Aaand, just like that (in sloth years, maybe), I am a parent. Possibly also apparent? Very shortly after I finished my last post, Sir Mixalot (totally the real name of my wife) went into labor, which lasted somewhere between 36 and 48 hours, depending on how you look at it. It was a tough one with a few hiccups, but Sir Mix was a total rock star/Olympian/Warrior Princess throughout (even with 24 hours pre-epidural and 4 hours of pushing). There is no way to talk about the experience without being cheesy, but even that tells you something about what it was like (I generally refuse to use the term ‘amaze-balls’, but I think it would apply here). Sir Mix’s parents and sister were here for the whole thing, which she was happy about. Her family is big and lively, so while it was extremely surreal to be watching college football amidst witty banter and discussion about the color palettes in Martha Stewart Living while Sir Mix periodically lapsed into moaning and rocking through a contraction, it was exactly the atmosphere she wanted, though not exactly the one we had imagined. Almost no part of the birthing experience went down the way we expected, really, but we (and she, most importantly) were happy with how it turned out.
And now we have a baby, who we’ll call El-P:
He was born at a hospital in deep Brooklyn, where I learned, among other things, that the crazy accent of the engaged woman on Orange is the New Black (the one with the lipstick who’s doin’ it with the Janis Joplin character for the first few episodes) is in fact a genuine type of Brooklyn accent, one that many nurses at said hospital happen to have. I also learned that I am not above wandering the halls of a maternity ward sobbing at 5 AM because I just got kicked out of my wife’s hospital bed and can’t find my brand new son in the nursery. (I was looking for him in the wrong nursery, turns out.)
The hospital stay was punctuated with some cute and less cute bloopers: me taking El-P to get his kidney ultrasound and seeing the nurse’s face when I said, “Yes, I’m the mother”; me asking very loudly and confusedly (I blame sleep deprivation) why they didn’t have regular bacon at the kosher Dunkin’ Donuts across the street; multiple nurses asking how much El-P weighed and then pantomiming shock and amazement that he wasn’t born by C-section. The husband of Sir Mix’s roommate on the maternity floor had a surprising number of questions about our relationship; I answered two or three but had to cut the conversation off when he asked whether either of us had been with a man before. Classy!
Since then we’ve just been hanging out at home with the little guy, learning how the hell to take care of him (with a lot of help from my mother-in-law, AKA The Baby Whisperer, AKA Please Come Back, Grandma, No I’m Just Kidding, We’re Totally Fine of Course, But When Do You Think You Might Come Back?). He’s surprisingly quiet, tolerant of most things except cold hands and diaper changes; he’s really into breastfeeding and looking at the white dots on the black background but not so much the red stripes on white background. He keeps trying to nurse my face and arms, but I’m trying not to take it personally. Who among us hasn’t made that mistake at least once?