In April of this year, my wife and I welcomed a bouncing baby girl into the family. Normally you would say, Yeah, so do millions of other families. So what? Well, the difference here is I am a young 58 year old. Yes, in case you’re wondering, my wife is very much my junior. So I have joined the likes of David Letterman, Bruce Willis and Kelsey Grammar. In fact, if I lived in Hollywood, I would be automatically promoted to the ‘A’ list. But instead I have been elected chief bottle washer.
I have two grown children and of course they support us 100 percent — but, my, how things have changed. Where did all these baby necessities come from in the past 30 years? It’s not just bottles these days but designer feeding dispensing units. And diapers, well, those are now more competitive and confusing than picking out Wrangler, Levi or other designer jeans. Let’s not even go into clothes. Shopping for clothes for my wife was bad; now, it’s intolerable. As a guy I can’t even go there without nightmares at night. And for the sake of all men’s sanity, please don’t ask about the bling.
Don’t misunderstand, I love my daughter. Hearing a baby laugh will fill your heart in an instant, but it’s exhausting. I really don’t know how young single parents manage. Both my Wife and I work full time jobs and normally get home around 7 p.m. First, we have to pick up the baby from day care. What happened to the next-door babysitters? We actually went on a waiting list when my wife got pregnant just to insure a placement in the “best day care program” — nine months in the future. And the cost? I now work for the babysitting.
When we get home, I put the soiled clothes with special detergent in the washer, stack the dirty bottles — oh sorry, “feeding dispensing units” — in the sterilizer, change the baby from school clothes to home clothes, prepare the bath, feed the baby, change the designer diapers about three more times and put on the sleeper of the day followed by the matching sleep sack. This is just my routine. My wife is doing dinner, our clothes, checking accounts and all the other household chores, plus making sure I didn’t mess something up like throwing the dirty diaper into the clothes hamper. Yeah, it happens.
I now understand why the ’60′s’ TV families all had live-in maids. Like Hazel or Alice or Mr. French. Now if you have the money you can import one from France with some designer title I can’t pronounce. But that really isn’t a viable option because you have to deal with the Immigration Department. So, if you’re late in life and trying to decide between a baby or retirement, good luck. Me, I wouldn’t give up my Daughter for anything in this life. I just wish I could find a Hazel.