eat your paisley!


First off, all of you are amazing. A baby is born every seven seconds, and to have so many of you take the time to share our particular moment has been very thick frosting on an already-fabulous angel food cake. We’re printing out the comments and emails to be enshrined in her baby book for time immemorial.

I’ve always been very conscious of “how I was being received,” so conscious, in fact, that after a few years of writing the Wednesday’s Child column at UNC, I stopped putting what year in school I was, just so the freshmen would still listen. I’d like to make a similar caveat here: I didn’t want this to become a Look At My Baby Blog. That’s great for Dooce (who does it well) and many others, but those kinds of diaries always used to bum me out after a while. I still need to appeal to my East Village Hipster demographic, god dammit!

HOWEVER: it is damn well nigh impossible to think of much else right now. The rigors of a newborn baby are predictably intense, and although I always wanted to have a family (due to some latent Mormonism in my DNA), I don’t think I ever actually thought it could happen. So I’m discovering things in miles per second squared, and if I don’t put it on here, in some ways, I’m afraid I’ll forget.

God, I was so full of shit. I used to believe the following:

– any girl that used the phrase “my boyfriend” was a pathetic affirmation vulture

– wedding rings were nothing but ownership chains used by insecure couples to taunt single people

– golf was for incontinent 80-year-olds with poop running out of their kilts.

I have now transgressed all of those, and one more: back in my twenties, I used to glaze over with abject boredom the second anyone started talking about their babies. So trust me when I say this – if you come on here and think I’m doing nothing but blabber “BABY BABY blah blah BABY BABY squirt BABY” then I feel your pain.

But that’s just too fucking bad. I may not have one single original thought on the subject, but I promise to try and still be entertaining. I will adhere to the following rules:

1. poop is funny once, but boring and slightly sickening the fifteenth time

2. all babies kind of look the same. I mean, really. (except for mine)

3. I am not going to be Wacky Dad like Dave Barry, Soulful Dad like Paul Reiser or Moses Dad like Bill Cosby

4. I know how to put on a diaper and have since I was five, when I used to change my little sister. So no “bumbling dad” diaper jokes (see rule 1)

5. I will Photoshop out any of T’s boobs that happen to spill into the picture

6. I will not refer to my baby’s weight as a sign of my virility (yes, people do that)

7. a pacifier is a pacifier, not a “binky.” A blanket is a fucking blanket. WORDS MEAN THINGS.

8. I will not dress Lucy in a onesie with a bitchin’ ’75 Camaro on the front and a hat that says “Kid Vicious” and then take a picture.

Well, actually, I probably will do that.

0 thoughts on “eat your paisley!

  1. oliver

    Hey, Ian: Don’t forget the Beatles. It’s O.K. if history will recall there as the early XTCian, the middle and the late. You’ll always have fans. Go goo-goo, if that’s what you enjoy–you’ll do it your way, I’m sure…and we’ll cope just like our forefathers when Dylan went electric.

  2. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    You gotta admire a man who admits to having been full of it!
    Yes, please give us an update re: Chopes. Perhaps a Lucy and Chopes photo. Be sure and give him lots of attention. Believe me, you don’t want a spiteful dog getting into the Diaper Genie, or wrecking other such havoc.

  3. Caroline

    What is it with the word “binky”?? The only time I’ve ever heard it was on an episode of Sex and the City where Debbie is looking for Brady’s “binky”, while Miranda is hiding under the bed – and it took me several minutes to realize she was referring to his pacifier. Is that a New York thing???

  4. Tanya

    Oh yeah. WORD on the binky, blankie, pee pee, etc. I hate that shit. (I especially detest my mother-in-law’s use of the words “geen beens” when trying to get Caleb to eat his favorite vegetable. Love the woman, though.)
    And speaking of pre-baby mindsets, I remember having ALL the right answers on How To Raise Children prior to becoming a parent. God (or whomever) has a funny way of making you eat your words.

  5. JodyK

    A friend from Brooklyn first made a comment about our son ‘being on the binky’ thereby setting up his nickname for 9 years now. Most pacifiers are manufactured by Binky Toys. Quite a few people in the south have had the nickname, but further investigation shows that they have no idea it refers to a pacifier or brand. That’s the story from A’ville, so like Caroline I assume it’s a NY thing.

  6. cathie

    when i worked at a hospital in new york, the cribs of the newborns whose parents did not want them to have pacifiers had signs that said ‘no nooks’.
    i had no idea what that meant. i thought they meant ‘no nukes’ and that they were budding political activists….

  7. Beth

    Re: “binkies” (binkys?)–my brother and sister-in-law in Wisconsin called their daughter’s pacifier a binky. So I don’t think it’s strictly regional. And re: number 6)–wouldn’t the baby’s weight be an indicator of the *mother’s* virility? (I’m still in awe of Tessa’s achievement.)

  8. Beth again

    p.s.: Ian, I think most people come here not to read about a particular subject matter but to enjoy the way your mind works on any subject, and the beautiful and funny way you express it. Babies away (aweigh? ahoy? never mind, I need caffeine), we’re all with you for the ride, wherever you go.

  9. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    I have one piece of advice to dispense. If Lucy wants a pacifier, give her a pacifier. Helen loved them, and it, well, pacified her when she needed to be calmed! And she has grown into a well-adjusted, self-confident 5 year old who has mastered the skills of self-soothing!
    I know there are a lot of No Nook parents out there, and it always reminds me of a little boy named Jason, from Helen’s first day care center. Jason’s parents were No Nookers, and they would send in some pacifier alternatives, such as a frozen bagel or a kosher pickle (yes, a big, smelly, sticky pickle) for Jason to chew on. None of the alternatives suited him. While the other babies happily sucked themselves to sleep, Jason would scream bloody murder all day, covered in sticky, yucky pickle juice. He was a very unhappy baby.
    I will try to hold back on the advice front. Feel free to take it or leave it. Oh, and I should warn you with a disclaimer: During my time as a mother of a newborn, I was pro-pacifier, anti-family bed, and anti-Ferber sleep method. And, horror of horrors, I DID NOT WANT TO BREASTFEED. Never tried it, didn’t want to. Helen was formula-fed from day one. I guess all this makes me a Throw-Back to the 1960’s Mom, rather than a Mom For the New Millenium, but hey, do what works for you and yours! You will quickly figure out what parenting theories to follow and which ones to trash.

  10. CL

    Eh, write about whatever you want. I know you will do it in a thoughtful way.
    As long as you throw in a reference to Q*Bert & Qix now and then for us old-skoolers….
    I sometimes agree with this:
    – any girl that used the phrase “my boyfriend” was a pathetic affirmation vulture

  11. Betsy

    Ok, fine. People who say binky and paci and blanky are dumb. I agree, because now that my son approaches 3 those precious tools have long lost their cache. Now, we say ‘milky’, ‘lunchy’ , ‘dolly’ ‘mommy’ ‘schooly’, and about ten thousand other words with cute curly tailed y’s on the end. You just MIGHT manage #7 while you’re in charge of the words, but it’s going to fall, and you’ll have to eat your words just like you’re swallowing that ‘poopy kilty grampy golfy’ stuff now, when Lucy enters language aquisition and starts making the words herself, at which point you are going to parrot ‘milky’ ‘dolly’ ‘chopsey’ and any other totally darling lucyism that she tosses at you with a tilt of the head and blinky of the eye. It might even happen earlier. Let’s see if she gets attached to a softy wofty blankie wanky woowoo.

  12. scruggs

    Laurie, good points, very true. Advice will come from all sides and views, but one will quickly develop a filter to pick and choose what sounds good. Maybe I can serve as a balance as we never used the pacifer (well, he never wanted it else had he and it did the trick, you bet we would have been on board!), entertain some aspects of the family bed (our son comes in b/w4 and 6, but we like the extra time as we’re apart all day), were anti-Ferber but had to suck it up and try it for one 3 day stretch when he was 1 with glorious success, and was a big breastfeeding fan. It just worked for me, liked the bonding, much easier in the end than bottles, and I am very cheap, so free was also a plus! Of course, our 2yr old is a daycare kid, and I’m sure some would have something to say about that! To each his own.
    On a non-baby note, I thought about this blog’s many music entries when our local radio station had an IRS weekend to celebrate tax day. They only played IRS label records (Police, REM, countless other indies) all weekend. Great tunes.

  13. Alan

    Not only will you take the photo of her in a onesie with a bitchin’ ’75 Camaro on the front and a hat that says “Kid Vicious” but you will secretly desire then openly advocate for adult size onesies with special beer totes attached at the hip. You will want one with Trans-Am on the back and some Led Zep badges sewn on.
    Congrats, by the way, and…umm…is Lucy short for Lucille? That would be a bitchin’ name but if it is, did you tell your good wife or just rig the birth certificate yourself, expecting the truth to come out only when it is time for school?

  14. KJF

    More on the avalanche of advice you will receive…..take it all in politely. Most of it will be absolutely useless and based on some other parents needs to justify their parenting choices (self doubt levels skyrocket once you have a kid!) but some of it will be very practical and helpful (like when someone taught me how to roll the baby when you dress him/her!) You will soon learn how to tell the difference. Trust your instincts and Lucy will also let you know what works for her!! Enjoy these early days of parenthood. They are like nothing else you will ever experience.

  15. Caroline

    Well, I have to weigh in and say that “blanky/blankie” is not really so bad, because it kind of segues into “Blanky/Blankie” – which is one’s blanket’s proper name, like Bob or Susan or Spot or whatevs.
    If you were like me as a child, then you believed(believe???!?!?) that Blanky was a semi-animate being, and that Blanky was his name, capital B and all. Just to keep in mind.
    Binky, though, is still an icky word.

  16. Big Daddy

    Another piece of advice: Read one parenting book, absorb the principles that make sense to you, and ignore the rest of what’s in the book. And for god’s sake, don’t read another, because every parenting book out there contradicts every other parenting book. (And several don’t just contradict the others, they actively attempt to make you feel awful for even reading the others.) The goal of the parenting book industry is to drive new parents plumb bonkers.

  17. Chris

    We hope and plan to have a baby soon. I mean, we *want* a baby! You guys make me think I’ll be joining a parenting cult containing odd rituals.

  18. suzanne

    Hey Tessa and Ian,
    We just now saw the pics of baby Lucy and the two of you (lee and I were visiting St Lucia of all places). She is just so beautiful. Congratulations you guys. We love you!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.