August 04, 2010

How Could I Forget?

With over ten months of experience under my belt now of being a father, I can confidently look back over those months and declare I have absolutely no recollection of about 90 percent of the time that's passed by.

In fact, one of the most common questions my wife and I ask each other on practically a daily basis is: "What did we do yesterday?" After asking that question, we both sit in a confused silence for several seconds, trying to come up with an answer.

Having an infant in the house is a more powerful mental eraser than any bar-hopping weekend bender I went on back in college.

The second my head hits the pillow at night, I can actually feel my brain scouring itself of any memories consisting of waking up at 4 a.m., changing a diaper or hearing my boy fuss. The only memories I'm left with come morning are those that consist of of baby smiles and laughs.

It's all a pretty clever evolutionary trick that ensures you'll at least consider the possibility of having another child. If all you can remember are the cute and precious moments, you're more likely to try for another diaper troll.

And it's not limited to just selective recollection on the part of my brain, either. This being the digital age, we have a digital camera and video player at our disposal at any given moment. Yet, amazingly, going through thousands of pictures and hundreds of videos recently, I couldn't find one that put our child in a negative light. Any such negative portrayal was apparently deleted right away, if any such portrayal was ever recorded at all.

As amazing as all this selectiveness is, I nevertheless think it's entirely unfair and doesn't accurately capture the true essence of raising a miniature squirming mad-man.

Therefore, I'm going to make a solid effort to rectify this strange quirk of parenthood that insists on remembering and capturing only the cute and precious moments.

The next time the boy pees on me while I'm changing his diaper--and believe me, it will happen at least five times in the next three days--I'm going to capture the moment on video, so I can sit back and relive the moment a couple months down the line and hear myself scream out in helplessness and swear as I send yet another pile of urine-soaked clothes down the laundry chute.

The next time the boy refuses to eat his liquified peas, and instead grabs the spoon from my hand and proceeds to paint his face dark green, including filling up his nose and ears, I'm going to take several pictures of Little Oscar the Grouch, so I don't forget how hard it is to clean out a baby's ears.

The next time I accidentally leave the boy alone in a room with a box of envelopes, I'll be sure to capture video of the aftermath, so I remember what it's like to pick up over 100 envelopes one by one and put them back in a box that's 70 percent soaked in baby drool.

In other words, I'm going to overcome evolution's clever forgetfulness trick so I can at least make a fully informed decision when it comes to considering another child.

And then my wife will decide for me.

Posted by Ryan at August 4, 2010 10:17 PM | TrackBack
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