21st Century Dad
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6 Surprises of Fatherhood

December 11th, 2007 . by admin

surpriseDuring your wife’s pregnancy, you interrogated all of your male friends who have kids. You may have read The Expectant Father, and you pretended to read What to Expect When You’re Expecting. (It’s an excellent reference but a pedantic snoozer if you try to read it in a linear fashion). You were prepared for sleep deprivation. You knew about lanugo and the black/green tar-like substance in your baby’s first few dirty diapers. You packed way too much stuff when it was time to go to the hospital or birth center.

I prepared as best as I could for the arrival of my first child. But there were still a few surprises that my wife, no books, and no website ever addressed:

  1. Babies fart and they don’t care when or where. It’s a surprise to me that it’s a surprise. They do have all the same parts as fully grown humans, so this shouldn’t be a surprise. The first time I heard Twilli (her current nickname) fart, it caught me off guard. Most adults would turn red with embarrassment if they let one rip in some of the situations she did.
  2. Diapers don’t smell nearly as bad as you think. You may have caught a whiff of another child’s diapers and thought “oh man! No way am I going to have a kid!” However, your own baby’s bodily functions just aren’t nearly as offensive. It never even became an issue; a parent must do it or else. Likewise, other bodily fluids and secretions don’t gross me out. Boogers, spit-up, drool, and diaper leaks are just dealt with as readily as you and I would deal with a sneeze.
  3. I’m much more in tune with my emotions and moved to tears more easily. My wife pointed out that you could see the beginnings of teeth erupting in Twilli’s mouth. I jumped up immediately to investigate. When I first saw the little dents in her gums, a joyful eruption of tears followed immediately. This past Saturday was the first time I heard my friend Steve play his saxophone since his wife lost her battle with cancer 6 months ago. The very first note he played brought on the tears.
  4. It’s not as difficult as I thought it would be. The first few weeks, our universe shrank to the size of a football. We prepared as best we could. We enlisted a large cheering section. I have a loving and supportive partner with previous experience.
  5. I drive less aggressively even when the baby’s not in the car. It makes sense that you would be more cautious when your are transporting a baby. I guess it’s just switches on and stays on.
  6. It takes significantly more time to get out the door. I knew about the half metric ton of stuff necessary to venture outside your home with a baby. My “baby radar” was warming up during pregnancy, so I noticed the roadies following the rock stars wherever we went. In the past, I was always punctual and usually early. If we have to be on time (like a doctor’s appointment), we cancel all of our other appointments plan accordingly.

2 Responses to “6 Surprises of Fatherhood”

  1. comment number 1 by: EpisodicManners


    You haven’t lived until she’s pooped on your shoe!

  2. comment number 2 by: savoie faire

    Okay, baby poop will eventually start to smell. We were with a standard diaper pail for most of Caleb’s first year – then he started eating solid food and the poop smell came with it. Enjoy.

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