'Everything Since' Part III: Father

Below is Part III of my essay Everything Since: Five Weeks at Home With a Baby, Five Months as a Father. Part II was posted yesterday and Part I was posted on Monday. I'd recommend reading in order.

III. Father

The following is reproduced from a spiral notebook, on which, in the top left corner of the yellow cover, is written in my wife’s handwriting LUNA NOTES. Inside the cover, a couple of emergency telephone numbers. The first page, back and front, is an outline of what a normal day in Luna’s life consisted of when she was 3 months old. The book was for my mom to use as a guide while she watched Luna the week my wife went back to work, which was also my last week at work before spending 5 weeks at home with the baby.

That week ended and my five weeks began. I was on the clock. That morning, I decided I would record as much as possible (the original plan was to take copious notes every day). I've edited for coherence only in the most extreme instances and for punctuation/formatting consistency.

Monday, 7/15 - Day Zero

7:30am: Woke up. Drool on my pillow. Sunny. L.D. wants out.

7:30-8am: Prepared to make the trip—to the living room. Listened to podcast. Made coffee.

8:11am: L.D. going hard on some blanket. Will be wanting milks soon; I can tell. I’m just in-tune with her. Already.

8:19am: Time on tummy.

8:37am: Catch myself staring at L.D. in fear; think of quote from ‘Mystic River.’

8:39am: Look up ‘Mystic River’ quote; realize it’s totally inapprop; decide against posting it.

8:45am: Whimpering. Something is wrong. L.D., on the other hand, is fine.

9:00am: First feeding. Takes until 9:15am. 5oz.

9:17am: Down for nap.

9:27am: Actually sleeping.

10:25am: Wakes up. Burps twice. Walk outside. Look @ flowers.

11:13am: I try and read a 3rd PANK story (she was quiet for 2). She realizes, throws a fit of shit.

11:39am: Surely, every clock must be malfunctioning at once, b/c I've certainly been doing this for six or seven hours. Read two books. In one, monkeys repeatedly suffer concussions at the hands of a negligent mother (5 Monkeys). In another, a tale that makes the case for divorce (B/C Your Daddy Loves You).

11:42am: Luna crying for only the 2nd time. Clean. Loved. Time to feed?

11:52am: Started bottle; started to pass out with 3oz. left. Manages to maintain Vulcan Death Grip on my nipple and chest hair.

12:14pm: Halfway there. Actually, not really. In crib, supposed to be napping, laying awake, sucking thumb, playing w/ blanket, taunting me w/ her eyes.

12:18pm: It hits me that I’m also responsible for preparing dinner tonight. Obviously this is (and has been) impossible. I will try and figure out how and who Danielle has been paying to take care of this.

12:31pm: Bottle + vitamins finished. And now for the na—fuck, she’s awake.

12:35pm: Between frantic, hurried bites of grapefruit, I manage to put her to sleep. Sleepsack—employed. White noise—blaring. Rubbed forehead w/ one finger. Paci—Maggie Simpsoning. All efforts to ween her off of such comforts to sleep? Abandoned.

12:37pm: Hundreds of tweets unread, RSS feed full, and there is a fine film of baby accessories on every surface.

12:41pm: Need to regain my composure, exercise and shower before L.D. wakes up—who the fuck am I kidding. Where are the pretzel bites?

-3 thai plans
-3 thai crucifix
-4 thai crunches
-hands-up: IIII
-face crush: IIII
-gorilla swing 1: 2 mins.
-gorilla swing 2: 2 mins.
-gorilla swing 3: 2 mins.

1:17pm: Exercise complete.

1:57pm: Showered, brushed teeth, changed cat litter. Holy fuck, it’s 2 o’clock.

1:58pm: I’ll begin to make lunch now, which means LD will surely be up shortly.

2:00pm: Going—okay? Still 2 more bottles (including the Coma Bomb aka the 6 oz. bottle) in the fridge. Still need to edit and read and eat lunch. Listened to a bunch of podcasts. I don’t see how leaving the house is possible.

2:57pm: Enjoyed an espresso. Almost want to wake her up at this point, purely out of guilt over how much time I've had to myself today.

3:30pm: Finished bottle. Happy just—sitting? Cooing? Eating blanket? Something must be wrong.

3:40pm: Nope—still just fine.

3:41pm: Forgot to mention—she seriously loves podcasts. For real. #MyKid

4:04pm: I—finally—use the Rock ‘n Play. Feeling pretty good about that.

4:05pm: We decide that Bernardo is silly b/c he does silly things. Next problem? Why blankies are so blankety.

4:17pm: Made cup of coffee. L.D. watched. Got a little spicy when she realized I was only making one mug. Blamed my not being able to give her some on Mama.

4:18pm: Realize I’ve had a burp cloth on my shoulder since—well, I can’t remember when, actually.

4:25pm: LD falls asleep in the Rock ‘n Play. No paci or white noise. #BabyWhisperer

4:56pm: LD stirring. My reaction is, “Oh, no,” but I realize that, plus and minus-wise, I’m deep in her debt right now. She can destroy me if she so chooses and really, we’d end up even. This last hour or so can be a doozy.

4:58pm: Time for music and dinner prep. More coffee?

5:12pm: La Luna Diabla shows up; demands—something. I hurriedly prepare milk as an offering, fumbling around the kitchen like a member of a low caste attending to the needs of the landowning gentry. We sit and prepare and upon taking some of the milk, she makes a face like I’ve tried to feed her white, liquid shit. She appears enamored with the Apple TV screensaver (pics of herself—typical Stracci). But when I set her up with a comfortable seat in the Rock ‘n Play in front of the TV—eruption.

5:34pm: Still holding her. Dinner on hold.

5:42pm: Back in the Rock ‘n Play after a diaper change. Wet and a shart but the 18th of July Spectacular! has yet to erupt. She’s contentedly trying to consume her fingers while I have an aneurysm trying to figure out why the Apple TV screensaver still won’t update w/ the new goddamn pictures.

5:43pm: It dawns on me that on Wednesday I’m going to have to do this until Thursday. God help us all.

5:45pm: Still concerned, actually. L.D. reads my vibes (this ‘in-tune’ thing must work both ways?), begins crying. She can smell fear.

5:51pm: Example exchange:
L.D.: *screaming*
Dad: Oh, L.D., your paci fell out? Why didn't you say something?
Dad: *shoves paci in her mouth*
L.D.: *death stare*
L.D.: *slow, determined suck, as if to say, All I’ve got is time, big man.*
Dad: Next time just tell me you need your paci, Mom-o!
L.D.: *gives 24 hours, hotshot. Me and you. look*
5:54pm: Debating the wisdom of phoning in a bomb threat during Mama’s 24. Surely she would be allowed to go home