants I recommend you do likewise.

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