It’s a bit of a wonder how anyone ever has kids, seeing as how they’re so much trouble. But almost everybody does, because people turn 27 and realize they are getting old and haven’t fulfilled their dreams and maybe it would be easier to just have a kid instead, or something.
Anyway, after you have a baby the nurse comes into the room to tell the husband how to take care of the wife, and then this happens:
Nurse: she has to take these pills and blah blah
Nurse: bed rest and blah blah
Nurse: no sex for 6 weeks
The husband is sad because he was thinking maybe six days, not weeks. And then while the husband is still in shock, the nurse puts the wife and the baby in a wheelchair and pushes them out to the car, which is probably already a minivan. The nurse makes sure the baby is properly secured into the car seat. At this precise moment the couple is like WAIT IS THIS IT WE’RE NOT READY and they look to the nurse, but that lady is gone: she is running back into the building, pushing that empty wheelchair as fast as she can go.
Once you get the baby home, families from church will bring you dinner. There are several kinds of people you will meet:
- The Shamer: these people will bring you a seven-course meal in individual Tupperware containers with precise reheating directions written on pieces of scotch tape on the lids. There is probably even a tiny Tupperware container with two spoonfulls of parmesan cheese and it’s like come on, what are you trying to prove
- The Realist: these people will call you ahead of time and basically say, “look, let’s not kid ourselves. Just tell me what you want and I’ll bring you takeout.”
- Satan: this person is miserable because they never eat anything good, and they want you to be miserable too. They will bring you organic sludge and locally sourced free trade kale or whatever but never, ever dessert. You will be digging through the freezer at 10pm looking for that cheap frozen pizza that’s been in there since last year. You know, the kind with the cardboard crust. It’s not horrible.
Probably the most important part of having a baby is posting pictures on Facebook, which is a website where that one lady from church posts crazy articles about things that will kill your children, such as gluten, Joel Osteen, swimming pools, strangers, relatives, coyotes, caffeine, Obama, sugar, and Baptists, which is SO not true, because everyone knows that Methodists are the real danger, but whatever.
Of course the other thing that Facebook is used for is baby pictures. There is a method: every 36 hours or so, the wife will wash her face and the husband will put on pants and they will dress up their infant in a ridiculous outfit and take turns posing with the baby in a way that says Oh hi, I didn’t see you there with the camera. After each post, the husband and wife carefully monitor the number of likes that the picture gets, and if the picture does not get the same amount of likes and comments that other people’s baby pictures are getting, the parents will get legitimately upset, because we are a nation of wusses and none of us would have survived the Great Depression.
Next comes the christening at church, which is a ceremony where everyone has to dress up and pretend to be real interested. About the best thing that can happen is if the baby pukes in front of the church, which is funny because babies can’t get in trouble for stuff. Anyway, just because a baby is christened does not mean it will be a Christian, or even that it will be less of a hellion than all the secular babies out there, but it creates more pictures for Facebook, so that’s something.
Another thing that has no bearing on your baby being horrible is how you feed it. Breastfeeding is a thing that some mothers are able to do and others are not, and the women who cannot breastfeed always feel guilty, even though it’s not their fault, but whatever, some moms just like feeling guilty, or something.
If a mother is able to nurse, it is a special time between her and the infant, and also a rocking chair. It is a spiritual connection; mother and child reestablishing the bond of the womb.
Meanwhile the father is standing in the doorway looking super sad.
He is jealous. That used to be mine, he is thinking, and he means the boob, not the baby.
Then he wanders down the hall, opens the fridge and stands there for a few minutes, and finally sits on the couch and turns on the Playstation. He will play football, but not before creating himself as a player with all the attributes set to 100, because someone must pay for this injustice.
You might think it’s all bad news, but there is a silver lining.
When two Christians first get married they have lots of time to do fun things, like devotions. Sometimes a couple will read the Bible several times a night, but because young couples aren’t very good at exegesis, these devotions don’t last very long. A lot of Philemons and Judes. But after you have a baby or two, you start to get better at exegesis. The devotions are much better, even if you don’t do them every night like you used to. Instead of Philemon you can do a Luke or even a John. Sometimes you want to do a Psalms, just to see if you can, but then the wife is like wrap this up I hear the baby crying and what can you do.