Saturday, December 8, 2012

I Can't Do It Alone

I've been nannying for my friend, Jenna who had a baby about 7 weeks ago.  This is him:

His name is Sidney and he's pretty awesome.  I started working with her about a week after Sidney was born, which has been great experience for me, seeing as how I had never changed a newborn's diaper before and hear I will be doing quite a lot of that soon (Full disclosure, I only changed his diaper once, the first day I was working for her and he ended up peeing up out of the diaper and on to Jenna.  I didn't know you have to make the diaper so tight it's cutting off circulation to the baby's mid-section.  That seemed a little counter-intuitive.  Also, as I don't have a penis, I was unaware you need to point the tiny pecker down, in the event that the diaper is a bit loose...  She has not let me change a diaper since.).

Jenna is married.  She has a lovely two bedroom, two bath with a dining room and patio in a nice neighborhood near Fairfax District.  She's married to a man she loves with a fairly stable profession and they're both fully insured.  They're not Rockefellers, by any means, but they're okay.

The other day Sidney was having a rough go of it.  He was fussing and crying.  Then he started wailing.  And I mean like body shaking, weird alien sounds wailing.  We tried taking him for a walk.  That didn't work.  She tried feeding him.  That didn't work.  She tried swaddling him.  She tried singing to him.  She tried cooing and coddling and shushing.  Nothing was working.  Finally she swaddled him for a second time and he instantly fell asleep.  The baby slept in her arms while she looked at me helplessly as if to say, "Please, kill me."  I took the baby so she could feel like a human being for a little while.  She sat down and burst into tears.

I watched her cry, unable to say much to help.  

For the first time since Kurt and I decided to have this kid together I fully realized how incredibly hard it would have been if he hadn't decided to stick around.  I knew being a single parent would be difficult, but it wasn't until I saw my friend who has a husband and can afford to pay me to be around 5 days a week to take care of laundry and get food together for her and generally be on hand to help (when I'm not completely felled by exhaustion), lose her shit that I understood the enormity of what I would have been facing on my own.

Babies are hard, man.  I mean, like, babies are fucking hard.