In honor of Ellie's first birthday, I've taken it upon myself to share the 13 most important things I've learned over the past 12 months (one to grow on). You should go ahead and take this as gospel.
13. The first 4 weeks of a baby's life can be likened to the Holocaust, Vietnam War or any weekday in Dalfour. You might not make it. In fact, you won't make it.
12. Always look up before raising your child to a level above your head.
11. Baby books are a waste of time and money. All you really need to know is: 1. Under NO circumstances should you feed a baby Mexican food, and 2. If his eyes are still crossed after 6 months of age you have big problems. Everything else is not important.
10. Baby toys are also a waste of money. The only things you need are a remote, a cell phone and a set of car keys. If you don't buy the baby her own she will re-program your television set to only turn on in Russian from the hours of 3am - 5am then dial your Mother and hand you the phone before she drives away in your car.
9. For the first year, skip the shoes. The baby shoes, not the regular people shoes. Of course you are welcome to avoid footwear if you wish, but don't be surprised if you find yourself defending the Confederacy and fishing for sun perch in a public park. With baby shoes you will spend half your day retracing your steps in the supermarket or playing Frogger on the freeway to retrieve that cute little shoe that somehow flew out the back window. Speaking of...
8. It’s easier than you might think to look like white trash. Once on a routine trip to Walgreens I glanced at the giant security camera as I walked in and saw Nick Nolte’s mug shot carrying my baby.
7. This is so cliche, but... it's going to get poop on it. I don't care what "it" is, it's going to happen. Just keep this in the back of your mind when making any purchases. While we're on the subject...
6. The smallest speck of poop can leave a skid mark up to 4 feet long. Extra caution must be exercised with removal from clothing, furniture, car seats and the dining table at Arby’s. Oh, you don’t want me to change my baby on your dining table? Then stop being a tight ass and get a Koala Care changer in your bathroom, jerk. And, the last thing about poop I promise...
5. Mashed carrots look the exact same coming out as going in. No matter how you try to prepare yourself, it will always shock the shit out of you when you open that diaper to a neon orange turd.
4. Around 7 or 8 months she'll say the word "mama" and within minutes she'll figure out that after saying this word you'll give her anything she wants or do anything she asks. Try to stay strong, my friends - she will rarely use her powers for good.
3. Don't bother with traditional baby proofing methods. Babies are like Houdini. You'll spend hours of frustration drilling cabinet latches and installing baby gates only to step out of the bathroom to find him sitting on a stack of your Grandmother's fine china juggling outlet covers and balancing a butcher knife on his nose. The proper way to baby proof is to smear green beans all over anything you want him to avoid.
2. Babies don’t two shits if you’re hung over. If it’s 4am and there’s something in their diaper that looks like a dead squirrel and smells like the trash can in a Thai restaurant, they want it fixed. Right now. Not in ten minutes, right now.
1. From Nick: You can always pretend to be asleep longer than your wife when you’re hung over and the baby is crying at 4am.