Leaving the grocery store the other night, David and I proudly answered questions all the way through the check-out line. "Ooo, how old is he?" "He is so cute, what's his name?" "Look at the baby, is he your first?" One woman, though, she knew what was up. She smiled knowingly at the bags under my eyes and said, "I know they all say it, but it's true. They do grow up fast. Is this your first?"
"Yes," I smiled.
"Kids are so much fun. Ours are grown now. But to be honest, that first year is pretty traumatic."
And there it was. Right out on the table. "Traumatic." And that about sums it up. It's not that a new baby is horrible, or creates resent and regret. And life isn't always sweet dreams and butterflies with a new addition, either. It's traumatic. It's a trauma to your life. Things you expected to happen don't and things you never banked on happening cash in wearing a ski mask and holding a black bag. Everything flourishes and everything suffers all at once. Like relationships, for example.
My husband and I like to walk the dogs with the baby at least once a week. It's our family outing. Living on no sleep and carrying little patience, my husband began telling me a story. I tried to listen. I really tried to care. But it was such a dumb story. And you know how he ended it? "I mean, that guy couldn't find his way out of a...paper bag."
Now, on a good day I'd just let this slide and move on. But I couldn't. I had to rain on his parade; this is likely because my parade was not only rained out, it wasn't even rescheduled.
"You mean out of a wet paper bag."
"No, just a paper bag. He can't even find his way out of that."
Ok, granted, he was exhausted too and probably didn't even realize how ridiculous his defending that statement really was. But his tone was just snotty enough to make me shoot back.
"That makes no sense. It's wet paper bag because a wet paper bag just falls apart. Someone who can't find their way out of a wet paper bag is an idiot because all they have to do and push on one side of it and it will fall apart."
"Oh. Well, whatever. This guy was a real idiot."
It's moments like this that make me realize how precious sleep truly is. And moments like this:
My husband wanders into a room and asks, "Where is the..."
"Where's the, um..."
"The what, David?"
"The..." He opens a drawer and pulls out all the neatly folded towels. "I thought I kept it in this..." He shoves them all back in the drawer.
He opens another drawer and pulls out all of tea and shoves it back in all willy-nilly as if I didn't spend 10 minutes of nap time one day organizing it. "No, not in there..."
"I can't help you if you don't tell me what you're looking for."
"I know, I know. But I always, did you move it?"
"DID I MOVE WHAT?"
"Did you move the, um..."
" DID I MOVE WHAT DAVID? DID I MOVE WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR???"
"THE INCENSE, ERIN. WHERE IS THE INCENSE?"
"I DON'T HAVE ANY FREAKING CLUE WHERE THE INCENSE IS, DAVID."
"Well, I thought I put it in the..." and he wanders away.