Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Two Weeks Down...The Lessons Learned

So as I sit here on my computer this morning, I'm listening to music, catching up on email, and reflecting back on the last 2 weeks of my life.  It was exactly 2 weeks and 7 hours ago that my beautiful daughter Avery was born.  As you could tell by my previous post, I wasn't really sure how I'd do at the daunting task of being a father.

Although not outlined in that posting, some of my fear had to do with the fact that I'm pretty set in my ways and I wasn't sure how having a child throw into the mix would jive with the whole routine and flow I had going on in my life.  I mean we aren't talking about the responsibility of taking care of a cat (which to this point I thought was the ultimate in responsibility).  We are talking about taking care of a human being.  Making sure that this child has everything that it, water, shelter, and probably most importantly love and happiness.  That's a big friggin deal!

Proudly I haven't had a
draught beer in 3 weeks!
So as I sit here two weeks into this whole thing and still learning how this all works out, I can tell the fathers-to-be out there that it really isn't that bad.  Sure you have to put some of the things you love to do on the back burner for a little bit.  My brewing, beer drinking, and disc golf are now taking a back seat to helping my wife with feedings, changing diapers, and calming down the baby when she's fussy.  But in the grand scheme of things, that is okay.  In fact, it's kinda fun to help out with these new challenges.

Beyond having a little buddy to spend my days chumming around with, I think my favorite part of fatherhood so far is getting to calm the baby down when she's crying.

I've come to realize that there are five main reasons a baby will begin to cry.  They are:

  1. If the baby is hungry
  2. If the baby has a wet or messy diaper
  3. If the baby is gassy and needs some help burping
  4. If the baby wants to be held
  5. If the baby is sick or hurt (I assume as thankfully Avery has not been sick yet)
Beyond that, there may be other reasons for a baby to cry, but I've yet to experience them.  Sometimes the crying from one of these needs listed above will last beyond the fixing of the situation.  That's where your Daddy skills come in.  I'm proud to say, in the very short time I've been a Dad, I've mastered the art of how to calm my baby down pretty quickly.  

For some reason unknown to vocal talent judges around the world, Avery loves when I sing to her.  I'll scoop her up, hold her in my arms so that she is facing me, and begin to sing to her.  Within a minute or so she's super calm, looking right into my eyes, and sometimes even has a smirk on her face.  If I stop singing (usually as a result of me racking my brain for the next song to sing), she'll start fussing until I sing again.  Eventually she'll fall asleep peacefully in my arms.  The feeling it leaves me with is amazing!

So far, the songs that Avery likes me singing to her are:
  • Guns 'n Roses "Sweet Child of Mine"
  • Guns 'n Roses "Patience"
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone"
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd's "All I  Can Do Is Write About It"
  • Supertramp's "Take the Long Way Home"
  • Ozzy's "Goodbye to Romance"
I don't have this CD, but I think I should
get it.   It looks pretty cool!
Those are a few of the songs that I can sing completely out of memory and know all the lyrics to.  Pretty soon I'll be making a list and practicing new songs so that Avery doesn't get bored of hearing the same show every time she wants some Daddy time.  

Other lessons I've learned so far that may be of use to other fathers-to-be:
  • The Target brand of diapers are the crappiest diapers on the market.  Do what you can at all costs to avoid buying these leaky pieces of crap.  That is unless you like mustard colored crap all over your baby's clothes and doing laundry all the time.  Pampers and Huggies seem to do the job a million times better.  Plus they have strips on them that turn blue every time the baby pees (Target brand does not).  Friggin genius!  
  • Do not listen to people when they say that infant diapers do not smell bad because the baby isn't eating real food yet.  These people are bold faced liars and Avery has had a few diapers already that could turn the strongest stomach in the world.
  • Don't buy into the "Oh get you sleep now cause you will never sleep once the baby comes" lies that people will fill your head with prior to having the baby.  Amounts of sleep have been normal in this house, just not consecutive.  Look, you have good days and bad days (or nights).  You are going to go stretches where you are up every 2 to 3 hours before getting more sleep, but in the grand scheme of things that is okay and you will get used to it.  It's not the miserable hell that people tell you about.  Don't let their lies scare you.  
  • The Diaper Genie is not useless and not a flimsy piece of crap.  Even the smallest baby can produce a diaper that packs quite the stinky punch.  You don't want that nastiness in the kitchen or bathroom trash can.  That is where the Diaper Genie comes in.  It contains the smell and does a pretty good job at it.  It's also pretty easy to use.  So people who tell you their Diaper Genie broke after a short period of time are a bunch of wild animals who go through life breaking everything they touch.  The concept of how it works is pretty easy and there's not too many moving parts.  If you try to force the moving parts into doing something that they aren't meant to do, then you will have problems.  It's friggin plastic people!
Embrace the Genie!

Okay well I think it's time to go play with my little girl as it sounds like she's just waking up.  I'll be sure to share whatever other words of wisdom that I learn in this journey of a lifetime.  



  1. Glad you are having an easy go of it. I hope it lasts! I can tell you that the early weeks/months with my two girls were not nearly as easy. Especially with number one - see #colic.

    Btw, the Rockabye Baby CDs are awesome. I have the Cure and U2 ones. My girls never fell for them, but I enjoyed them. I'd love to hear the G'n'R.

    1. That post of yours must have slipped passed my eyes last summer. Either that or I wasn't in the Daddy frame of mind at that time. I hear colic babies are tough, so I'm very fortunate my little Avery is the type of baby who needs to be woken up at night to feed. I'm probably the parent that everyone hates because of that.

      I'm going to download the GnR and Black Sabbath Rockabye Baby CDs this week as we are going to be transitioning Avery to her crib soon and she has a iPod player on her crib. My friend gave me the Pink Floyd and 2 of the Beatles Rockabye Baby CDs.

      I look forward to more of your lessons learned on fatherhood on your blog. Might save me from some future headache if you could share. :)