Monday, September 27, 2010

Daddy Bootcamp

Billy Cosby has an entire standup comedy album on parenting. One of the stories he tells is about getting ready for the birth of his first child: “I do what every educated person does…I buy books” I’m sure that if Daddy Bootcamp existed when Bill Cosby was studying to become a father he would have went to that as well.

On Saturday morning, while most men were watching ESPN fist and chest bumping, I was hanging out with 15 or so of my other petrified fathers-to-be learning the ins and outs of what we’re in for. (Turns out, mostly in for full on poop diaper blowouts.)

Daddy Bootcamp was not clinical, but instead consisted of two dads talking through the ins and outs of the first few months of being a dad. Fortunately, there were no feelings, no crying, no talking about how you were scared, and no women to laugh at you. It was all practical information – including the two additional new dads who brought their 4 month old babies to be passed around.

Overall, I liked it. It is honestly a bit hard to pinpoint exactly what I learned, but I am glad I went. It wasn’t all new information – but some of it was. Some of the highpoints were:

  • If you faint in the delivery room, they will take you out and they will not let you come back no matter what (VERY Good info for me to know. Must.hold.strong.)
  • Under no circumstances what so ever, do NOT laugh at the mesh underwear that the mother must wear after pregnancy (My plan: Never look at them)
  • Boobs leak. When you squeeze them? Leak. When they are too full? Leak. Even when a random baby cries!? Leak (Sounds like a challenge to me)
  • Everyone has a different opinion on which baby paraphernalia is “good” vs “bad”. E.g. I’ve heard more than one person say that a bottle warmer is a must, but during the class they said that they weren’t worth it
  • Babies pee at the most inappropriate times – always keep your mouth closed while changing a diaper (learned that one the only other time I’ve babysat an infant)
  • After the pregnancy, people are going to want to help with anything. Take advantage of it! Have them vacuum, mow the lawn, or (no joke) clean your garage (score!)

Now, as much as it hurts my soul, it is time to get serious
In all honesty I’ve got this whole parenting thing down. There are two reasons for my optimism. First, I know that there are millions of more unprepared moms and dads who do just fine. They make mistakes along the way just like we all do. The trick, of course, is limiting the long lasting impacts of those mistakes. That is, screwing up teaching the rules of baseball vs screwing up whatever eventually causes little girls (or highly attractive boys) to grow up to be strippers.

Second, I know that I’ve got a good teammate in my wife that will help guide me along the way.

And, I guess if that doesn’t work, I’ll email Cosby and see if he can recommend any good parenting books.

30 comments:

Chad said...

Everything I know I learned from black comedians. Chris Rock said to ask yourself everyday "what have I done today to keep my daughter off the pole?"

But seriously, bottle warmers are for suckers. We never actually warmed Leah's formula until she was 9 months old. At that point we were trying anything to help with teething.

Andrew Opala said...

You might also try other parents in your extended family (but only if you like them and they like you back). Or they might tell you to start dunking your baby in bleach or something.

Good luck young man, you will grow into a fine Father! (Buy Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Mary Poppins, they help over the 4 1/2 to 9 year period when mommy decides to disappear on a rainy Saturday and you had other plans!) Just try to emulate Dick Van Dyke in absolutely EVERYTHING you do!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

As the father of 4 non-strippers (of course the oldest is only 9), feel free to ask anything you want about being a dad. Whatever I don't know I'll be happy to make up.

...Barbie... said...

This post has officially made me want to never have children.
1. mesh underware - WTF?!
2. boobs leak - WTF?!
Thanks Adam, never ever ever having kids. But in all seriousness - you'll be an awesome Dad!! Good luck and enjoy the wild ride and congrats!!

...Barbie... said...

This post has officially made me want to never have children.
1. mesh underware - WTF?!
2. boobs leak - WTF?!
Thanks Adam, never ever ever having kids. But in all seriousness - you'll be an awesome Dad!! Good luck and enjoy the wild ride and congrats!!

Anne said...

You are going to be a great dad...

Julie said...

Hi Adam,
I have faith in you! This daddy thing...you are going to be great! Just roll with the punches and don't stress over the little stuff:)

All of the kids will want to have sleep overs at your house because you are going to be the cool dad:)

Barefoot Neil Z said...

Yeah, the bottle warmer will just piss you off. Hot water in a larger cup will work great, and if you run the water it will heat up much faster at 3:30am, and 4:45am and 6:25am.

If you get a chance to nap at work, do it. Just go to your car in the lot and have a nap. Never tell your wife.

Erika said...

with 3 monkeys of my own...you'll find what works for you! and good idea about not laughing at the drawers...that would have seriously pissed me off after delivery:)

Cynthia O'H said...

Yup, my husband couldn't handle the delivery of our youngest. The anaestheologist (okay, a tough word to spell) couldn't get to me on time (yes, LI was speedy - even back then) so looked after Daddy - passed out across the hall - instead. I couldn't see him until the next day.

Angie Bishop said...

You are in for a good time! When its all happening it might seem overwhelming but just stay calm and it will all be fine and in hindsight you will look back fondly on it all, even the not so great stuff.

You need to remember to breath and relax.
The baby needs to be held so use a sling to save your arms from getting tired. (seriously the best baby item there is! Hold baby and have free hands)
Baby needs diapers changed and to be fed.
All in all its pretty simple if you let it be. You and your wife seem tight so all is good :)

Adrienne said...

Mesh underwear and leaky boobs....ahhh the memories :) My advice: don't eat lunch and watch the tube in front of your wife while she is waiting to deliver and sucking on ice chips....it's annoying, even the 4th time around. AND get the woman some flowers!! You'll be great.

C2Iowa said...

The things that you are going to learn and wish that you never heard of or much less ever wantede to know........#1 rule for me was: when baby sleeps, you better sleep!

Berryfine said...

1. Please don't faint- it will just piss your wife off further and she'll already be mad you "got her here" in the first place.
2. Don't look at it. Also, don't watch the baby come out- stand near your wife's head. Nothing kills your sexual relationship like the "miracle of life"
3. Boob leakage. Haha. But don't laugh when it happens. Cause that's your fault too.
4. It's called a microwave. You already own it.
5.No really. Also, your wife will not want that baby going anywhere- if someone offers to hold the baby for an hour and feed it and change it, GO TAKE A NAP. You will need it. Drag her forcibly with her.

Oh look, I've never had a baby but I could teach a class!

Ewa said...

What mesh underwear? Is that a new fashion or something? Hmm...
Trust me you will learn super duper fast when the big day comes. It will be quite ride and you are going to LOVE it.

ShutUpandRun said...

Having a good team mate in your wife is the absolute most important thing! That and not sweating the small stuff. If I could go back to when my kids were babies, I wouldn't get all freaked out about every little thing. Except that time when Sam was playng with the phone and called 911 and the police showed up xmas morning certain that there was a "domestic" going on.

Jess said...

You will do just fine. Parenting is pretty easy -- you toss 'em a cookie every once in awhile and they're golden!

As far the labor and delivery business goes, I have a few nuggest of wisdom:

1. While she's in labor, don't do anything that indicates that you're there on vacation. Don't watch TV, read a book, or play your PSP during the "down time." Stare at the wall if you have to, but don't do ANY thing that resembles entertaining yourself!

2. You won't faint, and if you do, your wife as the right to call you degrading names the rest of your life.

3. Don't eat in front of her. If her labor lasts long enough that you need a meal, eat it in the hallway. And for god's sake, don't eat something that will leave you with nasty breath!

4. Lastly, be sure to thank your wife afterward. Tell her how pretty she is and how much you appreciate her. Diamonds or other sparkly jewelry don't hurt either.

The Sean said...

We are going weekly to child birthing classes- like you I am not sure exactly what I have learned... but know I feel much more prepared than I did 4 weeks ago:)

funderson said...

Aw...You'll do great! You're engaged and interested so already waaaaay ahead of most men. Also, 90% of the crap "they" tell you that you need is bollox.

Emz said...

Love Chad's comment.

And BTW - I does suck. The boob thing. UGGGG.
And I'd like to tell Kovas, "as of today" should be added to the beginning of his sentence.

Jamoosh said...

"...Second, I know that I’ve got a good teammate in my wife that will help guide me along the way." So you are saying your wife is bossy? Hey, you said it, not me!

Runners Fuel said...

I didn't even know classes like this really exisited. You'll be a great dad!

Jill said...

My friend loaded some very early Cosby parenting comic stuff on my iPod when I ran Tucson last year - I was laughing while running. While PRing. Just sayin :).

BTW, I LOVED my bottle warmer!!

You're gonna be a great dad, no doubts here!!

Whitney said...

Bootcamp sounds fun... maybe my husband needs to find one. We had our 3rd of 6 classes at the hospital last night. You know, then ones where they tell you all about labor and you watch videos of really unattractive people giving birth. (What's up with all of the ugly people?)

Ace said...

Two words for parenting success: duct tape.

aron said...

baby will be here soooooon :) no fainting!

Ed said...

If it gets too real in the delivery room, at least you know you have an out... just drop to the ground.

JK... good luck. From the way you write, joke, and approach life, as I can tell from your blog, you remind me a lot of my brother-in-law. He is a great father, and I don't imagaine you to be anything different. Good Luck!

Her Name is Rio said...

You guys make an excellent team- you'll be terrific parents!

Glenn Jones said...

Thank goodness I don't have to go throught *that* again. the next time around I'll just hand the grandkid back to the "proud" mom or dad....

Megan said...

Yeah, you have to find your own way. Whats right for me might not work for you. And what's right for this baby wont be for the next one.
Your role in the delivery room is to be tough. Stand there, smile, say as little as possible and bring her what ever she asks for. Good luck.