1. “Granny Hour”
Back when Ellison was born, I read (meaning watched the 20-minute bootleg video) of HAPPIEST BABY ON THE BLOCK. I understood the “5 S’s”. But at about six weeks, when he became inconsolably irritated and annoying, my sleep-deprived mind didn’t realize Ellison needed the 5 S’s. I was suffering more than he.
A friend told me it was “Granny Hour”. In olden days when we lived in tribal villages, or just villages without cars and YouTube, Granny realized that Daddy needed a drink around 5pm and she’d come over and bounce Junior so that Daddy could get fresh air (into his glass of wine). Nobody told me that the 5 S’s were for what would become Granny/Witching/Hell hour…and that it would go on for the first three months of infancy.
I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t a daily 4:30-6:30 hellish period of whining and suffering (MY own.)
2. That the second three months (from 3-6 months) would be relatively easy.
Hate to break it to you, new parents, but after your kid eases his incessant irritation, starts sleeping through the night, and even Granny hour becomes less severe, you’ll have a couple months of bliss (months 3-6), and then…it gets infinitely harder. Enjoy those months of happy baby who doesn’t actually do anything but coo and poop and charm you. Go out to eat, NOW and OFTEN. Your world is about to get rocked.
With the era of baby sitting up and cruising around furniture comes the beginning of the end of your independence. That kid needs stimulation: now and always. Thus begins the era of you needing to hide your phone as you double-task playtime with deleting spam mail on your phone. You have to start the mind-numbing process of baby babble and shaking rattles for what feels like hours (but is only 7 minutes). But that’s seriously when everything changes.
It’s all good. You’ll love it, blah, blah, blah. But you have it so easy in those first six months.
I wasn’t expecting that.
3. Raisins in poop
Colton eats a mix of yogurt, apple sauce and raisins for breakfast. It took me a few diaper changes to realize he hadn’t swallowed whole kidney beans for lunch the previous day. Those are raisins. He’s swallowing them whole and, apparently, they bloat during their journey down the digestive track. Now, I knew corn doesn’t fully digest (Corn? When did I eat corn?), but apparently if baby teeth don’t chew through raisins, they don’t digest, either. Food for thought.
I wasn’t expecting that.
4. “I don’t love you”
Two weeks ago, Ellison declared “Daddy, I don’t love you”. It was out of nowhere. I wasn’t yelling, he wasn’t in time out. He just walked out of his room, looked at me, and said it.
I kept my cool and said, “Well, that’s ok. I’ll love you always forever and no matter what.”
He looked at me.
Then he asked, “Can I have some juice, please?”
Ellison doesn’t drink juice. I buy it and drink it behind his back. Because I’m the dad, that’s why.
But since he didn’t seem to get much of a rise out of telling me he no longer loved me, I thought I’d treat him.
But I wasn’t expecting “I don’t love you” for another 2 years.
5. Babies and toddlers can be assholes
They don’t want to be assholes. It’s not their intention. But mine terrorize me with their dissatisfaction toward everything. They can be happily playing for a record-breaking twenty minutes. Everyone’s happily babbling along. Then the seal of happy cuteness is broken.
They trip over an errant Thomas train (though they trip 72 times/day).
Or a blanket is stuck under a chair (Really? You have to have THIS blanket right NOW)
Or that book that they’ve never ever paid any attention to is held by the other terrorist brother so a tug-of-war/screaming/crying fight ensues. Over “Pajama Time”. Really?
And then they’re dissatisfied for what feels like the next seventeen hours. Yes.
Toddlers are terrorist assholes.
So apparently “Granny Hour” isn’t left behind in infancy. The cycle begins again.
I just wasn’t expecting that.
I know I’ve left plenty out. I’ll be adding to this list. But what unexpected surprises did YOU have?