May 22, 2011

You don’t know me

Hi Little One,

You’ll be here in less than three weeks.

Three weeks?! It’s going to fly by, I know. And before you come, I wanted to let you know that I’m really looking forward to you being a part of our family. And before you join us, before you meet me, I wanted to let you know a little bit about me.

I take this fatherhood thing pretty seriously. I feel like it’s my job to make sure you grow up to be a confident, caring, respectful person. I will encourage, love, listen and speak with you. But I will also say no when you really want me to say yes. I feel like it’s my job to raise adults, not children.

Having said that, we’re gonna have fun, Little One. I like to sing out loud (much to everyone’s chagrin), dance like nobody’s watching, color on a rainy Sunday, tickle and blow raspberries and have pillow fights. I’ll sometimes let you eat whipped cream right from the can, throw in chocolate chips into your pancakes or cap a hot Summer’s day at the local frozen yogurt shop. I like to braid hair, snuggle while watching cartoons, read bedtime stories and kiss you gently on your cheek after you’ve fallen asleep.

Now, I’m not perfect. I get grumpy when I’m tired or hungry. I don’t like being late and I’d rather go to the dentist than balance my checkbook.

But no one will love you more than I, Little One. I promise you that.

See you in a few weeks.


May 15, 2011


The past six years have been pretty damn amazing.

The first year, when everything seemed overwhelming and the twins made our lives all about them, I thought I’d never want to go down that road again. The lack of sleep, the irritability, the lack of sleep, the way breastfeeding ruled our lives, the lack of sleep…

There was no way I was going to do that again. But then things started to get easier. I got to sleep a bit more (although I still have not slept past 6:30 a.m. in six years), the kids became more self-sufficient and I began to realize that this could be it. The kids would be 1/3 grown up and I’d be wondering where the time went.

So we began to talk about having another one. The pros and cons were weighed. And the pros were overwhelmingly better than the one con – could we afford another one? In the end, we realized that we wanted another baby and sacrificing monetarily would be worth it.

And just like that, we were pregnant again (my wife is more fertile than than the Amazon rain forest). And while the pregnancy has been happening, I’ve had other things competing for my attention – specifically, opening a brand new YMCA four weeks ago. But now there is no doubt that a baby is coming. Week 36 has arrived and the little one could choose to join us anytime in the next month or so. It’s exciting but… different too.

I don’t have the anxiety that I felt the last time. The unknowns are now better known. I’m a veteran father now and not the rookie I was just six years ago when I was thrust into the part without really knowing what to do or what was expected.

Now I know. At least, I have a better understanding. I know I will be there to change diapers, blow raspberries on bellies and give warm baths. I know I’ll be there to hold a sleeping baby on my belly in the quiet morning. And I know I’ll be there to guide and protect and love.

Fatherhood has revealed itself to me and, I’d like to think, I’m pretty good at it. Maybe this time the new one won’t have to be patient for me to figure this fatherhood thing out. Maybe this time I’ll be able to focus on one baby rather than two and give her the attention she wants or needs. Maybe this time I’ll know that a little dirt won’t kill and exposing her to other people will help her be more social. Maybe this time I’ll be able to run into a Starbucks with a baby on my hip rather than two babies in a stroller. Maybe this time I’ll get more sleep.

Okay, probably not the sleep thing. But all the other stuff? We’re gonna rock it this time around.

I’m ready when you are little one.

May 5, 2011

Paging Doctor Dad

Two nights ago, Swee’pea came down with a fever. Like the good parents that we are we gave her a shot of ibuprofen and sent her to bed. She woke up without a fever but we kept her home from school in strict observance of the universal law that states you cannot send your kid to school until a fever has been gone for a minimum of 24 hours, 2 minutes and 13 seconds.

While the fever was gone, Swee’Pea’s appetite was not its usual self. And when I say not its usual self I mean that she no longer wanted to eat morning, noon and night and at 7:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Seriously, the girl puts away food faster than you can say “high metabolism.”

So because Swee’Pea hadn’t really eaten yesterday, it wasn’t a surprise that she awoke today starving. She was starving so much, in fact, she felt compelled to walk in and tell me as much – while I was in the shower. I promised that as soon as I was done washing the soap out of my eyes, I would feed her.

Soon enough I was busy making breakfast of cinnamon toast and yogurt with bananas – which she promptly inhaled. Only a few minutes later she announces, “Daddy, I feel like I’m gonna throw up.”

And with those words, my morning became… complicated. My mind raced as I suddenly had to make a decision and make it fast. The school bus was a mere 15 minutes away and any delay could cause us to miss the bus. I weighed all of my data: She WAS sick yesterday but currently had no fever. She just ate a bunch of food, possibly causing an upset stomach. She enjoyed her day at home with Mama yesterday that she could be angling for another one. Or she could be genuinely sick and about to puke cinnamon toast and banana yogurt everywhere.

As I handed her a large bowl from the kitchen I did what most Dads would do (and it pains me to admit this) – I consulted Doctor Mom. We weighed the options and likely scenarios. We discussed contingency plans and how they would be carried out. We relied on our vast medical knowledge – Doctor Mom has watched at least two full seasons of Grey’s Anatomy while my background consists of countless MASH reruns and an embarrassingly weak moment of Doogie Howser fandom.

Based on that information, we rolled the dice and did what almost all of you reading this right now would have done.

We told her to suck it up and go to school. Mommy and Daddy have things to do.


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