While flipping through some late-night TV during one of Parker's early morning feedings, I came across a stand-up routine by comedian Jeff Foxworthy. Although I've never been a big fan of the whole "You might be a redneck if ..." infinite series of jokes, about halfway through his routine the light bulb of inspiration clicked on inside my head.
I realized that not unlike Foxworthy's "rednecks" - his term, of course, not mine - new parents do a lot of stupid and silly things, too, which are just as funny and nonsensical. Panic, anxiety and overreaction seem to come hand-in-hand with the job; add in the sleep deprivation and the scenario is ripe with comedic possibility.
So, in the spirit of Foxworthy, I bring you some examples of "You might be a new parent if ..."
You're so tired that you leave the room to accomplish a goal but consistently forget what you wanted to do once you get there.
The first time you hurt your baby is the most traumatic experience ever (for you, not the baby).
There's an unspoken rivalry with your significant other regarding who has taken care of the baby more that day, which quickly resonates with a spoken rivalry that night regarding whose turn it is to get up with the baby.
You constantly think you smell your baby's poop in random places. Like in the car. Even when he's not in the car. Or in the common kitchen area at work. Or at the grocery store. Where is that smell coming from, anyway?
You've accepted that you will never eat a meal at the same time as your spouse - ever.
You've posted 10,000 photos of your baby on Facebook in his first week alive.
You think to yourself, "If one more person at work asks me how this baby is, I'm going to strangle someone."
It takes longer to pack the baby for a trip than to pack yourself.
Your pediatrician's phone number shows up in your call log more than your spouse's.
You try and cram your entire adult life in between the time the baby goes to bed and when you go to sleep, which typically is about 15 minutes.
You truly believe that nobody else could possibly understand how to care for your child other than you.
Much like when you were in college, 2 a.m. is a very common hour to be awake and social; it's just not for the same reason anymore.
You've had to "catch" a little surprise when you're in the middle of changing a diaper and your baby wasn't exactly done yet.
The thought of your bed is the Holy Grail of rewards and it's the only thing pushing you through another day in a zombie-like trance.
You've had to choose between an extra 10 minutes of sleep or shaving for the first time in a week. Or, let's be even more honest: showering in general.
You realize that childless friends are giving you the same empty smiles and nods when you talk about your baby that you used to give new parents when you were childless.
And there you have it, some of the classic signs of a new parent. We're tired, grumpy and sick of being pooped on.
But, through it all, we're fulfilled and content in our own way.
Beardsley, a native of Loyalsock Township, is a former Sun-Gazette reporter. His column is published on the third Sunday of each month.
He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.