Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dissension amongst the herd

In the human world there are parents and there are non-parents, just as there are the single people and married people.  I vividly remember after getting married my single friends would exclude me from certain things simply because I would be a burden.  "Oh, Tater won't do that, he's married!"  "We can't go there, Tater's married."

So eventually I was excluded from the herd.  And that's fair, no need in being the sick and elderly animal that gets picked off by predators and vultures.

But after having a kid within my married friends' circle I again found my wife and I not being invited out.  "Oh, they have a baby, they can't be out late."  Or one of us would be invited and the other had to stay home, or not at all.  It is like we have this cute, chubby bundle that everyone loves to be around...when the diaper is clean and clear...but we as his parents have fallen ill with leprosy and must be banished to the outer village.  We still go out, sometimes with Jojo in tow and sleeping, yet we aren't diseased; we just have a lot of baggage to carry and the potential for some stinky carry-ons.

But after narrowing down our herd to just parents, there are those like us who are shunned within that niche.  I know you are asking, "But how can your kinfolk just abandon you?"

Simple.  Our child is easy peasy.

Some of you have a child like that, others just stopped reading 12 words ago and let a fist fly through the computer screen like a 5 year old with greasy popcorn fingers that just released a Wii control mid swing in a bowling game and impaled it through the TV.  Except there wasn't grease, it was your hidden lack-of-sleep rage monster.  If you don't understand that, Google "tired parents".

For sure we had some sleepless nights, midnight feedings, crying episodes, fully loaded diapers, and our random passing out at weirdo hours as new parents.  However by 8 weeks our son was a champ at sleeping 8-10 hours a night, and never awakening before 7 AM.  Except during daylight savings...that was 6:45 AM.

I know what you are saying....and for shame that language has no place in a family friendly blog like this.

Overall we had what other parents have called a "Miracle baby", which is very true in a lot of cases, but I don't relate his sleeping to a miracle.  More like he has a full belly and has gained a lot of weight quickly, so he sleeps.  A lot it seems.  Sometimes we have to wake him up in the morning.

But it is when we meet other parents that this awkward conversation starts, it usually goes something like:

"Aww!  Your baby is so cute, how old is he/she?"
"Thanks, Jojo is 3 months old this week."
"Wow, he is big for 3 months, he must like eat all the time.  Does he wake up several times at night to feed?  Our baby/older child did that until he/she was almost a year.  We never slept!"
"Oh....umm..well Jojo, he uhh.....he uhh sleeps through the night."
"What?!  He just start doing that RIGHT?"
"Um, no.  Actually he has been doing it since he was 8 weeks old."
::insert dirty and jealous stare::
"You guys must be grateful, you are blessed with a miracle baby!  I wish one of my kids did that, I might have more than 2."
"Oh well, we are just happy he is happy."

And that is where the conversation ends, the couple goes off more than likely issuing ill will towards us and future kids so we can "know what it's like" and we go on our way.  With restful eyes and a happy baby.

I don't mean this to taunt parents who don't have babies that sleep through the night, but I will say there is a fear among those of us who do.  Like that fear you get when you are lost while driving and know the exit you just took isn't where you should be.  Like hearing banjos when you roll down the windows.  That fear.

When we meet couples with a baby that is like ours, who has slept through the night at a young age, we begin to whisper.  Not because we have to, but because we fear the reprisal of those parents who don't know this joy.  The ones that in their sleep deprived rage might lash out violently.  We fear those in the herd that would leave us out on the edges to be picked off by hunters.

So my wife and I keep the conversation from our baby other than that he is cute....and chubby.  But when it turns to sleep patterns, we remain vigilant of the feelings of others.  Because no one likes a cranky rage monster...with a loaded diaper.

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