A few of my friends have recently become first time Dads. The rush of new emotions, the cloudy first few days, new beginnings and learning new skills are all so extraordinary. But then there’s the Dad side of this coin.
Congrats my friends… you have learned the new definition of the term Obsolete! You were once your significant other’s everything (all the way back to yesterday). Overnight, your place has been usurped, your life has now become dedicated to someone else, your wants/needs have almost completely ceased to exist, and yet… You don’t mind one single bit. Why? Because you’re the DAD!
That said, life’s about to throw you some curve balls, so let me help you out! 10 Real Life Lessons are my gift to you:
Lesson 1: iPhones Make Great Convenience, NOT Great Prints!
We documented the first 6 months of our older son’s life on the iPhone. 5 years later I’m STILL not hearing the end of it!! Don’t cheap out, buy the DSLR (even though you’ll only use it 3x a year)! Cheap Dad Tip: If you get points through your Credit Card Company, you can use points on a nice camera.
Lesson 2: Gamble With Money, Not Diapers
I thought I knew about explosive Diarrhea personally. I was WRONG. I remember my competitive edge kicking in with my wife “yea, well… he’s never pooped or peed on me!” Instant Karma! ALWAYS have the Diaper ready before you start changing!
Lesson 3: Go for 2!
Let’s get real guys… As the proverb goes, “You need to break a few eggs to make an omelette”. Such is parenting to me! Make sure you have that second child, because you’re most likely going to have to practice a little on the first!
Lesson 4: Walk Away, Save Yourself!
First Time Dads will do anything and everything in their power to get that damn kid to stop screaming like their being tortured. Second Timers (Pros… yea right), put the kid down and walk out of the room. Baby won’t break… just put them in a safe space first!
Lesson 5: Have Your Escape Plan Ready
Moms have this uncanny ability to sense everything you’ve done wrong… EVER. Make SURE you have your escape plan ready when you’ve screwed up and Baby starts crying! Say, for example (completely hypothetically of course…), if Baby falls out of the swing because you may or may not have forgotten to lock them in… and you hear the thud from the other room… and you find them lying face down on the carpet… but not really hurt… Make SURE you get there first and knock something off of the counter near the swing, pick up Baby and by the time your wife walks in, you “don’t know why he’s crying. Maybe he got scared when X fell off the counter over there!”
Lesson 6: You’re Not Smarter Than A 5th Grader, Or A 4th Grader, Or 3rd, 2nd, 1st…
They enter this world smarter than you. Deal with it! Kids are the world’s greatest Sales People. My 2 yr old and I got into an argument once over why he needed to eat something. He won… So instead of conceding, I made a Fart Noise (it was my only recourse to a 2 year old using better logic than me). You can’t out stubborn them, especially when they play the “Why” card! Don’t step up to the controller if you don’t want to play the game!
Lesson 7: Potty Train Yourself
The Throne, The Real Man Cave, The Executive Suite or otherwise known to a Dad as YOUR REAL BEST FRIEND. For most of you (and I pity you others), this is the ONE place in your home where you’re left alone! Take advantage of it. I walk in, lock the door and boom… instantaneous euphoria. Nobody hanging on me, biting me, jumping on me, kicking me in the nuts, and for the most part nagging me for the better part of 4-5 minutes (hey… I didn’t say you’d get out of everything). But for those few glorious minutes… I am King once again!
Lesson 8: Join the Dollar SAVE Club
That wasn’t a typo. Facial hair is NOT your friend as a new dad. The trend today has led us back to our Caveman/Lumberjack roots. More men are growing these (let’s face it, sometimes) impressive beards, I ask you to pause and think to yourself… “What does dried spit up smell like 15 days later?” If that thought doesn’t conjure up the warm and fuzzies inside of you, then save yourself the nausea and ditch the beard Dumbledore!
Lesson 9: Colonoscopy vs. Dinner
Full Disclosure: I’ve never had a Colonoscopy. BUT… If I had, I’d imagine that Dinner (or any meal for that matter) would be less pleasurable. At least with the Colonoscopy, you’re lying down all drugged up, and there’s a medical professional nearby to reassure you that everything’s going to be alright!
Lesson 10: Enjoy the Ride!
Remember that scene in Gone In 60 Seconds where Nicolas Cage is driving all throughout the streets of LA, doing 80+ and never hitting the brakes? Swerving in and out of traffic, causing accidents and taking hard rights and lefts while getting all banged up along the way. That’s what it’s like to have kids. You have virtually no control (sure you can steer a little, but “Eleanor” is going to go where she wants sometimes)! It feels like you’ve got the world chasing you, and all you want to do is get across that finish line. You’ll get there one way or another… you can bank on that! You’ll have a few passengers in the car with with you, so the most important thing you can do, is try to slow down and enjoy the ride!