Tales from the Diaper Bag

Hubby Guest Post: How the First Week of Caring for a Baby is Like Going to Vegas

Don’t worry – I am not here to give you my version of the pregnancy – except to say that when my wife has been critical of me in this blog, she was exaggerating for effect; and when she was complimentary of me, well…damn straight.  I did, however, have a revelation the other day, and asked the wife if I could do a guest post.  She reluctantly agreed – I give credit to the hi-test Motrin they gave her at the hospital.

We’ve been home with la bambina for a little under a week, and it suddenly came to me that taking care of a baby that first week (and maybe beyond) is a lot like a trip to Las Vegas.  You are now thinking one of the following: (1)  “I find your ideas interesting and would like to subscribe to your newsletter” (there have been far too few Homer Simpson quotes in this blog, if you ask me); or (2) what kind of derelict did she marry, anyway?  

 — For those of you who opened a new tab to find the phone number for Social Services, we waited for you and you can now continue reading with the rest of the class —

It is actually quite simple.  If you have spent any time in Las Vegas, you may have already guessed where I am going with this.  If you haven’t been there, a nominal knowledge of Vegas “culture” is sufficient –  such as having heard endless re-tellings of your friends’ Vegas stories or having seen 3 or more movies set in Las Vegas (bonus points for Swingers and Very Bad Things).  It all goes back to the well-documented lack of clocks in casinos.  Seriously – the last time I was there, the alarm clock in my hotel was just a plastic block with a “?” in the middle.  For those of you who have not been there, they may as well confiscate your watch at the airport.  Forget investing in additional security measures – casinos are banding together to construct a Mr. Burns-esque sunblocker to prevent the bothersome day/night cycle that allows humans to identify the pasasage of days and weeks.  (Ok, I have reached my Simpsons quota for this post – I’ll leave it to the wife to play catch-up on the old posts which are severly lacking in such refined humor).

All of this is a long way of saying that during the first week or so of having a new baby home, time blends and then quickly disappears into a swirl of diapers, feedings and crying.  Day and night don’t exist, hours blend into days, and before you know it you’re out $700 and have decided that one more trip to the ATM couldn’t possibly hurt.  Wait – back up – that last one may just be Vegas.  My bad.  Back to the baby.  She is incredible, of course – everything my wife said in her last post is absolutely true.  Our world now has a new axis around which to rotate, and we couldn’t be happier.  All of that being true, there are only two times in my life that 3:00am has felt exactly like 3:00pm – this past week and my trips to Vegas.

An explanation of the week we’ve had may be of help.  Initially, the best decision I made – for me, my wife and our new baby – was to stay home from work this first week.  Mind you, this is not always the norm in my line of work, but a new policy at my office helped me get away for a short time.  Being home allowed my wife and/or I to be up when we needed to be (admittedly, she had to be there for the actual feedings, but I could do anything else like diaper changes and getting la bambina back to sleep).  As a result, at least one of us has been up every 3 hours day and night – and each time we’re up it’s for at least an hour.  The best part is that babies are nocturnal, so la bambina is always ready to party from midnight until 6am.  I’m not going to complain here about the lack of sleep or being tired – it’s part of the joy of being a parent, and I don’t mind a lack of sleep so much, especially if I don’t have to do any hard thinking the next day.  All I can say is thank God for DVR and the Lost Season 4 DVDs I got for Christmas.

When compared to a weekend in Vegas, the previous paragraph looks familiar.  By way of background, every year I go to Vegas with a group of friends for the first weekend of March Madness.  My buddy from law school and I started the tradition 6 years ago, although I will be taking this year off for obvious reasons.  We’ve added guys to the trip every year, and it’s always a great weekend, involving minimal sleep while spending 12-15 hours a day watching basketball, and another 5-7 hours playing blackjack, poker and craps.  It’s a different kind of excitement than having a new baby, of course, but the sleep patterns and adrenaline rushes needed to get through the day are eerily simliar.  We rarely know what time it is, and we rarely care, to be honest.  The only difference between 3:00am and 3:00pm is that in the afternoon we’re losing our money watching/betting on basketball games, and in the early morning we’re losing it playing blackjack.

There it is.  I do not have the gift of brevity that my wife has, and I promise that this will be my one and only post.  I hope the wife continues to blog here now that the baby is here.  I think she will, so stay tuned…


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  1. * rtmsf says:

    Excellent guest post.

    Speaking as someone who has seen this firsthand: “I don’t mind a lack of sleep so much, especially if I don’t have to do any hard thinking the next day.”

    Couldn’t have been said better, my friend.

    So, tell me again, who is playing on those large bleary moving-picture machines that I can’t remember the name for right now? I’ll be right back but I have to go drink some toast. After that, I’ll be ready for the rest of today’s elephant and zoo feeding. Did I mention how much I hate Coach Q? 🙂

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  2. * Margaret says:

    Great post! Feel free to guest post anytime. So have you indoctrinated la bambina to be a Lost fan yet? Would you say she enjoys the more scientific elements of the show (is a girl of science) or the sci-fi part (is a girl of faith)? :o)

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 4 months ago

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