So This is Fatherhood


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Life With a Threenager

Until I saw some pictures tonight, there’s certainly a few things about the first year of my child’s life that I had forgotten.

Like the fact that she had no hair until well after her first birthday. Or the types of pacifiers she had. Or a set of clothes. Or how small she was.

And that was less than three years ago.

Screen-Shot-2015-09-15-at-20.41.24So it only stands to reason that when she hits her high school years I am going to forget how she is already hormonal at three years old.

Yes. It’s true. I am dealing with a threenager.

It’s not so much the attitude. I can mostly handle that. Mainly because I know I could totally take her in a feat of strength, or throw down in an arm wrestling competition and take her out. So, if she wants attitude, I’ll defeat her with strength. Or some of my own attitude. I can out-attitude with the best of them. Problem solved.

And it’s not so much the lying. Kids are going to lie to their parents. It’s just how it goes. Quick confession: Mom, I forged your signature once to get out of detention. Pretty sure the teacher knew, but it worked.

It’s the wild mood swings and the selective listening.

That’s some ish I cannot handle.

The mood swings kill me. How can someone be so excited and pleased to feed ducks old, stale bread and then cry 30 seconds later because they want to go home? In what world is that normal?

How can we be riding bikes and cracking jokes about what’s for dinner (Daddy, do you want to eat rice and cars for dinner? How about rice and grass?) and then turn on the water works because the idea of trees and beans is not as appealing?

I was building up my preparation for uncontrollable mood swings … but 12 years from now! Why do you think I’ve been watching so many John Hughes films?!

143-120957-tantrum-1444892568

Daily occurrence. 

But, Lord. The listening. Or lack thereof. Egads. It kills me.

Half the time I wonder if my child’s ears are painted on.

I remember selectively listening my mom, or my teachers. I distinctly remember this. But I was 16 and it was a phase of “Leave me alone” which I presume all teenagers go through – or else pop culture and my own experiences just lied to me.

To have it happen at three years old is mind bending.

The worst part of it is actively looking your child in the eye, telling her something, and then having her completely ignore you.

And so many people say this is “the fun age.” It gets worse?

Imagine, in your adult life, your boss asks you to do something. You nod, agree and go your separate ways to handle business. When your boss returns you have one shoe off, there are crayons all over the floor and part of your shirt is above your head.

Sounds like Friday night to me.

But this is how it is … in a blink of an eye you go from Please put your shoes away to complete anarchy.

Holy moly.

I keep thinking that this blog space is going to be a nice reminder and some sort of gift to my daughter one day. See all the funny things you did to make daddy prematurely gray?

But I think that this one is more for me. A time capsule, so I can remember when we actually hit the teenage years that I already dealt with this once.

 


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Pucker Up and Kiss It

My wife started a trend in our family not long ago and it’s caught on like wildfire.

Our daughter fell down and hurt herself, as toddlers are going to do, and my wife did what all mothers do – she consoled her. She asked our daughter where it hurt and then said “Do you want Mommy to kiss it?”

Kid_crying_2As this was a new concept to our kid, she had no idea how to react. My wife kissed my kid’s knee, the tears disappeared and that was that.

Until …

My child fell again. (Really she’s not clumsy, she is just a toddler and happens to fall a lot because she doesn’t know the difference between walking, running and, perhaps, those things called stairs. Well, all height, really … Anyways, I digress.) My wife kissed my kid’s knee, or hand, or head, and the tears disappeared.

This was becoming a thing.

So much so that now whenever my kid can’t quite put her shoe on properly and gently tweaks her toe, she fake cries and asks Daddy or Mommy to kiss it.

Sometimes she’ll just fall while dancing (her favorite song right now is “All About That Bass”) and be laughing and want one of us to kiss whatever part of her body momentarily felt anything other than the air passing around it.

Daddy kiss it! she’ll say and then point to her arm, or her head, or whatever. I’ll do it and she’ll continue on her merry way. Even if she is in actual pain a kiss from Mommy or Daddy seems to make everything all right.

I actually feel like I have some power in this world.

It’s kind of cute, actually, that something so benign can stop tears, or just make her comfortable and I never mind doing it, how ridiculous a request might be. For instance, an aggressive tickle to her armpit might result in a request to kiss it and make it better.

And then, one day we were dancing around the living room and my kid does what every other white person thinks is dancing (she’s pretty advanced, I guess) and was just spinning with her arms out. She didn’t have the White Man Overbite, but other than that this is considered dancing to us Caucasians.

kiss-itThe spinning then became too much and – boom! – down she went. The tears welled up and I asked her where it hurt.

She stood up and said My tushy.

And that’s the story of how I kissed my kid’s ass.


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Home Alone

I am excited for this weekend. Hang on … let’s rephrase. I was excited for this weekend.

My wife is taking a trip to New York with her mom and sister leaving me to hold down the fort with the kiddo. I was excited for her to go since it will be the first time she’s been away from our daughter without me (and plus, New York, right?). But I was also excited for me to be able to have some Daddy-Daughter time.

Tonight, though, I got a worried look into my life’s crystal ball.

When you’re playing one-on-one vs. a toddler, there is nothing else that you can really do. It would be like having to guard LeBron James non-stop, knowing that no matter what you do, he’ll still make you look extremely fallible.

I wanted to go for a run tonight but it was a little cold, so I’d have to re-dress the kid into some warmer clothes and that would eat into my workout. That’s a problem since it was nearing her dinner time and, dammit, wouldn’t you know this 25-pounder has some lungs on her. Talk about doing a miserable type of exercise and then being even more miserable during it.

I had other items on the agenda which needed attention, yet I couldn’t really turn my back on her, so I was getting agitated.

This gated area, which I call her prison, is not her favorite place to be even though it probably has 672 toys in it. So, that worked for about 0.3 seconds. Then she wanted to be picked up; then set down; back up; down. She couldn’t make up her mind.

At this point, I was getting almost as cranky as she was. Mainly because I had to poop. Yet I couldn’t because I was attending to her needs and wants.

I thought she was ready for bed, so I prepped a bottle, took her into her room and was ready to lay her down when my wife came home from the gym. Oh, praise the Lord! A relief pitcher.

She finished putting the kid down and I thought Now I can finally get some stuff done. Well, 20 minutes later my daughter was up and running around the house again because, despite our best efforts, she was not all that ready for bed.

Knowing all this, I am truly concerned about things this weekend. Physically and mentally, I know I can handle it – that’s not a problem. But, I’m worried about the extra stuff that needs to get done: Will I be able to eat a regular dinner? Will the dogs get fed? Will I be able to clean the house? Work in the yard? Go for a run?

There’s only so much I can squeeze in to a couple of mid-day naps and the hours from her bedtime to my own. Really, this sounds so selfish – and I know it kind of is – but I’d like to have a few extra hours to just do normal stuff. How many people want to do chores?

I guess the best news is that while my wife is gone, I don’t have to make the bed. She’s a bed-making perfectionist. I am not. So, on the bright side, that’s one less thing I have to worry about. That will free up a few extra moments to tick something else off an ever-growing, way-too-adult kind of list of things I actually want to get done.


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Now Who’s Crying?

There were about two minutes from the moment I walked in the door until I laid my daughter down for bed when she wasn’t crying tonight. Two minutes. Total.

The moment I took over spoon feeding her so my wife could go to the gym, she was crying. The door closed, she cried harder. It didn’t bother me so much because I read that around this age (almost nine months) a baby will start preferring one parent over the other. It was a 50-50 shot. I lost.

Before leaving, my wife asked if I could bathe our child, then put her to bed immediately since she hadn’t napped at daycare today. No sweat. I had some work to do and this would allow me to get to it quicker.

I started machine-gunning food into my baby’s mouth like Jim Carrey with the old woman from an SNL skit back in the day (skip to 3:15).

Then came the bath. Midway through my daughter’s tears went from a trickle to full-blown Superstorm Sandy. I kind of giggled because when she cries she reminds me of the old Bitter Beer Face commercials as her cheeks hang over her face because she hasn’t got a full set of choppers yet.

Seriously, my daughter kind of looks like this guy when she cries.

Seriously, my daughter kind of looks like this guy when she cries.

So there I am giggling and my daughter is crying. Yeah, you can send the Father of the Year award anytime.

Then she looks up at me and its not tears anymore. Her chin is quivering. She’s cold. Freezing perhaps.

Even though the house temperature was 73 degrees according to our thermostat and even though the bath temp was spot on, her chin was shaking and her bright blue eyes were looking at me like a puppy dog’s. If she could say more than “dadadadadada” she might have uttered something to the tune of “Hey, jerkoff, quit laughing. I’m freezing my non-existent tits off.”

I scooped her up, and wrapped her in a towel and tried to dress her as quickly as possible. Of course, a full-buttoned onesie with buttons down both legs was the choice I mistakenly made for pajamas this evening since it was at the top of the drawer, and it took me two tries to get it right. Then I held her tight and told her I was sorry. At least 13,000 times.

I prepared her bottle and sat in her room and soothed her as part of her bedtime routine and we sat in silence. Usually I’ll tell her stories of how cool I used to be. I held her tiny hands in mine to try to warm them up.

Sleep sack. For those that don't know. It's better so babies don't get tangled up in blankets causing them to suffocate.

Sleep sack. For those that don’t know. It’s better so babies don’t get tangled up in blankets causing them to suffocate.

It was at this point I started thinking that maybe it’s in a father’s DNA to make up for his shortcomings by buying gifts to overreact to situations. My father usually took my sister and I to a toy store when we saw him every other weekend. I see a lot of ice cream in my daughter’s future.

But my flailing wasn’t complete. Not only had I forgotten to grab a pacifier to immediately pop into her mouth as she went into a food coma (bottle coma?) after eating, I ended up putting her sleep sack on inside out. Even after making amends – somewhat – I had to take her out of the sleep sack and disrupt her sleepy state and then I still had to run to the kitchen to grab a pacifier.

Fortunately the little crying she did ceased once I popped the pacifier in and then I stood over the crib and watched her fall into sleep. Hopefully she doesn’t have a nightmare starring me.


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Babies vs. Drunks

P1000543Over the past few weeks, as my daughter has become more mobile there is one recurring thought I have when I see her moving:

She’s like a drunk mini human.

Most everyone has had to play defense on an overserved individual at least once in their life, protecting them from injuring themselves or others, making sure anything they do doesn’t result in catastrophe. That is a very common theme with a rollicking infant.

If my daughter is sitting down, I steady her so she doesn’t teeter over.

Not much difference between the top pic and this one.

Not much difference between the top pic and this one.

Like a drunk, she has a tendency to tilt to one side or another. It doesn’t always work, but at least my arms are there to balance her, the way a plastered wall holds up a plastered person who isn’t completely sure of their equilibrium.

And, when she is sitting, she kind of slumps a little, like a guy who has trouble holding his head up. Think of how heavy your head gets after you’ve had a few too many. That’s the feeling any baby has because the head is the heaviest part of their body and their muscles aren’t yet developed enough to always keep their melon upright.

When she is crawling around, I have to hide things like dog toys or our magazines, which she is fascinated with because she likes the feel of paper. When a drunk is moving around your house you have to hide things, too, or else this conversation ensues:

Whoa! Dude! Look at this lighter!

Yeah, let’s put it back in the drawer.

No way. Let’s go light something on fire!

But as you hide things you have to provide something in its place. It’s like in Jurassic Park when they distract the T-Rex to chase something else. You can’t have the dog toy (lighter) but here’s a squeaky giraffe to occupy you (drunk translation: video games).

Sharp objects are bad for both parties, too. Corners of coffee tables can prove to be very dangerous.

All of a sudden my child will be sitting there and just barf. Does this even need a hammered correlation?

When you clean up a drunk’s vomit there is a 25-75 split that is part sympathy and part anger in the thinking of “Dammit, now I’ve got to wash the rug.” Those numbers are reversed with a child.

Then there’s the hunger that all of a sudden strikes. A baby will get fussy and cry and her thought is only on filling her belly. At 2 a.m. a drunk will get fussy, too, and only has one thought: a burrito.

Ultimately after enough time, a baby and a drunk will both just crash. The difference is you carry your baby to the crib. With a drunk you just throw a blanket on them wherever they end up.

But once they’re passed out, you finally get a moment to relax.


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Survival of the Fittest

One of the earliest things that hit me when my wife was breast-feeding was far from what I expected.

Same thing goes for dads, too.

Same thing goes for dads, too.

Instead of being a normal, pervy-kind of guy my instincts had adjusted. I don’t know if that is what happens with fatherhood or not – it’s far too early to tell.

While staring at a shot of side boob, I found myself thinking It is our job as parents to keep this child alive.

Unlike the rest of the animal kingdom we don’t have to worry about carnivorous predators lurking around every corner, wanting to turn our child into a meal. Although, with a daughter now, you’re damned right I am worried about Predators … that’s a scary 80’s movie for a child.

The whole point of parenthood is to keep your baby alive. Continue reading


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Who’s Really Crying It Out?

My wife and I might have reached our first parenting dilemma last night.

Sleep-deprived-parentsSee, we’re both more than ready for our baby to sleep through the night. The kid is in the awful habit of waking up at least twice a night and needing to be fed. It’s not like she’s starving — you should see her thighs, the Michelin Man is jealous! — but she is used to receiving a few ounces at a time when only meth-heads are awake.

Well, meth-heads and us.

Chatting with people who have young kids, there seems to be a consensus of just allowing your child to “cry it out.” Which sounds easy, but truly the more you think about it, is kind of unsympathetic. This little baby, who depends on you to basically keep it alive, is crying out for attention and you’re trained, as a parent, to attend to its needs. Then, all of a sudden, you have to listen to hours of crying in the hopes of getting more sleep.

The idea behind this is to teach the baby that it’s OK not to depend on something in the middle of the night. It’s like running the opposite of a methadone clinic. Reverse rehab, so to speak. Continue reading


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Running Against The Wind

My wife and I are crazy. We don’t do anything half-assed, which I like about us and our relationship.

It's not us ... but it's close.

It’s not us … but it’s close.

For example, since we found out Suzanne was pregnant in June 2012, this is how our life went as we squeezed about every milestone you can think of in a nine-month span:

June 2012: Yay! We’re having a baby!

July 2012: Wow … we both got new jobs. Let’s move to Southern California.

August 2012: Let’s find a place to live between Los Angeles and Orange County. Matt, you crash on your friends couches. Suzanne, you stay with your parents.

Sept. 1, 2012: Find, and rent an apartment, that’s about equi-distant to our respective careers.

Mid-September 2012: Buy a new car.

December 2012: Start getting serious about buying a house.

Late January 2013: Offer on a house is accepted.

February 15, 2013: Escrow closes. This is Suzanne’s due date.

February 15-18, 2013: Move in to new house.

February 20, 2013: Ella is born.

So, yeah, when it comes to living life, we don’t mess around.

This jerk is having too much fun.

This jerk is having too much fun.

Which is why neither of us blinked when we decided we would run our first half-marathon together, beginning training about six months after Ella was born. Initially Ella was a good sleeper. When she hit four months she decided that waking up every three hours was the way to go.

Imagine running four to five days a week, training for something you’ve never done before, and averaging six hours of sleep. Interrupted sleep, that is. And, then, going to work, coming home and finding the energy to knock out four miles or six or whatever the day calls for. Then on your weekends, your “rest days” you get to perform your longest runs.

Sunday was an 11-mile day. After waking up at 5:30 — doesn’t this kid know that Sunday is the day of rest?! — Ella decided that 7 am was a good time to take a nap. Sure, you just lay there for a few hours while the day heats up and then we’ll start our run at 10 am and be done at 12:30. Great thinking, kid!

Which is what happened. Trying to finish the longest run of your life while it’s about 80 degrees is terrible. Don’t be fooled. Pushing a baby stroller for 11 miles isn’t a treat, either.

The kicker, though — and this is where it gets good — is when Ella decided that she’d had enough of being in the stroller and decided that the final 2.5 miles was a good time to scream her freakin’ head off.

So there I am, not winning the Father of the Year award, pushing a crying baby in the heat past people trying to enjoy their Sunday … walking, biking, enjoying the beauty of the day near the beach … only to hear this damned baby turning her crying up to unprecedented levels. Because of this, I had told Suzanne “I’m going to run ahead and try and finish faster so I can get to the car and calm her down.”

This is how people thought of my parenting skills.

This is how people thought of my parenting skills.

This made me look like more of an asshole. Now I am on the path pushing this crying baby and leaving my wife in the dust. People were giving me that Are you really fit to be a parent? Why don’t you stop and attend to her needs? sort of looks and all I wanted to do was run with both middle fingers in the air.

I mean, what could I do? I couldn’t stop because it would have taken us longer to get back to the car, and therefore a soothing bottle. I couldn’t slow down or else it would result in a longer amount of crying. I just had to look like an unfit, selfish parent.

Normally I don’t care how people view me, but when you’re pretty much running solo at near sprinting speeds after already putting eight-plus miles on your legs, you start becoming a little self-conscious. Except for the fact that I was dressed like I should have been exercising, people might have thought I had just stolen this kid and was making a break for it.

And here’s the best part: once I finished and was slowing down, she decided that walking was a more preferable pace than jogging. So she shut up. And then smiled at me.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?

My legs aching, my ears ringing and my head hurting (both of these from the crying) all I could think of was a cold beer to mollify all my troubles. It wasn’t the first time — and it won’t be the last — that Ella and I both dip ourselves into different bottles to calm down.


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Living Life On Fast Forward

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it. — Ferris Bueller.

What happened to my time?

Pretty much what my coffee table looks like.

Pretty much what my coffee table looks like.

I’m midway through a book I should have finished at least two months ago. I haven’t touched my PlayStation 3 in weeks and there are about six magazines I have barely flipped through that are piling up on my coffee table like a game of Jenga.

My life has become a blur. An hour feels like a minute. Except when it’s the middle of the night and your crying baby is semi-interested in the soothing pleasure of a bottle. Then it’s reversed.

To whit: I poured myself an end-of-the-day cocktail when I started this post and put the baby down for a nap. She just woke up. I’ve had one sip. And this is only the fourth paragraph.

I don’t know if it’s my baby or if it’s all babies, but there seems to be this inherent trait to start crying or need your attention the second you relax your shoulders and want to sit and have a drink and perhaps read a magazine.

It took us three days to get through an episode of Mad Men recently. Three fucking days. For a 47-minute program. Nevermind trying to watch a movie (just had to pick up the toy my daughter dropped) and that’s why we’ve seen one film off our Netflix (she just dropped it again; she’s gonna have to wait until this sentence is over) over the past month.

Obviously I’m still adjusting to this whole dad-ship and home ownership where parts of my Saturday are spent working in the yard or something and then making sure she doesn’t kill herself while I’m trying to get just 10 minutes of time to enjoy a “me” moment. (She just dropped that toy again. It’s staying on the floor.)

I enjoy my “me” moments. Always have. Some of those moments come when I’m pooping. I like to read the news or play a game on my iPhone and that’s why I usually don’t mind doing my biz at work during the week. But when I’m home, my kid has this innate sense rather than allowing me to take a little bit of time and maybe scroll through Twitter for 20 minutes to basically get all my news and info she’s going to start crying. Now even this most personal of moments is turned into a two-minute drill where you’re flexing your large intestine like it’s lifting weights with Vinny, Pauly D and The Situation.

We've pretty much given up trying to watch this show, so we can talk about it in three years. Please don't spoil it for us.

We’ve pretty much given up trying to watch this show for now, so we can talk about the plot in three years. Please don’t spoil it for us.

(This next paragraph was interrupted by at least 30 minutes of spoon feeding. Ella decided she was hungry despite having a bottle less than an hour ago. My cocktail is watery now. Worse, when I was feeding her, my music TV channel set to 80’s hits played “Wind Beneath My Wings.” I couldn’t change it because I was feeding my kid, so I had to wear it and listen to that ballad. Awesome.)

Old parents will tell you to enjoy every moment. But, honestly, I’m kind of ready for my kid to be three or older. Then when she needs attention she can say “Yo! Daddy-oh! Let’s go to the park!” and, yes, my kid will talk like that. But for right now I’m having a hard time trying to decipher baby crying. It’s not like I’m an archaeologist reading hieroglyphics.

My wife and I haven’t eaten dinner before 8 p.m. in at least two months because we both like cooking and just refuse to eat microwave crap meals. (Does this make us elitist? I don’t think so. It makes us normal, I think.) But even the simplest of meals have to wait until we’ve gotten home, fed the baby and maybe put her to bed. Or at least put some toys around her to entertain herself while we shovel food into our mouths like we’re Kobayashi during a hot dog eating contest.

Now it’s bath time, so I can’t finish this post like I’d like to. I’m being summoned to make sure we don’t create a tidal wave all over the kitchen. And it’s taken me over an hour to get this far. So, you get the point.


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10 Things I’ve Learned

In a few days Ella will be seven months old. It’s truly amazing to see how quickly she’s grown — not in the “it goes by so fast” sort of thing you hear parents say all the time, but in the sense of just a few months ago she used to be a little blob of a human and now she’s babbling, kind of crawling, knows her name, recognizes things and so on.

It’s also amazing how much I’ve grown and learned as a first-time parent. The moment you think you’ve got something figured out, things change. Wonderful. I can’t wait to see what it will be like when she’s a teenager.

But there are some things I definitely figured out and the following is a list of the Top 10 Things I’ve Learned in my first six months as a dad.

tired10. Six hours of sleep is usually enough. It’s not ideal, but it’s usually enough. And it doesn’t have to be in a row. Largely it’s  interrupted a few hours at a time. Basically, you’re living with a human rooster. If you can get six a night — aside from the feedings and the waking up to attend to crying, so really you try and go to bed at least seven hours before you want to wake up — you’ll be fine. You certainly miss the days of your mid-twenties when you could knock out nine-10 hours, but with six you can function.

9. Crying is kind of tolerable. All you’ve got to do is turn up whatever you’re listening to (TV, radio) and try and drown it out. You get used to it.

8. Don’t poke your baby. Remember when you were in college and someone would pass out insanely early? What would you do? Check and see if they were breathing, right? (Well, if you didn’t then people shouldn’t have partied with you.) Whether it was looking at their chest rising and falling or holding your hand under their nose, you figured they were OK, then went back to raging. Because of the fear of SIDs, you’re constantly checking on your child. Only thing is, your baby is so small and always wrapped in blankets you can’t always see that their chest is inhaling and exhaling and you can’t always tell if air is coming in and out of their little noses. So, what do you do, moron? You poke the kid like it’s a real-life Pillsbury Doughboy. And what does that do? It wakes the kid and then the kid starts crying. When the kid starts crying, see No. 9.

Pillsbury Doughboy

7. Babies are easy. Because everything they’re consuming is so new, they are almost like a retarded kid responding to something shiny. Oooh, look over there! So when the kid is being a pill, just clap your hands or snap your fingers or make fart noises with your mouth and the kid gets distracted. Problem solved.

6. Babies are  difficult. Take everything you just read and then do it again. And again. And again. Until it’s mind-numbing. If you want to distract your kid from crying or something, clap your hands. Moments later they’ll forget about the clapping and go back to crying. Remember that whole “it’s easy to distract a child because they’re taking in a ton of things but then quickly forget about those things” from above? Well, they quickly forget why they got distracted and you end up looking like a clapping idiot making fart noises while in the grocery store.

5. Your hands will get raw. You will wash your hands a lot. I mean A LOT. Better buy stock in Palmolive. I feel bad for my dogs. All they want is a little attention; a pet here, a scratch there. After you pet Fluffy you’ve got to wash your hands if you’re going to touch your baby. Or after you’ve used a sponge. Or touched a keyboard. Or basically lived life. Why? Because babies have almost no immune system so you can probably kill them with the germs from your remote control, so you’re always soaping up. You’ll wash the skin right off your hands and go through Purell like you’re drinking it.

4. The word “silly” is code for something else. When your kid is being a turd, you can’t just say Ella! Stop being a turd! Or when she craps her diaper right after you change it you can’t say Dammit, Ella! Control your bowels! and when she won’t stop crying despite sleeping well and eating well, you can’t say Don’t be such a butthole! Nope. You have to say things like Don’t be silly! or Silly girl! all the while you’re thinking you have an asshole kid who only gets enjoyment out of torturing her parents.

Crying baby3. You can’t rationalize with a child. During a 3 a.m. diaper change you think C’mon, kid, quit squirming. Lemme change this thing through half-opened eyes and then stumble back to bed. A normal person would think that is a nice compromise. An infant isn’t a normal person. While you’d love to be able to have your baby understand where you’re coming from — like, please go the fuck to sleep so that I can watch 20 minutes of television uninterrupted — she’s not going to get that. No matter how much you plead with her. Ella! It’s the bottom of the ninth and the game is tied and there’s runners on second and third with one out … please just let me watch this for three minutes. Three MF-ing minutes, that’s all I ask! — she only cares about two things: drinking from her bottle and drinking from her next bottle.

2. Don’t look your best. One of the most underrated things about having a newborn is that it gives you a “Get Out of Jail Free” card  when it comes to your public appearance. Even if the shirt you’re wearing has a stain that isn’t from your child’s vomit, you can get away with wearing it because people will think you just got barfed on. If you don’t do your hair, most people will understand. If you look like a homeless person with mismatched clothing, it’s OK. Why? Because you’re dressed. Toting around an infant gives you an excuse to look like you just rolled out of the house after a meth bender.

1. Being a dad is awesome. Really, when it comes down to it, all of the above is totally worth it. There is no real description of holding your child, or making her laugh, or watching her learn things like Oh cool! There’s feet down there attached to these limbs! It will only get better once she lets me sleep, stops crying and understands the importance of sports’ late game situations.