Adventures of a New Father, Part 1: On Backing Dat Azz Up

Huy X. Le May 15, 2013 0
Adventures of a New Father, Part 1: On Backing Dat Azz Up

Baby Button has been doing well, and has actually gained nearly two pounds since he was born on April 10th. You may not think that’s impressive, but he was only seven pounds when he was born, so that’s like me gaining 41 pounds in three weeks. Which I may be reaching, due to stuffing my face at night while trying to calm the baby, who screams like some sort of dolphin on steroids.

It has been the longest and shortest month of our life. We have kind of have a routine down. At 10 p.m., Jameelah watches the baby while I go to sleep, marking the first time since high school that I’ve gone to sleep this early. At midnight, I wake up and relieve Jameelah. Button now will sleep without us having to hold him; however, every 15 minutes or so he’ll start fussing, and I have to tap him and soothe him back to sleep. At 2 a.m., he’ll wake up hungry, so I take him to Jameelah for feeding. Then I take him back. At 4 a.m., he wakes up again, and we feed and change him; at this point, we are so physically drained that we are begging him to eat and go back to sleep. I take him back and snuggle with him till he dozes off. Then at 6 a.m. or 7 a.m., Jameelah wakes up, takes the baby, and I get two or three hours of sleep.

The nights have been challenging. At 4 a.m., we’re so tired that we start getting confused and careless, wiping his face and putting a diaper on his head, for example — which he does not appreciate. Even when he’s sleeping peacefully, we still can’t sleep well because Jameelah and I will freak out about whether he’s OK or not. Sometimes, he’s sleeping so peacefully — like an angel. It’s then that I start poking at him to make sure he’s breathing. The other night, he fell asleep on my chest, and then exhausted, I fell asleep. Then next moment, I woke up panicking and checking to make sure he was breathing. It was a horrifying feeling, thinking he might have rolled off, or I might have shifted position and accidentally squished him or something. I guess worrying about our son is something we’ll be doing the rest of our lives.

The days are better. I’ve been singing to him a lot, and anyone who does not know that I am an amazing singer has not heard my take on “Back Dat Azz Up” by Juvenile (“Girl, you look good, why-nchu back dat azz up?…”). It puts the baby to sleep. When his mother is taking a shower and he’s hungry, I sing “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone.” And after he’s been fed, I sing a soulful rendition of “Please Don’t Throw Up on Daddy,” which is an emotional lullaby I wrote just for him that I hope he’ll sing to his own kid. Lyrics: “Rest your head.Close your eyes/Time for bed/Baby, mine/Please don’t throw up on daddy/The rain outside is falling/Your sweet baby dreams are calling/And in my arms you’re staying/While the night is fading/Please don’t throw up on Daddy.”

Having a baby is an amazing and life-changing experience. Still, every time I run into a child-less person, I grab him by the lapels, whispering, “Sleep! Sleeeeep! And go on a weekend-trip! Go see a movie! Go out every day! Watch all your favorite shows! See your friends! Don’t take life for granted! Sleeeeeeeep!!!”

We are exhausted, disheveled and constantly having this lingering smell of bad yogurt surrounding us. Still, we are determined not to have this baby rule our lives. So last Friday, we went clubbing. That’s right, we were dropping it like it was hot while our three-week-old newborn was at home with his grandmother. We had a great time, and only fell asleep on the dance floor twice.

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