Once impending fatherhood is leaked publicly, the standard response is, “Your life is going to change.”
It’s an abstract statement that carries as much weight as when a nosy middle-aged family friend explains to a recent high school graduate, “Those were the best years of your life.”
Although high school is fun, standardized testing and sharing a bathroom with siblings does little to inspire or lead to personal growth.
Those glorious years of debauchery, freedom and financial stability that occur before the 30th birthday are awesome, but the single greatest event occurs when that baby lets loose the first pterodactyl-like scream.
No matter how closely you read those “What to Expect” books or spend time combing through Google pages and even soliciting friendly advice from other new parents, there’s little that can adequately prepare the unassuming guy for the daunting task of fatherhood.
But human nature dictates we share it anyway.
When my buddies found out they were going to be fathers, I offered this advice:
Tip # 1: Sleep until noon at least once before that kid is born.
That’s it. Just something simple.
Humans new to the world have little regard for how much bourbon you enjoyed the previous night, or how many hours you worked or number of holes played on the golf course.
They only care about themselves and how loudly they can bang their wooden stick against a metal pot, or whether or not their cereal has yogurt in it.
Now that their children are out in the world, I will offer another piece of advice:
Tip # 2: Keep mom calm.
This Thursday, the Weekly’s Deputy Editor was rushed to a medical professional after sticky black stool was discovered in his diaper. The daycare made the call and mom feared internal bleeding. WebMD calls its “melena,” which is the result of food mixing with blood as it travels through the digestive system. His diagnosis, however, was diaper paste mixed with digested blueberries. Licorice, iron pills and Pepto-Bismol can produce the same results.
For the new dads, I will undoubtedly call upon two really great tips that were passed on to me from my father – a refrigeration mechanic smarter than his blue collar let on.
Tip # 3: If someone ever says he looks like his mother, pull down his diaper and say, “Now, who does he looks like?”
Although he may not be a resemble a mini version of his dad, young children can be easily trained to utter quotes from Caddyshack, laugh when they fart and cheer against Lebron James.
Tip # 4: When he starts walking, knock him down.
They grow up fast, so don’t feel bad about slowing them down. Plus, movement leads to injuries (see Tip # 2), which can lead to loss of certain freedoms like golfing, drinking and fishing.
This Sunday, I plan to exercise one or all of those rights, but I may end of just hanging out with my son. He is a great excuse to go to work and an even better reason to come home.