I remember the day as clear as a bell: I was sitting in an evening college class when my then girlfriend called me with the news. Crying, of course. “I’m pregnant,” she said. Once I woke up from fainting, I went to the nearest Borders and bought all of the books I could — but nothing couple prepare me for the things I’m about to share. Fatherhood changes you and no one warns or prepares you for it. But your pal Dave’s here to help. Consider this the first installment of the dude’s Reader’s Digest version of “What to Expect When She’s Expecting”:
- Forget about those nice clothes for a while. You’ll learn more as to why later in the list, but do yourself a favor a put away your nice clothes until your kids are in high school. Fortunately as fashion seems to be going it’ll be hip again to wear skinny jeans and flannel in 15 years.
- Get used to poo and pee. I was a serious germaphobe until confronted with my first poopy diaper. Instinct takes over and you end up with baby crap and urine all over yourself. Technically my germaphobia ended when there was birth mess on one of my favorite t-shirts and I realized I wouldn’t die from it.
- Sleep? What’s that? Those days of “Oh man I was out late partying until 5 AM and didn’t wake up until 2 PM!” are looooooong gone — unless you want to add “with a baby” to the end of “partying”. And by “partying” I mean “rocking, feeding and burping”.
- If it’s dangerous they’ll eat it. Remember your frat buddy who’d eat anything for a buck or a six pack of beer? That’s kind of how infants are except it includes coins, metal objects, pencils, lead paint and just about anything else they’re not supposed to eat. For some reason they think they’re powering a time traveling DeLorean.
- You’re now a human garbage disposal. In a perfect world you’d scoop out three plates of spaghetti and everyone would clean their plates. Not gonna happen. Baby’s going to throw some on the floor, put some on their hair and probably some on their face – but not in their mouth. (Product idea: Spaghetti shaped like coins, pencils and screws!) This means that the words “Give it to Dad!” will soon enter the family vernacular and you’ll end up putting down another helping of food you didn’t intend to eat. Tip: Avoid packing on the pounds by not loading up your plate until the baby’s done eating.
So there we have it — five quick tips for new Dads. Any others you’d like to share?