The exhausted father begins to drift off into the peaceful bliss of sleep after hours of dirty diapers and tummy time…
Wait. Does my baby have a hat?
She was wearing the one we stole from the birthing center, right? The gauche nylon number, not the hemp Yo Gabba Gabba bonnet that makes her scream.
Yes. I remember taking it off the reclaimed birch wood diaper caddy.
He forces his eyes closed, nestling deeper into his alpaca throw…
But did I? Son of a bitch.
It won’t slow her cognitive development, will it? Chill her neurons or something? I’ll be damned if my daughter falls on the wrong side of the bell curve because she’s not wearing a fucking hat. She better crawl before all those other playdate fuckwits.
Of course, I could just see her hat if we’d gotten the goddamned video baby monitor. But noooo, Mommy says having too many electronics “discourages mindfulness.” God forbid she live without her Roomba. When you end up Cornell class of ’34, Emerson, it’ll be because Mommy froze your tiny newborn brain.
I mean, we brought a whole artisanal cheese clock to Margot’s gallery opening. The least she can do is get us an DeluxePlus HD Monitor with Infrared. Instead of another fucking Our Bodies, Ourselves board book. They practically give those things away at The Bump.
Christ. I haven’t even watched the season of Downton Abbey I torrented.
Fuck it. She’s fine without a hat.
He cracks a Coconut Water and starts Downton on his MacBook Air. Then immediately turns it off.
How bad can it be? I drank formula. From a BPA bottle, while sleeping on my stomach, vaccines coursing through my veins. And I turned out fine. Hell, I’m a HuffPo Contributor! Practically.
And guess what, Mommy? Lady Mary makes my dick hard. I confess. The Dowager Countess is great, sure, but I don’t watch the show for Maggie Smith. You got a problem with that? Then get your doula to wipe the poop from the folds of your daughter’s labia.
He angrily opens the trashcan and stares longingly at a crumpled pack of American Spirits he threw away weeks ago.
So what if I don’t know “What to Expect?” So I’m not “Baby Wise?” Millions of years of evolution taught me everything I need to know. Malcolm Gladwell said so — delightfully! — in a Talk of the Town or something. Maybe it was David Grann? Either way, she doesn’t need a hat.
And she has one on anyway.
He desperately listens for breathing over the (non-video) monitor.
He runs to the nursery, throws open the door, and stares at his baby daughter. Without a hat.
Oh, pumpkin! You’re cold!
He instinctively cradles the tiny infant in his arms, cooing to her, as much a baby as she is…
Then checks his iPhone.