I have no idea why I am going to write this other than I feel like it. So here it goes.
The best thing that I ever did with my daughter was to take ALL the 3 am feedings. My wife was not allowed to get up and help. My wife was not allowed to walk down the stairs. My wife was not allowed to call my name from upstairs. I think, and I could only be guessing here, that my wife loved this.
I know that this is a weird thing to say and doesn’t make much sense on the outside. But stick with me, my story gets better.
Being a Dad, especially for the first time, can be fucking hard. I have never been one of those that piss and moan so I don’t really get into this that much. My basic philosophy is that it is my kid, I’m not a rent a Dad, I am superdad. I planned on being no less than the hero for my daughter. But that is not to say that she doesn’t drive you up a god damn wall at times.
And here is the kicker: it’s not always hard because of the Little Hoss. Sometimes, just sometimes, people need to shut the shit up and let Dad be Dad. I say this in defense of all Dad’s out there. I shall speak for you my brothers and together, we shall get some god damn peace and quiet.
So let’s start with making some confessions, on behalf of all Dad’s out there. But don’t worry, I got your back. 1. At first, I had no damn idea how to change a diaper. 2. I had no idea how small she was really going to be and how much of a klutz I am. 3. I still think poop is gross and do not think it is cute in any way, shape or form. 4. Formula, breast milk, cough strips, breast pads, leakage, the burrito wrap and water temp for bath—no idea about any of it. 5. New baby clothes have to be washed PRIOR to them wearing it, with special detergent. 6. Babies cry. All the time. When you want to sleep.
Listed above, that is what most first time Dad’s don’t know. That and everything that is about to happen to your wife AFTER the wife gives birth. I won’t go into detail, but be prepared for more blood, some depression, some mania, constant pain for a month. We don’t know about any of that either. Hats off to Moms, and especially Hossmom.
We are not idiots either. Which brings me to the point of this story, taking all the 3 am feedings.
It is very easy for everyone, and I do mean everyone, to silently push Dad out of the way when there is a new baby there. I don’t think it is meant as any kind of slight or any kind of assessment of your skills. Ok, that is bullshit, it is an assessment of your perceived skills. I was trying to be kind but screw it.
It is very easy for everyone that sees you, whether they know you or not, to try and offer you “helpful” suggestions at every turn. And this happens to everyone, including my sister. When she first had her kiddo, some helpful non relative suggested that the baby MUST have socks on all the time and then proceeded to get a pair and put them on my neice.
I very kindly suggested, in a most appropriate way, that just perhaps---she should strip down the kid butt naked and let them run around for 20 minutes. As you can tell, I am all about the helpful suggestion.
My wife was great at letting me be Dad. She understood that she couldn’t do it all and needed help. She was great at letting me discover how to do things on my own at times. Granted, we did have to make a baby rule about it. If you put on a diaper wrong and she busts out a massive dump, you have to fix it. You can believe that I learned the right way to do it very quickly. Hossmom is a genius, a giver and teacher.
But my way is not always the nurturing, cuddle bunny way. I may tend to do things a tad bit differently that may offend some softer souls out there. The touchy feely type people may get a tad bit irritated by me. For example, if that little tag on the diaper breaks while I’m struggling to put it on, I may not throw the diaper away. I may use a small patch of duct tape.
If my daughter likes to climb. Well, we may like to get the step ladder out and start a little expedition. While she was up there, I also let her grab the painter’s tape off the wall of the new nursery and pull it down. Might as well put her little ass to work while we were at it. She loved it, thought it was the best thing ever. And yes, I was standing right behind her so don’t freak out. We got the nursery painted in record time.
And if my daughter wants to pull some grass up because she enjoys destruction, anyone want to guess who helps me weed? At 20 months old, she is quiet the little work horse. She might get bit by an ant or two, but she is tough. She growls at them then gets back to work, my Little Hoss.
My point is that Dad’s just have a different way of doing things and although they may seem a little off the wall, it’s just different.
And I learned it all during the 3 am feeding. This was the gift that my wife gave me. I told her I would do it so she could actually get some sleep rather than having leachy sucking off her every minute.
This was my time to do things with my daughter without any interruption. It was my time to figure out exactly how to do things that would make my daughter happy. It was my time to figure out if she was strapped into a car seat and sung around like it was a carnival ride, she would stop crying and gently wait for her heated late night snack.
We would sit there while watching America whip ass in the Olympics. We would talk about who I should draft in my next fantasy football league. We would watch the cat try and be sneaky and get past the dog and then to fail and run like a banshee through the living room. We had a lot of laughs those nights. And it’s where I learned that hey, I can take care of my kid with not to much problems.
That was what my wife gave me and that’s why I love her so much. She knows that I hate it when people watch over my back and she knows that sometimes, Dads and Daughters just have to do things there way, like watch Star Trek and growl at Klingons.
Trust in Dads, let them rock and roll the way they know how. And if there is a problem, it’s probably something that duct tape can easily fix.