I am jumping on the band wagon with Chris and Lisa from TwoBabesandabrain with this picture (dirty word alert) on why daddies shouldn’t baby sit. Carren would take the two of them to task for that post, telling them that fathers don’t baby-sit, they watch their children. I agree, Babysitters get paid. Carren used to leave me more instructions for caring for Creighton when she was gone than she would leave the sitter. Five years (and one more kid later) and she doesn’t leave too many instructions (okay, she’s down to one page).
But Carren is 100% right. Men can hunt, gather, forage, fix, repair (which is not always the same a fix) build, design, and lift, but I think we are genetically challenged when it comes to baby care. Daddies can tell if the baby crying is a pain/sick/miserable cry, or if it is just crying for the sake of crying cry. We can sleep through the latter, but the former wakes us up. Mommies can’t tell, and they often equate our not waking up with not caring. We care, but we care about sleep, too. Generally, the crying for the sake of crying cry is one that we ignore, realizing that the baby will cry itself to sleep, and we’ll get even more shut eye.
Having said that, daddies must be trained in other things. Diapers are not included here, because if a man can’t operate a diaper without instructions, he is retarded and shouldn’t be allowed to operate a spoon without supervision. Or he’s lying to get out of an unsavory task. New and soon to be daddies: make some cred for yourself. Change the first diapers while mom is still in the hospital. The poop’s black, and looks like oreo paste, but it doesn’t stink, and she’ll think the world of you for it. You’ll still get plenty of fun and excitement with your child’s colorectal adventures for the next three years, but trust me, go ugly early and get over it. From the baby diaper explosion (back of neck, down to wrists, down to feet, and everywhere in between) to the “But why did you poop in the bathtub?” conversation, you will experience all the joys for Fatherhood.
Daddies need to be trained in things like giving medicine—An 18 pound baby doesn’t get a tablespoon of robitussin, even if “that’s what mom always gave me”. Babies can’t eat steak, no matter how small you cut the pieces. You can’t cut the top of a bottle nipple to increase the flow to finish feeding faster. (Well, you can, but not for a six-month old.) You shouldn’t teach the boy that it’s okay to pee outside unless you set limits. “It’s okay to pee in the woods, but not in the sandbox or against the fence at preschool.” There are lots of other things you can imagine we screw up as Men-becoming-daddies. I won’t elaborate further, for fear that the Mrs. will find out some of the things I’ve forgotten to tell her about.
So happy father’s day everyone. I gave myself a gift this year. The Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders came to the FOB last night. I opted out of watching a gaggle 18 year old girls (I’m not exactly sure what defines girls vs. women, but I’m working on it) for sleep. Not that they weren’t an incredible morale booster for the boys, especially after incidents in the last 48 hours 9which I can’t talk about) but just not my cuppa joe. I went to bed around 2000, and woke up at 0700, and it was everything I hoped it could be.
By the way, I strongly believe that anyone can be a father. It takes a man to be a dad. (And a bigger man to be a daddy.)