Over the past week, two different lucky couples that we know joined the ranks of The Walking Dead. Not the zombie horde, but the fraternity of new parents. Their circumstances couldn’t be more different, but besides both having daughters, another thing they have in common, what all new parents have in common, is that they have no idea what they are in for.
Luckily for them they have something else in common. A dad blogger friend willing to share his own experiences and fails. Someone with more helpful advice than “sleep when they sleep.” ( Seriously though, you should totally do that.) I won’t tell you about how fast it all goes, because it’s impossible to comprehend until it starts happening, and even then it’s hard to believe. Instead I’ll pass along these tidbits, unsolicited as they may be. The real things that you might as well find out now.
Bowel movements have just become the axis that your new life revolves around. It will be approximately twelve months before you have another conversation with each other that doesn’t at some point contain references to the color, consistency, or frequency of poop. The next private, relaxing dump you take in your home will be the first day of preschool. Never go cheap when buying diapers and never think that you are leaving the house with enough baby wipes. There is no early warning system when it comes to upcoming poonamis.
Listen to your parental spidey sense. If something seems off with your kid, get it checked out, no matter how silly you feel. If it seems like it’s too quiet and peaceful in the next room, run. Your child will roll, crawl, or climb towards whatever you don’t want them to the second your attention is diverted. They have their own sixth sense about such things.
They are far less fragile than they appear and commonsense is usually enough to keep them uninjured. It’s actually not necessary to drive 35 mph on the highway en route to their first appointments, fit them with crash helmets, or staple bubble wrap to the walls, though I would suggest being aware of low lying exit signs while carrying them around on your shoulders. Sometimes it is OK to take a picture before intervening in situations that may end poorly.
You’re about to turn into a total wuss. I’ve seen varying statistics about how far a man’s testosterone levels drop once they have daughters, but it’s possible that they are all conservatively low. Chances are pretty good that you cried the first time that you held her, the first time that she looked into your eyes. Get over any embarrassment you may have felt because those waterworks are going to be your new normal. I spent approximately thirty minutes writing this post, another twenty typing and editing, and about an hour looking at old baby pictures.
It’s not easy, but you’ll figure it out. Nothing that you read or hear applies to every child. There is enough stress in parenting without letting outside thoughts and opinions add to it. Unless they have their own dad blog. I’d listen to that guy.