1. Remain Calm. Something remarkable happens to many parents at that moment the baby is delivered, something wholly separate from the heartwarming issues regarding deliveries that I've explored in the past (see exhibit A...and then try to resist me). What I'm referring to is the sudden drop in IQ that occurs to even the brightest of parents when the baby arrives, and whereas only minutes before the prospective father, laden with enough degrees to make even the biggest dork cringe with envy, could be seen calmly reciting lamaze instructions while formulating mathematical equations inside his head, he is soon found saying after the baby has delivered such gems as:
"OH MY GOD SHE'S BREATHING. SHE'S ACTUALLY BREATHING! Wait, is that normal?!?"
"His arms keep moving. Is that normal?"
"She's crying. Do babies cry?"
Of course, having yet to have a baby I in no way feel like I have the right to judge anyone in this position, but I must say that after hearing these same moronic comments from countless parents for the last twelve weeks I'm pretty close to jabbing a speculum through my eye.
So in summary, yes, that is normal. And yes, you are retarded.
2. It's All In The Name. This is not a statement about people who choose peculiar names for their children, seeing as I am not exactly in a position to judge given my rather...umm...ethnic first and middle names (my first name, spanning a whopping seven letters, even has a 'Z' in the middle). So three cheers for all the Darcquan's, La Fawnda's (I guess that qualifies as a not-so-obscure movie reference), and Zzyzzx's out there. This is not about them. This about all the parents out there who have the chutzpah to pick out from among the vast landscape of potential names a small subset that are almost guaranteed to send that kid straight to the NICU with some sort of awful disease. Yep, this is a warning to all the future Miracle's, Destiny's, Hope's, and Prayer's out there: if you ever find yourself in the hospital for reasons utterly out of your control, it's only because your parents had the balls to dare God, Allah, Buddah, or the stunningly efficient forces of natural selection into screwing you over purely on principle. Quite frankly, I've never seen so many Miracles in the NICU! Did I seriously just write that? I need a vacation.
3. Make Believe. This applies to those of you who, unlike the parents discussed in part 1, have trouble maintaining consciousness after a baby has come into their lives. Congratulations, it's a boy! Excuse me, sir? It's a boy. A bo - hey, are you awake? Seriously people, it can't be that hard to at least pretend like you care and fake some interest, at least for our sake. I couldn't believe the first time I was denied after offering a father the chance to cut the cord, not out of fear or disgust but simply because "Uhhh it's cool man, I don't really care". Look, if that's your attitude, then maybe, just maybe, you shouldn't be making babies in the first place. Just a hunch. In fact, the only thing worse than apathy is antipathy, as you get parent who, only moments after delivery and responding to comments overheard that include things like "The baby seems lethargic, a little out of it, but I guess he's happy..." with (I swear this actually happened):
"He damn well better be happy, he's got more than $100 worth of crack running through his veins right now!"
Well, I hope this has been helpful, but who am I kidding? Anyways, I've just begun my vacation, and will be enjoying some serious down time as I try to figure out what to do with my life and take care of other small tasks, so I don't know when I'll be around to ramble on and on about nothing of significant importance over the next few days. Happy holidays and happy new years, and if anyone sees a drunk fool who vaguely resembles Matthew Perry running up and down the Las Vegas strip on New Year's, please say hello (see I didn't even bother with the pathetic solicitations for Jewish women this ti-oh, wait, I guess that counts).