MaxBarry.com
all things to some people

Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Fri 09
Sep
2005

Who’s Your Daddy?

Max Ooh baby!Oh, I have got it bad.

I think she’s cute when she’s screaming in my ear. I think her poos are cute. I love her to death even when I’m getting out of bed for the fourth time that night.

Yes, I think I’m about done as a contributing member of society. It’s all about obsessing over my kids now.

Here’s what has surprised me so far about being a parent:

  • The amount of time I spend staring at her butt. I mean, not just from a distance. Up close and personal. Usually wiping things off it. And I realize that my parents must have spent plenty of time staring at my butt. That’s a little disconcerting.
  • When I’m carrying her down the street, I expect everyone I pass to drop to their knees and cry, “Dear God, that’s the most beautiful child I’ve ever seen! Please, tell me how I can join the religion that you must be founding to worship her!” If they don’t, I get a little miffed.
  • I’m suddenly saying things like, “No, I got a good sleep last night, six hours all up.” Previously, six hours sleep would have left me with barely enough energy to drool. Now I’m functional on four.
  • How fast I got used to being called “Daddy.” I knew it was coming, of course, but it felt completely weird. And then suddenly it didn’t.
  • Her smell. Why are companies not duplicating this and selling it as perfume or air freshener or something? It’s the most incredible thing.
  • The amazing frequency with which she waits until the split-second when there’s no bib/nappy/diaper and then spits up/poos/wees/all of the above. I mean, come on. This is way past coincidence. It has to be some kind of baby in-joke.
  • How scared I am that something might happen to her. Before she was born, I saw ads for products like the electronic monitoring sheet you put under baby’s mattress to sound an alarm if she seems to stop breathing, and thought they were just nasty attempts to turn parental fears into cash. I still think that, but now I also think I might buy their products.
  • How few photos I have of her when she’s awake. Because when she’s awake, I’m doing something with her. So I have about a hundred photos and they’re all of her sleeping.

Thanks so much for all your congratulations. I love being able to share this. More photos to come! I’ll even try to get some with her eyes open.

Update: Added one of my favorite pics. And I thought of two more things:

  • She didn’t look familiar. For some reason, I expected her to look like someone I already knew… I guess because by the time she was born I’d spent so much time talking to Jen’s belly and imagining what she’d be like, I felt I did know her. Instead she just looked like a totally real but completely unfamiliar baby.
  • How strong she is! If I had that kind of strength-to-body-weight ratio, I’d be out solving crimes in a leotard.

Comments

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Machine Man subscriber Danni Brennand (#357)

Location: England
Quote: "Eagerly awaiting the European Tour."
Posted: 3298 days ago

I felt exactly the same when Samantha was born... welcome to parenthood :)

Anita Heiney (#292)

Location: Richmond, VA USA
Quote: "I came. I signed up. I got an error."
Posted: 3298 days ago

Ahh, that's so sweet. (Everything except the "staring at the butt" part. That's kinda skeeving me out.)

I also noticed your "It’s all about obsessing over my kids now" -- KIDS with an S. Freudian slip?? Is there something that you haven't told us Max(x)???

Remember, WE'RE WATCHING YOU ...

Easy (#621)

Location: St Louis, MO - USA
Quote: "Number 621 just friggin' ROCKS!"
Posted: 3298 days ago

Oh, it's all wonderful now, but before you know it she'll be rolling her eyes and smarting off and making you wonder why you ever thought she was cute in the first place.

*sigh*

But then she climbs into your lap, even though she's practically full grown, puts her arms around your neck and says, "I love you Daddy", and it all comes back to you.

A damned roller coaster is what it is.

Machine Man subscriber Kramy (#818)

Quote: ""it's the way of the future""
Posted: 3298 days ago

Congrats! It's amazing what having a kid does to people! I love that Seinfeld episode where the parents have that really ugly baby but they think its so cute. I hope that doesn't happen with my kids - it has't happened with your's Max!

Greg Karber (#1568)

Location: gregkarber.com
Posted: 3298 days ago

Yes, an elaborate baby in-joke. Your mind is scrubbed when you hit the age of three, that's why you rarely have any memories before that. Think about that. Think about it.

Robert (#413)

Location: Los Angeles
Quote: "A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Posted: 3298 days ago

Awwwwwww

Erin (#1481)

Location: Seattle
Quote: "Living is easy with eyes closed"
Posted: 3298 days ago

I hope she's not spitting up, pooing, and weeing all at once. That would freak me out! Other than that, it sounds like you're settling into the "dad groove" quite well! I'm proud of you.

Zoomy (#1546)

Location: Outside Glasgow
Posted: 3298 days ago

Spitting up, pooing and urinating all at once? Dude, who washes the blankets???

isserley (#1320)

Location: Madrid, Spain
Quote: "I am an elegance bigot. If I’m going to sit in front of this thing for hours a day, I want to feel the intelligence that went into my OS. I want to sense that an English major lost sleep over the wording of the menus. - David Pogue, 06/1998"
Posted: 3298 days ago

all the best dude.
The one thing that freaked me out when Marek "appeared" (some 2.2 years old now) was all that skin between chin and chest (i.e. throat) - In case you didn´t notice yet, Max, take a look - Then again, Marek might be one of a kind ;))

Machine Man subscriber Katrina (#847)

Location: SF, CA
Quote: "Good sex is like good Bridge: if you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand." -- Mae West"
Posted: 3298 days ago

Enjoy the sweet smells while it lasts. And give us pics soon please. :)

Of course you need to buy all those electronic gadgets and special toys. Then you can show off to all the other parents.

Best of luck!

davesgonechina (#1035)

Location: New Jersey
Quote: "One word: nappies"
Posted: 3298 days ago

First there was Syrup, now there is Company...

Coming in 2009: Diaper?

Congratulations all around, especially to Finlay Jo: you have Max right where you want him. Keep it up and there might just be a pony in it for you.

Cupie (#1396)

Location: Seattle-ish
Quote: ""You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think." -Dorothy Parker"
Posted: 3298 days ago

You are so blessed!

Rod McBride (#688)

Location: Gardner, KS
Quote: "www.MidwestRockLobster.blogspot.com"
Posted: 3298 days ago

All those charming things (the smell for instance) are a survival mechanism. You've surely killed rodents who caused you less trouble and expense. But the fact that you fall ass over teakettle for your kid right off saves their necks when they put permanent dings in family heirlooms worth more than you earn in a year, for instnace.

Jonah (#1462)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "That little story your writing... with the developing plot... and the antagonist..."
Posted: 3298 days ago

Well, the fun comes when she begins to walk.

metalbiteme (#1495)

Location: WALES UK
Quote: "Welcome to nowhere fast. Nothing here ever lasts."
Posted: 3298 days ago

Yea, walking... scary! Thats when she'll be into, EVERYTHING.

Babies have the lovelest butts don't they?

Picto (#64)

Location: United Kingdom
Quote: "Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light? - Maurice Freehill"
Posted: 3296 days ago

Haha, lovely. Gosh, I was a baby 15 years ago. That's scary to think that people stared at my butt for 1/4 of the time. Be thankful though Max, I gave my mum hell - kicking her when I was inside, then screaming non-stop when I came out, and then giving my parents a maximum of 2 hours sleep EVERY night for the next 4 years. Life was joyous, I was born hyperactive. I ended up on diets to help me out lol. I can still function on 2 hours sleep, just not the way I used to anymore. At least you're getting some sleep. Enjoy.

Henry T. Monkeypimpenstein (#1212)

Location: Wellington, NZ
Quote: "Monkeypimp: Geeky enough to use his lame NS forum name here too."
Posted: 3295 days ago

The real fun comes when she's 15 and dodgy guys start turning up wanting to 'take her out'.

Machine Man subscriber Bushra (#36)

Location: Fremont, California
Quote: "www.caffeinatedmuslim.com"
Posted: 3295 days ago

I read a while ago that the nice baby smell comes from all the drooling they do. Something about how saliva counteracts bad breath. Although, don't quote me on that.

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 3294 days ago

Yep, enjoy the next few years. She'll think you know everything and can do anything. Then, suddenly, she'll think you know nothing and can do nothing (right)... and she'll happily tell you so every day!

Andrew (#899)

Location: England - 7th State of the EU
Quote: "History never repeats itself; at best it sometimes rhymes - Mark Twain"
Posted: 3294 days ago

erm, shes a few days and calling you "daddy" already, sounds like one bright kid youve got there Max :P. Anyways, congrats on that, im sure its lovely to be parent i love babies but after about two i lose interest...

Sophie (#891)

Location: Devon
Posted: 3292 days ago

Wow ... I'm glad you're both so happy! It must be so strange having a newborn child and not knowing what they're going to do when they grow up - what they're going to look like, what they're going to be interested in, what their career will be, all that stuff. There must be so much anticipation!
And on a side note, I saw you mention corporate tattoos before, so I thought I'd show you this very cool Apple logo tattoo -
http://www.usedtothink.com/hardcore.jpg
It actually looks rather pretty, I think.

Machine Man subscriber Dieter Lunn (#1363)

Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Posted: 3286 days ago

My 5 month old neice is just adorable and all the things you describe do happen. You go to change them and go through 3 diapers cause they aren't finished yet or decide to go number 2 after number 1. Once she gets to be able 3 months and starts smiliing you will not be able to stop looking at her if you can't already.

Bonnie McDonald (#1138)

Location: Florida
Quote: ""You may be on the B Squad, but you're the B Squad leader""
Posted: 3274 days ago

Wow, it's hard to believe that your baby girl is already almost 6 weeks old! I can't believe how fast time flies. However, it is obvious that you have a newborn. There has been a serious decrease in blog postings. It's all forgiveable though. I have 2 toddlers and a 3 month old, and I can barely find the time to read your posts. I'm wondering how the Syrup script is coming? Were you able to finish it before the baby arrived?

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 3274 days ago

Need...Max...to...post...I...need...somewhere...to...blog...

Karen (#245)

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Quote: "It takes more muscles to frown than to smile, but I like my face to be fit."
Posted: 3272 days ago

Glad to hear things are going so well! It makes such a nice change to see a man in touch with his sentimental side :-) Seriously, once again, all the very best.

Kate (#422)

Location: Over there, on the left. No, wait, your OTHER left!
Quote: "I like Vin Diesel's man-boobs. They appeal to the lesbian in me."
Posted: 3269 days ago

Babies are the loveliest things! I even turn to putty over ones that aren't mine! Good luck, and if you ever need a babysitter, I've got quite a reputation as the best babysitter ever.

Robert (#413)

Location: Los Angeles
Quote: "A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Posted: 3260 days ago

That's about the funniest baby picture I've ever seen.

blab (#1632)

Location: The Sandwich Isles
Quote: "Adventure is just poor planning"
Posted: 3258 days ago

Belated congratulations, Max. I haven't been around because like you, I've got a new addition. You'll know you've seen the face of Nirvanian bliss when your baby is suckling and eliminating at the same time. It doesn't get much better than that, eh? *grin*

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 3232 days ago

Wow that's a very interesting picture of your youngin'! Do you have a particularly frightening camera or what? I guess at that age it's all a bit of a worry, strange people leaning over you, making strange faces and talking nonsense while flashing bright lights at you. A feeling of some unease, perhaps even worry, is just sensible under the circumstances I suppose.

Yubi Shines (#1664)

Location: Canada
Quote: "HOPE RIDES ALONE!"
Posted: 3221 days ago

Bit late, but... D'awwwww.

I wonder, in some years when she's old enough to use the internet, if she'll be like, "DAD!! Why do you have a picture me as a baby on your WEBSITE??"

Teehee. She's adorable though. :)

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