My Wife Gave Birth to Kevin McHale

“Ouch. The contractions are getting stronger and longer. I think it’s time to go to the hospital,” The Bride said.
“Oh, baby… Really? I have Pearl Jam tickets tonight. Can you maybe just do your pussy clamp trick and keep him locked down until tomorrow morning?”
In the interest of full disclosure, I must state that I’d already seen Pearl Jam the night before. However, Chris Cornell had not made a surprise showing to perform my favorite song, Hunger Strike, with Eddie Vedder and the gang. In fact, in the approximately three dozen times I’ve seen Pearl Jam, this had never happened. Rumor had it tonight would be the night.
Now, before you write me a letter to tell me what a horrible person I am, in my defense, I must state that, at the time, I probably loved Eddie Vedder more than my unborn child, so this was a totally logical thing for me to ask The Bride. I mean, I had crazy man-love for Eddie. In fact, if presented with that hypothetical scenario in which I were being sent to a deserted island and could take only one person, I’d take Eddie. I realize that most guys would choose their wives, or maybe Mila Kunis, but neither of them would sing Yellow Ledbetter to me, and even if they did, they’d probably suck. Also, Mila Kunis has very narrow hips, and if she got pregnant on our island, she’d probably die during the birthing process, and that would leave me alone with a newborn baby, which would end very badly for both of us. Even if Mila survived, her ridiculously big, beautiful eyes would start looking pretty fucking crazy after a few years together on a deserted island. As for The Bride, I love her with all the tiny little parts of my heart, but… well, we’re talking about Eddie Vedder. I’m sure she’d understand.
Besides, I’ve always believed that if I were to get an hour alone with Eddie we’d have tons to talk about and would become best buddies. So, after being on a deserted island for years and years with my BFF, exchanging ideas and philosophizing, once we were rescued the two of us would probably save the world.
If we weren’t able to save the world, at the very least, after a decade of listening to me play percussion on coconut shells, Eddie would fire Matt Cameron from the band and put me on the drums. I mean, I love Matt Cameron, but let’s face it, we all know he’s the weakest link of the Pearl Jam crew.
Now, let’s not conflate issues. By choosing Eddie Vedder over my wife and Mila Kunis, I am not choosing music over sex. In a head to head battle, sexual gratification defeats music every single time. However, on the island I’d have my right hand and an endless supply of coconut oil. Also, considering the fact that it’s a deserted island, there’s probably not much to do, so I could probably convince Eddie to sit outside my cabana and mumble mood music while I made love to myself.

Needless to say, The Bride’s answer to my question was, “No, I can’t do the friggin’ pussy clamp trick until tomorrow morning. What the hell is wrong with you, Matthew?”
The Bride and I arrived at the hospital at 7 AM, ready to pledge our eternal love to the seven pound human that was trying to break out of his little padded cell.
“I need medication!” The Bride yelled, no more than a minute after being put in a room.
An anesthesiologist came to deliver the epidural with a needle so HUGE I could’ve defeated Darth Vader with it. As soon as he administered the medication, The Bride fell sound asleep. She was mere hours away from pushing a football ball-sized human out a quarter-sized hole in her body, yet she seemed to be comfortably numb, snoring away like a drunken lumberjack.
“Umm, could I maybe get one of those epidurals?” I asked.
Once The Bride was sawing logs, the anesthesiologist and nurse exited, leaving me alone with my thoughts.
This is crazy. In a few hours, a person will come out of my wife’s vagina. They will hand it to me, and it will be my job to make sure it doesn’t die.
I became filled with dread. Would I be up to the responsibilities that fatherhood entailed? I imagined my child getting into mischief: I saw him running with scissors, taking food out of a Rottweiler’s mouth, and falling into a swimming pool. I played these scenarios out in my head, over and over, and each time they ended badly.
If I was failing him in my imagination, what would happen in real life?
Zzzzzzzzz. The Bride’s snoring got louder.
If I succeeded in keeping our baby alive through his childhood years, he would become an impressionable teen that would eventually become an adult that would effect either a positive or negative net impact on society. It would be my responsibility to help him find his way and make sure he didn’t end up becoming the proprietor of a meth lab, or the owner of an adult book store, or an ambulance-chasing, personal-injury attorney. And while waiting for him to come out of his cozy baby-cave to join us in the fluorescently lit hospital room, all that responsibility felt like a metric fuck-ton of pressure that was likely to cave in my chest and kill me before I even met the little fella.
Sitting there, waiting nervously, I needed a distraction. Eventually, curiosity got the best of me, and I peeked under the covers.
I will forever regret this.
The Bride’s vagina looked unlike any other I’d ever seen. It was swollen, wet, and bloody, like road kill on the side of a highway on a rainy day.
God, if you’re listening, please let me un-see that.
An hour later, The Bride awoke. After she got her bearings her food cravings kicked in.
“Matt, I need you to get me a burger.”
Before The Bride was even pregnant she had the appetite of an eight-hundred pound gorilla. She’d eat about five meals a day, but miraculously never gained a pound. I heard stories about weird pregnancy cravings and ridiculous appetites, and I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if The Bride’s appetite got bigger. Then, one day, I came home and found The Bride eating a salt, mayonnaise, and pickle sandwich… for dessert, after she’d already consumed an In and Out Double Double.
It became obvious that I was going to have to get a second job to keep my little Asian gal fed.
“You’re dilated to ten centimeters. You don’t have time for a burger,” said the nurse.
She was lying.
Sure, The Bride was dilated to ten centimeters, but we had plenty of time for a burger. In fact, in hindsight, we had time to nurture a baby calf through adolescence and into adulthood, slaughter it, grind the meat into hundreds of burger patties, create handmade invitations, mail them to all our friends, and have everyone join us at the hospital for a good old fashioned birthing bar-b-que.
The nurse told The Bride she was almost ready to start pushing, but then, instead of doing actual nursing stuff, she sat at a computer and began typing. I don’t know if she was requesting Facebook friends, surfing the Internet for weird German porn, or Skyping her incarcerated pen pal; regardless, I became agitated.

Half an hour later, the nurse briefed me on how to read the electronic jiggy-ma-bob with the red flashing lights that was connected to The Bride. When the machine beeped, it meant The Bride was having a contraction and I needed to help her push.
Then she left the room.
Are you kidding me?
I was ready to raise hell, but The Bride was relaxed from the dope, and I didn’t want to be the one freaking out. While I was trying to calm myself, the electronic jiggy-ma-bob thingy beeped. We were all alone, and it was time to push. I had to man up.
“Okay, baby, are you ready to do this!?!” I yelled, in an over-adrenalized voice, as if she were getting ready to step into a wrestling ring to fight Andre The Giant.
“I’m ready,” she said.
“Good, now push!”
Grrrr! She growled, pushing.
“Yes, baby! Yes! Great job! Okay, now give me another big push! Do it!”
“Stop yelling at me!”
“Sorry! Okay. You can do this! Push that little guy out! Push, push, PUSH!” I yelled.
And she pushed. After just the second push, I could see the top of his head.
“Holy fuck, that’s a baby head!” I pointed and yelled. I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. When I saw our baby’s hairy head, things became very real. I kissed The Bride, excused myself, walked to the nurses’ station, and had lapsed into what murderers sometimes refer to as “temporary insanity.”
“There’s a person coming out of my wife’s body RIGHT NOW! Go in there and get it!”
“Your wife’s going to be pushing for a while. He’s not coming out yet, and we’re short staffed,” the nurse said.
I couldn’t believe it. While walking back towards the room I gave myself a pep talk in attempts to gather my composure so I could help my wife. I stopped outside the door, took a few deep breaths, and then entered the room to help The Bride push.
After three or four pushes, the nurse finally entered. “The doctor just finished surgery and he’s going on break,” she said.
“You’re screwing with us, right?”
“Sir, please.”
“The top of the baby’s head is right there!” I said, pointing between The Bride’s legs.
“His heart rate is elevated so we want her to stop pushing and rest for a while,” she said.
“His heart rate is elevated because his head is stuck inside a vagina! I’ve never been in that position, but I imagine it’s fairly stressful.”
Much later, after hours of fruitless pushing, the doctor finally showed up. “Hey, look who made it. Who won the big USC game, doc?” I asked, making no effort to hide my irritation.
The doctor ignored me and went about his business with a disinterested demeanor. He looked at the mess between The Bride’s legs in the same bored manner that a plumber looks at a clogged toilet.
“Push, honey,” the doctor calmly said.
With the doctor in charge of the pushing, I was demoted to the foot of the bed where I squatted into the ready position, as if I was going to be the one to catch the baby. As she pushed, her vagina stretched to ridiculous proportions; it was red and swollen and bloody and I knew there was a good chance it was permanently stretched out and deformed. I was going to have to put my penis on some quality Mark McGwire level steroids and feed it nothing but raw meat if The Bride was ever going to feel it again. As she continued grimacing through the push, the baby’s head inched out stretching The Bride’s tiny, fragile little taint at both ends like a man hooked up to one of those medieval torture devices. I didn’t see how the baby could come out without ripping her open, and I felt queasy in my stomach and toes. All I could think was, thank God she took the epidural.
After only two pushes, the doctor sat back and concluded, “He’s stuck.”
No kidding.
The doctor rummaged through his surgical tools until he found a pair of giant scissors that looked like the same ones our mayor used to cut the red ribbon outside the town’s new library the day it opened. “Whoa, what are those for?” I asked, trying not to die.
“She needs an episiotomy.”
Without hesitation, he grabbed The Bride’s vagina and began cutting through it. It took exactly three slices, and I’ll never forget the sound. It was the same sound my grandmother’s poultry shears made as she cut through raw, whole chickens on Sundays after church.
By the time the doctor finished slicing and dicing, my sweetheart’s pretty little petunia and her no-no hole had become one giant, gaping wound.
Next, the doctor pulled out my grandmother’s giant salad-tossing fork (I had really expected his tools to be a bit more sophisticated). He put the salad-tossing fork inside The Bride and said, “Push.” And just like that, after hours of drama and fruitless pushing, The Bride bore down and grimaced through one hard-core push that popped the baby’s head out.
It was terrifying.
This baby didn’t look like any human I’d ever seen.
The Bride’s baby was a mutant.
With a colossal sized head.
He had crossed eyes that were blacker than Wesley Snipes after losing a fight against a giant ink-squirting squid; his face was wrinkled like he’d spent all day in a YMCA steam room, and his giant head was badly misshapen, like it had been molded out of clay by a kindergartener who’d lost his thumbs in a see-saw accident. I felt a dizzying wave of confusion and horror swelling inside me. I feared I might vomit. Or spontaneously impale myself on The Bride’s IV pole. Or excuse myself from the room, get in my car, and drive to Canada where I’d learn to love curling, Tom Green, and the Barenaked Ladies.
“A couple more pushes and he’ll be all the way out. Push!” he yelled. The Bride pushed, and as she did, our baby’s giant head twisted around 180 degrees, like Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist. I was positive his head was going to pop off and fly across the room, laughing at me during its flight.
But that didn’t happen.
The Bride pushed again and out came his disproportionately waifish body.
4:50 PM, 21 inches, 7 pounds 4 oz. (which was mostly head) Matthew Keller Nespoli is born.
Amazing.
Unfortunately, I knew our crappy HMO would only cover a portion of the bill, so we were going to have to sell The Bride’s new baby in order to pay for all this. I decided to wait a few hours to dump this news on her, because in the moment, she looked happier than I’d ever seen her.
While The Bride cried tears of joy, I cut the cord and took inventory of all the baby’s parts. He had four limbs, ten toes, and ten fingers. Still, he was far from normal. His shoulders were covered in long, brown hairs, which made me suspect that The Bride might have had an affair with Chewbacca. Also, he was covered in blood and a mysterious white goop that may or may not have been cottage cheese. I wanted to feel proud of the boy, but it’s hard to be proud of a baby who comes out of the vagina looking like Benjamin Button after swimming in a vat of cottage cheese and blood.
“I’m sorry, but this baby is hideous. For the sake of humanity, I’m going to put him back inside you,” is what I was expecting the doctor to say.
However, he didn’t say that. He took the baby and handed it to the nurses so they could rinse all the cottage cheese and blood off his hairy Chewbacca shoulders. While watching, it occurred to me that it might not be safe for such a huge head to sit atop such a little body. I’d read in National Geographic that the warthog has the most disproportionately large head in the animal kingdom. I’m pretty certain that had just changed. His arms were rail thin and his shoulders came to sharp points like that of Boston Celtic’s forward, Kevin McHale. It’d be incredible if my son grew up to become a professional basketball player like Kevin McHale; however, I considered it highly unlikely because his neck would never be strong enough to support the weight of his giant head when running down the court.
Plus, he’s half Asian, and as far as I know, he has no relation to Jeremy Lin.
As the nurse began cleaning his face, he started screaming, and the noise grated on my nerves almost immediately. I didn’t feel an affiliation to the critter; I didn’t feel new purpose in life; and I didn’t have an epiphany. All I wanted was a silent, empty room, an oxygen tank, and maybe a few beers, or a giant needle full of epidural juice.
“He’s looking at you!” the nurse said, excitedly.
“Really? With which eye?” I asked.
The nurses ignored me, and for the next couple days, they behaved as if I didn’t exist.
Over the course of the next year, I came to realize that I had, in fact, stopped existing.
After they finished cleaning him, they laid him on The Bride’s bare chest. “Hi son,” she said, in a nurturing tone that I’d never heard before. Keller started suckling, pulling life from her breasts.
And I haven’t touched them since.
While she held her baby, I watched as the doctor took a hook and string and began sewing my wife’s perineum back together, separating her butt from her vagina, once again, like a normal person. When he was done, it still didn’t look right, and all I could think was, Yeah, that area’s gonna be out of commission for a while.
As Keller enjoyed his first meal, The Bride nuzzled his face with hers. “He’s so beautiful,” she said.
And that’s the day I stopped trusting her judgment.
Her baby lay on her chest, completely innocent and helpless, totally dependent on his mother. The Bride stared into her baby’s eyes with a peaceful look of contentment on her face. The love she felt for him was palpable.
I could write about the science of how a mother-child bond is instantaneously created by hormones secreted in the mother’s brain during the birthing process. I could write about how women have evolved into nurturing creatures so that babies will survive and the human race can thrive. However, none of that is very entertaining, and this isn’t that kind of book. So, I’ll just say this:
Watching The Bride feed her baby, I witnessed a kind of love I’d never seen before, a love that said, If you try to harm my baby, I will rip your limbs from your body, stick the severed limbs up your ass, then hook you up to machines to keep you alive so I can torture you every day until the end of time.
After The Bride fed him, they took him to that big room where they keep all the newborns. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I was secretly hoping they’d mix him up with another baby. Maybe Alanis Morisette or Serena Williams had also given birth and we’d end up with their baby in some hilarious hospital mix-up like you’d see on a 1980’s style sit-com. But really, I’d settle for anyone’s baby, so long as they brought us one that didn’t look like the spawn of Chewbacca and that warthog from the LA Zoo.
Basically, what I’m saying is that, overall, the birthing experience was … I dunno … surreal. The most upsetting part was that I didn’t feel an immediate connection to my child, which made me feel guilty. Society expects fathers to feel an instantaneous and magical connection to their newborn. These expectations are unfair. Unlike our partners, we don’t carry the baby inside us for the better part of a year; so, when our child is born, we need a little time to develop a bond.

Later, once he was finally in my arms, he felt like the most fragile thing I’d ever held. I pressed him to my body and smelled the top of his head. It was the greatest smell I’d ever experienced and it gave me a weird fuzzy feeling in my head. Holding him tightly against my chest, I felt him growing roots into my heart.
“Hey, son, I’m your daddy,” I said. “We’re gonna be best buddies. Did you know that?”
As I touched his hand he wrapped his little fingers around my index finger, and just like that I was hooked. In that instant, I knew I loved him, and that I’d never love anything more. I put Keller’s lips to The Bride’s and then joined them in our first family kiss. And in that moment, for the first time in my life, everything was perfect.

Later that evening, I got a text from my buddy who’d gone to the Pearl Jam show. Yes, Chris Cornell showed up, and yes, he performed Hunger Strike with Eddie. However, as it’s turned out, Keller’s a pretty dope little kid, so I’m certain I came out ahead.

 

This is an excerpt from my second book, “Daddy Versus The Suck Monster” – you can get it for $.99 here:

You Suck. It’s Not Hormone Related Anger

I wouldn’t exactly call my son’s conception an accident. I mean, I didn’t trip and fall into The Bride’s vagina. However, it was a surprise. In fact, I was unaware we were even trying to make a
person. Granted, The Bride had been making many more sexual
advances than normal, but I attributed her newfound sexual assertiveness to the better than average hair days I was having as a result of a humidity-free, California winter.
As it turns out, The Bride was much more interested in my DNA
than my hair, and a few weeks into our torrid winter love affair,
everything became illuminated.
I was pouring myself an adult beverage when The Bride came out
of the bathroom with blood lust in her eyes. As soon as I saw her, I knew I was in you’re sleeping at a hotel kind of trouble.
“You suck at marriage!” she yelled.
“I know, and I’m sorry,” I said. Those five words have served me well in our relationship.
“I can’t take it anymore!” screamed The Bride.
“Umm, sweetheart, I know I should probably know this,” I said, treading carefully. “But, umm, why exactly do I suck at marriage?”
The Bride’s jaw dropped open the way a boa constrictor unhinges its jaws right before devouring its prey. She let out an unearthly primordial scream, cocked her arm back, and began firing toiletries
at me like Roger Clemens’ fastballs. The toothpaste whizzed past my ear and splattered against the wall.
“You left the cap off the toothpaste, you used my towel, and you
peed on the toilet seat! Again!”
After a bottle of hair conditioner hurtled past my head and
exploded against the front door, I knew I wasn’t dealing with the average, garden-variety, menstruation-inspired outburst. I’d left the toilet seat up exactly 41,238 times since we’d been married, and though it always irritated her, this over-the-top, violent expression of anger was out of character for my little Filipina bride.
“Are you pregnant?” I asked. The words came out of my mouth
before I had time to process the consequences of them.

“I’m not pregnant! This is not hormone related anger! I’m angry because you’re an inconsiderate ape-man!”
“I know, and I’m sorry,” I said.
Life would be easier if I tattooed this on my forehead.
I decided to go jogging to give The Bride time to cool down.
When I returned, an hour later, I found her in the living room,
crying, with our wedding album splayed open on her lap.
This was a very bad sign.
I considered turning around, running into the ocean, and drowning myself.
“Matthew, I’m pregnant,” she said, holding out the pregnancy test
for me to see.
The Earth stopped rotating and stood still on its axis, freezing
time. I was in a state of stupefied paralysis, completely unable to
form words with my mouth. Only my inner voice seemed to be
functioning.
Hug her, you idiot!
So, I listened to my inner voice. I hugged her and smiled, and
then hugged her again because that’s what a man’s supposed to do
when his wife tells him she’s pregnant, and I didn’t want to be the
jerk who says, “How did this happen?”
But on the inside that’s precisely what I was thinking.
When The Bride and I were dating, she told me she wanted five
kids. I wanted a kid, too. One kid. Sometime in the indefinite future.
Recently, I’d warmed up to the idea of preparing to think about the possibility of eventually setting a time to have a discussion about
the pros and cons of making a baby.
But I wasn’t ready just yet.
Our conversations about kids always stayed superficial. They felt
similar to our conversations about moving to Africa to start a charity
for impoverished children. Both topics were fun to talk about, but
we’d probably never get around to doing either. In fact, the only
concrete plan I was aware of was an April backpacking trip through
Europe, and though I knew this would be a bad time to bring it up, when I finally regained the ability to speak, the first thing I said
was, “So, I guess Europe’s out?”
It’s not that I don’t like kids, I do. However, I am an adventure-
seeking, ocean enthusiast that needs an alarm to wake by 10 AM. You don’t give a guy like me a baby. I can’t even remember to park
my car on the opposite side of the street every Tuesday for street sweeping. How could I possibly take care of another living human person? Besides, our lifestyle wasn’t conducive to parenthood. We were too busy going out with friends and consuming large quantities
of alcohol as a means to numbing all the mental anguish that the
institution of marriage brings upon one’s life.
The Bride expressed that she was surprised to have gotten
pregnant only two weeks since she’d gone off the pill. When she said this, I was struck by the realization that I didn’t remember having a conversation about her quitting the pill. She insists the conversation happened and most likely it did. I imagine the declaration was woven somewhere into the fabric of her daily
nagging, so it probably went in one ear and out the other.
“Matt, take out the trash. Matt, pick up some eggs after work.
Matt, I’m getting off the pill. Matt, your mother called.”
I love The Bride very much. However, for the sake of my own sanity, I have to tune her out at times. But I’m not the only one in our home with selective hearing. The Bride stopped listening to me right after I said, “I do.” Sometimes, when I catch her in the act of pretending to listen, I’ll say something random like, “Honey, there’s a baby raccoon dressed up as a pirate performing fellatio on
Optimus Prime outside our window.”
“That’s nice, Matthew.”
Anyway, after I felt I’d shared the appropriate number of hugs with the woman whom I’d impregnated, I excused myself, stepped into my home office, and had a proper freak-out.
I was slightly calmer when I returned to the living room. “What do you think of the name Kiefer?” she asked, smiling.
“I think it’s silly to pick a name so soon. The embryo is still smaller than gnat poop.”
Many weeks later, we had an ultrasound and the doctor declared that we’d be having a baby boy. I was relieved. Because of all the alcohol and drugs I’d consumed in my youth, I feared something crazy was growing in her uterus, like maybe some kind of mutant
lizard baby, or something resembling Sigourney Weaver’s offspring in Alien, or maybe something really terrifying, like a Civil War re-
enactment enthusiast.
After learning the baby’s gender, I wanted to go out and celebrate before coming home to recreate the miracle of our creation. The Bride had different ideas. She brought home a pregnancy book and kept me up half the night dropping knowledge on me, such as the
fact that it would require a total 75,000 calories to create our baby, and the fact that his first bones would be generated around day
forty-five.

The factoids were interesting, but I had really been hoping for a more adult themed celebration. The little ball-buster hadn’t even reached the second trimester and he was already cock-blocking me. Little did I know that cock-blocking would become his greatest skill.
I was pretending to listen as The Bride described the development
of fetal fingernails when suddenly she dropped the book excitedly
and said: “I got it! Let’s name him Keller.”
Keller, so that’s your name. Just remember, pal—I saw her first.
Once we gave him a name, the idea of having a baby felt a little more real, which made it both more exciting and scarier. It seems
silly now, but at the time, I was afraid that a baby would cause me to
lose my edge. I’m a free-thinking seeker who believes in equality
and love and the magical healing powers that are generated when
one kisses a pretty girl in a sundress on a warm afternoon. I worried that fatherhood would change me into a suit-wearing dork who coached soccer and joined the Elks Club.
I hoped it would be possible to remain true to myself, become best buddies with my son, and also be a good father. I believed it
was possible. But, really, what did I know?
Nothing. I knew nothing. So, I needed to read up and educate
myself about fatherhood. I wasn’t interested in reading self-help books because most self-help authors are damaged people who are one bad day away from joining the Zombie Apocalypse and eating
their neighbor’s faces off. What I wanted to read was a book about fatherhood written by a normal dad who felt the same kind of
trepidation I was feeling.
Pregnancy revolves around the woman, and rightfully so. However, it also affects the man. We have to learn how to deal with
becoming second-rate citizens in our own homes, the cessation of
our sex lives, and the pregnancy hormones that change our loved
ones into rabid, carnivorous beasts who sustain themselves on the
souls of men.
At Barnes & Noble, I found books written by doctors, and I found book after book written by women about breastfeeding, asshole
husbands, and postpartum depression, but I found nothing written
by a normal dad about being a dad. So, I decided to write my own book, one that would offer an honest accounting of raising a
newborn, warts and all, so that the next time a scared, expecting
father walked into a bookstore, he’d be able to find a book written by a regular guy who had also been scared shitless.

Listen, fellas, fatherhood is a crazy ride. At times, you’re going to want to sneak out the back door, drive to Mexico, assume the name
Marco Villanueva, start a marijuana farm and surround yourself
with sexy, 6-foot-tall supermodel bodyguards like a militant Middle
Eastern dictator. However, you won’t do this. Why not? Because
fatherhood is the most wonderful experience of your life (or at least
this is what you will tell people when you think your wife might be listening).
But seriously, fatherhood is pretty amazing. And fellas, just remember—after it all shakes out, you’re going to be okay.

 

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This is the first chapter from my second book, “Daddy Versus The Suck Monster” – you can buy it on Amazon for $.99 if you enjoy this sort of thing. Click below:

This Bathroom is Not for “All-Sexes”

I know, I know, I know. Mom’s don’t get sleep when they have a baby. It’s tough, and they are tough for getting through it. I don’t know, maybe we men aren’t as tough. All I know is that, in those first few months, I nearly lost my mind and my business due to a severely impaired brain mechanism caused by the lack of sleep…

When my son, Keller, was about 2-months-old, it became obvious to me that he was a vampire. Typically, he slept through the days and stayed up all night, and his mother and I were becoming The Walking Dead. Parenting a vampire is extremely hard work, and I didn’t know how much longer I could handle it. To make matters worse, as I was approaching my breaking point, Keller got sick.
One evening, we put our baby vampire to bed, and at some point, in the middle of the night, he developed a nasty skin rash and explosive diarrhea and woke up screaming.
Startled, we flew out of bed and rushed into his room, fearful that he’d impaled himself on his Winnie The Pooh mobile.
For days, Keller was a pooping, projectile-vomiting, insomniac with a runny nose that created so much snot I worried he’d drown in it. But the worst part was the screaming. The never-ending, round-the-clock screaming.
He obviously hated me.
But that was okay because I hated him too. I also hated The Bride and her stupid uterus for having created such a stupid, asshole vampire baby.
No matter what we tried (and we tried everything), we couldn’t get him to sleep. I could’ve laid him on a bed made out of angel kisses and magical fairy boobies and he still would’ve screamed through the night.
After three or four sleepless nights of caring for a sick baby, the crazy started creeping in. One more exploding diarrhea diaper and a seemingly normal mother could reach the point where she completely loses it and drowns her own child. Luckily for Keller, The Bride is an amazing woman, capable of incredible, death-defying, parental feats. Somehow, she survived being alone with Keller during the days, while I escaped to work. I’m pretty sure the government doesn’t give out medals of bravery to mothers, but they should. I’m more likely to become a superhero with flame shooting nipples than I am to survive handling a sick baby all by myself, 24/7, the way The Bride did.
Though The Bride provided the majority of care to our sick baby vampire, when I was home, I had to help. Unfortunately, I didn’t possess The Bride’s patience. One night, he screamed, non-stop, for three hours. I became unhinged and started yelling at him, “Stop being such an asshole! You asshole!”
I am not proud of this.
However, I felt much better afterwards.
The only way I could get Keller to stop crying was by singing to him while waltzing around the apartment with him. Literally. I had to waltz. Merely walking around the apartment with him, or bouncing him, or singing to him failed to soothe him. So, I waltzed around the apartment while softly singing the theme song from The Flintstones, which, for whatever reason, was the only tune that came to mind at 4:30 AM.
The next morning, I was beyond exhausted. I’d gotten a total of six and a half minutes of sleep and I felt like I was moving through a thick fog made of the moist farts of the naked old men who are always in the locker-room at my gym. I was too tired to take a stand-up shower, so instead, I took a bath. While bathing, I tried to drown myself; however, I was too fatigued to hold my head under water long enough to die.
That day, The Bride called the doctor, and he recommended that we give Keller cold baths until his fever came down. Of course, I was the one saddled with the responsibility of giving Keller his cold bath because The Bride is Keller’s favorite, and she wasn’t about to do anything that would risk her ranking. I remember my father forcing me to take those horrific, fever-reducing, ice-cold baths; they were traumatic, and I felt horrible subjecting Keller to this torture. As I put him in the bath, he screamed and fought. Once he realized he couldn’t overpower me, he looked at me with puppy-dog eyes as if to say: Please Daddy, stop torturing me. My testicles have retreated into my stomach, and I can no longer feel my toes.
After his bath, Keller fell asleep on The Bride’s lap. Despite my protests, she insisted we keep him in our bed. I was exhausted and fell asleep, but my slumber was abruptly ended by a brutal head butt to the bridge of my nose from the maniacal, jerk-off, vampire baby to whom I’d given the gift of life. My nose poured blood and raw anger began to rise within me.
“I told you he didn’t need to sleep in here! Now I’ve got a broken nose! Again! Wake up and look at my bloody, broken nose, woman! This crooked, bloody shit is your fault!”
On Sunday night, I went to bed feeling a lot of anxiety about the coming week. Mondays had long been conspiring to kill my inner child, and I wasn’t sure I could face one without at least four solid hours of sleep, which, unfortunately, I didn’t get. Monday morning, The Bride began coughing and sneezing, and I knew The Suck Monster had infected her. Though living with a sick baby is more difficult than completing a New York Times Sunday Sudoku puzzle while simultaneously rapping the lyrics of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire, living with a sick baby AND a sick wife is even more difficult.
I took refuge in the bathroom to work out a plan for how to best handle dealing with the contagion. Not only was I stressed about the state of my family, but I was anxious about my impending bowel movement. It’d been almost a week since my bowels had seen any action and still fresh in my memory was my hospitalization in Mexico after twenty-one consecutive days of constipation.
Anyway, just as things felt like they were beginning to move, The Bride blasted in and asked me to go buy medicine. Her entrance startled me, and everything clenched up. So, I got up, grabbed a handful of cash, threw on a tank top, sweat pants, and flip-flops, and headed out the door.
While I was driving, she called. “Our little monkey has thrown up on his favorite stuffed teddy bear. Can you get a new one?”
This is the way my passive-aggressive lover gives me orders. This was not a question.
Anyway, while in line at Target with the medicine and stuffed bear, I realized I was about three dollars short. I went back to my car, gathered up a jazillion nickels and pennies, and returned inside to count my change for the cashier: “$2.88, $2.89, $2.90…”
“Come on, buddy, you’re holding up the line!” yelled a customer.
I typically don’t go to Target. I don’t like shopping to begin with and Target depresses me. It smells like stale cigarettes and desperation, and some of the customers look like they might show up on neighborhood sex offender lists. However, on this day, standing in line, counting pennies, unshowered, puffy-eyed, constipated, dressed in something from the Dirtbag Collection by K-Fed, holding a stuffed animal and a vial of medicine that causes drowsiness, I was probably the one giving people the heebie-jeebies.
Eventually, I made it home with Keller’s bear and The Bride’s medicine. I’d come through in the clutch because I was a dad and that’s what dads do. The Bride, however, was less than impressed. “That’s the wrong teddy bear,” she said.
“So?”
“So, he won’t fall asleep if he doesn’t have the right bear. You’ve got to go back.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
She was not kidding.
There’s got to be a way out of this, I thought.
On my return to Target, I briefly considered asking a buddy to call my wife pretending to be a Somali pirate who had kidnapped me. I could disappear to Vegas for a while, and then, once Keller and The Bride were healthy, I’d cut off a finger, return home, and tell the story of how my daring escape from the clutches of death had cost me a finger. I’d be a hero and maybe even get to be on Dr. Phil. But I had a very important meeting that I couldn’t miss, so I didn’t go to Vegas. Instead, I bought Keller’s bear and returned home. When I presented it to him and then bent down to kiss his forehead, he thanked me by sticking two spit covered fingers into my mouth. I felt the plague as it immediately began to grow and mutate inside me.
I sprinted to the bathroom and gargled with rubbing alcohol in an attempt to thwart the virus. After, I was running really late, so I quickly got dressed, took some laxatives, and headed off for my meeting which was with a woman who owned the biggest home health company in Los Angeles County. If my physical therapy business signed a contract with her company, it’d double our size instantly and completely change our lives. So, despite my sleep deprived state, I had to kill it.
I felt that the meeting went well. I left their conference room feeling very confident that I’d have a contract in hand before the weekend. I said my good-byes and left the building. When I stepped outside, I felt a light breeze between my legs.
That’s unusual.
Three doors down, there were two girls pointing at me and giggling. A wave of panic overwhelmed me. I didn’t want to confirm my worst fear, but I had to know. So I looked down.
“Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!”
It wasn’t just that my fly was open, but my Johnny Rotten was peeking out.
I should really start wearing underwear.
I’d completely blown it. I may as well have spent the entire presentation making armpit fart noises and shadow puppets. Distraught, I paced around the parking lot having a two-way dialogue inside my head.
How did I let that happen and not notice? Why did nobody warn me? Maybe she didn’t see it. I mean, she wouldn’t really have let me babble on for an hour with my penis hanging out? She probably didn’t see it.
Wouldn’t it be more embarrassing for me if she didn’t see it?
I should apologize.
Wait. What could you possibly say to make it better? Don’t apologize, just send flowers.
You idiot! You can’t expose yourself to a woman and then send her flowers. You might as well file the sexual harassment papers for her.
Maybe I should own it—make it into a power play. Just walk in there and say, “Yes, ma’am, that was my penis. What about it?
What? No! What kind of moron has thoughts like that?
I’m not even having a good penis day! It was freezing cold in there! I bet her whole office is huddled around the water cooler making dick jokes at my expense!
WHAT THE HELL SHOULD I DO?
What I did was drive away, very fast. On the drive, I stopped at two different coffee shops, getting a triple espresso each time to help me fight off the crushing fatigue that comes from living with a sick baby. Come to think of it, my fatigue was probably the reason I’d forgotten to zip up in the first place.
While driving to my office, I called The Bride to report my miserable failure. “Only you, Matthew,” The Bride said. It’s a phrase she’s used about a thousand times to explain the unexplainable weirdness of my life. She thinks I have bad luck. However, I know better. Weird things happen to me because I have some kind of weird genetic defect that has made me unabashedly uninhibited and I have a brain defect that causes me to bluntly speak my mind, almost always. And the fact that I consistently put myself in weird situations and act impulsively in them doesn’t help matters. I’m hoping for a cure before Keller is old enough to be embarrassed by me but that may not be realistic.
By the time I pulled into my office parking lot, the espressos, combined with the laxatives, had joined forces like the Avengers to take on the constipation monster that was hiding out in my intestines. I got out of the car and sprinted to the bathroom. Of course, as is my luck, a female janitor was cleaning it. I wanted to spare her, but my stomach felt like it was being kicked repeatedly by a gorilla that was wearing steel-toed boots, and there was no way I could wait for the janitor to finish. The only options I had were to run to the McDonalds across the street or use the women’s bathroom.
We do not yet have “all-sex” restrooms at my workplace, like they do in most of California now, and I think this disaster may be exhibit #1 for why they aren’t a great idea.
I chose the women’s restroom because it was closer and my situation was urgent. Besides, the only women who worked on my floor, besides the janitor, worked for me, and I knew they were probably hard at work, wasting time on Facebook. So, I felt I could get in and out of the bathroom without being noticed.
I went in, dropped my pants, and did my business in record time. I’ll spare you the gory details, but about 10% of my body weight fell out of my butt, which may have included a couple vital organs. I cleaned up quickly, but as I was about to exit my stall, the bathroom door opened.
“I gotta go Mom, bye,” said a woman. I knew the voice. It was Rhonda, a petite employee of mine.
Rhonda went into the stall next to me, dropped her green pants around her ankles, and began her business. Meanwhile, I casually lifted my feet from the floor and squatted on the seat to avoid being noticed.
As a man, I’ve lived most my life under the illusion that women do not poop… especially the cute ones. The Bride killed this utopian ideal for me, and petite Rhonda buried it six feet under. Rhonda began farting, loudly, and I feared my Rhonda Experience was about to shatter every myth I’d ever believed regarding the fragile and sweet nature of the female kind.
Rhonda let go of a chorus of farts that sounded as if they were coming from the men’s room of a Carnival cruise for plus size singles on fish taco night. I couldn’t believe all that noise was coming from one tiny woman. After a full minute of listening to her cuss like a drunken sailor who was passing marble-sized kidney stones, Rhonda ran out of gas and began pooping.
With enthusiasm.
“Oh shit!” she yelled.
Sploosh! Schplop! Splash!
Her bombs rained down, sounding like dirty hail stones falling into a lake. The smell began to waft into my stall, and I was able to determine she’d eaten Indian for lunch. Finally, it stopped. Though I was shell-shocked and would need a lobotomy to forget it, I was thankful it was over.
Or so I thought.
But then she started up again.
Nearly ten minutes later, Rhonda finally flushed―
Swoosh!
The nightmare was finally over.
“Oh, oh, oh, oh, sweet child o’ mine,” sang Axl Rose on my cell phone.
I’m pretty certain I was the only guy in the building who had Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine for their ring tone. And I’m pretty sure my staff was aware of this.
“Who’s in here?” Rhonda asked. She sounded embarrassed, yet hostile.
I ignored her.
She asked again.
I tightened my neck muscles, raised my pitch, and, in a voice sounding like Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire, I said, “Mind your own business!”
Rhonda left the bathroom. She’d either bought it or she’d gone to call the cops.
I stayed in the bathroom for about five more minutes, just in case Rhonda was waiting outside. Once I came out, I sprinted to my car. Since I never actually went into my office, nobody was aware that I was even there, which was the only thing I had going for me.
I got in my car, buckled up, and drove straight home. I was angry, embarrassed and fatigued, yet filled with blinding resolve to change things at home. I was going to lay down the law with The Bride and reclaim my throne. No more running to stores and buying stupid-ass baby toys when I had important man’s work to do.

Dear Keller-
Because you wouldn’t let me sleep, I may have a sexual-harassment suit headed my way, and I can never again pretend that women don’t poop.

I got home, parked, walked upstairs, puffed my chest out, and got ready to lay into The Bride. However, as I opened the front door I was overwhelmed by the smell of oyster stew and pan-fried scallops. The Bride, my wonderful wife, found a way to make our sick baby sleep, and then, instead of taking a much-needed nap, she cooked my favorite meal.
“How’d the big meeting go?” she asked.
“Oh, they’ll be talking about my presentation for a very long time,” I said.
Essential Rule of Parenting, #8 — Never, ever, blame the people who love you when things go wrong in your life.
During the week Keller was sick, The Bride and I fought more than we had in the previous five years. That said, we managed to survive a sick baby without killing each other or filing for divorce. Once Keller got better, we kissed and made up, realizing that our fighting had been the byproduct of exhaustion.
Marriage is hard, but in the game of life it’s Candyland Bingo compared to the challenges of parenting a sick baby.

This was a sample chapter from my book, Daddy Versus The Suck Monster. You can get it on Amazon for a dollar. Enjoy!

Be Free. Be Happy. Hump a Pillow.

A dog will sprawl out in front of the television while you’re trying to watch House of Cards, lick and slurp away at his ass-hole, and then jump on the couch, bite a cushion to pin it down so it can’t escape him while he fucks it, and then after, fully exhausted and requitted, he will jump up on your lap and lick your face without even the slightest hint of shame in his happy eyes.

My 5-year-old will walk barefoot off the beach and into the bathroom of the beach restaurant we just ate at so that he can make a poop in their restroom. He will take off all his clothes and put them on the floor because that’s how he does it at home, he will grunt and moan like a poodle that’s trying to give birth to a puppy that is half bulldog, and then, when he’s finished his business, he will come out of the stall, naked, with poo-poo trails running down his arse, and then he will bend over, grab his ankles, show me his dirty butt and yell, “Daddy, wipe my booty butt!” in front of a bathroom full of elderly and wealthy gentlemen in Malibu.

My 7-year-old will sit on the couch while we watch Star Wars and when Princess Lea sits on Jabba The Huts lap in her slave outfit, my boy will pull out his penis and start piddling with it. “Why are you doing that, son?” I’ll ask. And he will. Say, “Because my penis feels funny when I look at her, and it makes it feel better when I do this.” I won’t have a comeback because, yeah, he’s right.

Basically, animals and children live 100% completely free and unencumbered by the social cues that the rest of us pick up on and follow.
This is a key ingredient to their happiness.

Some people probably think I should discipline my kids for this kind of stuff because these things aren’t socially appropriate.
And maybe they’re right.
They’re probably right.

But when I see my boy whip it out to Princess Lea, without a care in the world or any sniff of an idea that there might be something “weird” about it, I feel envious of his ability to be so carefree. The boy knows well enough not to do that at school, which is very important, but why should I care if he tickles his little pickle on the couch. If he’s good with it, I guess I’m good with it.

So no, I don’t discipline them for these kinds of things. I want them to be carefree and unencumbered from the pretense and shame that the rest of us have regarding our bodies.
I mean, eventually, they’ll get it, and they’ll learn to be embarrassed about their bodies just like every Susie and Joe out there. But for now, I just want them to be free and full of life, just like they are, and if it embarrasses The Bride every once in a while… well, I’ll take the heat.

Maybe it’s our social norms and social cues that separate us from animals, but all I know is that dogs and kids seem a lot happier than most grown ups that I know.

 

 

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