In quite possibly the coolest news of the year, my niece is having a baby! A baby BOY! I’m so excited that she’s having a baby, but I’m ecstatic that she’s having a boy. Baby boys are a rare thing in our immediate family, and I had two of them. Since my mom had two girls, and my sister had two girls, there were certain things that no one prepared me for, so I had to learn them the hard way. The kinds of things that don’t show up in parenting books. The things they don’t even talk about on the all-knowing baby sites across the internet.
So, my dearest Tiff, since you’re halfway across the country and I can’t be there to warn you of these things in person, this list is my gift to you.
- At the hospital, they’re going to hand you a sweet, contented little bundle of joy, perfectly swaddled, (in a way you will never be able to replicate at home, by the way, no matter how hard you try. Don’t feel stupid. Nobody does it as well as a nurse who has done it for 20 years), and happy to sleep or just stare at the lights. Then, a day or two later, they’ll take him away for his “surgery” and he’ll return as a screaming banshee. I promise it won’t last long, and it wasn’t a horrible decision.
- After that “surgery”? Things will look gross inside that diaper. Don’t call the doctor 100 times. I promise it will heal properly and he’s not going to be grotesquely deformed in a way that will prevent him from ever finding a woman.
- One day, when he’s healed and happy, you’ll go to change his tiny little diaper and be greeted by the fact that, yes, a 2-week-old wiener can stand at attention. You’ll be shocked and turn 1,000 shades of red. Daddy will be proud. (I don’t know why. I can’t explain it either. It’s a man thing we women can’t understand).
- Everyone warns you about covering “it” up when you open his diaper to keep from getting pee in your face. No one tells you that when you open his diaper and “it” is standing at attention, your kid will pee…in his own face. (This is where I remind you that urine is sterile, and he’s not going to contract some flesh eating bacteria because he peed on his own face).
- After you have a baby, all that glorious thick hair you’ve acquired over the past 9 months will start to fall out. By the handful. No big deal, you won’t end up bald. But this means you’ll be shedding like a sheep dog in the desert. No matter where you go or what you do, you’ll be leaving hair behind. That includes when you’re changing diapers. Though in hindsight it’s obvious, what no one points out is that a single strand of hair left in a diaper can wrap itself around the family jewels in a matter of minutes and cause serious problems for your little man. Inspect those diapers before you close them up. (Trust me, it’s better to hear it from your aunt than from the doctor who is scolding you when she discovers it during a check-up. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…)
- There is some invisible force that draws a boy’s hands to his willy as soon as you set it free. I’d tell you this goes away, but you and I both know they never outgrow that.
And for future reference:
- Boys stink. Boys stink really really bad. Your friends’ daughters will play in the park for hours and come home smelling like roses. Your son will step outside for 5 minutes and come back in smelling like a sweaty pair of socks. There’s no explanation for it. There’s no way to avoid it. Just pray that the little guy loves taking a bath.
- Fuzzy bath robes may seem like a great idea when they get older. You know, something warm and snuggly to keep them from dripping water all over your floors. But fuzzy bathrobes + no underoos = wieners pointing at the ceiling, uncontrollable fits of giggles and a never ending stream of bathroom jokes. Unless you’re ready to explain some things earlier than you had planned, avoid the fuzzy robes at all cost.
- Most importantly, no one really wants to admit it, but boys are way cooler than girls. They’ll play with dirt instead of expensive Barbie dolls. They’ll love animals and Diego instead of a talking map and Dora, with her complete inability to use her “inside voice”. They are born with an involuntary love of Star Wars instead of Disney princesses. And finally, the number one greatest thing about boys? The majority of the time, totally drama free.
There will be plenty of other surprises to discover on your own, and you’re going to love every minute of it. I love you, Tiffers! Can’t wait to meet your little guy!