How long can I use ‘new daddy’ as a excuse?

I have watched my son Tristan grow from a helpless blob of baby goo into a sweet and silly toddler. That’s right. He is a toddler. He walks, talks (well, he thinks he is talking) points, plays, laughs, is sweet and can cause all sorts of trouble.

He is 15 months old, almost too old to be counting in months. Meaning soon he will just be “one and a half” or “two.” As I stop telling people his age in months, I also have stopped being able to say other things. Less and less frequently I tell people how I was up half the night, how I can’t get two minutes to brush my teeth, and how I can’t set the boy down long enough to do anything.

As my son gets older, he becomes more independent. As he gets more independent, I begin to return to a “normal” life. And as I return to my normal life, I have fewer excuses to explain myself.

There he is. My little “crutch” all decked out in his whale outfit. Sometimes it’s hard to pin the blame on him but it has to be done.

For the past 15 months when I have done something stupid, I have been able to throw my baby under the bus, so to speak.

When Tristan was a newborn I wasn’t sleeping much (or at all). My schedule was a mess. I wasn’t eating right, thinking clearly or getting anything done.  But that was all fine. I was a new daddy. Everyone understood and cut me a break. People went out of their way to try and make my life easier because they knew how insane things were.

What excuse do I have now?

I sleep a pretty consistent six to seven hours each night. My son rarely wakes up unless he isn’t feeling well (which is hardly ever), so I don’t have sleep deprivation to fall back on as an excuse the way I used to when I forgot things.

Just today, I asked a friend how his daughter was (he has a son) and mistook a woman for a man. Earlier this week I couldn’t remember the name of a coworker I share an office with. The coworker isn’t even new to the company. This is not a unique coincidence. This is a normal week. I regularly insert my foot into my mouth, forget people’s names and am generally an inconsiderate person.

Is it still “baby brain” or am I just a jerk oblivious to the world around me?

Not only does my son sleep through the night but he goes to bed early — usually between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. I have plenty of time in the evening to clean the house, work on improvement projects or catch up on reading. Am I doing any of that? Ummmmmmm, no. What I am doing is cleaning the ice cream out of the freezer, working on my “Family Guy” trivia knowledge and catching up on the day’s Facebook happenings.

So can’t blame the kid for me being stupid or lazy, and the same goes for me being out of shape.  I gave up going to the gym when he was born and last year he would cry when I would try to take to take him running. My son now likes it when I toss him in the stroller and go for a long jog. Meaning now I only have beer and the wings at Hero’s to blame for me being out of shape.

I’m hoping I can ride the wave of “blame the baby” for a little longer. At least until after summer and I can transfer the blame to the cold dark pain that is Maine winter. Or maybe I should just get my act together, pay attention and get motivated. But that will have to wait because right now there is ice cream in the freezer and Facebook gossip to catch up on.




Pat Lemieux

About Pat Lemieux

Pat has it all, family, big old house, dogs, a young son and a quarter-life crisis. He blogs about trying to be who he has always been and be who he now needs to be. He enjoys 90's grunge metal, tasty local brews and the outdoors.