It started when my wife left the room and said, “Mind watching him for a few minutes?” Oh, sure! No problem. Newborns can’t move, after all. They’re pretty much helpless. I can handle this.
And then he pooped. One of those long, drawn out, grunty poops too. It was unpleasant to be sure, but fine! Poop, as they say, happens. So I took care of it. Such is the awesome father that I am.
The next day I was holding the little man. You know, gently and with love. Such is the fantastic dad that I am. And my wife left the room again.
Right then he pooped again. And grunted. And gave me a look that would shatter glass. Suddenly it hit me:
This kid hates my guts!
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Saving his pooping for me isn’t enough to automatically assume he wants me dead and chopped up into little pieces so he can go run off with my wife and sip pina coladas on some tropical beach somewhere. And you’re right, it’s not enough. So how do you explain that I’m the only one he’s peed on, huh? My wife has changed far more of his diapers than I have. Yet she comes away clean each time. Me? Pee. And lots of it! He’s also pooed on me during a change. Think that’s happened to my wife?
It doesn’t stop there either. Another sure fire sign that he’d hit me over the head with a shovel and bury me beneath our tomato plants if he could is the fact that I can’t hold him for more than a minute before he throws a red-faced temper tantrum. Not for a minute! I rock him. I talk to him. I even give the little ingrate foot massages. What do I get in return? The world’s youngest heart attack victim. Have you ever seen an infant with a throbbing vein on his forehead? I have. And it only happens with me.
His distaste for me also rears its head on the road. Because of course it does. Have you ever experienced the joy of driving through traffic with a screaming child? The shrill bleating just burrows through your brain and into your central nervous system. Before you know it, one of your eyes is blinking wildly and you’re slurring your speech. It’s horrible, and the reason why all minivan drivers are insane. Well, like his bodily function control, he saves the worst for me. When his momma drives, he sleeps. With me? “WWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!” This kid is going to be the death of me.
He stares me down. He summons the strength of a herd of elephants when squeezing my fingers. He does both at the same time. And I’m getting the message. Loud and clear. He hates me and wants me gone.
If there is any solace to be had, it’s that he pretty much hates everyone. Everyone except his mother, of course. Her he loves. He’s calm with her. He’s sweet with her. He controls his bowels and bits with her. It’s a veritable love fest. It’s also easy to see why too.
She’s got boobs.
I’ve begun calling him the “Boobacabra”. Or, in other words: the Boob Sucker. It pretty much sums him up right now too. He likes boobs and likes anyone who will give him boobs. Everyone else is trash. Just like daddy.
It’s hard though. Having a newborn is a momentous, joyous occasion in one’s life. At least it’s supposed to be. And I do love the little guy–he just makes it awfully hard, especially when you know he’d rather be with his mother. All he gives me is grief and despair right now. It has the consequence of dampening my feelings for him, making me yearn for future days, when boobies are less important and real father-son bonding can begin.
Audrey used to treat me the same way, you know. Now we’re peas and carrots. So the hope is there. Some day things will be swell between us. Until then, however…
I had better watch my back.