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Friday, April 30, 2010

Real Fatherhood for Dummies

The older I get, the more I realize the books on fatherhood are wrong.  Maybe not wrong, but definitely not completely right.  There is so much that is left out of the books.  I'm sure that's because it would fill an encyclopedia (if you are old enough to know what a REAL set looks like) on just the everyday silliness that being a father evokes.  (To make it more time sensitive) You could crash the Wikipedia site with just the information on what fathers DON'T know.  So I have decided to remedy only a couple of chapters that I would like to have seen when I was thinking about becoming a father.

These are a few amendments to the Fatherhood handbooks.

Chapter 1 - The Why Oh Y-Chromosome - No matter what anyone says, you cannot WILL a Y-Chromosome.  For those who have read a previous post or two, you know I have 3 girls.  And try as I might, I couldn't produce even a measly little Y-Chromosome.  Sure, I'm happy with my girls but that doesn't change the fact that I wanted at least 1 Y-Chromosome to break through the House of Super X-Chromosomes and plant the male flag for all of the world to see.  Apparently, my Ys were just drawing cover fire while the Xs just walked on in through the front door.

To all of the potential fathers... The more you try to make it happen, the less chance that it will.  So don't try to force the Y-Chrome (for short) deal.  Plus, what's the worst that can happen???  All girls???  I have all girls and there is nothing wrong. (That is, of course, if you don't count the uncontrollable twitching and over-analyzing every little thing a boy does when he walks into a room with your girls (Oh, yeah... I'm watching! (And I really don't care that the boys is only 2.)))

So if you have a pre-planned idea on how many boys and girls you plan to have... BURN IT!  It will do you no good.  Just hope/pray for the standard happy and health and be done with it.  You have more important things to worry about like trying to make sure whatever child you have LOVES your favorite NFL team.  (That is a whole chapter within itself.)

Chapter 8 - That was Childbirth?!?!? - I don't care what anyone says... Chilbirth is NOT pretty!!! It sounds good on paper but really loses something in production.  I do agree that it is the most miraculous thing in the world.  Bringing a life into the world is a very precious, spiritual and wonderful thing.  And if anyone tries to tell you that it is a beautiful process... They are lying to you right dead in your face!  Trust me, there is nothing beautiful about it.

And on top of everything else... it's nothing like what you see on TV!  On TV (or movies) the couple is always at the top end of the bed and the doctor is always at the business end of the process.  There is also a sheet or something that is making sure the soon-to-be parents (or the camera) can't see what's going on.  In real life... THERE IS NO SHEET!!!  I wanted a sheet!  A hospital full of linens and we couldn't get one sheet over there.  I didn't need to see all of that.  I would have paid extra for the sun roof, the DVD Navigation and a SHEET! I'm not going to go into detail on this one (I might in a book) because of 3 reasons: One, my wife would kill me. Two, I would lose all 6 of my readers when I started talking about the details. And three, my wife would kill me.  But I will say this...  I'm truly amazed that a women can show everything that is on display in a delivery room and not be the slightest embarrassed but if you even mention the thought of going to the store without putting makeup on...  Well, that's just blasphemy!  Don't get me wrong... Fellas, you should do it once.  If you don't, you will regret missing one of the most important days in your life.  But I'm telling you now, the novelty wears off REALLY quick! I didn't even want to be in the room for the last one but my wife made me.  *AHEM* I mean, I decided to be there for my wife and support her on such a glorious day.

Chapter 34 -The two tastiest thing in the world are the middle finger and the ring finger.  That is according to my 19-month old.  Even tastier than Fruity Pebbles (whatever). Even tastier than the mythical raspberry Jolly Rancher (PLEASE).  And, yes Brian... Even tastier than the Sour Skittles.  Personally, I find this very disturbing.  I can't even lick my fingers after I eat a bag of Doritos.  It just really grosses me out.  So I have to fight the urge regularly to want to just yank those fingers out and explain to her about all of the germs she's voluntarily inviting into her mouth.  Not that I'm a germaphobe but I don't go out of the way to accommodate that germy lifestyle they lead.  Our daughter must have gotten that from her mother.

I made that point just to show that you don't get to pick and choose what your child inherits.  We always like to think (and tell everyone) that our children get their singing ability from us (or our side of the family).  We brag about how we infused (no one actually uses this word) our child with OUR athletic ability.  And when she is making straight As in school we just know whose genes we are witnessing in action.  And we are glad for all of those perfect qualities.  But who's going to take credit for the nose picking?  (I have my guesses on which side of the family that comes from.  But I'm not saying.) And what about the running around the house with a bucket on her head? (I have my suspicions.) And don't forget about the singing off-key and changing all of the lyrics to songs so that they are completely self-serving. (OK. She got that one from me.  But it's just so CUTE.)

So if you think you have some kind of control over what qualities your child takes from you then you need to re-read chapter 1 (above).

Chapter 3115 - Luke... I am your Father (not to be confused with Maury Povich (You are NOT the father)). - The last chapter I would add (right now) is the one that the books can't tell you.  The books don't tell you that you will love your children with all of your being.  The books don't tell you that when they hurt, you hurt.  The books won't tell you that your successes and failures won't translate to your child as much as how you handle your successes and failures.  The books also fail to mention that there will be moments where your child will inspire you instead of the other way around.  The books also leave out that your children will one day do things that make you question everything that you "thought" you already knew.  The books only gloss over the fact that you will lose your Superman status the first time your child comes home with Algebra homework. (Some lose it sooner than others.  They started that mess in 4th grade at my daughter's school.)  The books DO tell you that you should say NO, punish and set boundaries on you child (they call it parenting).  But they don't tell you that you will know they are right, but will feel HORRIBLE after doing so.  The books don't always tell you that sometimes teaching a lesson means more to child than proving your point.  The books also do a poor job at explaining that sometimes you will contradict your family, your friends, your religion, your politics, your financial beliefs and even your spouse in an attempt to do what YOU think is right for the child. And lastly, they will NEVER tell you that even though it's the exact same food... for some reason it tastes much better coming from daddy's plate.  And they're right.