I dream of (a diaper) genie
by Barry L. Levy
I should be a shittier father. This is not to say that I’m a good one, by the way. Frankly, there are days when our kids wouldn’t suggest I’m even close to adequate. I’m a workaholic. I can be a bit selfish. A bit short tempered. Critical. Easily annoyed. A little on the cheap side —
Truth is, I got lucky. And no, I’m not talking about that schmaltzy crap about how my kids were born with a halo and a harp. I was there — south of the border — for all 3 kids and let me assure you, there were no wings, no heavenly glow. Just some amniotic fluid and medically speaking, a helluva lot of goo.
No, I got lucky because I got forced by circumstances into duty…we had twins.
My wife hates when I say this, but I firmly believe if we’d had only one kid right out of the gate, I would’ve coasted. Punted. Done less. Because I could’ve.
Except with twins…and no extended family around, you’re screwed. You will be sleep deprived. You will be overwhelmed. And if you’re not, it’s only because your wife is doing it all for you.
Because twins mean — Twice the diapers. Twice the feedings. Twice the need for that “Go the F-K to Sleep” book. Even expenses…they’re at least twice as much. And while there may be less expensive ways of managing, I can assure you that my wife colluded with the universe to beat the living “cheap” out of me. Right from the start too: you want to breast feed two preemies…the world has created “Lactation Experts” who will gladly inform you of your wife’s unenviable task of feeding each baby for 30 minutes, every two hours, around the clock. Even now, some five years later, that seems absurd.
And when you haven’t slept in 48 hours, there really is no hourly fee too high for night help. Although my wife and I are still haunted by the moment when our night nurse observed that we helped provide her with new floors for her house, a new car, and…
I stopped listening after that. Floors!? Are you kidding me!?
However, at some point, I got wind of my own stupidity. I had that epiphanic moment where I realized that there is nothing more important than my little rug rats. Maybe it was the nanny who kicked our cat in the head…or the one who left our house keys in the mail box and sent us a text to tell us where to find them…or even the interviewee whose Aunt Flo stained our couch. (All sad but true.)
At a certain point it occurred to me that life was not simply better the more I got involved, it was remarkable.
It’s amazing how quickly (and even absurdly) we can fall in love with our children. The day when my girl expressed all three different bodily functions on me isn’t a cautionary tale of parenting, but a testament to my involvement. Just like the days spent caring for my sick child. And having spent my first eleven days as a parent tending to my twins in the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t say a blessing of thanks for their lives. I make sure that we spend our weekends together — not just on the soccer fields or in the ballet studios…but playing together and hanging out.
Not a night goes by when reading to them isn’t as much for my own enjoyment as it is for theirs…
Of course, if I have to read Dora’s bedtime stories one more fucking time…I might just kill myself.
Hey, I never said I was perfect.Tags: Hollywood, New dad, Parenting, Screenwriter, Twins