by Pierre le Roux
Today a week ago our lives were permanently changed forever, for the better. Last week this time we were in Cape Town to fetch our son. After ten months of waiting we finally reached the final stage of our adoption journey and it was both thrilling and petrifying at the same time. Thrilling because we finally got to meet our son and bring him home and petrifying because we had no clue what the hell we were doing.
One thing I realized last week was that when you are traveling with a baby is that people at airports are so much nicer to you. As most of you know airport security and I have no love for each other; mainly because I am always treated like a suicide bomber or drug mule by them. But last week was completely different. I managed to board the flight with things airport security is convinced can bring down a plane: deodorant, nail clippers and four bottles exceeding the liquid limit.
Also, I set off each and every metal detector and nobody molested me with that frisking business. When security wanted to question me about the said contraband which their x-ray machine picked up I just said “Shsss… my baby is sleeping” and I was let go and not taken into a brightly lit back room and stripped searched as I have become accustomed to.
On our flight back with Michael I was a bit worried. I have always been one of those people who got annoyed when people board one of my flights with a baby. Now I have become one of those people. I was concerned that with the change of air pressure with the ascent and descent that his ears would hurt and that he would cry. Then that I would cry and that the cabin crew would have to take both of us to the back of the plane and drug us while hubby pretends not to know who we are. Luckily this didn’t happen. Michael drank his bottle on takeoff and slept like the angel he is through the duration of the flight.
We couldn’t believe our luck with our son. He was so well behaved and once we got home we gave him his last bottle before bedtime and decided to bath him. That is when all hell broke loose. We apparently bathed him wrong and he threw a tantrum the likes I have not seen since Cher announced that she was retiring from touring. He screamed and he was only 2% bathed before we abandoned the idea completely, dried him off, dressed him in a cute onesie and settled him to bed. He gave us both a look that I could swear meant “What. The. Fuck. You have no idea what you are doing?” and he was right.
The next day the Kangaroo mom phoned me and told me that our bath was probably not hot enough and that we should act with more determination when we bath him. Her advice worked and our boy now loves bath time. The Kangaroo mom also gave us a schedule. Being OCD and suffering from anxiety I LOVE schedules, lists and order in general. It makes me feel safe and this is what separates us from the animals. Our son seems to agree with me on this. Or at least he did until Sunday.
I was told some time ago that babies can be assholes sometimes. They just are and there is nothing that you can do about it. I never believed this until Sunday morning. Everything went well until around 8am that morning. Michael decided to cry for no reason. He didn’t have a wind, dirty nappy, was hungry, tired or was being snagged by his clothes. He was crying which later turned into full out screaming. He screamed for a full hour, eight minutes and twenty five seconds. He was being an asshole and we all needed a hug after because he freaked us the fuck out and whatever it was that he cried/screamed about was out of his system. Also, he gave me three new grey hairs because of it. Luckily we have not had a similar dramatic performance of “I am screaming because I can” since from him.
Michael is a delightful baby and is actually really easy to take care of. I cannot believe that one can fall in love with a little human so quickly. He has only been with us a week and I cannot imagine our lives without him. However, I can imagine my life without another one of his weapons of mass destruction in his diapers though. Poopy diapers are vile and I believe they are the way God punishes us for being shitty children to our parents. What makes it worse is each time I have to change a poopy diaper and gags Michael laughs at me. He is very proud of his poop and loves seeing me nauseous.
We are lucky that Michael sleeps through the night. Between 7pm and 05:30am the only times he makes us get up is because he lost his gawd awful dummy. Then we just find it, give it to him and he falls back asleep again. The whole routine literally takes ten seconds at most. So we are not sleep deprived at all. However, getting out of our PJ’s before 11am is almost impossible. I also have now for a week smelled either of sour milk due to baby vomit or Avon baby lotion and sometimes of both. I have also gone to the shop with my shirt covered in baby vomit without noticing it or actually caring. People who judge baby vomit stained shirts are assholes.
It is still early days of parenthood for us but thus far Michael has been a blessing and a joy. Some nights I just sit by his cot and watch him sleep and every time he wakes up from a nap and gives me that beautiful smile of his when he sees me melts my heart. I still find it hard to wrap my head around the fact that I am now a dad. I am just so very surprised at how naturally it has come to me. I mean I have always said when I was younger that I never wanted kids. And look at me now. My life feels complete and whole and we are all three tremendously happy. Well, until the next hour long tantrum that is.
Till next time.