Someone pressed the power on button.  Smushie has been activated.  (Why don’t kids come with a power down button?  Or even a pause button?  Like for when I need to take an afternoon nap?)

About a week ago, Smush came alive.  Up until then she was just a reservoir tank with a sensor that beeped when empty, full, or about to burst from either end.  Also during that time, I tested her for any outward indications of brain activity and got no response.  (The test?  We sat her in front of a few of the best ‘Scrubs‘ episodes known to mankind and there was nary a chuckle, not even a snort.)  As cliché as it sounds, one morning Smush woke up and everything had changed.  The world became apparent and her body started responding to more than just food and a couple of jabs with a stick.

Now Smushie is watching and laughing at my fathering skills (which I mistakenly thought had improved), slapping me in the face, head-butting my collarbones, spitting up on my shirts, and peeing on my hands.  It’s all good.  Sort of.

She doesn’t seem to treat her mother the same way.  In her mother’s arms, she snuggles in perfectly.  She smiles.  She coos.  She lovingly babbles at mommy, with twinkling eyes and all.  When Smush is with Steph, her poops are no longer stinky.  And pee never overruns the boundaries of her tiny diaper.  Their bond is a magical one.  The two of them have filled the space between each other with so much love that they pushed daddy right out of the picture!

It’s no secret that I’m useless to my newborn.  I don’t make milk for her.  I can’t provide warmth.  (I barely have enough warmth to provide myself.)  And nowhere on my body do I have a soft, cushy space for Smushie to bury her head into.  (Though, maybe in a pinch, my butt cheeks could work…)  Yes, I feel a little inadequate as a parent right now and Smushie knows it.  To her, I’m not much more than a walking baby wipe.  One day, I aspire to be more.  But during this time, I am not the best support personnel for baby.  Her mother is.  So there is really nothing for me to do other than drink beer and go hammer stuff in the garage patiently wait by Steph’s side and rub her feet/back/neck until I am called to help.

Until that day comes when I am needed to be the prince in Smushie’s fairytale play, or I must fill the empty seat at the imaginary tea party, I will use my t-shirts to absorb all of the fluids that exit her little body and try not to gag.

Smushie, Can't You Just Make a Normal Face?

Smushie, Can’t You Just Make a Normal Face?