We’re wrapping up the baby years. We’re not having another. Or thinking of having another. At three boys, we’re tapping out. Other people can step up to propagate the species.
Our youngest is eighteen months, right on the edge of babyhood. (Baby Hood sounds like the name of some bad late-eighties concept movie, a competitor to the Look Who’s Talking series, in which a baby leads an adorable double life as a crime lord. Make it happen, FOX!)
There will be plenty to miss. Now and again, it hits me that I’m doing things for the last time. Like night feedings. I already miss night feedings, those 3 a.m. moments where it felt like me and one of the boys were the only two people in the world. But as much as there is to love about the baby years, there are things I will not miss. Not even a little. Here’s seven.
Truth be told, the whole smelly-diaper-bomb-holy-god-what-does-this-kid-eat thing has never bothered me. You change a lot as a person when you become a parent. In my twenties, it would have bothered me A LOT if I suddenly had shit on my hand. Or if someone laughed while pissing on me. (This happened.) I expect more from people.
But changing ten diapers a day and the cost of them and the figuring out where to put them and the Diaper Genie, which despite its best efforts never works quite as well as it should? Yeah. I won’t miss any of that.
Not that irrational tantrums disappear as babies become kids. Or, let’s be honest, adults. Older children express what they’re upset about. It may not make any sense — “That kid said I should live in a garbage can!” — but at you can have a conversation about it. Babies just cry and grunt until you figure it out. It’s like playing charades with a dog.
Lack of Boundaries
Babies do not care about your personal space, your possessions or anything else important to you. Case in point: glasses. As babies, all three of my sons took a liking to grabbing the glasses off my face and throwing them to the floor. It was a hilarious game called Watch Daddy Get Stern. The small boy inside of me, the one who lived in fear every time he broke a pair of glasses, still cringes a little every time it happens.
There are few things scarier than a sick baby. Random puking. Fevers that make skin hot to the touch. Breathing issues. These things reduce you to a helpless ball of worry. Fuck you, baby illnesses.
Babies love Cheerios. Babies love to throw Cheerios on the floor. To the point where it looks like you paid a man to come to your house and install a carpet made of Cheerios. So your feet are covered in Cheerios and you’re leaving Cheerio-dust footprints all over your house and the air has that really specific Cheerio smell to it, like dirt and grain.
The upside is that kids graduate to LEGOs, which are essentially land mines, left on the floor for you to step on in the middle of the night.
I believe in reading to my kids. I do not believe in the appeal of Goodnight, Moon. Practically every book for babies is garbage.
There is a special place in hell reserved for the designers of both baby seats and the back seat latches that allegedly make them easy to install. No matter how nimble you are, how dexterous your fingers, installing a car seat is a pain in the ass. This is why firemen are the only guys up to the task on a regular basis. They are truly our nation’s heroes.
Every time I had to move the car seat, because of course you are going to have to move that car seat and install it in your in-law’s car so they can have a day with the baby, I became a sweating rage monster. Bruce Banner doesn’t have kids for a reason. Because he’d Hulk the fuck out every single time he had to put a car seat in his car. (SPOILER: Hulk having kids is a major plot point for Avengers 2.)
Have any of your own? Leave them in the comments.