Thursday, May 10, 2012

Attn: Soon-to-be Uncles

 
I recently posted some helpful hints for my sisters in regards to taking care of their new babies.

I thought about it, and I realized that everyone gave them advice.  They were overloaded with advice from everyone they talked to, and certainly didn’t need any tips from me.

And then I thought about the fact that nobody gave me advice four years ago, before my first nephew was born. 

To be fair, being an uncle certainly isn’t as hard as being a mother or father, but there are definitely some shocking truths that new uncles will need to face, and a little heads-up would have been nice.

So as a service to any guys out there with a sister who is expecting a baby, here are some things that you can expect when your sisters are expecting:


1) Expect to be enlightened as to all the crazy shit that happens during the birthing process, as recounted to you in a war-story-like fashion.

I know that I italicized the words “crazy shit,” but I just wanted to just make sure that you really let those words sink in.  Especially the second.

I’ll leave it at that, but it might behoove you to reread this first tip, and realize that I am speaking literally.


2) Expect to hear about your sister’s nipples.

This is a fairly easy one to deal with, as long as you are prepared for it. 

If you happen to go to the hospital when the baby is born, a handful of nurses will be in and out of the hospital room.  One of these nurses is a lactation specialist.  She is your enemy and you will want to leave the room while she is there.

She has no regard whatsoever for your feelings, even after your sister introduces you as the baby’s uncle and more importantly, her brother. 

The lactation nurse will actually pretty much ignore you completely, unfairly focusing all of her attention on your sister and the baby.

She will openly talk about your sister’s nipples, alongside words such as “suck” and “tweak,” and will be so engrossed in your sister’s nipples and boobs in general that she won’t even notice you clearing your throat in an effort to get her to realize how socially unacceptable she is being.

Just try to take yourself out of the situation and see your sister as a mother and not your sister.

And remember: Everyone has nipples.  Even you.


3) Expect for your eyes to have to constantly dodge the sight of your sister’s boobs.

This one is related to the previous tip, but it is a little bit trickier.

You will be quite amazed as to how often babies eat.  The reason you will notice how often they eat is because they eat from your sister’s boobs.

When babies are not eating, they are most likely sleeping.

But here is the important note:

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOUR SISTER’S BOOB IS NOT OUT IN THE OPEN.

You see, even when the baby is not eating, your sister’s boobs will still be producing tons of milk, and that stuff has got to go somewhere.  So she pumps it out into bottles for later consumption by your niece or nephew.

In these scenarios, your sister will probably cover herself with a blanket for your sake, especially at first.

But sisters sometimes forget, or don’t care if their brother sees their boob -- even if you care, like, a whole lot.

So the strategy I employ is to never look at my sister, at any time whatsoever.  If she is sitting next to me on the couch, I typically put my hood from my hoodie over my head to act as peripheral blinders.  And God forbid she actually engages me in direct conversation, I carefully turn my head while squinting.  I slowly open my eyes to ensure that the if I do happen to see her boob, it is only at 20-30% opacity.


4) Expect to hear about poop.

Every ten minutes or so, your sister and brother-in-law will ask each other, “Did somebody go poopie?”

They will ask this question in a patronizing tone that makes you hope to God that they are talking about the baby.  They will then incessantly check the diaper. 

Their twitching eagerness to check the diaper might remind you of coke addicts.  “Did somebody go poopie?” translates to “Is it time for another bump?”

Upon seeing the poop, they will say “oooh wow” in an utterly surprised manner, as if seeing that their baby pooped is an unexpected achievement and not what they were checking the diaper for in the first place.  “Somebody did go poopie!” they will exclaim proudly.

You can also expect conversations about poop to be commonplace.  Expect to hear the same poop stories about how the baby was being changed and how poop shot out like a rocket across the room.  Mentally prepare yourself to hear constant descriptions as to the current pooping patterns of the baby.  These descriptions include, but are not limited to: the size of the poop, color of the poop, smell of the poop, consistency of the poop, and frequency of the poop.


5) Expect a new living/breathing human being to love you.

This one is pretty crazy. 

Quite honestly, babies are pretty boring for the first month or two.  They really do nothing except for eat, sleep, poop, and cry.

You never realize how many firsts there are in a human life.  The baby will grab your finger with its hand and you will realize that it has never done that before.  The baby will smile at you and you will realize that you have never seen that before.  The baby will laugh and you will realize that you have never heard that before.

Especially in these moments, expect strange feelings in your throat as it wells up and you grow a deeper love for this baby, child, little person.

And eventually there will be a walking and talking tiny human who will tell you that they love you.  When you come to visit, they might yell "Uncle Mike!" and tell you that they missed you.  And they might even think of you when they make art projects in school during Thanksgiving depicting things for which they are thankful:

I'm thankful for you too, buddy.

-Youngman Brown

137 comments:

  1. It's a miracle of nature! Now prepare to be grossed da fuck out.

    Being a daddy has the same rules, but you give less of a damn. Mostly because of sleep deprivation.

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    1. Haha, yes I also like being an uncle because when the going gets tough and the child is impossible... I can just leave.

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  2. YB, oh I love this! I think I might cry. The ending was perfect. :)

    xxo
    MOV

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    1. My intention, as always, was to make you cry.

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  3. OMG I died laughing! I was an only child, and I can only imagine how horrifying it is for a brother to see his sister in all these ways that you have avoid even the thought of your entire life.

    From the mom perspective we quickly realize that our body is no longer our own, we are vending machines, stepping stools, handles to hold, and in that process (shortly after having spent 9 months on display in the doctors office) we stop with all that modesty foolishness.

    I have to say though that I hope it comes back before I offend the eyes of the younger women at the gym when I am old. Let me tell you 60+ year old saggy titties are not attractive. I don't care that aging is unavoidable, COER YOURSELF!

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    1. Ahhhh! But vending machines scare me!!

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  4. Workingdan got woke up to a nurse fondling my boobs in attempt to get our son to eat. that nurse didnt care what so ever that he was in there!

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    1. Those damn nurses really should be more considerate.

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  5. During the first majority of the post, I was actually glad my sister incessantly proclaims she will never have a kid, but the ending made me sad. Anyway, my step-brother has a kid, and that's close enough.

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    1. Haha sorry to send you on such a roller coaster of emotions, Chiz.

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  6. Too funny dude! I can so relate.
    You forgot that at some point one of these little people will be unable make your name go...thus you will become someone whose name is "Ungot"

    No you can't have that one... It may or not be mine.

    WG
    http://itsmynd.com

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    1. Damn you for copyrighting "Ungot." That is a killer name!

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  7. This is such a good warning. I got sick of seeing my OWN boobs. Definitely wouldn't want to see anybody elses....

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    1. Now now, let it be understood that I will never grow tired of seeing boobs. Just my sister's.

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  8. All so true. I laughed and laughed, and then went, "Awww."

    My sister will send me text pictures of my nephews latest "Zombie apocalypse" book with the caption, "That's all you." And I will, "Awww" and wonder if it's terribly inappropriate that my nephew at age 8 is writing books about killing zombies. I also made him a huge Star Wars fanatic. He's a nerd who loves zombies. I think I may have made my nephew in to the 40 year old virgin.

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  9. Oh my gosh, this is fabulous! I feel like you compared notes with my little brother and you two wrote this post together!

    My kids are at their happiest when my brother is around. His work requires him to travel a lot. He's always bringing home stuff from weird countries and buying rare and wonderful things for his nieces, which only adds to his coolness. He is, without a doubt, their favorite superhero. Uncle Chris knows all things. I will often hear my kids say, "I know its true because Uncle Chris told me!" He is also, much to my chagrin, never wrong.

    Once you get past the random boob flashings, being an Uncle is a sweet gig. You get all the love with none of the responsibility. And what a sweet Uncle you are Mike!

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    1. Thanks!

      I can't wait to teach my nephews in Connecticut the evils of the New York Jets and convert them to Philadelphia Eagles fans. Because Uncle Mike is always right.

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  10. Truer words have never been spoken. I sure wish someone would have warned me about #1 before I delivered my first child. I was horrified!!!!

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  11. I am very thankful for Uncle Mike, too.

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  12. So sweet. As a sister, it's hard to think about what my very protective brothers might have gone through when I had my first child.

    As an Aunt, I love the ending! It's so cool to have a nephew and nieces! My 21 year old nephew still calls me Auntie!

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    1. Haha that's good that he calls you Auntie. As a funny side note: for about a year my nephew called my other sister Uncle Chrissy instead of Aunt Chrissy.

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  13. I'm a woman and even I was shocked by how free my sister became with her breasts and discussion of disgusting topics. Such is the price we pay for our nieces/nephews. Those little guys are lucky we love them so much. I never imagined the love I'd have for her but from that first look, that first time I held her, like the Grinch my heart grew and grew and grew...and it hasn't stopped. It's a fantastic role in life...spoil them, love them, and send them home so you can sit back in quiet with a beer. Yup...pretty awesome. Great post.

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    1. Couldn't agree more with everything you said here. Pretty crazy how much I crave seeing the little babies, as weird of a word "crave" is to describe it.

      But yes. Being able to leave and enjoy a fresh beer is certainly always a nice reprieve.

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  14. I'm 6 weeks out from my own new arrival...and I'm determined not to bore people with poop stories

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  15. Poor guy. I think it must be even worse when Grandpa has to see his daughter's boobs. I tried to be discreet but eventually resorted to yelling "INCOMING NIPPLE" so my Dad knew when he should leave the room. You'll be fine!

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  16. Aunts and Uncles can be pretty important in a kids life. Glad you enjoy yours. Sorry about the boob thing though.

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    1. It is okay. The nephew and niece make it worth it.

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  17. Oh, the poop is the worst part!! Bleh, gag, barf...

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    1. It really is. Although my sister says it doesn't smell bad and that it smells like bread.

      I dunno.

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    2. It smells alright, but not like bread!!!! Oh my...I'll be skipping the Italian bread tomorrow ty very much... lol

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  18. Poop addicts? I think you are on to something...

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    1. Sounds like a TV show in the making, considering all of the other crazy shows that are being aired.

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  19. LOVE THE T-SHIRT OUR FAMILY JUST BECAME A NEW ADDITION SO I HAVE 2 SONS THAT ARE NEW UNCLES & THEY ARE SHELL SHOCKED ON THE BOOB THING WITH THEIR SISTER, BUT THE FACT THIS LITTLE GUY RESEMBLES BOTH OF THEM IN DIFFERENT ANGLES THEY ASK HER TO TAKE HER GYNORMOUS BOOBS ON OUT OF THE ROOM WHILE THEY GET SOME BABY BONDING TIME. I WANT ME A COUPLE OF THEM SHIRTS, ORDERS WHERE?? GREAT POSTS

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  20. "Nipple" is a really terrible word. I'm sorry that you've been subjected to it so many times. And that I just said it again.

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    1. Oh god. I've never realized how disgusting that word is.

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  21. You nailed these. But I'd like to add one, from the perspective of the sister.

    6) Never forget that, unlike dogs and cats, your nieces and nephews will not land on all fours when you stand up and walk away after taking a picture with them on your lap. I know they start off the same size as pets, but truly, they aren't as talented.

    There I go projecting.

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    1. Ahha! But this is where you are wrong.

      When I get bored of my baby nephew or niece, I just stand up and let them fall to the floor. Not only do they land on their feet, but they do a little Irish jig afterward.

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  22. Replies
    1. Just in case that doesn't translate well, that's a good thing in the UK lol

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  23. So inside, you are one of these soft, mushy people?

    I just lost all respect for you. ;-)

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Yea, when it comes to my family, I guess I am.

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  24. This is awesome! You're Uncle Mike. I'm Aunt Mike! I'm excited for all my New Aunt Firsts. I'm waiting to get out of the 1-2 month phase though.

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    1. That is awesome! Yea, the 1-2 month phase is tricky, because they are so fragile and all they do is cry.

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  26. Brothers, yall are so crazy. Mine was the same way. I'm telling you all modesty is gone when you've been subjected to monthly checkups, I had a c-section so I was cut on while awake and then breastfeeding. LOL, yeah we are vending machines, that was a good one. Being an aunt or uncle, mother or father, grandparent, I can tell you there is nothing like it in the world. You sound like a wonderful Uncle and I'm with Jeanne,I've said it before I have no idea why some lucky girl has not snatched you up already. It boggles the mind.....just sayin since she brought it up. *sigh* I need to see my grandbaby tonight.

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    1. Haha thanks for saying that, Sheila... although Jeanne has deleted her comment so I can't see what you speak of.

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  27. I am pretty sure you would be the coolest uncle ever.

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  28. I'm glad I didn't have to go through any of this for my neices and nephews. But then again, you're probably a way better uncle than I am. I get referred to as "Un-cool" by my nephs a lot.

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    1. Aw. That is just because they can't pronounce "uncle."

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    2. True enough. At least the Great nephews get it right when they refer to me as "Gruncle"

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  29. haha as ok as it is to breastfeed, it's still kinda awkward. like, how much eye contact is too much eye contact? bwahaha great tips for uncles

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    1. Just a slight amount of eye contact is too much eye contact.

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  30. You make me glad that my brother and sister-in-law live 3.5 hours away so that I was able to miss out on all the "fun" stuff you described (so glad I never got acquainted with my sis-in-law's boobs). Now my niece is 8 and I get to be "cool Aunt Missy" when I go visit.

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    1. I think I am going to refer to you as "Cool Aunt Missy" from now on.

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  31. I've come to the conclusion, you'll make a great Dad someday bud. You're getting plenty of practice :-)

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  32. Bahaha! This is hilarious. I am so sending this to a few people I know.

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  33. This is one of the reasons that I don't think that I could breast feed. More power to the wimmims who do it, but having been flashed by my former sister-in-law so many times that I'm still seeing spots before my eyes, I'll pass.

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    1. Yea, I was seeing spots before my eyes, too. But I think it was from my brain cells dying.

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  34. I love being an aunt. Since I couldn't have children, it's the next best thing! I wish I saw them more often, but one of my nieces may come up to visit us this summer. I hope so!

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  35. I love the newbie uncle advice. And you're entitled to give it because being included in an art project is a big deal. The closeness of your family is enviable. But then again, what brings a family together more than nipples and shit? Ellen

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    1. I agree... I have never been in an art project before that.

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  36. great advice. My brother who is an uncle x5 would probably lol and add some more to this list.

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  37. Omg, that was hilarious because it's so true...my poor brothers! Awesome post and "Awwww" that your nephew loves you so much!

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  38. Oh man this is hysterical. And completely true! This list also applies to grandfathers. My dad refused to come to the hospital after his experience after my first daughter was born. He still talks about it, 7 years later. I don't think he's made eye contact with me ever since he saw more than he planned. Haha! Poor dad.

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    1. Haha yea I guess dads have it rough too!

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  39. That picture of the dude smiling while holding the baby's butt: priceless.

    I've done a lot of babysitting in my day, so baby poop doesn't scare me. But I don't think I'm ready to be an aunt yet. Not for a long time.

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    1. Yes, that dude is definitely creepy, to say the least.

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  40. Amazing post! This was so fun to read, I just had to share it on Facebook.

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  41. Great post...and for this Aunt, I couldn't agree with your tips more. Except maybe that the boob part is not that big of a deal to a sister. Still, it's not actually comfortable for your sister's boobs to always be out...even if you have seen them before when trying on clothes and whatnot.

    Anyway, I think this paragraph was my favorite part:

    "So the strategy I employ is to never look at my sister, at any time whatsoever. If she is sitting next to me on the couch, I typically put my hood from my hoodie over my head to act as peripheral blinders. And God forbid she actually engages me in direct conversation, I carefully turn my head while squinting. I slowly open my eyes to ensure that the if I do happen to see her boob, it is only at 20-30% opacity."

    Hilarious. I kind of want to tweet that entire paragraph. But I'll refrain. Probably.

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  42. I adore this post! It's so cute, funny and totally true!

    My brother lives with us, so my son gets to see his Uncle all the time. It's so fun to seem them together but I'm sorta of ready for the uncle to move out already. He can come and visit whenever though!

    Also, I formula feed my son so there's never have accidental (or not) boob exposure but lots of poop talk! But we've never asked my brother to change a diaper... yet. My son's only 8 m/o, though. So plenty of time still to rectify that little situation... maybe then the uncle will move out?!?

    Your nieces and nephews are very lucky to have such an awesome uncle who obviously loves them very much.

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  43. Ha! Good advice! Lots of it will be applicable to me if my sis ever has a kid...

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  44. Ha! This is great. I'm sharing it with my brother. Although, the mere thought of him reading this and thinking about my boobs makes me uneasy.

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    1. Better to nip it in the bud, though. Don't you think?

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  45. Aww - love the Thanksgiving thing! I remember being seriously weirded out by my father in law and brother in law hearing/seeing/knowing about my boobs and what I was doing with them when my son is born. I figured it went both ways. Thanks for confirming! Fun post!

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    1. I suppose the only time that boobs should be talked about is... well never.

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  46. Well, seeing as how I am an only child, I will inevitably spare any brother of mine the embarrassment of seeing, uh, me practice what the lactation specialist teaches.

    (I like the new layout, by the way!)

    -Barb the French Bean

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  47. Wonderful post! Funny, sweet, kind and real.

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  48. Love this one! Unique, hilarious and touching perspective. Whoever has you for an uncle is lucky.

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    1. Thanks Susanna. I am lucky to have them for nieces and nephews, too.

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  49. Sweet. As an aunt I can seriously relate. Especially at your ending when they tell you they love you and look forward to seeing you. Loved it. Well done.

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  50. Awww. Number 4 had me cracking up and then number 5 had me tearing up. The art project was the sweetest! You must be a great uncle.

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  51. Excellent. I'm sending this to all the young-ish uncles I know. Well done.

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  52. oh, i'm so stuck on number five. and from all the sisters in the world to all their male relatives: sorry about the boobs. because, well, we don't want to show you that business either, but when faced with a screaming infant, everybody wins when the boob comes out.

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    1. This is quite true. It is amazing how quickly the baby shuts up when introduced to the boob.

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  53. Omg, so funny about the boobs, it's very true! My yeah write post this week is about my brother and my boob!!! Who knew it was such a common theme!!! Lol

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  54. Sooo funny!! It's weird when you're a girl and your sister has these ginormous boobs that you don't want to stare at, but that would be extremely awkward for the uncle :) Also, a very sweet ending. Nephews are the best.

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  55. I was a 5-time uncle long before I was a parent and you offer some great insight, though I guess my sister is much more modest than yours.

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    1. Haha you are very lucky in that respect!

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  56. God, this was so funny. But you forgot a very important word when it comes to breastfeeding "latch" ....has the baby learned to latch on yet? It's the very first step. And what about how after birth keeps.... oh, never mind lol... great post, I'm voting for you :-)

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    1. Ugh, I forgot about that dreaded "latch."

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  57. So funny! I have never thought about what it must've been like for my brother to become an uncle. Poor guy definitely saw my boobs alot. Must've been weird for him.

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    1. I hope he got over it more quickly than I did.

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  58. My daughter is expecting a baby. Her older brother needs to read this. Priceless!

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    1. Yes, it should be required reading for any guy in that situation.

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  59. Hilarious! Glad you are much more embracing (though, thank God, not literally) of your sisters' boobs and baby feeding than my brother. You get the Platinum Uncle Award in my book! This post was quite a chuckle but definitely all true just the same :)

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    1. Yes, it is important that I am not embracing in the literal sense!

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  60. Makes me wish I had a brother! Or an uncle! Great post as always! You got 91-ish comments so I'm keeping mine short and moving on to the next blog! Congrats on being an uncle!

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  61. Hilarious! I wish you had been my uncle:) Lucky kids...

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    1. I am always willing to be anyone's honorary uncle.

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  62. I think I found a new blog to follow. I love it. <3 You can be my uncle. ;)

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  63. Heheheee I'm an uncle myself, but mercifully my sister lives in a different country, so it's not often I run into boob-charged situations...

    Nice post man!

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  64. Been down the uncle road many times; I know it well. Now I'm looking for directions for grandfather lane.

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  65. Funny, thoughtful, and just an enjoyable read as always. You have a knack for the narrative my friend.


    Michael A. Walker
    Defying Procrastination

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  66. I know I read this post before, I even told my wife about it. I seen her comment but it seems mine doesn't exist. Odd. But rest assured, I read it again for good measure!

    I don't have sisters so I have never really had to worry about gazing upon their boobies. That must be a hard thing to do, sister or not. When there are boobs flopped out in the room, it's natural for a guy to look.

    And yes, babies can steal your heart in an instant! I'm an 8 time uncle and 2 time parent, I know all too well how those babies draw us in with their innocence...and then give us a load of poop to clean!

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  67. As I don't have any real sisters, and all my sisters-in-law are done having kids, I'll be waiting for this to all take place as a grandparent when my boys start their own families.

    Wonderful post.

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  68. Gah... I know I left a comment.. where did it go? lol

    Another fine post my friend. It was both funny and touching as always. You really have a gift for the narrative.

    Keep writing!

    Michael A. Walker
    Defying Procrastination

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  69. Nice.

    See comments above. I think it has been nailed more than once. You really are good at this mate

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