Friday, December 17, 2010

It's a hard life

It's a tough gig being a dad.

First, there's the whole birth thing.  We went into the hospital after midnight and I kept being woken up by these bloody midwives who were coming into the room to check on my Smaller Half.  And I didn't even have the nice comfy hospital bed that my Smaller Half had - just a scuzzy fold-out arm-chair.  And when I tried to take blankets from the blanket warmer to snuggle up in, they told me that those were for newborn babies only and made me put them back.

Nobody paid me any attention at all.  They just kept asking if my Smaller Half was okay and they offered her painkillers and foot rubs and swiss ball rides and aromatherapy whereas I got not so much as a chupachup.

And as for the rest of the day, it was a nightmare.  Breakfast was okay but there was no honey for my cereal.  And I didn't get any coffee until after lunch, which I didn't get to eat anyway because all the panicky doctors took the table away.  And the only reason I got coffee at all was because during a part of the birthing process that I didn't like the look of I excused myself and went across the road for a break.  And anyway, when I got back, feeling much better and more alert, it was still going on.  Man.

Then there's whole baby thing.  That's tough for dads.  While my Smaller Half is having a great time breast-feeding every few hours, I have to awaken up to twice each night to change the Hatchling's nappy - a task which takes up to 5 minutes each and every time.  It's debilitating.

And is the Hatchling grateful?  No, I do not believe so.  She gave me this look today when I picked her up.  She opened her eyes and sneered at me as if to say, "Oh, it's you.  Sure, you may be good for entertainment but you certainly aren't very nutritious.  Not like the other one."

I tried to explain Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to her and pointed out that I was providing the upper four levels, with a particular emphasis on self-actualisation through my special program of hot-housing which I'm pretty sure will succeed in getting her into an astronaut suit by 15 or 16, and that food would be provided to her contingent on her continued progress through her educational programme.  But she just kept trying to suck my fingers so I gave up and handed her to my Smaller Half and grabbed some much-needed zzzz's.

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