Parenting is a pretty amazing adventure. I have been a dad for almost 6 years now and somewhere along the trail of Cheerios, runny noses, and snuggle sandwiches I think I have managed to learn a few things. I have a friend that is preparing to become a father. He asked me, the other day, if I had any advice. This is what I told him:
- A sleeping baby that is starting to wake up is like an eclipse. Whatever you do, do not look directly at it.
- At some point you will be taking a shirt off your toddler and it will get stuck around their head because you forgot to unbutton the back. For a split second you will consider yanking it the rest of the way. You won’t because you aren’t a monster but you will question your value as a human being for even considering it.
- One day your kid will learn to read. Start working on your response to the “Free Kittens” sign now.
- When your baby is in that “don’t you dare put me down” stage, the most fun way to cut up a frozen waffle is with a meat cleaver.
- Realize now that anything your child brings with them to play with in the car has a 78% chance of never being seen again. Ever.
- When out alone with your baby in public you will think it is hilarious to ask another mom what flavor of Power Aid 9 month olds like the best when in front of a vending machine. Your wife will not find this as funny but you should do it any way.
- Unless you go all out with glitter and a poster board card, it is best not to mention that you sent a birthday message into the Sprout network. The only fruit you will have to show for your labor is diminished DVR capacity and disappointment.
I told him that anything I didn’t cover in that list he could probably find in a book because that is where they put advice from people truly qualified to give it. Being a parent is the best and passing along some pearls of wisdom you have picked up along the way is totally sweet.
The Last Minute Valentine
I wanted to go ahead and toss a friendly reminder out there to my fellow husbands. Valentine’s Day is next week. Now, when you are executing your poorly thought out romance action plan on the way home from work next week, don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you do find yourself scrambling at the last-minute, remember there is no time to launch an elaborate gesture of love and romance to your significant other. Keep it simple. Here are a few of my hopes for the last-minute valentine.
- I Hope the gas station sells roses.
- And not the kind that turn out to be rolled up red panties. (Unless you are into gas station underwear. If so, go nuts)
- I hope you finish your heart-felt message in her card before the light turns green.
- I hope you think of enough things to write in the card that you can draw a little arrow at the bottom signaling to the next page. ( I know as a dude when you see that little arrow you just think “great, more reading” but trust me, women love it.)
- I hope you remember that this isn’t your nephew’s graduation and putting a check for $20 inside the card won’t cut it.
- I hope you remember to figure something out for dinner. Don’t even try to find a last-minute babysitter and take her to a restaurant, that’s a suicide mission pal. Just bring something home (from a place that doesn’t have a drive through).
- I hope you aren’t one of those dudes with glazed over eyes standing in front of a mile long display in a card shop. If you are, just get one of those long skinny cards (girls love those).
- I hope you don’t, in an effort to save time, just grab a birthday card and scribble out the word birthday and write Valentine’s above it (girls don’t love those).
- I hope you remember to tell her you love her and mean it.
- I hope she gives you a few chocolates free of the exploratory thumb poke on the bottom.
You don’t have to start planning now but just remember it is coming. It may be a holiday manufactured by florists and card companies but she deserves to know you love her everyday, especially on Valentine’s Day.
It is hard to use the steering wheel as a writing surface for a Valentine’s Day card and waiting until the last-minute is totally weak.