Friday, June 25, 2010

my first father's day (or, how to not repeat past mistakes)

so it was inevitable that father's day would roll around. i have found that father's day does not get nearly enough attention in society that mother's day gets. this is not at all to discount what moms do - it just seems to me that, for the most part, father's day is not that big a deal to a lot of people. i mean, look at the stereotypical gifts: on mother's day, moms get flowers, candy, dinner, etc. all kinds of cool stuff. what do dads get? a tie, or a tool of some sort. chill out, mom, relax! but dad, you go get dressed for work or fix something! just seems a little uneven.

so father's day is different things to different people. for myself, i want to hang out with my wife and my daughter. (actually liking spending time with your family?? what an effin' concept!) i don't wanna be one of these sullen douches who wants to spend the time alone watching the game in his man-cave (a phrase that, might i add, sounds vaguely homosexual.)

so yeah, i wanna spend time with my girls. some people look at me like i have 3 heads when i say i still get along great with my wife. my usual response is, 'it's not my fault that your marriage sucks.' that usually seems to shut the dopes up for a while.

father's day also makes me think about my relationship with my dad. most people don't know this, but we found out my wife was pregnant the same week my dad died last year. you have no idea how much it fucks with your head to lose your dad and find out you're going to be a dad a few days later. my dad and i didn't have a whole lot in common when i was growing up. for a long time i resented the fact that he was such a hardass. it took me until the time emmi was born to finally understand that fathers do what need to be done, even if it means playing the bad cop to my mom's good cop. there may be times when i will have to be the same type of hardass when emmi gets older. i just don't want her resenting me like i did with my dad. i guess that's the part i'll have to figure out.

p.s. for for my father's day gift, my wife set up a surprise photo shoot for me and emmi, and this was the shot we got. she looks great, it's too bad the shot was ruined by putting me in it ;)

Monday, June 14, 2010

thinking too far ahead (or, how to guarantee compliance when the time comes)

emmi is not even crawling yet, but i have already given much thought to the fact that she is a girl. as i have experienced, having a baby girl is a wonderful thing. but having a baby girl also means that in the not too distant future i will have a teenage girl. and along with teenage girls there is the certainty of teenage boys.

i know my kind, and i am seriously distrustful of them. the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) piece of advice i got about girls vs. boys is: when you have a boy, you only have to worry about one penis. when you have a girl, you have to worry about all of them. and yes, i may be getting a bit too far ahead of myself, but i have already become the overprotective dad.

i already have the lecture planned. it goes a little something like this:

emmi, i'm going to let you in on a secret: boys are stupid. they do not know their ass from their elbow, and when it comes to girls they are especially mentally challenged. it’s nothing you did, and it's not your fault, but unfortunately you have to deal with it. however, if you go into it knowing they are dumb as bricks, you will a. not waste as much time on any one particular dope, and 2. not get your feelings hurt when they act like morons. and they will act like morons.

as for compliance, i have that planned out too! i don’t believe in overt threats. however, like grand moff tarkin in star wars, i believe in fear. i also believe in psychological warfare. i have quite a few large kitchen knives. and on date night, when he comes to pick her up, they will need sharpening. another night, perhaps i’ll be quartering a chicken for dinner using a very large cleaver. maybe her uncle, the licensed texas gun owner, will be over cleaning his 9 millimeter. whichever method, the message should be understood, even if she is dating the densest meathead she can find.

have i over thought all this? i’m sure i have. but in my estimation, it’s never too early to prepare. and to start sharpening the knives.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

operation doll delivery (or, how to surprise mommy when she least expects it)

anyone who knows me knows that i am seriously forgetful. i'd forget to bring my head to work if it wasn't attached to my neck. it's not done on purpose, it just happens that i have a spaghetti strainer for a brain. so since kathy had some stuff to do in the morning, she and i were going to meet at gymboree (yes, we take emmi to gymboree. it's damn fun, ok?) and then she was to go with emmi to her mom's house up in poughkeepsie for a few days, a girls only trip where any boys within range would have rocks thrown at them. so, it fell to me to make sure i had everything she needed. i double checked and triple checked. bottles, food, jacket, blanket, binkie. i got this!


three little words turned my pride into sheer disgust: 'where's sarah jessica?' like an idiot, i had left her favorite doll on the bed while putting her in the car seat. crap crap crap crap crap!

now i feel about as small as the midgets on that 'little people big world' show. i was so proud, so happy i'd finally remembered everything!

so we go our separate ways, her to her mom's and me to work. but i have to make up for this. so i decided that instead of sitting at home with my thumb up my ass, after work, i'll stop home, pick up sarah jessica, and drive the 3 hours in traffic to poughkeepsie to make sure emmi has her doll to go to bed with, and then drive back home again after. the look on my wife's face as i got to the door clearly gave the impression she thought i was nuts, but at least i felt better that she'd have her doll tonight. and that was the important thing.

some people might think that 5 hours of driving might be too much for a doll, but for me, it was worth the peace of mind. and i didn't even have any rocks thrown at me.

Friday, June 4, 2010

the first six months (or, how to go from 0 to 1000 mph )

this week emmi is exactly six months old. when i think back to the days before she was born, i had this feeling of 'we're almost through this...' boy is that the wrong way to think. for a guy, the pregnancy is the easy part: be nice, get stuff for her, rub her feet, and don't do anything to piss her off that much. once the baby is born, after the initial excitement, you realize that this little creature has to literally learn everything, and it starts to sink in that this is really only the beginning. this prehistoric protector archetype starts to kick in, and all of a sudden you think you have to be some weird combination of superman, jesus, the dalai lama, and groucho marx. but there really is nothing that can prepare you for fatherhood. everything is learning on the fly, and even the best advice you may get from others may not work. i've found the best thing to do is do it your way while limiting your major mistakes.

that all being said, i do wish someone could have told me about a few things.

for instance, i wish someone would have told me that newborns, for the first 2 days or so, shit something akin to road tar. i could re-patch the driveway with the thick black sticky shit that was coming out of my daughter. another thing that would have been useful: after this road tar stage, someone could have told me that a babies' poop is rather explosive. i swear i almost hit the roof when an explosion the size of an m80 came out of her butt while changing her diaper. in fact, if it hadn't have just happened to me, i would have been quite impressed.

another thing that you learn: babies are easily amused. this is a really good thing. sometimes all it takes is a goofy face and the baby is amused for a while. forget toys, grab that burp cloth next to the bottle and play with that!

i wish someone would have told me that baby fingernails grow back really effin' fast. if i clip her nails on sunday, she's got a fully grown cocaine pinky nail again on tuesday. and clipping newborn nails is one of the most nervewracking undertakings you can try. one wrong move and you can seemingly chop off a fingertip. no pressure there at all.

so the most important lesson i've learned so far? it's a constant learning process. you learn a lot of stuff through good old trial and error. that and take a nap when you can.

happy 6 months, beautiful baby!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

an incomplete list of nicknames (or, how to give your child an identity crisis)

i hardly refer to anyone by their real name. i have pet names, nicknames, or other terms of endearment for almost everyone. (for those i don't have any, i probably don't care about you that much, but i digress...) so it stands to reason that emmi will have more than a few nicknames given to her. some are cute, some are weird, some are just because, some defy explanation. i wonder if she will grow up not knowing which end is up because i'm calling her a different thing every time. with that said, here are a list of nicknames she has been given at one time or another.

smiley mcsmilerson
stinky mcstinkface
the child
princess cutietoes
scream queen

some of these have a story: mustardbutt, for instance, is due to a three month old's poop looking like a bottle of french's exploded. some, like milkbreath, are pretty self explanatory. others are just my overactive imagination putting words together. i'm sure this list will expand as the years go by, but if i go on the last 6 months, i'll be shocked if she answers to emmi at all...