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A safe assumption would be that preparedness is a goal of any couple expecting their first child. I can imagine the embarrassment of bringing home a baby for the first time only to realize that instead of stocking shelves with diapers and talc, the child has shit itself and the mildly resourceful new parents must rely on old towels and, let’s say, baking soda to MacGyver their way out of this literal mess. Hell, baking soda is promoted as a way to absorb orders; I’d go that direction in a pinch.

I believe, however, that there is a limit. When cleaning the bathroom today I discovered a plethora (I’ve checked with my lawyers, I can legally use the word ‘plethora’) of baby hygiene products. For those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning—the beginning being 2 days ago—you know that 1) my wife has wanted children for a very long time, and 2) is a mere 6 weeks pregnant. This latter fact has severely crippled my ability to safely assume anything.

I believe that when exploring general infant preparedness there are certain items that can be reserved for after the baby grows past the gross embryonic stage; items like baby shampoo, baby lotion, and baby cream—i.e., items that necessitate skin. But as the old saying goes, “to assume makes an ass out of you and me.” The ‘you’ in this case is me. The ‘me’ in this case is apparently me as well. And the ‘ass’ is mine, though supple and soft it may be due to a frightening concentration of baby products already coating our bathtub. I planned on later asking about this premature accumulation of products. Until then, I allowed my mind to wander.

Anticipating a logical reason for the products, I wasn’t initially jarred enough by their discovery to call upon my plethora of lawyers. However, upon closer examination of the products themselves I did find a valid reason to be disturbed. A solid 3ozs of the baby shampoo had already been used. My immediate—and admittedly over-reactive—response was to assume that, during the hours I spent away from the home, my wife bathed Cabbage Patch dolls and wads of cat hair in order to fulfill her motherly instincts. And to complete the image, I imagined she probably knitted an umbilical cord out of squirrel carcasses and feces.

I planned to ask my wife about this too, though with warranted caution; cell phone in hand and 9-1-1 on speed dial. “Yes,” I pictured myself reluctantly telling the asylum employee. “That’s my wife, the one in the corner teaching her blanket paddy cake.”

She came home. I asked. The products are for her friend’s child, whom she cares for on Tuesdays. Good. I anticipated a bit of trouble sleeping with one eye open.

Something else that I hope isn’t prevalent enough to warrant becoming a regular feature on this blog: products with gross names. Baby Cream, for example. Are they de-boned before puréed, or are the bones left in for calcium fortification?

About this site:

These are the words of a man learning to be a father with nothing to guide him but the wisdom of friends, his wife, his family, and some pretty good hunches…like, really good hunches, though.

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Read this…

"A Mean Utility" short story from Craig Davidson's collection, Rust and Bone.(This goes to an excerpt; the full story deals more with fatherhood, I promise)

Shit Yeah, Another Baby. by By Amber Richardson

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