Of all the questions I hear most often these days – “How is your wife feeling?” and “When is the baby due?” and “Wow, have you been working out?”- the one that gives me the most pause is “Are you ready?”
Sometimes that’s followed with “to rumble?” and then things get real in a hurry, but usually it’s obvious that they are really just asking me if I’m prepared for the awesome responsibility of becoming a father.
Most of the time, I acknowledge the person’s superficial interest and half-hearted feint at concern by offering one of three quick responses – “Yes?” or “I hope so!” or “As ready as I’ll ever be, I guess” – and then moving on to something else. After all, most people that ask don’t really care. They’re just being polite. And nosy.
The question is the dad-to-be’s equivalent to the constant “how are you feeling?” query that pregnant women are faced with, and – as I mentioned above – it’s easy to dismiss. But should I deign to give it some real thought, it can send me spiraling into an existential black hole that can only be filled with crying jags, drunken fisticuffs and some cutting.
Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. Is it even possible to really be ready to become a parent?
The other day, my wife gently let me know that she was a little concerned with the language I used in my last post. That’s not an MP, I said. That’s a YP.
But then, the next day…
The doctor told us she loved the way my wife’s cervix looked. She used terms like effacement and dilated and etc. She says it should be any day now.
Let me repeat: It should be any day now that I will have a son. Yikes.
Does this change everything? Is it time for me to tone down my language, reconsider some of my actions in the face of becoming a father. Is what was just a few days ago purely a YP now an MP?
Is it time for DadandBuried to grow up? Can I?
Let’s take a look at the things I’ll need to sacrifice in order to be a proper example for my son. After the jump.
On the eve of my son’s birth, I’ve been thinking a lot about my parenting style, and which lessons I want to impart to my heir. Basically, WWCTD: What Would Coach Taylor Do?
There are a lot of horrible children out there, and most of the blame obviously lies with videogames and Marilyn Manson and Avatar-related depression. But some of it lies with their parents. I am not going to be one of those parents whose kid is a loser. My son is going to dominate. But he can’t do it on his own, so I’ve come up with a list of ten values that will serve as a guideline for him as he grows up.
To make sure he toes the line and doesn’t defy me, I’ve included a video counterpoint with each lesson on the list. That way, should he feel himself straying, he’ll be able to recognize the signs. Check out the list after the jump.
It’s a real concern, isn’t it? Having a kid that you can’t stand?
A few disclaimers: I’m not talking about hating having a kid; there is a lot that comes with parenting that is just not fun, but that doesn’t mean you hate the kid because of it. Until the kid gets a personality, he’s not really hate-able as a person. He’s hate-able as an entity – nobody likes a crying, fussy, messy baby – but that’s not what I’m talking about.
It’s another thing if your kid doesn’t share your interests; that’s normal, especially once he becomes a teenager. But that’s not what I’m talking about either.
Find out what I mean, after the jump.
The end of summer 2010 brings with it a few milestones for Dad and Buried. One is the arrival of my first child, another is the arrival of my 10th or 11th or maybe even 12th season (who remembers?) of Fantasy Football.
My baby’s due date is not set in stone; he’ll come when he feels like it. My league’s draft date, however, is August 21st, and that is non-negotiable. My wife is aware of the draft, and has no real issues with it, provided it’s not the day of or one of the days immediately succeeding the arrival of our kid. But that’s no guarantee, and from my wife’s perspective, abandoning both her and my newborn baby at the onset of our new pact of responsibility and family care just so I can spend a long afternoon drinking, arguing, and kicking off the 5 months of stress and frustration that is fantasy football is not an option.
I beg to differ. I understand that having a kid is a pretty big deal, but so is my 10th or 11th or 12th year playing Fantasy Football! And the draft is the best part of the entire activity – I will not abandon it lightly, newborn son or not! So we have a stalemate.
In order to resolve this situation, I have set about measuring the two events against each other. Join me as I decide, once and for all, what is more significant and therefore less skippable: The Birth of My First Child OR My 10th or 11th or 12th Fantasy Football Draft.
Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!
After the jump.
I’ve talked before about all the crap babies need to live. Crap like milk and bottles and cribs and pacifiers and Bumbos and Pack’n'Plays and breasts and onesies and socks and car-seats and strollers and mobiles and mobiles that play music and stuffed animals and pacifiers that taste like breasts and formula and butt paste and baby wipes and diaper genies and diapers and Baby Bjorn Borgs and gag rags and ohmygod makeitstop whatamImadeofmoney nowIsoundlikemydad Iwanttodie.
My apartment is already swamped with this stuff. And fine, I anticipated that. But somehow I never made the connection between those supplies and the need to purchase them.
My wife’s baby shower was all well and good – good times, good friends, good food, and plenty of the essentials needed to prevent a newborn from swallowing its own face. But, as grateful as we are for the incredible generosity of our friends and family, CAN SOMEONE PLEASE THROW US ANOTHER SHOWER?
If I have to spend another minute inside Babies ‘R Us or Buy Buy Baby or Infant-Mart or FleshBlobs, Bath and Beyond, I may just kill everyone I see. Except for the employees at Babies ‘R Us.
Over the past 6-7 years or so, I’ve picked up a lot of new terms that I wish I’d never learned. Terms like “date night” and “broker fee” and “Snooki.”
But over the past 8 months, I’ve been adding a more and more esoteric collection of words, phrases and terms to my vocabulary. Just this past weekend I had to repeatedly say and understand phrases like “butt paste” and “Bumbo.” Not to mention “kegels” and “onesie” and “moderation.”
My friends who already have kids love threatening me that my life will soon be dominated by my kid and everything that comes along with having one, my new vocabulary being the least of it.
I can’t say that I’ve totally accepted this new reality, but I’m definitely aware of it. How could I not be? My apartment is overrun with baby supplies, my weeknights and weekends are spent shopping at Babies ‘R Us and Buy Buy Baby, and my bank statement is loaded with baby-related expenditures. And I don’t even HAVE the kid yet!
My wife and I are focused on not becoming those people that are unable to speak intelligently about anything that doesn’t concern their kids, and most of our friends are well aware of my firm anti-baby pictures stance. It’s not going to be easy, either to avoid talking about this new entity that invades my living space, or to distribute pictures of it, since he is going to be so incredibly good-looking he’ll turn other male babies gay.
But I’m gonna try. And the next time someone mentions something baby-related to me, they’d better be talking about Dirty Dancing.