Dadhood: Week one
Life is an ever moving circus of change. Change, the only constant, is sometimes, good, sometimes bad, and sometimes, so fabulous it deserves a separate category altogether. As of writing this article – or at least beginning this article – I have successfully completed my first week of fatherhood.
I have become the co-creator of life, a counterfeiter of personal DNA, and an active proponent of life on this planet. I was hoping I’d get more superpowers, like mind reading, super-speed, multi-tasking and always-being-right. Based on my childhood memories of my parents, I thought it was part of the package, but apparently, those superpowers have to be earned.
A sobering lesson, for sure. But you learn a lot once you become the proud father of a bouncing baby boy. I was fortunate to be very timely in learning what ‘bouncing’ actually means in that context. My son was even more fortunate that I learned this just in time.
Not everyone is that fortunate, however. Sometimes, you learn important things too late. But fear not – I am all set to dispense with some parenting tips. Now, some of you may be thinking – Hey! This guy has only been a parent for one week! He should NOT be giving parenting tips!
To those people, I have two things to say – Firstly, you can’t tell me what to do! You’re not my mom! Unless… you are, in which case, mom, we’ll discuss this privately later. You’re messing up my flow here. Secondly, I KNOW I am not a veteran parent. I am not proposing to write a parenting book, for crying out loud. It’s just a very short list of tips specifically focused on the first week of parenthood. Actually, it’s even more focused than that – These tips are for the first week of fatherhood alone.
And I can give these tips because I’m a fast learner. These are tips you won’t find in your mainstream parenting book. Because your mainstream parenting advice author is not a lazy lunatic.
Tip#1 – Baby selfies: Not a thing. At least not for one week old infants. You can’t just create an Instagram account for them and expect them to post their own pics. You’re gonna have to take the photos yourself. Their little fingers are too small to reach the buttons.
Tip#2 – You need to wait a bit before you order your baby around or to give you a hand with your work. Week 1 is definitely not the right time to do that. It turns out babies are notoriously lazy, and don’t even know the most basic Excel formulas. If you try asking them to make you a cup of coffee, they’d just stare at you for a minute before crying for the next two hours.
Tip#3 – Speaking about crying, you may want to invest in one pair of headphones and a fairly loud music album. That seems callous and irresponsible, but note that I specifically said ONE pair. That’s crucial. No headphones for the mom. That’s how you take care of the baby.
Tip#4 – You need to practice snoring. Your kid will inevitably keep waking up at odd hours of the night. Not to make you a cup of coffee, or to fill up your Excel sheet, but to cry incessantly. This is the number one cause of sleep deprivation for new parents. However, if you manage to sleep through this, your wife will eventually take care of him for you. You don’t actually have to stay asleep for this to work. As long as you can convincingly pretend to be asleep, you can still make it. The trick is to keep snoring loud enough to show that you’re not backing down. I recommend recording your snores and boosting the volume while you play that back on a loop.
Ok, so maybe the reason why I’m able to give these tips is not so much me being a fast learner as much as me being a selfish jerk. It takes a special kind of cretinous douche to saddle all parenting responsibilities on his wife, especially when she’s still recovering from the pain and anguish of natural childbirth. It does, but if you follow these tips, then maybe I won’t be alone in the Douchebag Club.
But jokes aside, there is one serious tip that I learned from my first week as a dad. It concerns finding the right name for your kid. I wrote earlier about my search for a name. At that point, we were considering ‘Ethan’, but due to some internal copyright infringement issue, we had to keep looking – my son’s cousin has first dibs on it.
Tip#5 – No matter what you do, do NOT name your kid after a popular underwear brand. That’s the sort of name that ends in a justifiable patricide later in life. We had all but settled on the name ‘Adonis’, after the Greek God who was apparently the handsomest dude ever. We even informed friends and relatives about the name.
It turns out that Adonis is a brand of premium men’s inner-wear. Any kid walking into school with that name is just asking for a wedgie. And the premium nature of the underwear does nothing to mitigate the thousands of dollars worth of therapy he’s bound to run up.
So we’re back to square one. We’re sifting through names fast, because time is of essence. We need to hurry because, firstly, we need to apply for his passport soon. And secondly, my wife may read this article any day now, after which I may not be… functional for a while.