Monday, September 17, 2007

10 weeks of Fatherhood

The sub-title of this column could be Lessons for Tom Brady, but I've tired of the Patriots and their various misdeeds. Also, I would like to keep this open-ended rather than just focus on helping deadbeat parents. Yesterday marked the 10 week anniversary of little Charlie's birth. It's been a wonderful ride. Her Mom's tireless efforts have undoubtedly made it easier for me as I'm clearly the freeloader on this team. I am the Jonas Hoglund to her Mats Sundin. I'm not sure what the kid is in that metaphor. Lonny Bohonos? Steve Stavro? The puck? I'll have to put some thought into this.

For those of you soon to enter parenthood (or for anyone who may have a date with Travis Henry soon) here are some things I've picked up during fatherhood's first five fortnights (I'm playing an alliteration drinking game with my work colleagues):
  1. Don't refer to breast-feeding as "getting to second base". Though funny, it really pisses off Moms. Don't piss off Moms.

  2. Have your children in the spring or early summer. I was born in December, in Montreal. How my parents didn't go completely insane with cabin fever I'll never know.

  3. Invite people over. If they show up empty-handed send them home. Visitors and well wishers, if you drop in to see a new baby, bring food or cleaning supplies. Those gifts are much more useful than anything cute and/or cuddly. Also, learn how to politely tell people it's time to leave or don't...

  4. Get some rest. I cannot stress this enough. We've been lucky as she's taken to sleeping reasonably well. Even with a cooperative child you're unlikely to get many blocks of more than four or five hours of uninterrupted sleep. That makes it difficult to completely re-charge. It's especially tough for Mom as she wakes up out of habit (or boobs full of milk).

  5. Throw your Bedazzler out. It can only lead to trouble.
  6. Children are dazzling enough as is, trust me.

  7. Get your drink on. Hangovers are exacerbated by children, particularly by changing diapers. Before the kid arrives tie a few on. Moms, you should have thought of this a year ago. Once the kid arrives buy better booze as you'll drink less. As such, you might as well enjoy it.

  8. If you're looking at investing money in one item make it the stroller. Clothes, cribs and toys can be bought on the cheap. A good stroller will make getting around so much easier, particularly if you live in an urban area.

  9. Do some deep knee bends. You will be doing a lot of rocking up and down so make sure the equipment is in working order. This is another reason why old people shouldn't have children.

  10. Dance like no one's watching. WTF, who's typing this? Who gave middle-aged women access to my blog? People are watching, so stop dancing. You look like a jackass!

  11. You now have a built-in excuse to get out of pretty much anything. Take advantage of it. there's no reason for feeling guilty about embellishing your baby's fussing in order to get out of a work dinner or a family event. You've poured all of your energy into raising this child. You deserve at least some payback...apart, from all the love and joy etc.

  12. Don't set ambitious goals for yourself. This is probably good advice for everyone. There is no way to prepare completely for the hand you're going to be dealt. Just try and do your best rather than striving to meet some unattainable targets.

  13. Remember, there are some pretty stupid people who've raised some pretty normal, healthy children. A large portion of the world's population are idiots as evidenced by the popularity of James Blunt and Ultimate Fighting, yet mathematically there is a very good chance that most children will be raised without significant issues. Hell, Blanket Jackson will probably end up being a Senator or brain surgeon. As long as you lay off the street drugs and make sure the kid is being fed regularly they'll probably turn out alright.

If Courtney Cox can do it, so can you

Not to sound like a total douche but being Dad really is the best thing I've ever done (and I've been to Euro-Disney!). That did sound douche-y but who cares. If you're still procrastinating, don't. Get out there and knock someone up!


47_Ronin said...

For the deep knee bends, this Poppa would definitely recommend an excercise ball. You just sit on that thing and it practically bounces for you!

Mind you, you then become addicted (as does the baby). We started bringing it with us to other people's homes. The looks on their faces was pretty classic.

Steve Holt said...

I'll add "don't bring out your balls at friends' houses" to the list. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Alright, I could stand for the constant UFC bashing - but now you've bashed Blunt! You'd better watch it!