Archives for posts with tag: father tips

I’m not exactly sure how this happened, or, frankly, when it happened. Last thing I remember, Grayson was just a little fellow who could barely muster a few words. Sure, he was kicking a ball around, thinking he was going to be the next (only?) savior of US Soccer. But, today? Well, today he’s kicking the soccer ball with gusto. Celebrating by yelling GOOOOAAAL and throwing his hands up, or lifting up his shit to reveal his belly (a soccer goal celebration as good as any). Today, he’s starting to say complete sentences (“I kick,” counts people.) He knows all the sounds animals make, and letters and numbers, and just random shit like that.

Can he tell us after he’s pooped? Yes. I’m not sure what good that does me after the fact, because the smell more than let’s me know what has happened, but it’s important people say.

His development is rapid, and it’s pretty mind-blowing that he (and kids this age in general) can soak up so many things. At some point, we need to stop cursing in front of him, because I’m pretty sure he already says shit.

He definitely gets frustrated, though, not being able to vocalize the things that he wants. Yes, he knows sign language, but that doesn’t really help with things like, “Dad, this sandwich sucks. Can I get some chicken?” Really, the sign language is good for getting girls to think he’s blowing kisses at them (when he’s actually saying “thank you”).

I do generally like to talk about things that he likes, so I can give friends and readers a heads up on what they need to be buying their kids. The problem here is that for the most part, as long as he has a soccer ball around, he’s perfectly fine. It’s the damnedest thing, but 70% of the time, he’s perfectly content with having a ball. The other 20%, he wants a book. And, the other 10% it’s a complete crapshoot.

His reading list consists of, all of the Brown Bear, Brown Bear series, Goodnight Moon still, the Dr Seuss hits (Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Fox in Sox, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Mr. Brown Can Moo), Where the Wild Things Are, and a couple of really random books. If I hear “Elmo can use the potty!!” one more time…

While I’ve allowed him to sneak Arsenal matches, and football, baseball, basketball games since he was old enough to lift his head, we’ve just started to introduce actual TV. Perhaps this is because of laziness, or perhaps our hippie San Francisco ways are almost completely drained, I’m not sure. But, he’s started watching this show Chuggington on Disney Whatever It’s Called Now.

And, really, that’s about it right now. The kid is just awesome. We cannot get enough of him, and I think he feels the same way.

Gray’s 1st birthday was last weekend. We were in San Francisco to celebrate. Well, fine, we were in San Francisco for the Ben and Mira’s wedding, which so happened to coincide with Grayson’s birthday. But, it was good to be back in The City for his birthday, considering a year ago we were there… you know… having him. We’ve discussed making that an annual tradition, so we’ll see. Grayson, if you’re reading this at 18, and are currently wondering we didn’t make this an annual tradition… um… ask your mother.

I started this blog so that one day I could have it printed to eventually give to him. Just to let him know that Dibs and I are truly awesome, and that, like most parents, are sort of winging it as we go.

There have been some interesting surprises, like being pooped on multiple times, a few trying times, like dealing with a non stopped, crying baby, and a whole lot of highlights, like Gray’s first Giants game. We’ve seen the Giants win the World Series and the Mavericks win the NBA Finals (to this day, I still point to Grayson as the reason), we’ve moved from San Francisco to Texas, we’ve changed jobs and we’ve had a lot of fun adventures as a family all in his first year.

But, I’ve basically talked about all of this when I guest posted on Mommybeta (A Look Back at My First Father’s Day). (By the way, you guys should read Mommybeta if you’re a new, or old parent. Natali and friends do a great job of coming up with offers for parents, keeping parents up-to-date on trends and product reviews/recalls, and writing quality posts.)

As Grayson rounds the corner of his first year, he’s talking nonstop. Sure, it’s mainly his trademark, “bacca bacca bacca.” But, every now and again he tosses in a few gems (swear he said “thank you” the other day when I called him handsome). He regularly says “book,” which is friggin’ insane to me. How he can say book regularly, but still won’t repeat “mama” is beyond me. Of course, that’s not to say that he doesn’t say mama, he just doesn’t say it when Dibs wants him to. Granted, it’s pretty hilarious that he’s already rebelling.

He’s also now, finally, going through some separation anxiety. I don’t want to admit that she’s admitted it, but there’s a bit of Dibs who is kind of happy he cries for her when she leaves him at the daycare in the morning. I’m sure he’d feel the same way if I dropped him off at daycare, too, right? Right?

He’s on the verge of walking, but it seems like he’s been on the verge of walking for a while. He’ll push his stroller around, and will stand behind his little car and push it around. He walks holding our fingers with ease, but he’s lacking in full walking confidence. Poor kid falls down more than anyone I’ve ever seen. Honestly, we can’t help but to laugh every time.

He also loves to play with anything other than his toys. Seriously, if you’re thinking of getting Gray something, just get him a box. He’ll play with it for days, and eventually eat it. Or, maybe you should get him a TV remote control to throw around, or if you’re feeling generous, an iPhone to throw.

We’ve added a lot more regular food to his diet. Clearly he has Mexican in his blood, as he really only likes burritos and tamales. I’m not joking, he’ll eat a whole burrito.

Every day since his arrival has brought something new. His daycare daily reports are usually filled with things like, “Grayson fell today,” or “Grayson bumped his head trying to crawl over something,” or “Grayson rolled off his mat while sleeping today.” The kid is pretty clumsy, but he’s also not scared to do anything.

I. however, remain terrified.

 

There comes a time for most new parents when we have to go back to work.

(I don’t want you to think I have any antidotes about how to make this easier, because I don’t. I’m just talking.)

For me, it happened quickly. I was back to work 2 weeks after Grayson was born. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But it was easier knowing Dibs was home with him. She is really good about letting me know what they’re doing and sending photos throughout the day, which makes it a lot easier.

On Monday, she goes back to work. I have a feeling she’s broken down a couple of times today about this, and probably will a few more times over the weekend. We have both of our moms coming in on alternating weeks, which will make it a little easier, but not really. The longest she’s been away from him since he was born is about 2 hours.

She knows everything about him. She knows what his cries mean, she knows how he likes to be held and she knows when he’s pooped himself. Plus, it’s rare that he’s bottle fed. How will he react when he has to have a bottle throughout the day? Will our mom’s get sick of him quickly? Gray loves being held all day. We probably spoil him, though we’ve been told you can’t spoil a baby. Will they handle that well? How will Dibs handle not knowing what he’s doing at all times?

The other issue is that there’s nothing we can really do, Dads. There’s really nothing anyone can do, because we all have to work.

I guess this is the part where I ask how you guys are dealing with this. If there’s any advice you can share to make it easier, please do.

I’ve already considered adding webcams to make sure everything goes ok while we’re at work. Is that a step toward crazy?

Also, please comment in the comment section below. Commenting on Facebook helps no one!

Me: “Honey, lots of new moms want to throw their baby out the window.”
Her: “No, honey. I don’t want to throw him out the window. I want to throw him against the wall. This way he has a better survival rate.”

Actual conversations by brand new parents! Please, don’t report us to CPS. If you are CPS, I was clearly kidding (umm…). And, if you start thinking we’re really terrible people, then you probably don’t have a child yet, or are past the 3 year mark and you’ve forgotten all of this fun stuff. In fact, you’re probably reading this because you’re ready for kid #2. Meaning, you’ve definitely forgotten all of this, or are in denial about what happened the first time around.

Being a parent is like being bipolar. This morning, while feeding, Gray’s pee leaked through his diaper and all over Diabla. “GET IN HERE AND GET HIM OFF OF ME!” I did, quickly. I changed him, and Dibs immediately went to prepare a bath for him and her. While preparing a bath, Gray started smiling like he’s never smiled before. I felt like he was almost on the verge of giggling. (PS. I know babies don’t giggle till around 4 months, but apparently they don’t roll over till month 2, and Grayson was doing that at week 3.) I quickly rushed him over she could see it, and she gushed, “I just love him soooo much. He’s so cute.” I didn’t feel the need to remind her that she still had pee on her. Hell, it was so adorable I almost took the day off from work hoping he’d smile at me all day.

Man, I’m on a tangent that was nowhere near where I wanted to go. I think I’m going to leave it anyways.

So, where was I wanting to go? Oh! Dibs throwing our kid against the wall. Let’s be honest, kids cry. It’s kind of what they do. But, there are some ways to help calm him down. I thought I’d share some of my techniques to getting Gray quiet with you guys. That’s what I do, right?

There’s a book that everyone talks about. Something about New Babies on the Block, or something. Some guy talks about the 5 S’s. I have heard these s’s, and I use some of them. I wished I remembered them, or bothered to read the book. With that said…

The Boob – I mean, this is a no-brainer, right? Nothing gets babies to chill quite like the boob.

Sweet, Sweet Swaddle – I have found that once I’ve swaddled Gray, he will chill out. It’s weird, because he hates it as I’m swaddling him, but he can’t really sleep without. He’ll wake himself up with Gangsta Pose without being swaddled. Sometimes he gets a little worse before he gets better with the swaddle, so keep that in mind. (Little known fact outside of my house… I’m the swaddle king. There is no swaddle queen. I don’t know why I love this fact so much.)

Over the Shoulder Hold – I don’t know what it is, but when I throw Gray over my shoulder he just chills. And I mean, over the shoulder, too. His belly is on my shoulder bone (To show how little I know about bones, I’m now wondering if there is a shoulder bone… Google it.). I toss him over and pat his back, and he’s fine. Well, until I take him off my shoulder. Everyone is always shocked when they see me do this.

Bouncing – He’ll also chill out when I stand up, put him on my chest and start bouncing. This will also usually put him to sleep. And, if I talk/rap (yeah, rap) while doing it all the better. I guess the vibrations calm him down. By the way, don’t shake him. That will obviously get him to be quiet… forever. You will go to jail. You will not pass go. You will not collect $200.

Baby Bjorn – This is just a super version of bouncing. So, I can bounce him while checking fantasy football scores in one hand and eating a burrito in the other. I had no idea how amazing being able to use both my hands would be till I discovered the magic of the Bjorn. Sweden is the gift that keeps giving.

Baby Massage – I’ve mentioned this before. Usually massaging Grayson involves a lot of farts from him, and a lot of laughing from me. Yep, I’m a dad.

Bath Time – He LOVES bath time. It’s hilarious. Once he hits the water, he’s in pleasure country.

Going for a Walk – If things are really bad, I’ll put Grayson in his stroller and take him for a walk. This is so phenomenal that 60% of the time it works every time. The change of scenery, combined with the sidewalk bumps calms him down.

Change their Diaper – Oh, snap, he’s crying cause he’s got poop in his diaper.

The Pacifier – Or as it’s known in my house, the silencer. This combined with anything above, besides the boob of course, increases your chances of a calm baby by some percentage that I’m sure has been reported somewhere. Let’s just say 83%. I think I mentioned before that Dibs was against the silencer. But, once she learned that as long as you don’t rely on it after month 3, they won’t still be using it when they’re 8 years old. And, that, my friends is a good thing.

Just, try to avoid throwing your baby at the wall, ok?

Granted I’ve only been a Dad for 2 weeks, but in that time I’ve heard the magical words, “You’re the best husband ever.” Trust me, I was just as floored as you are right now.

Best husband ever is not really a title I’m used to, you know? Ever since she said this I’ve been trying to figure out what I’ve done to earn such a praise, from a woman nicknamed Diabla, mind you.

Not only what I’ve done, but also how I can help my fellow new Dad’s in achieving this wonderful title. So, here’s my list of things I did (or really tried to do) to make my wife’s life so much easier.

10. Do not let the home become a shit-hole. Man, this is hard. I hate cleaning. If you ask me, I say it’s always worth it to pay someone to clean your place. Problem is, when you have a baby all you can think about is saving money (we’ve already started a 529 for Grayson). I decided I’d make it my job to clean the place while she was breastfeeding. Shocking the results.

9. Cook. I am the worst cook in the history of the world. Seriously. Luckily, we have friends around us who were thrilled to bring us dinners, in exchange for some precious baby time. Fine by us! But, they won’t do it every night (we need more friends). I’ve learned to follow recipes fairly well. Nothing too difficult, pre-made pastas, taco night and steak and potatoes are all perfect. Make sure you clean the dishes while you’re at it. Trust.

8. Give the lady quiet time. Dude, you’re sleeping so much more than her. Let’s be honest, during the 3am feedings, you’ve definitely fallen asleep. So, help her out during the day by taking the kid for a walk outside. She’ll be able to take a nap, or shower. It’s shocking how much showering makes my wife feel like a normal person.

7. Laundry. Wow, does our kid go through a lot of clothes. And, of course, we have coin laundry. In our house, me doing the laundry this isn’t a problem, because I do it anyways. Of course, you could always pay someone to do it for you.

6. Bring the baby to your wife at night. The best tip I got was from a dad who said, “When it’s feeding time at night, get up and bring the baby to your wife. This will pay off dividends.” It has.

5. “You’re a great mom, you’re a great mom, you’re a great mom.” Having a kid is the most frustrating thing a woman can go through (I’ve determined). Constant reminders about how wonderful a job she is doing can go along way. Plus, it might save her from throwing the baby out the window when he won’t latch at 3am.

4. Don’t bitch. “Honey, I’m tired.” “You’re fucking tired?! Really!? You’re tired? Let me tell you how tired I am, then we’ll see just how tired you feel, a-hole.” Yeah, let’s avoid this at all costs.

3. Keep track of the feedings and the boobs. I’ve been keeping a log so that we were on a schedule during the first couple of weeks. It’s helped keep both our sanity, and allowed us to plan for everything outside the boob a lot better. Also, it helps to know what boob to start with. Trust me, it’s too difficult to keep up. PS. Some people buy their wives bracelets and things of that nature to remember.

2. Don’t let her feel like a milk cow. The worst thing that can happen is for your wife to feel like she’s only here to feed the baby. On one boob, diaper change, on the next boob, baby goes away, she pumps, he sleeps, she sleeps, he wakes up and it’s rinse and repeat. Make sure your wife is getting quality time with the little guy. Otherwise she’s going pretty depressed, and it’ll be your fault.

1. Change every diaper. I made sure I changed every diaper in the first two weeks. Mainly because it was bonding experience between Gray and I. She was feeding him, and he was sleeping, right, so I wanted a way to connect with him. Maybe there’s a better way than getting shit and pissed on, but I haven’t figured it out yet. So, for now, it’s our way of connecting. Even though it means I’m getting pooped on.

And for bonus points… Tell off a parent or two. I had no idea just how far this would go. The truth is, everyone raises children differently. So, when your parent tells you that this isn’t the way they’d do it, tell them you appreciate their input, but they can stick it up their ass. Wait… maybe don’t say it like that……….