This newsletter is a little different than my previous ones. Since the end of summer is near and school is starting, I decided to go with something more lighthearted.

pregnant cute photo
Photo by Giulia Muzio

<

I’ve been a dad for a little over two years now and I wanted to share some insights and observations that could be useful to current and future dads. When you announce you are expecting, you get endless advice from friends who already have a kid. So here’s more. Please note that there’s a lot left to learn.

  • During my wife’s pregnancy I didn’t read any “how to become a daddy/baby” book. I’ve told my numerous people that parenting books are a joke. “My baby is not conforming to the behavior model in the book, what’s wrong with my baby?”. Well maybe the behavior model in the book is not conforming to your baby. The whole point is that you need to figure it out yourself. It’s a life journey, an experience that can’t be described or learned in a book. That’s why there’s no special parent training center. My wife told me anything I needed to know. She knows everything. I’m very lucky to have married my wife.
  • You can’t complain around a pregnant woman. Never say you are tired.
  • Everyone’s mom got pregnant.
  • We did go to a prenatal class. You learn a few things but it’s not a must go. The baby is coming out anyway. And when your wife is in labor, you rapidly forget all these cute breathing techniques that you learned.
  • When your wife is in labor, as a dad, you are totally incompetent. That’s why they make you cut the umbilical cord, to justify your presence.
  • I’m a parent and my baby has displayed a lack of interest in being parented. I told her that if you are going to raise yourself at least do a good job.
  • Once my baby was born, I was shocked to learn that there’s wasn’t a postnatal class. There no such thing. You leave the hospital like you are leaving the grocery store except you are carrying a baby inside the house. It’s pretty much “here’s your baby and go figure it out”. Again my wife knew everything.
  • Then I quickly realized there’s no way in hell there’s a training manual for my baby.
  • As a dad, you’re in second place. Mom is the winner and it’s not even close. Mommy and baby can snuggle and read stories for hours. Maybe it’s the hair on my face.
  • I realized that they world is divided between parents and non-parents. There’s no in the middle. Sorry non-parents but the baby doesn’t come with a mute button.
  • Dear non-parents, having a dog is not like having a baby. Dogs come when you call their name. Babies don’t.
  • There seems to be two dominant schools of thought when it comes to sleep training. There’s the attachment parenting and the traditional parenting. Traditional parenting basically involves putting your kids to bed and listening to them scream all night. And there’s the attachment parenting, which involves cuddling your kids and then listening to them scream all night./li>
  • Babies don’t care how many whiskies you had the night before.
  • Sleeping babies often cry due to discomfort of some sort (hungry, diaper…). If you can find a way to defuse the problem immediately, they will return to a fully sleeping state. If you miss this opportunity to intervene, the results can be devastating for the entire household.
  • If the baby is not sleeping, nobody is.
  • When the baby is tired, you have a window of time to put your baby to bed. If you missed it, again the results can be devastating. You’ll be up for the next three hours with a tired cranky baby.
  • Moms are magical. They don’t sleep and they have more than two arms. And they know everything.
  • Day cares are basically labs for new diseases and viruses. You want to take down ISIS? Send a toddler with a runny nose.
  • There’s no point of going anywhere in the winter. By the time I got my baby inside a snow suit it was already spring thaw. If you a parenting pro and managed to get your baby all zipped up, they have to go to the bathroom.
  • If you do need to go somewhere, it looks like you are moving. There’s the stuff the baby needs, there’s the stuff the baby wants, and there’s the “what if” stuff.
  • NEVER say the word “i-c-e c-r-e-a-m” in front of kids.
  • If leaving the house with kids is impossible, try leaving the park. The longer they stay, the more tired they are, the more difficult it is to leave without a crisis. But you stay longer because you want to be a good dad. It looks awkward if you leave before its time. Try the word “i-c-e c-r-e-a-m” to get the troops in line.
  • Baby music has some very depressing origins. For example, the charming rhyme “Ring around the Rosie” refers to the Black Plague that decimated Europe’s population. In “Old Macdonald had a farm”, Macdonald HAD a farm. What happened to the farm? Did the bank take it?
  • Can the geniuses at Fisher-Price come up with a toy that’s more fun than a toilet-paper roll?
  • Just like cats, your baby will enjoy the box your gift comes into more than the actual gift.
  • Unlike cats, you can’t leave a tray of food on the floor with cereals in it for your kid to eat it in the morning. I have the ceremonial role of getting up in the morning because my toddler is “starving” and for some odd reason my “starving” toddler doesn’t want to eat anything presented.
  • When eating, my baby’s food knows where to find her hair, ears, eyes, face but rarely the mouth. My baby girl doesn’t bother to eat over her plate. If she realized how much there’s under the table maybe I wouldn’t get up so early in the morning. Drinks however are spilled on the table. This is where babies can wreak the most havoc. Kids are fascinated by spills. Whoever invented the sippy cup should be the richest person alive.
  • In the morning, do not get fully dressed for work until you have to step out of the door.
  • Silence is a luxury. It was silent the other day and it woke me up. If you are lucky, your baby might sleep at night and you get a moment of silence but the night ends very quickly.
  • To whoever said that “it takes a village” to raise a kid, well I want to move to that village.
  • My village is not adequate. So far it would take more than a village to raise my baby.
  • Whoever came up with “terrible twos” must feel pretty silly when they turn 3.
  • Expect them to be in the house until they are 30. My baby is still unemployed and doesn’t pay rent.