Saturday, June 28, 2008

Got Boobs?

From my very first pubescent moment, I truly believed there could never be a love for female breasts as strong as my sheer animal magnetism. Big or small, perky or droopy, I loved them all. Despite my passion, I’ve always remained a complete gentleman when it comes to the lovely chest pillows. When I converse with a lass, eye contact is always maintained, never straying south to the steep slopes of the milky mountains. Until the birth of my son, I thought my love for boobs could never be matched. Oh how I was wrong. When he is full of mother’s milk, my Jackson is a perfect gentleman. However, when the little man craves his sustenance, the story is quite different. If his leg was butchered to his hip in a meat grinder, I have no doubt that his blood curdling screams would be pacified instantly by the touch of an aureola to his upper lip.

Friday, June 20, 2008


There is a very well known series of books called "What to expect..." Every month of Nicole's pregnancy I read the corresponding chapter of "What to Expect When You're Expecting." I also read the spoof, "What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding," a light-hearted read for soon-to-be Dads.

Now that Jackson has arrived, I conveniently filed "What to Expect The First Year" in the reference area of my library, located on the left side of my toilet bowl. Earlier today, while I was deep in, uh, thought I read away that the pages that seemed most appropriate to Jackson's current stage of life. On page 115, I came across a boxed section in the upper-right hand corner of the page labeled: FOR FATHERS ONLY: BECOMING ENGROSSED. It sounded important.

Apparently, research has given a name to the bonding that takes place between an infant and a father. Engrossment in a nutshell is the things a father does for his baby (holding, comforting, rocking, massaging), the different way a father does such things (different touches and sounds), and the things that a baby does for the father, such as bringing out the sensitive and nurturing side.

Naturally, I am engrossed. This absolutely goes without saying. From the second I saw Jackson, I couldn't take my eyes off of him. After our first hour together in the delivery room, they took him away from me for 4 hours, and there wasn't a second that I didn't pace, waiting for him to return. Over the last few days, I have on more than one occasion mentioned that I do not really like holding, playing with, or caring for other people's children, or OPC.

In fact, OPC usually disgust me. Don't get me wrong. I think they are cute, wonderful and amazing in their own way. However, I have no desire to entertain, help, or give to them anything more then minimal attention. Jackson on the other hand, well, completely has me squarely in his half-dollar sized palm. I could hold him for hours through miserable back pain, and I have. I immediately want to be there to make his crying go away, and I think he already knows this. I would spend the rest of my days wiping his little poopy ass, sacrificing everything else in my life that I love, and I think he kinda gets a kick out of it.

This morning, Jackson woke up at around 6:30 and he just wouldn't go back to sleep after a feeding. Nicole needed more rest, so I decided that it was going to be Daddy-Baby time. We slipped into a recliner in the living room, and kicked back with Jackson resting on my chest. His cries immediately disappeared as he fell asleep. We chilled out and watched a movie called Super High Me, a twist on the Morgan Spurlock documentary Super Size Me, in which the stand-up comedian Doug Benson, smokes Marijuana for 30 days straight to test the results on this body and mind. Basically, the movie is a protest against the prohibition against pot in the United States. Jackson, being in his own breast milk high just slept away, caring not for the political views of a bunch of hippies.

There was one really interesting point in the movie that I thought was particularly sad. An advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana said that the majority of adults who get involved in heavy drugs (not pot) didn't have their father involved in their lives during their childhood. What a shame, I thought. Then I started to think about engrossment. How can a father experience what I feel for Jackson, and then disappear? It just doesn't make sense. The only explanation that I can fathom is that those fathers don't stick around long enough to become engrossed, or they have some mental defect that prevents them from experiencing this magical feeling. I feel sad for the OPC, and the fathers that don't experience this bond, and I can promise my Jackson that as long as I am alive, he will never know a life without his father's presence and unconditional love.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh Crap...It's Here

My son Jackson was born 12 days early, but "he" is not the "It's" that I refer to in the title of this, my second blog. Rather, "It's" refers to the shit-river my little play-doh fun factory expelled from his bowels earlier this afternoon. You see, one of the fun things us fathers learn about babies is that during the first few days of a baby's life, it only poops a little bit of this black substance called meconium. This black tar smells only a bit, but it is harder to get off of the skin then an ass tattoo of Yosemite Sam.

If the mommy chooses to breastfeed, a few days after the birth, she starts to produce milk. I know, dear reader, what you must be thinking. If the mother is breast-feeding, what the hell is coming out of the breast for the first few days, Kool-Aid? It is actually a substance called colostrum, which is meant to hold baby over til supper; a four-day snack if you will. I had no idea either.

Anyway, sometime around day four or five, mommy's tits become at least three times the size they were on your first date. Don't get excited gents, as they are useless to daddy at this point; doctor's orders, nothing in the vagina for six weeks. No, these boobs are the milk sacks of the nurturing mother, delivering the life giving flow to the eager mouth of the little angel. Sounds beautiful, and it is, until the life giving flow becomes the chocolate river from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

At approximately 4pm, I was relaxing in my recliner with baby Jackson on my lap resting away. There was a slight breeze in the air, and I could hear the soft chime of an ice cream truck ever so slightly singing its song in the distance...and then it happened.

I looked down and noticed a single brown polka-dot on the waistline of Jackson's baby blue onesie. Oh my God, it's SHIT! Do I get excited or do I panic? Nicole is in the shower, and although I had changed a few meconium diapers over the last few days, this was totally different. For starters this "new poop" has no respect for the authority of a diaper. Christ, if he is going to shit right through his friggin clothes, why the hell do we have to spend so much money on diapers. I might as well just dress him in his clothes and keep the washing machine spinning all day.

I brought him into the nursery and plopped him down on the changing table. Interestingly, this was the first time Jackson didn't cry on the changing table. He had this strange look of pride on his face. Similar to the look Barry Bonds had in his record setting 2001 season when he hit his first home run. A look that says, "Get Ready Folks, You are in for a lot of this shit."

I proceeded to grab the little spud's ankles like a chicken at the butcher to lift his ass right up off the table. Novice that I am, I don't use the soiled diaper to begin the cleaning process, and wind up using about a thousand baby wipes to move the shit slime all over his ass, legs, hips and back. Eventually, my ever-so-patient wife arrives on the scene, no doubt in haste due to her belief that although I am not groaning and screaming, I am still a man, and useless in the baby ass-cleaning department. Upon her arrival, I shifted to the side to hold the little tykes legs high over his head, allowing room for her to finish the job.

We both quickly learn that the penis of a five day old child does, in fact, expel piss with total disregard for the gracious parents who lovingly scoop pools of brown goop away from the delicate bundle of joy to which it is attached. We are also made aware that just because there is enough feces on the diaper to make the strongest stomach wretch, does not necessarily mean the anus will cease the expulsion.

Despite the foregoing, shit scene, I must give some credit to Mr. Brown Eye, as he is certainly a gentleman. When the last drop of pudding hit the diaper he made sure to say "thank you," with a well timed sphincter rattling fart. Don't mention it my little aristocrat. You are very welcome.

Day 5 is already Day 5, and I am just starting this blog. How am I supposed to raise a child when I am so far behind in all of my plans? Not to mention I started my blog with an expletive, my home looks like Kansas after the twister despite our days of "nesting," and my son was born 12 days early. I guess it's too late to ask whether or not I am ready for fatherhood when my five day old baby is sleeping on my lap. "Ready" doesn't seem to matter any more. My wife and I weren't ready on Saturday, June 14th when her water broke, and I don't know if I will ever feel ready for anything again in my life. I certainly wasn't ready a few hours ago when my son took his first crap, which looked as though we applied melted soft-serve chocolate ice cream from his heels to his neck with a paint roller. I did my best, with plenty of help from my wonderful wife and can only pray that the poop slows down or that I get better at this over time.

Regardless of my fears, doubts and anxiety, I do know that I love this little guy a ton. It is like love plus. I love him, plus I feel this deep urge to protect him, care for him, and sacrifice myself for him. Although I have experienced some of these feelings in the past, I have never felt such an overwhelming desire to sacrifice. I can't fully explain what I mean, though I'm sure that my reflections in this blog will make it more apparent.

I guess the reason I am writing a daddy blog is for personal recollection (my memory has slowly drowned over the years), as well as for my son. I hope someday he learns from my writings, and more importantly, I would love it for him to look back at these experiences and have a laugh.

I love you Jackson Paul Galan, and ready or not, here we go.