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Our Baby Smells Like Alcohol: The Story of our Son’s Bris

July 5, 2011

I have no idea what the Mohel was doing with us here

Our son became a man today…wait I guess he became less of a man since it was his Bris…actually, he now has the perfect amount of manhood.  Today was Zachary’s Bris and he survived the trauma and so did we. The order of events was not so different than I expected as there were some prayers, some explanations, some slicing and dicing, some crying (more me than Zachary) and some bagels and lox.

The Mohel we picked was fantastic (the lady in the picture above who was saying some sort of prayer over my wife, our baby and I).  The Mohel, who is also a pediatrician took great care to make sure Zachary was in the least pain possible. She had us apply numbing cream to his wee-wee two times this morning. She also gave him a few doses of sugar water right before the procedure. She said that sugar gets an infant high (hopefully Zachary does not end up standing one day before a narcotics anonymous meeting explaining how his parents got him hooked on getting high at a rather unusually young age). Beyond getting high, our baby was also given a dose of Manischewitz Kosher Wine by the Mohel as part of the ceremony (later on our baby nurse remarked that “our baby smelled like alcohol,” which is something every parent of a newborn is proud to hear).  I guess the sugar high and alcohol was good for helping Zachary forget the trauma of today.  He is now soundly sleeping off the trauma and I guess also his sugar and alcohol binge.

Some additional highlights and thoughts from today’s events:

  • It is important to get a baby onto a schedule/routine so they have structure and know what to expect from day to day. I hope our baby boy does not think that the Bris is part of his routine. If he does then every Tuesday he will dread as he wonders which part of his body will get sliced off this week.
  • Between my wife and I we have one living grandparent on my wife’s side, her grandmother, Nana. The Mohel made great efforts to honor Zachary’s great-grandmother, Nana. How did Nana react? I swear this is true, Nana heckled the Mohel throughout the whole Bris.  The Mohel commented that there is nothing sweeter than an infant to which Nana replied “what about chocolate?”  Nana made a series of other comments that I wish I remembered. I am fairly certain this is the first time the Mohel ever got heckled.
  • Nana also made some comment to the Mohel prior to the ceremony that did not go over well. I did not hear what Nana said, all I heard was the Mohel say “I can’t believe she said that to me” as she walked away.
  • I have said before that I am not a big fan of the Bris. Prior to the ceremony today I said to someone that I thought the idea of a Bris is a rather strange custom. I did not realize the Mohel was standing right next to me. She actually took my comment well and said she would explain the reason behind the strange custom during the ceremony.
  • I had joked that it would have been fun to get a Mohel who was a trained magician. If felt like we actually got one. The Mohel finished the procedure in a blink of an eye. Everyone was shocked when she said it was over.
  • A sheet was put up by the Mohel to block everyone from directly seeing the circumcision. I am surprised that for my boy’s circumcision a sheet was put up but for his birth there was no sheet. I do not think everyone realizes which of those two is easier to watch.
  • The Mohel was actually fairly entertaining and even made an Anthony Weiner joke that got a pretty big laugh. I was wondering if she had a set rotation of jokes she prepared for this Bris and others. If I attend another Bris will I hear her use the same jokes? It must be awful if you tell a joke at a Bris and it bombs.
  • After the circumcision, the Mohel took us aside and told us how to care for our baby’s penis post surgery/circumcision. She remarked that the circumcision came out perfectly. What she said struck me as funny as while it was comforting to hear her say things went perfectly, I can’t imagine her saying anything different,…”the circumcision came out only okay, not really my finest work.”
  • I saw my boy’s penis post surgery/circumcision and it did not look pretty.  I really hope it was done well and looks perfect when it heals. I would hate to have to apologize to my son later in life for this.
  • My uncle remarked that our baby boy learned today that life can be painful. I was hoping to have saved that lesson for after his first birthday.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. Ben Cohen permalink
    July 6, 2011 10:31 am

    Good attitude on the whole thing. I remember Max’s was so traumatic we were trying to prevent her from stealing Max from the Mohel like Kramer in Seinfeld.

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