I am trying to rent a room out in my house and just got a call from a couple that would like to take it. The euphoria of having an extra $600 in my pocket was short-lived.
I was brought back from bliss when the following sentence came out of her mouth...
"We have an 11-month-old that would be moving in as well... but we promise you won't hear anything coming out of our room. The baby is really quiet!"
All I could think of saying was, "Really? What's your kid's name? Helen Keller?" Fortunately, though, the governor on my mouth was on and I said I would think about it and get back to her this evening.
I know babies. I have had four and have raised them on my own for the last four years. The last thing I would describe any of them as would be quiet. There are more noises, smells, and bodily secretions coming out of them to cause anyone to get a little nauseous.
However, those are my kids and my noises and my smells and my bodily secretions. My kids stuff couldn't make anyone sick.
Besides the fear of all that... I have graduated from babyhood fathering. I have done my time. And I did it my own. It wasn't always easy.
Days of searching the house for bottles at 2:30 a.m. only to be rewarded with ones that had week old formula in it that looked like cottage cheese are over. As are the days of taking diaper after diaper to the trash can outside so that the house didn't smell like gerber baby food gone bad.
Don't get me wrong. I loved being a baby's dad.
I loved their constant craving for attention. I loved the fact that they still wanted to climb into my arms and fall asleep. I loved their eyes looking up at me as I held them and fed them a bottle. I loved it all.
It was their constant need for me that kept me from going completely crazy after the relationship with their mother ended. I had to get up each and every day for them. There was no choice in the matter.
But, now, I love the new challenges and pleasures of having children from the ages of 4 to 10. We play Wii together, put puzzles together, do laundry together, make dinner together, and just hang out together. There is nothing better than a day with my kids.
But someone else's 11-month-old?
I think I'll pass.
Remembering Philip Roth
3 days ago