And I Used To Be So Gruntled: Three Lost Days From My Life as a Stay-at-Home Dad

Crying-1

  <p class="photocaption">
    It&#8217;s been a rough week.<br /> (<a href="http://mikeadamick.com" target="_blank">Mike</a> took this photo, by the way.)</td> </tr> </table> 
    
    <p>
      I was well into my 30s when I became a father, so you could say I&#8217;d grown up a bit. My pre-Boobaby days have faded under a sea of poopy diapers, but in what little memory I have of those halcyon days, I recall feeling really <em>comfortable</em> with just about everything. Not &#8220;in control&#8221; &#8212; I worked with kids and animals, so I was never &#8220;in control.&#8221; No &#8212; more like &#8220;confident&#8221;: I competently met every challenge that my childless life threw up at me, most of the time.
    </p>
    
    <blockquote>
      <p>
        I was always on kilter.
      </p>
      
      <p>
        I felt ept at everything.
      </p>
      
      <p>
        I woke up gruntled every day.
      </p>
    </blockquote>
    
    <p>
      The last three days have been off kilter, inept, and disgruntled. And, I should add, not very kempt or gainly, either.
    </p>
    
    <p>
      I am loathe to go into details because I hardly remember any. The images swimming around in my mind from this week are&#8230;
    </p>
    
    <ul>
      <li>
        Baby not sleeping.
      </li>
      <li>
        Arguments with Working Mom about housework, respect for my &#8220;work,&#8221; and god knows what else.
      </li>
      <li>
        Hunger. Not taking time to feed myself well.
      </li>
      <li>
        Worry about moving.
      </li>
      <li>
        Falling asleep on the kitchen floor. Yeah, that was intelligent.
      </li>
    </ul>
    
    <p>
      &#8230;and, the kicker&#8230;
    </p>
    
    <ul>
      <li>
        Running out of coffee.
      </li>
    </ul>
    
    <table class="sidebar" width="200">
      <tr>
        <td class="sidebar">
          <p style="text-align: center">
            <em>In which I use the word &#8220;ginormously&#8221; again&#8230;</em>
          </p>
        </td>
      </tr>
    </table>
    
    <p>
      Now, in those pre-baby days, I would have been able to handle any one of those things without a blink. Toddlers magnify trivial challenges ginormously. I think it&#8217;s simply a matter of accumulation: a little lost sleep isn&#8217;t that big a deal, but when it happens every night for a week, well, that&#8217;s something. Behind on the laundry? That used to be a task for a couple of hours on a Sunday; now it&#8217;s a three-day epic, and by the time I&#8217;m done, the hampers are full again.
    </p>
    
    <p>
      So you see, I&#8217;ve been desolately tired, haggard, strained, and starved for the past few days. There have been bright patches I&#8217;ve wanted to write about &#8212; a lovely hike with <a href="http://www.mikeadamick.com" target="_blank">Mike and Emmeline</a>, for example &#8212; but I&#8217;ve been prevented by my overall exhaustion.
    </p>
    
    <p>
      I&#8217;m disappointed in myself. I feel like a yogurt cup Boobaby smashed under her foot at the playground: helpless, wasted, and a little gross. Babies are hard, parenting is hard. Having a life-long relationship with another person is hard. And all those things are incomparably wonderful, too. Going through a stormy patch doesn&#8217;t mean there&#8217;s no calm port ahead: it just means that the sailing gets tough for a little while.
    </p>
    
    <p>
      What a crappy week. I should try not to be so domitable.
    </p>