I mentioned the Nugget yesterday ever so briefly, when discussing what milestone I want to see her reach before putting a game controller into her tiny little hands. Given that, it just seems appropriate to dig a little deeper, and explain about Nugget a little more for people who might be curious.
See, a little over nine weeks ago, my life got flipped. Turned upside-down. And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there. I’ll tell you how I became a father in the warm summer air.
Yes, yes, apologies to the Fresh Prince for that. But I’m not apologizing to DJ Jazzy Jeff. He knows what he did.
Anyway, on a fairly warm August night, Nugget was born. And, it seems cliche, but baby’s totally change your life. For me, it’s been in very positive ways. I’ve been taking things slower, enjoying the times I get to spend with my daughter. Yes, even the complete meltdowns. And yes, even the panic-inducing moments when she does something that terrifies me. I’ve got to get used to the panic. After all, I am now the father of a daughter, and, well, Nugget is probably going to spend the vast bulk of her life doing things to scare me. That’s what kids do to their parents, right?
That being said, there are some things I totally wish we’d been informed of before Nugget decided to show her adorable little face. There have certainly been things that we weren’t prepared for. And yes, before anyone asks, we DID get the Baby Owner’s Manual, but I’m not entirely positive that we have the same model as what the manual describes (we probably do, but, being first time parents, we’re still adjusting). Of course, parents that we’ve talked to since generally point out that they totally experienced the same stuff, but that information would have been great to have beforehand.
Like, for example, did you know that babies almost NEVER poop silently? Or, at least, Nugget doesn’t. It’s not quite on the same decibel level as an air horn, but it’s still loud. And the first time that it happened, I was worried that she was trying to expel some demon from her backside (now that I’m used to it, I still think she’s trying to expel a demon, but that’s because she has some truly epic poops). Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice to have a warning that she needs a new diaper, but it’s still a bit unsettling the first few times it happens. I’m sure that eventually I’ll miss the days of the butt alarm, but, hopefully by then, she’ll be articulate enough to let me know that her pants are dirty.
Another thing I wish I’d known about babies before Nugget showed up? Apparently they have the magic ability to change the size of their bladder at will. My adorable, precious daughter has found a way to eat, and then pee. Oh gods, the pee. It’s not like a fountain (again, daughter, not son), but Nugget can sometimes go from completely dry to having peed through her diaper, car seat, half of the neighbor’s flowers, and she’d still have enough for a drug test. I get that her entire diet is liquid-based, but that just seems like an extraordinary amount of pee for someone so incredibly small.
And, just to tie a nice little bow onto the above, nobody ever told me that, as a parent, you will freely talk and joke about your precious little baby and their “movements”. I mean, I totally got that I’d end up washing a tiny little naked girl (which is TOTALLY NOT WEIRD when you’re a first-time father), but I never expected that I’d be in the middle of a bar after a roller derby event talking about what Nugget put into her diaper the other day. Even more to the point, I REALLY never expected to be joking and laughing about it. I feel like I’ve gained some new sense of enlightenment because of this, but I have no idea how to use it.
The final thing I’m going to add for today is that I wish I’d known that baby hats, like the type they tuck onto your newborn’s head in many hospitals, are magic. Like, serious Gandalf-level stuff. There were moments in those first few days that Nugget was about to have a nuclear freak-out. We found the baby hat, tucked it onto her head, and she was suddenly the calmest, most docile baby on the planet. I can only assume that she was preparing herself for a life of hat-wearing, living in Minnesota.
Seriously, you guys, this has been an incredible trip. I only wish I’d known how incredible before I started, so I could have prepared myself at least a little.