The Sandwich, Two Days Later
Via Patrick, Michael McIntyre explains what people with kids don’t know:
Once upon a time, if I wanted to go out for a sandwich, I would say “I would like to go out for a sandwich” and I would go out and get a sandwich. Now, if I want to go out for a sandwich, I say “I would like to go out for a sandwich. I think I will, within the next few days, go out and get a sandwich.”I am not a big fan of pieces that start off with the notion that “You just don’t understand my life!” even in a comedic context. That said, I did get a good laugh and it touches on one of the most striking things about parenthood that I didn’t expect. I expected inconvenience on many levels. Having kids means that it becomes harder to travel, go to sporting events, and so on. What I wasn’t fully prepared for is how much more complicated it makes every day tasks. The things I used to be able to just do that I now have rather tight windows for and require substantial preparation.
Before, when I wanted to go shopping, I went shopping. Then I had to figure out how to shop with the baby, which was particularly hard for a while though now that’s become easier since she can sit in the little shopping cart seat (and greatly enjoys the experience). Going out to eat is different. I had a hankering for IHOP the other day, after reading Curious George Makes Pancakes, and I had to figure out exactly how I would go to IHOP. I went, told the waitress what I wanted and that I wanted to go ahead and pay for it and wanted to-go packaging in case the baby became irate and I needed to leave in a hurry (turned out that I didn’t).
I don’t have the same struggles referred to in the routine. Not yet, anyway. The baby doesn’t have shoes (which makes me feel a little trailer-parky, but oh well) so I don’t need to worry about those. She does love to take off her socks, so I have to scrounge those up at the last minute. But that’s a different bird. The things that get in my way are nap and food windows. I am trying like heck to keep the baby on a consistent schedule with three hour windows. Typically, ideally, that means that she wakes up from a nap (or overnight sleep) and after one hour she gets milk and after another hour she gets solids, and an hour after that she gets back to sleep. I cannot do much that’s stimulating right before she goes to sleep. If shopping is going to take more than an hour, I have to figure out how to make sure that she doesn’t get hungry in the middle of it. The ideal time is right after she wakes up (I can more easily put off both meals than one or the other) but she usually wakes up when I am right in the middle of something. I have comparatively little flexibility as far as nap times go because we try to fit two of those in per day, they can last up to a couple of hours, and she needs about three hours between them to be able to nap again. That I don’t know how long they’re going to last is why I am often in the middle of something when she wakes up.
This isn’t a pity-post because I enjoy fatherhood and it is a part of the road to making me a better person. It also gives me a greater appreciation of those things that I took for granted. Sandwiches don’t get much better than the ones you have to plan for a day or two in advance.