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8/05/2014

A Myriad of Farts, Pay and Perks


Wow, this is exciting, maybe one of the most exciting things that ever happened to me - becoming a parent. Before Junis entered this world I was aware in somewhat vague terms that the birth of a child would supposedly turn one's life upside down. But to what extent - I had no idea. Starting with the process of giving birth. What a horrible piece of train wreck biology! It must be one of the most flawed things in all of nature. Yes, there are several drugs to make it bearable, but still, it's no pony ride - unless those ponies were sent from hell. I'm still in recovery and except for the permanent psychological trauma, I'm expecting to be back to my old self until the end of this year.

Anyways, with the delivery slogged out, the fun part starts - which entails tending to the needs of our baby boy. It's an adjustment, for a lack of sleep and a wild cocktail of hormones keep rocking my body. I'm getting used to it, and all the other things that have become more important now than pretty much everything I used to take for granted before - like personal hygiene or writing blog posts. These new priorities revolve around baby's well-being; his feeding schedule, my breasts, anti-colic bottles, strollers, burps and digestion, vaccination, and my breasts. I did mention my breasts twice, because of their significance in the baby equation. I'm sure I'm forgetting 3000 other things, but at least half of them do also have to do with my breasts. It doesn't matter, as there will be a few hundred new ones with each new week.

The baffling thing about all of this change: it is the ultimate happy drug. Having baby is a pleasure, even grumpy, moody and sometimes whiny baby is a joy to be around with. Knowing it's suddenly there when it wasn't a few months earlier is mind-boggling, and it even makes mundane things, like driving a car or going grocery shopping more fun.

Chillin' at the doctor's lounge

Suddenly I know there is a purpose in me doing these chores. Over the last few years, the excitement of self-preservation has slightly worn off. Yes, my own survival has always been important to me. But now it's even more important for me to stay alive. Baby needs me and my breasts (amongst other things, but mainly those two). It's a bit daunting to be needed that much, but it's also somewhat flattering.

Another thing I have been thinking about is how community pays court to parents, and especially mothers. There is this club you suddenly belong to. Gift bags get sent to you by the local council, banks are eating humble pie just so you open an account. Even the local tax office welcomed baby with bureaucratically open arms. It seems like women are given premiums for having their vaginas shredded. And then there's tax breaks, pay and perks, getting treated like royalty, just as if we have done something extraordinarily. It is a life-changer for us parents, yes, but what do the authorities have to gain? Another tax payer I guess, and possibly a potentially hardworking bee.

I'm still amazed at how I survived the delivery. But as to the act of conception, and to quote Bill Maher: it's something a dog can do. Well dogs can and they do do it, but not all humans can or want to do it. For most of us thirty-somethings, the act of procreation is not left up to chance. We're not completely surprised when that strip turns pink - as we know we doinked that month. It's good we have an awareness about it and a choice to do or not to do it, unlike our mothers and grandmothers. Yet, having belonged to the other, "less glamorous" club of childless couples for quite a while, I feel a teensy bit uncomfortable about the fact that we're rewarded for one and not the other.