Babying With Branden: Week 7

Have you ever traveled with a 7 week old baby? We drove to Seattle which is about 3 hours from where we live in Portland. The baby hollered for what felt like an hour. If you had heard the cries you would have assumed we were killing this damn child. Then she fell into a deep slumber, I mean deep. Usually if the pacifier falls out her mouth she starts to stir, but this time Ruby was dead asleep with her mouth open, sleeping like she worked a 12 hour shift.

We checked into our hotel easy enough and entered our room to find a pitch and play. Now I’m not saying I’m the cleanest person but I could literally see the germs growing on this thing. I had my first “Not my baby” moment because there was no way on God’s green earth I was putting my baby in that petri dish. Then in my haste I grabbed a bottle of water, a $3 NASTY bottle of AQUAFINA water, it tasted like disappointment. I’ll admit Ruby gets a B- for the night. She still woke up 5 times but she did let us sleep from 11:30pm- 3:30am which is a solid 4 hours. Now, this is a real question for all you veteran parents. At what point do babies stop being damp? I am not talking diapers. I’m talking about her body, her neck folds are always moist, I’m surprised she hasn’t started growing mold yet.

We planned on going to a coffee convention in Tacoma but when we got to the door we were told “This is a professional event and no children are allowed.” Of course I lost my cool, I mean we endured screams from the depths of her little soul for this. They said the best they could do was to refund our money. Every week I get a gut punch that welcomes me to parenthood again and again. Universe, God whomever, I get it I am a parent and my life is different.

I really don’t have an internal clock anymore. I mean I am in a haze. Seriously I lose track of what time it actually is, one of my homies texted me and asked “Bruh what time are you coming it’s getting late?” I had no idea what he was talking about. Shout out to all the single parents out there because damn, there are 3 adults in my house and we are all getting our butts handed to us. I don’t know how you single parents manage by yourself. I’m sure it’s shocking to everyone with children but we are still not getting any sleep. When people say “It gets better” my question is, when? Kindergarten? Middle school? High school?

Everyday something happens that leaves me asking “What the hell was that?” but I guess dealing with puberty versus vomit is an improvement. I honestly feel like I’m playing catch up, I never feel like I fully know what’s going on.

Having this baby has definitely forced me to watch a lot more TV because when she falls asleep I’ll be damned if I get up and wake this baby. No, really, I will slap someone if they wake this baby from nap time. Anyway what is up with these prescription drug commercials? I was watching one that is suppose to help with Bi-polar depression, in the side effects is literally said “In children and teenagers internal bleeding is common as well as death in elderly people.” Who is using this drug and what doctor signed off on this? I am going to regret saying this but this baby needs to start walking so I can get off this couch.

This morning I went into the bathroom to handle my morning business and noticed I had two bruises on both of my arms, no one told me parenting was a contact sport, I don’t even remember where they came from. I asked my wife. She looked me dead in my eyes and told me yesterday she had a full day, a trip to the doctors office, grocery store and even got an oil change and when she got home she realized she only had one sock on so no she didn’t know where I got my little bruises. I honestly didn’t know what to say after that so I just walked away, now I have some bruises and she is still struggling with getting fully dressed.

Author Branden Valentine

To see more of Branden's work and short stories make sure to check out his author page, which list more of writings.

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