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Never look a sleeping baby in the eye at 3 a.m. unless you want them to think it’s party time (and other cautionary tips for new moms)

Actually, this post should be better titled “Never look a sleeping baby in the eye at 3am … and don’t let your husband, either!”

But it is father’s day weekend, and I guess Vanilla gets a free pass. Raynor had been sleeping since 7pm, and out of exhaustion, I slept with him at some time before midnight (who knows when). When Vanilla slunk into bed at about 2:30am, somewhat sheepish and conciliatory as he’d been playing videogames until then, Raynor woke up.

I very carefully avoided eye contact and Vanilla and I chatted in muted whispers. I saw him sneaking sideway glances at Raynor who was stirring and making adorable little cooing noises for who knows what reason, since it’s now in the dead of the night and every North American mammal should be asleep.

I then made the mistake of saying, do you want to just talk to him? Because I could see it in Vanilla’s eyes; dad wanted to play with his son, fall asleep, and leave mom with the unpleasant task of rocking, walking, singing and begging the insomniac back into slumber.

The next morning, I confronted Vanilla about what transpired this early morning, and he said defensively, “Well, he looked at ME!”

Father’s day free pass in effect.

Other tips I would give new parents – and I’ve only been doing this 4 months, mind you:

– You cannot wear your infant out. When they’re tired, you better try putting them to sleep before they get “over-tired,” because once that happens, kiss your ass goodbye.

– Shower once daily if you’re breastfeeding. You don’t need to wash your hair, cuz no one cares about that anyways, but it’s nice to give the little barracuda fresh boobies!

– Your instincts > all other’s advice. Especially that of meddling mother in laws.

– Mother in laws may be witches, but as witches, this also means they are armed with a large repository of powerful spells, including the magic Soothe and Sleep spells. Just beware, your baby will conspire with MIL to make her think you’re crazy by being on his or her best baby behavior.

– Babies are little imps, with the ability to cast Cute +4 at any given time. This is their most powerful and debilitating incantation.

– Your life as a mother will never be the same again. Prior to giving birth, you may have had the naive (or idiotic notion) of popping the little chimpopo out, having you and your spouse’s parents babysit, and going along your merry way. This will not happen, because you will not let it happen. What you have is too precious and only you understand that.

– Your life as a father make carry some semblance of normalcy, but don’t worry. You’ll get what’s due when said offspring begins its hellish descent into adolescence. Your life will similarly spiral downward at this time.

– The Law of Baby Pee: if you have clean sheets, you will get baby pee on them.

– The Law of Baby Poop: the best time to poop, according to your baby, is right after you’ve just changed him or her.

– Always stand up for your baby, or you’ll live with mommy-guilt forever. If your baby is crying from being passed from auntie to auntie, take her back by all means! I still remember the time we were celebrating at my niece’s second birthday. It was unseasonably hot out and I felt I should take Raynor home after only about an hour but we stayed longer because a lot of the family hadn’t seen 3-month-old Raynor yet. By the time we got back to our car, he was so exhausted and hot he didn’t even cry the car ride home. The look on his face broke my heart.

– Parenthood is truly about the journey and not the destination. You might not realize this beforehand, but unlike pregnancy, there’s no end here.

– And lastly: A child is carried in the womb for nine months, and in the heart forever.



I used to think being an attorney was a tough job. Then I had kids.

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