You Talk About Age In Increments Less Than Years

I used to secretly poke fun at people who would tell you the age of their baby in months, especially once said baby had made it through their first year. I was ignorant. I hadn’t been exposed to the milestones that those little bundles of joy seem to reach on almost a daily basis. It didn’t make sense at the time that there was a difference between thirteen months and fourteen months. It’s either that or I’ve lost so much sleep in the past fourteen months myself that I’ve joined the league of the sleep deprived parent.

Cleanliness Is A Thing of The Past

I remember a time in the not so distant past when my wife and I were remodeling our house. Well who am I kidding, my wife didn’t remodel it. She watched me remodel it with the help of her family and my own. Two seasons of the bachelor (for her) and three trips to the hospital (one for me stepping on a nail, on for me trying to stop a spinning table saw blade with my left index finger, and one for my wife to deliver our daughter) later and we were finished. This was a big project. We gutted the place so there was a lot of demolition which meant a lot of dirt. I’m not your typical man’s man. I don’t enjoy being dirty. I don’t enjoy swinging an axe like Paul Bunyan. I don’t make my living ten stories in the air piecing together the steel skeleton of the next skyscraper in lower Manhattan. I sit behind a computer for most of the day. That being said, I would probably wash my hands seven to ten times an hour while working on the remodel. Having a baby has changed all of that. It’s crazy how I no longer care what’s on me. Snot, grease, dirt, squished bugs – they are all the same. I could walk outside, feel the impact of a bird shitting on my shoulder, and then carry on.

You’re Numb

I can’t tell you number of times in my late teens and twenties that young parents were the bane of my existence. The couple sitting in the booth next to you at Red Robin whose baby won’t stop screaming bloody murder. The friend or family member who brings their child over and watches quietly as they climb onto the table, or rub their grimy little hands all over your new LED screen. If they were to say anything to the little devil at all it’s only because they sense that you’re getting pissed, not because they actually care what their child is doing to the things you worked so hard for. I always swore I would never be that parent. My child will behave. My child will be quiet. My child will do what I say or else… Well now my child is the one at Red Robin slamming my empty beer glass to the floor as her war cry carries to the parking lot. And in my mind, I’m the parent laughing to myself because I know the younger version of me at the next table wants to punch me in the eye.

You Learn a New Language

Baba… Binky… Doodoo… Goo… Gah… Dede… Mumu… Enough said.

You Have No Money

  • Formula: $24
  • Diapers: $38
  • Wipes: $11
  • New clothes because the ones you bought last week don’t fit anymore: $25-50
  • New toys because the ones you bought last week are either broken, missing, or have become boring: $20
  • Daycare: $30+ per day depending on where you live
  • New pair of pajamas because when she woke up there was poop from her toes to her armpits and you’d rather throw them out the deal with cleaning them: $12

That’s not even scratching the surface. And that’s all pricing for off-brand stuff. Forget Huggies. My baby’s bottom would be wrapped in a newspaper if it would hold the fluid. But hey, the IRS let’s me keep and extra $23 each pay period. Yay!

You Realize You’re Capable of Hurting People

I have never really had a mean bone in my body. Sure I beat on my brother when we were kids, but I was young and dumb. He threw me into a door and put me in a sleeper hold one day. I got the message, he’s not going to put up with it anymore. Beyond that, violence bothers me. Physical harm of one human being by another gets on my last nerve. But if you wrong my daughter. Forget the obvious like kidnapping, rape, murder or physical abuse. If you hurt her feelings, if you break up with her, if you don’t let her play on the swings with you at the playground, or if you even look at her in a way that so much as even bruises her precious little heart, I will destroy you. At least I will in my mind because I don’t want to go to jail, but if The Purge were a real thing you can bet you’re the one I’d be going after.

Your Life Now Has Only One Purpose

I’m a dreamer. My whole life I’ve wanted to be a famous musician, a comedian, an actor, a designer of websites and software, a graphic designer and illustrator, the next Barry Sanders, the life of the party, the CEO of the company I work for, the man of some woman’s dreams, the winner of Mega Millions, fluent in 5 languages, an author, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. Now the only thing I think about all day and every day is being the best father that any little girl (and in a couple months little boy) could ever hope to have. And on that note, it’s 11:04PM and there’s a little girl crying in her crib. Better go practice those father of the year skills.