Posts Tagged With: 0.9

Nine in the suburbs: Why is it so damn dark out here?

It has been just over four months since we moved from Hoboken to Basking Ridge, and we’ve settled in nicely, for the most part. We really like it out here, and everyone is adjusting well, from yours truly, to Mrs. 9, to 0.9, and even the cats.

9House

The 9 Compound

The positives definitely outweigh the negatives. I mentioned some of these things in a previous post, but that was months ago, and most people online don’t have any attention span, anyway, so here goes:

  • Mrs. 9’s commute has been shortened to about 15-20 minutes, with little to no traffic, from 50 minutes on paper and much longer in real life when we were still in Hoboken.
  • 0.9 loves his daycare and the teachers there.
  • Driving around here in general is a far more pleasant experience. Not only is traffic rarely an issue, but there just seems to be a lot less douchebaggery on the roads.
  • Life in general is a lot less stressful. Things like shopping, or going out for dinner, are much more manageable out here. People just seem to be a lot more relaxed, and it shows.
  • The two fat cats have actually lost weight since we moved here, likely due to having a lot more room to run, as well as the steps. Even 8-Ball, who used to move twice a day, has actually shown signs of being spry. The only bad thing about 8-Ball and Trouble getting into better shape is that one of them might catch Skittles one day, and eat him, because he continues to bait the two of them mercilessly, figuring that he can outrun them.
  • This will not be a factor for another five years or so, but the elementary school 0.9 will eventually attend is picturesque. It looks like something Norman Rockwell would paint. It’s a beautiful building, with so much space around it. I am actually jealous of him, as I feel like when you grow up in Manhattan, classrooms feel more like cells due to the lack of space. The thought of having a vast expense of grass for him to play on, instead of a slab of concrete, is comforting.
  • I have taken advantage of the fact that it is about three-quarters of a mile from our house to the train station and taken New Jersey Transit into Penn Station or Hoboken a few times. It’s pretty easy, and for someone who has been known to enjoy the occasional beer or 12, it’s a great option to have.
  • Being walking distance from the downtown area of Basking Ridge has been a huge plus, as well, and we have taken advantage of it a few times, weather permitting. It’s good to get out, walk, and exercise, rather than having to drive everywhere.
  • I work in the basement, right next to a window that faces our back yard, and I have been fortunate enough to see deer on a number of occasions, and even a red fox, which was larger than I thought, but quite a beautiful animal. It’s nice to see species other than stray cats, PATH rats, squirrels, and pigeons.
  • As I suspected, Cablevision’s Optimum is not even in the same ballpark as Verizon FiOS, especially when you factor in the Internet speed of the latter. Good riddance, Cablevision.
  • I raked leaves for the second time in my life, and shoveled snow for the first. Neither was too tough to pick up. I didn’t rake the entire yard, so sue me. We would eventually like to get a lawn mower, but with all of the expenses related to moving, new furniture, and 0.9, the lawn mower is on the back burner, for now, as is the snow blower, the generator, and the grill, which will likely come first.

There are a few things I’m definitely having trouble adjusting to, however:

  • I simply cannot get over just how fucking dark it is around here at night. I didn’t expect Basking Ridge to be lit up like the Vegas strip, but it is absolutely pitch black. There are very, very few street lights around here, and other sources of light are scant. As soon as the sun goes down, this is what the view from our window looks like:
Our view ...

Our view …

  • Speaking of the dark, when I take the train back to Basking Ridge and arrive after sundown, I have to walk by a cemetery while it’s pitch black outside. Shaggy and Scooby-Doo have the right idea being rattled. It’s definitely creepy.
  • I said earlier that drivers around here seem to be a lot more courteous and less ruthless than those closer to the city, but the one thing I’ve noticed, kind of related to my point above about the darkness, is that a lot of folks out here have a tendency to not bother to switch from brights to dims when other cars are approaching, and some of the newer cars out there, especially some Audi models, have headlights that are completely blinding. One of the first things I was taught when driving at night was to switch off my brights if another car was coming. But for whatever reason, many people out here simply can’t be bothered.
  • Luckily, we haven’t had to deal with anything major yet in terms of household repairs, but I find myself missing the phrase “call the super” more and more. I did have one unfortunate incident that required an emergency plumbing call due to cat litter clogging up the drain to our slop sink. I know enough not to intentionally pour something that is designed to clump when wet down a drain: It was a stupid and costly accident, as I didn’t realize the trash bag I was dumping the litter box into had slipped, and the litter was going into the sink, and not the bag. You learn from your mistakes. But after living in apartments for the first 44-and-a-half years of my life, it’s still scary that there is no safety net. People can make fun of me all they want for some of the things I don’t know how to do, but I have never had to do them. I am more than willing to learn. We’ll see how it goes. I just hope future mistakes or repairs for other reasons aren’t too costly.
  • I never thought I would find a power company that would make PSE&G look like a superstar, but JCP&L can kiss my ass. There is apparently a history of JCP&L neglecting this area, and their response, or lack thereof, to Hurricane Sandy was an utter and complete joke.

Mrs. 9 and I were talking about this the other day: Despite the fact that we’ve been here a little over four months, we both still have the feeling that we’re on vacation, and that we’ll have to pack everything up one day and go back to our apartment in Hoboken. This place is very much like home, but there are times when it feels like the beach house on Long Beach Island that I was part of for years: You feel at home, but it’s still not your home. Obviously, it is, and we will not be returning to our apartment in Hoboken, or any apartment, for that matter. But there are times when this move still doesn’t seem real or permanent.

Overall, I have no regrets: This was a wise and necessary move. Are there things I miss about Hoboken? Sure, but not enough to make me wish we had never moved here. And there are some treats coming up this summer, as we will hopefully join the local pool, and I will try to get a spot in an over-40 (fuck you in advance for what you’re thinking) softball league.

Yeah, Basking Ridge doesn’t suck. But why is it so fucking dark?

Categories: cats, Hoboken, life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Setting the record straight about why I am so angry with JCP&L over our power situation

I think a lot of people (particularly on Facebook) are misinterpreting why I am livid with Jersey Central Power & Light due to its handling of our lack of power, which started around 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, during the roughest part of Hurricane Sandy, and has not been resolved as I type this.

As of 4:30 p.m. today (Nov. 7), more than 168,000 JCP&L customers in New Jersey are still without power, and I am one of them. Do I think I deserve preference over any of the others on the list? I absolutely do not. Do I have any malice toward those whose power has been restored? Again, I absolutely do not.

My problem is with the awful communications between JCP&L and my new hometown of Basking Ridge, or Bernards Township. We have received little or no information throughout this process, and the precious nuggets of news have been inaccurate, conflicting, and useless.

Two close friends (ironically both former roommates) live in areas serviced by JCP&L. One, in Brielle, was told that power would be out for 15 days, and it was restored in seven days. The other, in Whippany, was told that power would be out for 18 days, and it was also restored in seven days.

We received no such information, other than a very vague statement that most homes would be restored by today (Wednesday, Nov. 7), nine days after power was lost. The implication was that power would be restored gradually throughout that period. The truth was that very few homes in the area had power until Sunday, or six days after it was lost, and as of 3 p.m. today, 4,494 out of 12,567 homes were still down. Does the number of restored homes qualify as “most?” I suppose so, but JCP&L’s communications to our town were still extremely misleading.

I don’t know if the issue was that the company was afraid to deliver bad news, but had it come out with a statement saying something along the lines of, “Most residents of Bernards Township will not be restored for several days,” I would have come up with a much more efficient plan for getting through this than the one we chose. No one wants to be told that they will be without power for several days, but after digesting the news, no one could possibly blame JCP&L or any other company for the damage caused by this storm. I can, however, blame them for not being honest with us and allowing us to plan accordingly the way our friends did.

We are currently staying with my mother-in-law in Cherry Hill, an hour-and-a-half from Basking Ridge. We chose to do so because we were led to believe that this situation would linger for a handful of days, not nine and counting.

We have cats, and they absolutely do not travel well, and are completely freaked out by change. So I have driven back-and-forth from Cherry Hill to Basking Ridge every single day since we set up camp down here last Wednesday to check on them, feed them, reassure them, and spend some time with them. I don’t even want to think about how much I have spent on gas. On the way back from Basking Ridge to Cherry Hill this morning, I topped the 1,000-mile mark of distance driven specifically because of Hurricane Sandy.

We have a six-month-old baby who is absolutely driving us nuts and not letting either of us get any work done. It’s not his fault. He is stir-crazy and bored out of his mind. But our daycare center, also a JCP&L customer, is out of power, as well, meaning that we can’t even make alternate daycare arrangements so that we can have a few hours of peace and quiet to get some work done.

This situation is far from ideal. If I had any inkling that it was going to last this long, I would have tried to figure out something better, where the cats weren’t left alone in a house with a temperature that has dropped as low as 50, and where we had better resources in terms of sleeping (we bought an air mattress because the sofa bed was slaughtering both of our backs), possible child care, and other things.

In other words, if JCP&L was honest and upfront from the start, we would be in a completely different situation.

No one wants to hear bad news, and no one wants to be told that something as vital as power will be kept from them for several days. But that was the reality dealt to us by Hurricane Sandy. JCP&L should have been honest and straightforward about how long this process was going to take, rather than spending two days saying it was “assessing the situation,” and then issuing three completely conflicting estimates of when work would start in our town and how much of it would get done.

I’m sure my next-door neighbor, an older woman who lives alone, would have come up with a much better plan, as well, since her plan consisted of sitting in her car with the engine running to stay warm, and eating crackers because her stove is electric and she can’t cook. Do you think she would have done something different if she knew we would be dark for nine days and counting?

JCP&L told my friend in Brielle it would be 15 days. JCP&L told my friend in Whippany it would be 18 days. Why didn’t the company give our town the same courtesy?

And on another note, it doesn’t help my mood that my former hometown of Hoboken, which was absolutely decimated by the storm, with most of the city under two to three feet of water, is fully restored. Naturally, I am happy that Hoboken is back up, as I still have many friends there, but when it comes to restoring service, my old provider, PSE&G, is kicking JCP&L’s ass, and sadly, there is no way to switch back.

After reading that, if you don’t think I have a right to be angry, then we will have to agree to disagree. But I would think friends would take the side of their friends, and not of an ineffective power company.

Speaking of friends, a lot of ours have made generous offers, and I wanted to explain why we haven’t taken any of them up on those offers.

Parents out there can back me up on this: When you travel with a six-month-old baby (or any baby, for that matter), the amount of stuff you need to bring with you is ungodly. Packing and unpacking it is a mission, as is setting it up. We don’t want to uproot the baby at this point, and force him to get used to another place, when we have no idea whether it will be for one night, one week, or one month.

Plus, for our friends who don’t have kids, they take over your entire house. I know everyone’s offers were sincere, but some of you don’t know what you were potentially getting yourself into. We are used to being awakened at 4 a.m. by piercing screams. We don’t want to put anyone through that.

And for those who have offered to help with the cats, I really don’t think it’s a good idea to move them at this point. They are already completely freaked out, not to mention cold and lonely, other than the one hour or so every day I have spent with them. Bringing them to a new place would be overload. And they might do a lot of damage to someone’s place, not out of malice, but due to stress. Plus, if anyone whom they don’t already know comes to check up on them, 8-Ball will be happy to get fed, but the other two will hide and not benefit from their company, and likely think they were abandoned.

So I do thank everyone who made offers, and there were many of you, and, as I said, I have no doubt every single one was sincere.

In any event, I hope anyone who reads this now understands that I wasn’t simply whining about not having power, as there are still hundreds of thousands in the same boat. I believe I have a right to be angry about JCP&L’s communications with my town, or lack thereof, and I stand by everything I have said about the company on Facebook. And if you still side with them over me, well, I just don’t know what to say anymore, but I take nothing back.

Categories: cats, Hoboken, life, venting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My one piece of advice for future parents

No matter how many people tell you how much becoming a parent changes everything else about your life, you have no concept, clue, or theory until you actually go through it. As the father of soon-to-be-four-month-old 0.9, I have one piece of advice to share with anyone contemplating the journey to parenthood.

My advice has nothing to do with parenting. Three-and-a-half months do not qualify me as an expert. Rather, my advice concerns the period before becoming parents.

Until you become a parent, you don’t have a clear understanding of just how many places you really can’t go with kids, or with a pregnant wife, for that matter. It’s not that you’re forbidden from going to these places, whether they are vacation destinations, or beer gardens (which count as vacation destinations to me), or events, or whatever. The logistical issues are what get you.

So my advice is as follows: Make a list of things you want to do before pregnancy, or before childbirth, and try to do as many of the things on the list as possible. You won’t get to all of them, but you will be happy about the things you do get to do.

If it sounds in any way like I regret becoming a father, this could not be further from the truth. 0.9 is the second-best thing to ever happen in my life, behind Mrs. 9, without whom there would be no 0.9.

I only have two regrets, one of which was beyond my control. I wish Mrs. 9 and I had met a little earlier in life, so we could have had a few more years to do things as a couple, before becoming parents, but such is life.

The regret that I could have done something about, however, was not following the advice I just offered. I had a mental list of things I wanted to do and places I wanted to go, but it’s so easy to get lazy and unmotivated, and to decide to stay local, and when all is said and done, had I actually written out a list, very few items on it would have check marks next to them.

Don’t underestimate how much your life will change. Make up that list, and start checking things off. I wish I had.

Categories: alcohol, beer, life, travel | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Pre-moving mixed emotions

I am now smack in the middle of the most frustrating period of our impending move from Hoboken to Basking Ridge, two very different New Jersey destinations. On the one hand, time seems to be crawling, and on the other hand, it feels like it’s accelerating out of control.

Less than one month …

This experience is new to me, as I have never been involved in the purchase of a home, having spent my entire life in rental properties. It is basically a two-month period between the point when the house was pretty much officially ours until the point when we actually move in, and the two months has seemed like forever.

It’s hard to contain my excitement about the new space, and as much as I want to get started on buying things and laying out areas like my office, there’s so much we can’t do until the walk-through at the end of the month. We need to find out if things like shelving in the storage area are staying in the house or going with its previous owner. And even though we took measurements of all the rooms, there are certain things we can’t really buy or order until physically being in the house. I still don’t have a desk, and I work from home.

Plus, there are certain things that I just couldn’t do that far in advance. For example, I am embracing our upcoming switch from horse shit Cablevision to Verizon FiOS, but I had to wait until the other day to set it up because I couldn’t get an appointment as far in advance as the day after we move in. The same is true for things like magazine subscriptions, which I hope to begin taking care of this week.

On the other hand, there are so many things I wanted to do and places I wanted to go before leaving Hoboken, and all of a sudden, time is short. For example, there are three beer gardens in the immediate area that I must say farewell to, including Pier 13, which I haven’t been to yet, so it will be a hello and a goodbye.

A prevailing theme on Facebook today was surprise at the fact that it’s August already, and, as I said in my status update, it hit me even harder because I will be a resident of an entirely different place when this month comes to a close.

Having a baby in the family doesn’t necessarily have to mean an end to everything fun that we liked to do beforehand, but it also makes things more complicated. It’s not like Mrs. 9 and I are going to strap 0.9 into his car seat on some random weekday night and drive into Hoboken for dinner. It’s all about picking your spots, which we’re still learning to do. We’re new at this. It hasn’t quite been four months. There are so many things I want to do between now and Aug. 30, when the moving truck pulls up to the front of our building, and I know I will never get to all of them.

Although I am 100% confident we are making the right move, if I needed a sign, I got one today, when my neighbor knocked on my door to tell me that a car had been broken into in the parking area of our building. This is the first time I have heard of this happening in my nine years or so here, and it’s a little disturbing. By no means do I believe Basking Ridge is a crime-free utopia, as no such place exists, but I’d like to think our car will be a lot safer in our own garage, instead of in a building’s parking area where the door is constantly being left unlocked, or the lock is constantly broken.

My emotions are very mixed right now. As much as I can’t wait to open the door to our new house for the very first time, I almost wish I had a little more time here in Hoboken. But you can’t have everything, I suppose.

Categories: alcohol, beer, cars, Hoboken, life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

0.9 turned leaving the apartment into a miniseries

One of the hardest things I’ve had to adjust to since 0.9 joined the fold is how long it takes to do something simple, like get the hell out of the house.

Can we GO now???

The days of my simple four-item checklist — wallet, keys, car keys, and cell phone — are now history. Now, a whole host of questions must be answered before exiting our apartment:

  • Did he eat?
  • Is he hungry?
  • How long ago did he eat?
  • When is the last time his diaper was changed?
  • When is the last time he pooped?
  • Should we change his diaper first?
  • Does he look like he’s about to poop?
  • Is he asleep?
  • Should we wait until he falls asleep?
  • Should we wait until he wakes up?

What used to take 10 seconds now seems to take two hours, and even though I know I will get used to it, and I know there are good reasons for those questions, right now, it drives me absolutely insane.

In the process, I have developed a great deal of admiration for the diaper bag. Apparently, this innocent-looking, small receptacle can carry within it an entire Babies ‘R’ Us, including the furniture department. Diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, toys, and God knows what else all fit inside.

Now I understand why people with kids are always late, although this excuse does not apply to some of my friends who have never and will never showed up on time for anything in their lives.

Categories: life | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Adam Mansbach is my hero

I have a new favorite author: Adam Mansbach. If you’ve never heard of him, you have probably heard of his most popular book, and just never knew who wrote it. Mansbach captured the one sentence that surely goes through the minds of every parent, and that I have come to embrace over the past 10 weeks or so: Go the Fuck to Sleep.

Go the Fuck to Sleep

Everyone warned me about it, but until I actually became a parent, I never realized how every aspect of my life would be controlled by whether 0.9 has his eyes open or closed.

0.9 goes through days when he exhibits nothing resembling a desire to nap, and when evening strikes, the lack of sleep catches up to him, and he takes cranky to a new dimension. On days of that sort, the following activities have been frowned upon by Mrs. 9 at various points:

  • Watching the Yankees game with any sort of audible volume on the television
  • Cheering
  • Booing
  • Cursing
  • Burping
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Blowing my nose
  • Doing anything on the laptop that generates sound
  • Any noise coming out of my iPhone
  • Keeping my light on so I can read, despite the fact that I have been reading before going to sleep since I was only a little older than 0.9
  • Getting up to use the bathroom
  • Talking
  • Whispering
  • Breathing
  • Existing

Other than all of those, I am free to live a long and complete life.

Having said that, a sleeping 0.9 is preferable to a screaming, screeching, yowling, bawling 0.9, so adjustments are necessary.

Mansbach captured thoughts that every parent has expressed, albeit likely not audibly, including yours truly. And if the book itself doesn’t win you over, watch the video below and listen to Samuel L. Jackson narrate Go the Fuck to Sleep. This is a masterpiece.

Bravo, Adam Mansbach. At the suggestion of Mrs. 9, I now own a reading light, so I can enjoy Go the Fuck to Sleep many more times. Now if you’ll excuse me, 0.9 is sleeping, and you know what that means.

Categories: life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Welcoming 0.9 into this crazy world

0.9 reached two months old Friday, and to say life has changed would be the understatement of the decade. He isn’t the reason I’ve been horrible about posting on this blog. The blog I actually get paid for is to blame for that, and all is well on that front now. But no matter how many friends, friends of friends, relatives, or random numb nuts tell you what a dramatic change your life undergoes when you welcome a baby into the household, you have to experience it yourself to truly grasp it.

0.9 about to leave the hospital

The obvious moment you never forget is the moment when you hold your child for the first time. But I have a few other moments that really stuck out for me, and that I think about constantly.

0.9 decided it would be a good idea to spend his time in the womb with his head opposite where it needed to be and grabbing his feet, so unfortunately, we had to go the C-section route. It’s hard to find good things about surgery, but the only good thing about C-sections is that the unpredictability is removed as far as timing.

On that note, the first moment I’ll never forget is getting into the car at 5:45 a.m. on a Sunday to drive to the hospital for the delivery. Even though the moment was in the works for, oh, about nine months, the enormity of it struck me when we were physically leaving to actually go and do this.

The second unforgettable moment for me was the few minutes I spent standing outside of the operating room, in scrubs, while they prepped Mrs. 9 for the operation. It’s the only time the father is alone in the process, and I couldn’t have been standing out there for much more than five minutes, but it seriously felt like an hour-and-a-half. My nerves were at an all-time high at that point.

The procedure was very quick, and not that I would have looked anyway, but mother and father are behind a curtain so we can’t see what’s going on. Suddenly, I heard a cry that sounded more like a yelp, and one of the nurses handed me a baby — our baby. This is everyone’s big moment for a reason. There is no way to describe this moment that can possibly do it justice, so I’m not even going to try.

Moment No. 4 came shortly thereafter, when Mrs. 9 went to recovery, and I stayed with 0.9. He started crying and, when I tried to comfort him, he grabbed onto my finger and held on tightly, for what seemed like hours but was probably only minutes. It almost felt like someone was trying to send me a message: You have a son now.

Moments No. 5 and 6 were very similar. I stayed at home the night before Mrs. 9 and 0.9 were discharged, mostly to keep the cats company, as they had been alone for most of the past three days, but also to try to get one last good night of sleep. So moment No. 5 was when I got in the car that morning and realized I was driving to go pick up our child, and moment No. 6 was when I pulled the car up to the front of the hospital after we were discharged, and we strapped 0.9 into the car seat for the very first time.

I am running about two months behind, but now that I’m no longer flying solo at work, I will hopefully have time to begin writing regularly again, and 0.9 is a constant source of topics, as he keeps us entertained every day, Stay tuned.

Categories: life | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

0.9 looms

The arrival of 0.9 is alarmingly close. When people told me the last few weeks would fly by, they were not joking.

I may have spent a few minutes in this place over the past few months ... just a few

My state of mind is pretty good right now. I’m a little anxious, and at this point, I would like to fast-forward to the point when 0.9 is out of the womb, crying for the first time, and (hopefully) healthy. But I’m not panicked, or on edge. I think I’m pretty ready for this, which is a good thing, because it’s not like I have a choice at this point.

My only personal worry is my complete lack of experience with babies. I am certainly not the only first-time father in history, but I have spent next to zero time around babies. My family isn’t very tight, and while I have friends who have become parents recently, I’ve never dealt with things like diapers, car seats, strollers, dressing and undressing, or anything of that sort. If they could assign a percentile ranking to parents-to-be, I’d be in the bottom 5 percent.

I have had many conversations along these lines over the past few months.

9’s Wife: See, honey, these are the swaddle blankets I want?

9: What the hell is a swaddle blanket?

Recent father: Hey, can you pass the Boppy?

9: What in God’s name is a Boppy?

Hell, when I first heard the term, “Pack ‘n Play,” I thought it referred to filling up a cooler with beer for a tailgate.

I am truthfully amazed by the sheer amount of crap that people purchase for babies. I will not poke any fun at spending money on a good car seat and a good stroller, for obvious safety reasons. But I am positive that when I was a kid, I didn’t have four different contraptions to sleep in, one-dozen different types of blankets, and all of the other various items we registered for. I mean, seriously: swaddle blankets, receiving blankets, nursing blankets? I need a security blanket!

The baby industry is a worse racket than the wedding industry. I swear, there are people sitting around a conference room right now, inventing more unnecessary crap for parents to spend money on.

Everyone says it will all be worth it in the end. I believe they are right. I am ready for go time.

Categories: life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

I don’t think I got a 4.0 in my classes for 0.9

In addition to soaking in advice from friends and family on our upcoming addition, my wife and I have taken three classes, covering the actual birth process, infant care, and breast feeding. I’ve definitely learned a lot, but there were also a few things that made me chuckle.

I would not be shocked if 0.9 does this

The birthing class included a few documentary-style videos of actual births. God bless the women who agreed to participate, because, while most males are smart enough to not even try to act like we know what women are going through while giving birth, I wouldn’t want a camera anywhere near me if I were going through about 10% of the discomfort involved.

The instructor tried to show a balanced selection of videos, including natural childbirth, giving birth with medication, and the dreaded C-section, and she also showed both relatively easy and very difficult births. Yet one of the participants in the class felt that the videos were skewed toward persuading mothers-to-be to choose the medication. So the instructor picked one more video of a natural childbirth to show the class.

This video was sort of laughable. There was nothing physically remarkable about the subject — she wasn’t particularly young or old, and didn’t seem to be either athletic (yes, pregnant women gain weight, duh, but they still keep some of their muscle tone), or non-athletic. Yet, when she began to deliver, her baby came out in exactly three pushes.

Seriously? Three pushes? She should have headed straight for the nearest casino, because luck like that is beyond crazy. I turned to my wife and told her she got a maximum of five pushes, and then I was heading to the bar. She did not appreciate that. I don’t know why.

When we took the infant care class, we got some advice that I’ve also heard from my friends who recently became parents: Use the last few weeks before the due date to get all of the sleep you can get. I don’t agree with this.

Everyone’s body is different, but I have found that my body does not have the ability to bank sleep. On the rare occasion when I have a Saturday or Sunday with nothing going on and the cats leave me the hell alone and let me sleep until 1 or 2 in the afternoon, I definitely feel more refreshed, but it only makes a difference for about a half-day. It’s not like a good, 15-hour slumber powers me up for the week. The effects are very short-term.

So, my philosophy runs completely counter to all of the advice. I am taking these last few weeks to get in as much fun as I can, because I know that when 0.9 becomes a reality, opportunities to go out drinking, play softball, go to Yankees games, and things of that sort will be nonexistent for quite some time, and limited thereafter. In the words of the great Warren Zevon, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” And after my wife reads this blog, I may be getting some sleep pretty soon!

Our last class covered breast feeding, and one of the mothers-to-be cracked me up. She asked more questions than everyone else combined, which was fine, because they were actually good, relevant questions, and not, “Can I give my baby jet fuel if I want to make sure he doesn’t sleep too long?”

What made me laugh was that every single one of her questions was aimed at helping her achieve one goal: having her husband feed the baby. It was comical. This woman seemed like she could not wait to hand her husband their baby and a bottle, and head out on the town.

Again, as a male who likes to avoid getting shoes thrown at him, I will not try to pretend I know anything about how much work breast-feeding is, or how draining it is for mothers, but I have a feeling her husband is in for an interesting ride. I hope he was paying attention.

We are one day closer to the arrival of 0.9. Wow.

Categories: life | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Anxiously awaiting the arrival of 0.9

Plenty of people a lot dumber than I am have raised kids who turned out a lot smarter than I am.

Um, yeah, I'm pretty sure I already knew not to do this.

Sometime in the vicinity of April 21, my wife and I will welcome a new addition to the family, and for once, it’s not a cat. It’s not an it, either: His name will be Jack, and he will change our lives in a seismic way. I am so excited, yet so nervous.

Plenty of people a lot dumber than I am have raised kids who turned out a lot smarter than I am.

I keep telling myself that, but the concept of being a parent is just so nerve-wracking. I’m sure we’ll be fine. Will we be perfect parents? No, because there is no such thing. There is also no one right way to do things, so no matter how many books, magazines, blogs, websites, or stone tablets we read, we’ll have to figure things out on our own, like every other parent since the first time cells split.

Plenty of people a lot dumber than I am have raised kids who turned out a lot smarter than I am.

We are close friends with the parents of one boy who just turned two, and of one boy and two girls who were born very close to each other and are all past the newborn stage but well under one year old. All four of their experiences have been completely and thoroughly different. Are there things we can learn from them? Sure, but there are also things they’ve learned that won’t help us in the least. There may be many and several so-called experts, but there’s no child-specific instruction manual.

Plenty of people a lot dumber than I am have raised kids who turned out a lot smarter than I am.

Like I said, I’m sure we’ll be fine. We will make mistakes. There is no doubt about that. All we can do is hope that the mistakes are the type that we can laugh about later, no matter how catastrophic they may seem at the time. “Hey, remember the time Jack grabbed your Jack and Coke instead of his bottle?” Um, yikes.

Plenty of people a lot dumber than I am have raised kids who turned out a lot smarter than I am.

I guess my biggest fear is making the sort of mistake you hear about, but never think can happen to you. I get the sense from my friends who have taken the parenthood plunge before us that when you become a parent, you develop a sort of intuition, almost like another sense, that really accelerates your awareness about where your child is, what he or she is doing, and whether he or she is getting into some type of danger. I really hope I develop that, as well, because I’d be horrified to be “that parent” who wasn’t paying attention when, God forbid, something horrible happened to their child. But just the same, I also don’t want to be “that parent” who watches over their child’s every move and doesn’t let him or her live at all. I suppose it’s a balancing act that we’ll learn as we go along.

Plenty of people a lot dumber than I am have raised kids who turned out a lot smarter than I am.

Repeat as necessary. Yeah.

Categories: life | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

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