Observations on Fatherhood #13

Why? Why? Why?

I appreciate that my son has a curious mind. However, surely any father gets sick of answering the same question over and over. Clearly it’s his first reaction to almost any statement, from “It’s time to eat” to “Please stop licking the chair”.

I’ve made it a policy I’ll always answer a question… but I make him formulate it in an actual sentence. “Why?” doesn’t count. I’ll respond “Why what?” and if he can articulate what he’s asking, I’ll gladly answer WHY until we’re talking about subatomic particles.

I’ve developed a new theory on the origin of religion. Just as it was a way to explain to ancient peoples to themselves what was going on in the world that (they didn’t yet have a real explanation for, like the sun rising, etc.), I think it also may have been a way to shut their kids up.


“Because God said so, and faith in his word is a virtue.”


“Don’t contradict God! Bad boy!”

… or something like that.

Observations on Fatherhood #12

Child labor.

That little thing is always in your house, eating your food, pulling your covers off you at 6:30am. Get some use out of him!

At 2.5 years, it’s too early for the lawnmower, or to send him on the roof to clean out the gutters.

But damnned if he’s not a champion garlic peeler.

When I’m making up a mess of garlic, I’ll smash each clove a bit to loosen up the skin, and then put a bowlful in front of him. He’ll sit there and meticulously peel each one, begging for more when they’re gone.

Perhaps having a kid is an expensive way to get peeled garlic, but at least it’s something.

Observations on Fatherhood #10

Some advice I recently gave to two friends who are about to have their first kids:

– The labor is the easy part; after that it gets hard.

– For the first few weeks, your wife’s only job is to keep the kid alive. Your only job is to keep her alive.

Feed her, keep the mounds of shit from piling too high, and be the gatekeeper. Be ready to say no – don’t let visitors come if either of them are napping.

In the first few months, people will keep telling you time flies so fast. This is the last thing you’ll want to hear, because every hour seems like a day, every day seems like a week, and every month seems like a year. Time drags for the first three months.

After that, time does start to fly. The first three months seems like a year. The next year seems like three months.

Observations on Fatherhood #9

Pro tip: sleep diapers are worth the cash.

During the day, he wears the cheapest disposables we could find (Target brand).

During the night, the extra cash towards sleep diapers are well worth the expense. Those things could hold a gallon of pee and still manage to keep the poop contained.

I’m not sure how much they are, but I’d wrap his butt in cash money if it meant a little extra sleep.

Observations on Fatherhood #8

For me, it took 11 months. I don’t know if this is below or above average.

Oh sure, I’ve been spit up on dozens of times, sure, that’s nothing. But never this.

The boy wasn’t eating dinner. We knew he was out of sorts, and not eating is certainly out of the ordinary for him. When we’d finished our meal, and decided he wasn’t going to eat any more, I picked him up out of his high chair and into my arms.

With no warning, a fire hose unleashed a column of white milk from his face, splashing against my chest and ricocheting from there all over the table, the floor, my shoes. It was violent, noisy, and shocking. Then after a few seconds, all was silent, except the drip, drip, drip from my clothes to the ground.

Stunned into silence and unable to do anything to ameliorate the situation, Suz and I looked at the boy, the mess. Just as my brain began to process the situation, the world exploded violently again in milk.

After it was done, Augie acted as if nothing abnormal at all had happened, cheerfully sitting in my arms, despite the fact that we were covered almost completely in fluid he’d just ejected.

While I’m still not sure what, if anything, I could have done to make the mess less… at least I didn’t drop him.

Observations on Fatherhood #6

Poop seems to follow a bell curve in level of gross.

Right off the bat, the shell-shocked parents get hit dealing with meconium. It is unbelievable stuff… a tiny drop could tar a roof.

As the breast milk diet takes hold, though, the poop gets better. Doesn’t smell so bad at all and easy to clean up.

Augie just started solid food in the last couple of weeks… and now the poop has taken a turn for the worse.

It smells like the inside of a porta potty in August after a Phish concert, is solid, and has quite an affinity for sticking to his ass cheeks.

Can you teach a six month old child how to use a toilet?