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Adventures in Babysitting


Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2006-01-30 00:30:11

Do Not Attempt this at Home; Dave is a Professional Baby-Sleeper Hold-Applier...Guy


I'm guessing that either I have a severe mental disorder or this thought has passed across the minds of many a father. (Probably wouldn't occur to a mother, I'd wager.) My boy is awesome, and I treasure him, but there are occasionally trying moments when I wish this technique was safely applicable.

For those of you who haven't experienced the blessed institution of parenthood, a newborn does not resemble a human being. They're more like fleshy alarm clocks that go off every two hours blaring on the highest setting while shitting. There's no snooze function and the off switch is an elaborate ritual involving feeding and burping them, cleaning up their aforementioned crapulence, dabbing their umbilical cord stump with alcohol, and smearing petroleum jelly on their circumcision-pained pallando. I suppose you can skip the last part if you have a girl, but then you'd need to start designing the schematics for that chastity belt or spend your 50's fending off prison sodomites because you'll have shotgunned a teenaged boy. But at least girls smell good; boys emit a soy sauce odor.

Infants just aren't ready to deal with the world at birth. They can't control their spasming arms which wakes them (making them cry), and then they claw their faces (making their moms cry). Personality traits are nigh undetectable, and cuteness is their only proxy for merit. Irrational, unconditional love gets you by, until a few months gives them the chance to develop into something that approximates what you envisioned your baby to be. Those first couple of months were rough. I felt like a zombie, "hurrnmn"ing my way through my dimly conscious life. My wife's recovery was harsh, so I had to care for the both of them. R.E.M. cycles and I were strangers for quite some time.

The worst was this one occasion when I heard him crying, so I slugged out of bed, and applied the procedure mentioned in the second paragraph. But he still kept crying. Full tummy, clean diaper, disinfected belly button, greased up winky and the boy was still crying. No matter how much I held and comforted him, he kept wailing and flailing his fists like Celine Dion. That's when the laser beams started shooting up out of the floor. It finally occurred to me that I was dreaming. Worse still, I realized that I actually was hearing my son crying, in need of care. I tried, to utter futility, to will myself awake. I remembered that when I die in my dreams, I wake up. So I climbed the highest building I could find, and jumped. The pavement greeted me with a sharp pain and wakefulness, and I was able to slug out of bed, and apply the procedure mentioned in the second paragraph. Again.

I've been trying to convince my wife that a vasectomy is a good idea.

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