To the future dads1 out there, wondering how this new life is going to be like, let me give you a little peak. When you take 135 densely packed pages detailing “all a dad is and should be”, boil it down hard and let it dry for 4 months, you’ll be left with only two words that explain and describe everything: Caring and Intuition.
I’m sure you care about a whole list of things today and so you will even after the D-day. But very soon, there will be The One Care to rule them all. It’s The Care that will suddenly make you a very speed-aware driver. It’s The Care that will keep you up all night watching your baby sleep because … he does breathe a bit funny today, doesn’t he? It’s The Care that will sharpen your senses to near-Mr. Miyagi level – you might not be able to catch a fly with chopsticks, but catching a child before his head hits the pavement (most of the time) is a good start. And it’s The Care that will manage your calendar, set your priorities, turn your world and make sure you do your best at all times – even if it will never seem good enough.
On Not Caring
If you’re anything like me, you have made a list of all the horribly disgusting things you’ve seen parents do and negotiated upfront that you will NEVER …
- change diapers,
- clean vomit,
- finish food the baby spits out,
I will not sugar coat it for you. THAT list AND far worse is happening my friend. Oh yes. But the story has a silver lining – you will not care a bit!2
While The Care is an answer to the “What?” and “Why?” of being a dad, Intuition is your answer to “How?”. Don’t know how to play with a one year old? Not sure if he’s old enough for a beer at 2? Should he binge-watch GoT with you, or maybe not? Are there any pitfalls to “casting” a baby sitter? Just use your head, the answers are all there. And if you feel adventurous there are 5 Simple steps you can always follow:
- Put on a tin hat and use Google.
- Read the gazillion contradicting opinions on the simplest of things.
- Close Google.
- Forget all about it.
- Use your own intuition3
Let me end with a disclaimer. I am a father of 1 (one) child4. He is two years old. You should heed my advice as you do of a medic who sort-of went to med-school for two years and might have missed some of the more important lectures. Still – it’s all true.
1 and moms
2 Ok I’m not finishing the spit out food, that’s where I DRAW THE LINE!! For now. Don’t ask me tomorrow.
3 For a bit of fun run you can try “toddler wakes up coughing at night, how do I help”. The magnificent choice of sure-proof remedies covers the full spectrum from “intravenous cocktail of antibiotics, steroids and Pu-239” to “wrap a Canadian squirrel in grandfather’s sock soaked in warm virgin coconut oil and strap it to your child’s chest while gently knocking on your forehead.”
4 to my best knowledge