The World’s Most Expensive Home Gym

Warmer weather has arrived and the days are longer. Summer will be here before you know it. In the seven months since my son was born, I have been working hard on by “dad bod.” Okay, to be fair I’ve always had a dad bob but prior to now it was more Al Bundy than the Homer Simpson it has become. Pairs of pants no longer fit, and I find it  hard to stay in shape with a new kid in the house. Who has time to go to the gym?

I read some blog recently suggesting I actually work out at home with my child. He weighs about twenty pounds at this point, so I thought I would give it a try. I figured it would be a good way for me to get in shape and for the two of us to spend some quality father-and-son time together, after all. The blog that I read suggested a list of exercises, but I modified it to fit my preferences and skill level. The entire circuit is below.

Warm up. First place your baby in their walker. Now sprint after them as they zip around the house getting into things you’ve told them not get into more times than you could ever hope to count. Sprint after your child for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Push Ups. Lie your child on their back and begin to do push ups over them. When you go down, kiss them on the forehead. They will likely giggle. What’s that you say? You’re concerned your arms will give out and you will fall on your child? Don’t worry. You’ll only able to do about four push ups before the next exercise begins.

Bear Crawl. The reason you will only be able to do four push ups is because our child will flip onto their stomach and crawl away with the speed of Usain Bolt. Bear crawl after them. There’s no time to stand fully erect. Who knows what they will get into if you waste time trying to stand up?

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Kettle Bell Swing. When you reach your baby, immediately go into a squat. Grab your kid and begin to stand up, swinging your arms until they are fully extended and perpendicular with your shoulders. Do this a few times while your kid still thinks it’s fun.

Squats. You did too many kettle bell swings and now your kid is crying. Hold them close and do squats while they calm down and stop crying.

Tricep Extensions. You’re just about done, which is great because you have a child and therefore do not get much sleep. Lie on your back. Hold your kid above you. Now, slowly lower your kid toward the floor over your head. Raise them back up so they are directly above you. Try to do ten to twelve repetitions. You likely won’t, however, because there is a 98.9 percent chance your child will spit up directly on your face in the middle of the set.

Abs. After you have washed your face, it’s time for the last exercise. Go to your bedroom and place your child your bed. Lay down next to them. Inevitably, your kid will crawl with speed toward the end of your bed and, defying all common sense, will attempt to crawl right off the edge. Explode upward in a sit-up, grab them by the feet, and complete the sit up while you drag your kid back to safety down the length of the bed. Repeat for as many sit ups as you can. If your kid is like mine, they will never get tired of this “game” so when you have had enough place your child in their crib and hit the showers.

Simple enough right? It costs $233,610.00 to raise a child to the age of 18. So, congratulations! You now have the world’s most expensive home gym.

 

 

Snap Chat

Being a new parent is about two things: 1) keeping your kid alive, and 2) figuring out what you actually need to purchase in order to do so. These two tasks are extremely difficult. The first produces crippling anxiety and daily nervous breakdowns. The second requires cunning and smart shopping.

Most products marketed to new parents are completely worthless but yet largely harmless. For example, you don’t need designer shoes for your baby (looking at you, Freshly Picked). Socks are also questionable as your child gets older because your six month old will just take them off and try to eat them. For little boys, the “Pee-Pee teepee” is pointless because it is just one more thing will be covered in piss like everything else. Diaper pale deodorizers are no match for the horror that will come out of your kid’s butt. The list goes on and on and on.

Other products are equally worthless, but they are deceptively marketed to entice you to buy them anyway. They also have nefarious intent. We all know that your baby must be clothed. And there is certainly no shortage of clothiers willing to sell you cute and adorable outfits, only for your child to outgrow them five minutes after you get home from the store. Most of these outfits can be classified as “onesies” when your child is less than a year old.

These utilitarian baby jumpsuits come in two types. The first was designed by people that have common sense and have clearly been a parent before. They are easy to get the baby in to, and they close with a single zipper from toe to neckline. It will take you approximately one minute or less from start to finish to cloth your baby in one of these.

The second type of onesie was designed by a demon from the nether regions of hell, or perhaps by Satan himself. The sole purpose of these outfits is to torture new parents to the point of nihilism. The zipper has been replaced on these jumpsuits by multiple tiny snap buttons that need to be closed. A demonstrative example is below.

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Imagine for a moment the following scenario:

It’s 2:00 a.m. You are awakened by your baby screaming for something. After a few seconds of half-asleep confusion you realize it’s likely not food, because he just screamed for his bottle about 45 minutes ago. So, you conclude he must need changing.

You roll out of your comfortable bed and stumble in a sleep-deprived stupor to your baby and place him in the changing area. You open the offending diaper and are relieved to find it’s just wet. You place him in a fresh diaper. You’re almost done now, and you yearn for that warm, comfortable bed this tiny human has summoned you from. You just need to get him dressed again.

Here’s the thing about babies: they move. They are not baby dolls and are actually capable of motor functions. You manage to place your squirming baby into the open jumpsuit. You place his tiny arms through he sleeves, which is always easy. You drape the legs over his feet. He immediately kicks them off. You replace the onesie legs. He kicks them off again. You mumble and grumble and replace the legs once again. He kicks them off again. You replace them once more, and immediately snap some leg buttons closed. Any buttons. He can’t kick them off now.

You proceed to methodically close the approximately 66 snap buttons on the entire outfit. Only one-quarter asleep now, you take a look at your handiwork and realize that the buttons are not aligned properly and there’s large gaps in the jumpsuit. You undo the approximately 74 snaps on the onesie and start over.

Only first, your baby kicks the jumpsuit off his legs again. You replace the onesie legs. He kicks them off again. You mumble and grumble and begin to cry and replace the legs once again. He kicks them off again. You replace them once more, and immediately snap some leg buttons closed. You proceed to methodically close the approximately 82 snap buttons that line the seams of the jumpsuit.

Once done, and now only one-eighth asleep at 2:30 a.m., you admire your handiwork and realize that once again the buttons are not aligned properly as a result of your baby’s constant squirming and crying while you were trying to close them. You unbutton the approximately 98 snap buttons that line the seams of the jumpsuit and start anew.

Fully awake now at 2:40 a.m., you drape the legs over your baby’s feet. He immediately kicks them off. You replace the onesie legs. He kicks them off again. You mumble and grumble and wish for your death and replace the legs once again. He kicks them off again. You replace them once more, and immediately snap some leg buttons closed. You proceed to methodically close the approximately 117 snap buttons that line the seams of the jumpsuit. Finally, and mercifully, you have managed to get all of them closed and perfectly aligned.

You walk back to your bed and lay in its comforting warmth. Since you are fully awake now, you simply stare at the ceiling of your bedroom and ponder what type of sadist ever designed such nonsensical baby clothes. Then, after approximately 10 more minutes, your son starts crying for you again.

Yes, take it from me new parents, stay clear of the snap onesies. Only buy the zippered onesies.

His Heart Grew Three Sizes

I am a Grinch. A modern day Scrooge. Christmas does not fill my heart with joy and warmth. It fills my gut with anxiety (bills!) and heart with disdain (traffic! hustle! bustle!). I was not always this way. I enjoyed the holiday until Rudolph and elves started making an appearance on store shelves in August, and people started complaining and threatening boycotts over the color and design of a coffee cup. People wish me a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” and I respond, offended by neither, with an equal opportunity “Humbug!”

My wife is the exact opposite of me. I married the female version of Buddy The Elf. She skips to and fro during the holidays spreading Christmas cheer for all to hear. She enjoys wrapping gifts, decking the halls, hanging the stockings by the chimney with care and all that other nonsense.

This year is our son’s first Christmas, and I’ve been dreading it. The family logistics of Christmas are always a headache, but I knew they would be even more so with both sets of grandparents clamoring for time and the child’s attention for his first Christmas. I knew my wife would make an even bigger deal of the holiday than normal. More presents would need to be bought. The obligatory Santa photo would need to be taken.

In the four months since his birth, I’ve had precious little time to do anything other than go to work and help take care of him. During this time, I’ve noticed that he tends to favor my mannerisms, my personality (he’s grumpy a lot) and my appearance. So, part of me wondered as we approached The Most Wonderful Time of the Year whether he would also inherit my view of the holiday, or whether he’d be Santa’s Little Helper.

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My wife’s Christmas present.

The first test came during our annual pilgrimage to the Christmas tree farm to select the most perfect specimen of pine tree to place in our living room, so it can die slowly over the course of a month adorned in cheap trinkets. My wife had big plans – we would take our infant and she would find the tree, and then I would be forced to take a picture of the two of them “candidly” selecting the best one to bring home. My son had different ideas.

When we arrived at the lot, I knew the errand would not turn out how my wife hoped. The smell tipped me off. My wife bounded out of the car and went to remove the kid from his car seat only to find he had blown out his diaper, and not just a little. It looked like Santa himself had relieved himself in my son’s car seat after binging on Taco Bell with laxatives for desert. It was everywhere – up his back, down his legs, oozing about his abdomen. EVERYWHERE. My wife was dismayed. I had a glimmer of hope that he was my son after all when it came to Christmas.

The second test came the following weekend when my wife told me we had an appointment to see Santa Claus. I didn’t understanding why we needed to see Santa Claus since 1) he doesn’t exist; 2) my son can’t speak and only wants a clean diaper and milk every few hours; and 3) my son will never remember sitting on some fat old man’s lap in a crowded mall (this is probably for the best). Despite my protests, I was told we would be keeping the appointment at Crabtree Valley Mall.

My heart sank when my wife said, “Crabtree Valley Mall.” For those of you unfamiliar with the Raleigh, North Carolina area there are two main malls: Crabtree Valley and Triangle Town Center. Triangle Town is closer to our home, and is sufficient for our needs. It’s not overly fancy or big, but has a Macy’s and a Belk and some other stores I’m too cheap to shop at. By contrast, Crabtree Valley Mall is where Satan will send me when I die and go to hell. It is by far the most crowded and busiest retail establishment in the Triangle during the holiday season.

The parking lot resembles a scene out of Mad Max or a car chase scene from a Jason Bourne movie. This is because there are approximately 5 open parking spots and 500,000 people trying to find a parking spot at any given time. I have not been above jumping curbs in my Jeep and nearly running over slow moving old ladies to obtain one. Once inside, it’s as if the entire City of Raleigh has decided to try to find a deal at The Gap or J. Crew at the exact same time. We shall not even discuss the Apple Store – it gives me symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder just thinking about it.

Fortunately, my wife and I are big fans of The Walking Dead so we’ve taken plenty of notes on how to navigate hoards of mindlessly wandering people and survive disastrous conditions. We finally made it to Santa at our appointed time after running through the mall, shoulders down  and nimble, with a tenacity that would make any NFL player proud. Touchdown, mother fuckers.

My wife wanted to make sure the picture was perfect, so she stood by the “elf” taking the picture. The elf was nothing more than a short underemployed hipster in a costume. I was tasked with handing our little guy over to “Santa,” who appeared to be an authentically obese elderly gentleman wondering silently why all of his retirement fund was wiped out in the 2008 financial collapse. As I approached and sat my son on his lap, I couldn’t resist stealing a line from my wife’s favorite Christmas movie. “You sit on a thrown of lies! And smell like beef and cheese,” I whispered. “Fuck you,” Santa whispered back with rosy cheeks and a twinkle in his eye. I liked this Santa.

My son did not. Santa kept trying make my son look at him for a staged moment by repeating his name over and over, “Teddy. Teddy. Teddddyyyy. Teddy! Teddy!!!!!” Teddy refused to acknowledge Santa’s existence, and stared blankly at the camera much to my wife’s dismay. I determined he is my son after all.

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He smells like beef and cheese on his thrown of lies.

And yet, here we sit with a few hours to go until Christmas Eve. Teddy is wearing an infant-sized Santa hat, smiling and giggling as he alternates staring at our lit Christmas tree and watching Scrooged on Netflix. Perhaps he does have some of that Christmas spirit in him. As for me; well, the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes when I looked at him being so festive and adorable.

 

It’s Definitely A Trick

My son turned two months old last week. We have been busy taking pictures of every moment of his life and posting them ad nauseam on social media like most Millennial parents. This, of course, includes the ubiquitous “month old” shots where the babies are posed in various awkward positions and a sticker indicating the months old they are are placed on them as if turning two, three or four months old is some major accomplishment that deserves to be memorialized for eternity.
I used to silently judge the people I have become. I would scroll through Facebook and Instagram while my wife was pregnant and tell myself, “No way we’re going to be those parents.” I should have known better.
October means Halloween, and the beginning of the fall season. It also means Christmas decoration displays occupy the same area as the Halloween decoration displays in the local Target. This is great if you’re a big fan of cheap plastic crap for your house and the classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas. It also means that my wife decided we must celebrate our baby’s first Halloween with fall themed photographs.
At two months of age, my child can see approximately eight to ten inches in front of his small, pudgy chipmunk cheeks. It should therefore be sufficient for us to buy a cheap pumpkin from the local grocery store, sit down next to the kid and snap a photograph. The hardest part of the whole ordeal should be deciding which Instagram filter to use. My wife had other plans.
Off we went to the local farm to pay $15.00 each for a hayride that lasts five minutes. Neither her nor I derived any kind of excitement from the ride behind an old and smelly tractor sitting amongst half-rotted hay with complete strangers. My kid couldn’t see the hay or the tractor, and would never remember this early family excursion. But, we were dropped off in a pumpkin patch half-way through the five minute trip where we could pick out our own pumpkin and take it home for “free.”
As soon as the tractor stopped my wife took off like an Olympic sprinter to the far corner of the pumpkin patch. She eagerly selected the best handful of pumpkins she could find and started arranging them around our baby on the ground. The photoshoot commenced. Now, I can’t say with any certainty, but I’m pretty sure photoshoots for Vogue take less time, have less artistic quality and result in a smaller volume of pictures. Annie Leibowitz would have been put to shame next to my wife that day.
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As for me, I stood there watching the absurd site while fantasizing about what Halloween will look like once my son is old enough to appreciate it. We’ll dress up in costumes. We’ll watch the greatest Halloween movies ever made – Monster Squad and Hocus Pocus. And, of course, we’ll go Trick or Treating. There will be so much candy because my kid is cute and the cute ones always get the most candy.
My job as a father is not to be all fun and games, however. I must also teach this boy life lessons so he can be prepared when he comes of age and enters the real world. So, I am going to allow him a moment of joy when he overturns his pumpkin-shaped bucket and allows all the candy riches to spill onto the floor of his bedroom. I expect he’ll eagerly reach out to take a few pieces, but before he does I’m going to smack his hand away and take one-third of whatever he earned that Halloween night after hours and hours of walking around. Because, taxes.
I suppose he’ll probably stare in bewilderment about how so much of his spoils can be swept away for taxes, but he’ll look at what is left and be somewhat content. That’s when I’ll swipe away another one-half of what remains. Because, housing, utilities and groceries.
I suppose he’ll now probably stare in disgust at what remains, but will figure he’ll make it work and still be able to enjoy himself. That’s when I’ll swipe away most of what remains for all the other fixed expenses of life and those emergency expenses that always creep up at the most inopportune moment.
Then, and only then, as he stares at the remnants of his efforts – a shitty Necco Peanut Butter Kiss, a Bit-O-Honey, and some wretched candy corn – he’ll realize maybe he shouldn’t be in such a hurry to grow up because adulthood is a trick, not a treat. Hell, he might also finally understand why daddy cries into his whiskey every time he balances the checkbook.

There Are No Stupid Questions (Spoiler: That’s a Lie)

There are no stupid questions. Inquisitive idiots abound, however. I am asked questions that defy logic everyday: would I like some more coffee  (of course, am I awake?); would I like fries with my meal (of course, Chic-Fil-A, you can keep your kale salad garbage); what would I like to do on my day off (absolutely nothing).  The amount of inquisitive idiots seems to intensify when your wife is pregnant.

In the beginning, most questions are well-meaning and the product of idle curiosity. The inquirer is not conscious of the fact you have already been asked the same question approximately 287 times that very week, and thus is often confused when you seem annoyed when answering. For example:

Target cashier: Oh! You’re having a baby? What are you having?!

Me: My wife is having the baby. I’m having panic attacks.

As the nine months of gestation continues marching on, the questions become more idiotic.

Waiter, upon seeing my wife’s baby bump: Oh, are you pregnant?

Me:

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My wife is now currently full term, so idiotic questions from coworkers and friends are a daily occurrence as we wait for the baby to finally come.

Coworker, on Monday: Still no baby yet?

Me:

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Same coworker, on Tuesday: Still no baby yet?

Me:

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Friend: Are y’all ever going to have that baby?

Me:

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Today is the kid’s official due date, and my wife is at the hospital. Working a 12 hour shift though, like the boss nurse she is, because this child continues to be a stubborn jackass. It appears he is already taking after his daddy. I’m sure the questions will only keep coming. You can post yours in the comments below.

The Bait and Switch

You know those people that majored in worthless degrees because they thought it would be cool and now say it was “totally worth it” even though they are broke? The ones that do this because the degree was a bad decision and expensive as hell and they need to justify it? I’m beginning to think having kids is like that.

Our friends would often extoll the virtues of having children prior to my wife becoming pregnant. They would say such nice sounding things like:

“It’s really worth it.”

“It’s the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do.”

“You’ll love it. It’s so much fun, and they are so cute when they are little.”

“Having kids is great!”

Our friends are apparent liars. It amazed me how the information my friends volunteered changed after we became pregnant. Instead of a warm and fuzzy tone, the conversations turned dark and foreboding:

“You just wait. It’s only going to get worse.”

“You’ll never sleep again.”

“You’re not going to have time or money for anything anymore.”

My personal favorite came the other day as I was chatting with a colleague. He had not yet learned my wife is pregnant, and when he learned we are due any day now, he laughed out loud and said, “You just wait. You have no idea what’s about to happen!”

I’m not sure at this point whether my wife is about to give birth to a human child, or emit forth a plague of locusts upon our household. I assume that we are not about to usher forth the apocalypse, but I suppose only time will tell.

 

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

I inherited an amazing talent from my father. It’s not the ability to draw, paint, or sketch. Nor is it the ability to sing or play guitar. It’s certainly not any sort of mechanical or technical inclination. The talent I inherited is the uncanny ability to say exactly the wrong thing at precisely the most inappropriate moment.

Let me give you an example. When I hit puberty, my dad attempted to give me “the talk.” It was as awkward as it is for anyone, and heavy on the dangers of STDs and the ease of transmission if not careful. I’ll never forget my dad’s closing statement to me on the subject of promiscuity: “Just remember – if they’ll sleep with you, they’ll sleep with anyone.” Gee, thanks dad.

Long before that, however, one of his most famous misstatements was uttered. I was a large baby and gave my mother a very long and painful labor that eventually ended in a caesarean section surgery. After it was all over, the following exchange took place:

Mother: I’m so tired.

Father: At least you were laying down.

My own wife is due to give birth to our first child any day now. I cannot wait to see what inadvertently stupid thing comes out of my mouth when it happens. I’m sure I’ll never live down no matter what it is.

You Need This! Whatever it is.

I assumed I would need only six things when my wife told me she was pregnant: a crib, diapers, a car seat, a stroller, a small wardrobe, and a prescription of Xanax for me. I quickly learned when we registered at Babies R Us and Target that I was completely wrong.  Suggested items were given to us along with the scanning gun, and an entire ream of paper was required to list them all. I wrote in an additional item when I began calculating what most of it would cost: bankruptcy attorney.

We had asked our friends ahead of time what we actually needed. A bunch of hogwash was listed off rapidly and helpfully:

“You need a Tula!”

“You need a Boppy!”

“You need a snotsucker!”

“You need a windi!”

“You need a pee pee teepee!”

What the hell? Were our friends speaking English? Who names all of these products? What are they for? Why do I need them? These questions aside, the products were added to our list. The genius of baby product marketing is everything is designed to make you feel like a failure as a parent if you do not purchase whatever ridiculous product is suggested.

When we registered my wife took the list and walked around the store like she knew exactly what everything was and its purpose. I stood there in the aisles bewildered and wondering what had happened to my life. I got lost amongst the pastel colored plastic products multiple times, but was always able to find my wife easily thanks to the scanning gun. It acted like a rescue beacon as she moved about the store. Beep…Beep…Beep…Beep…Beep. We finally finished over two hours later.

Now, at the 37 weeks pregnant, we have completed our registry and have obtained everything we were told we would need. As I look around my house and the nursery room, I stare in awe at the things people convinced me I needed to spend money on. For example, we could have purchased a perfectly fine and affordable drying rack at Target for the bottles. But, apparently I needed $35 worth of fake grass to set the bottles on instead.

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This plastic grass and sad twig is important for your baby. 

Most of these items you do not really need, of course.  However, peer pressure and the crippling anxiety induced by uncertainty in your undeveloped parenting abilities will ultimately lead you to purchase them. Once you do, I hope you know what their purpose is. As for me, I’m sure I’ll figure it out by the time my kid has outgrown it.

 

What’s in a Name?

What to name my child is the fiercest debate in which I have ever been involved. Both my wife and myself are stubborn people. She’s a nurse, and I’m a lawyer, so we’re both accustomed to arguing and giving orders for a living. Our current cold war over the name of our first born shows no signs of thawing.

Coming up with suggestions is an arduous task – his name will follow this child his entire life, and will effect how people perceive him. You never really realize how many people annoy you or how many people you disfavor until you begin thinking of names for your kid.

My first list contained classically simple names beloved by many: Bruce, Wayne, Clark, Kent, Steve, Roger, Luke, Aniken, Han. All were summarily rejected by my wife.

“What names do you want?” I asked.

“I don’t know. What other names do you want?” she replied.

I walked away. I was on to her game. We have starved many a night after spending futile hours trying to figure out where to eat out, and I was not about to play this game over an issue of this importance. Several weeks went by and we came no closer to a solution. Then I said something I shouldn’t have.

I was sitting in my chair one night enjoying a glass of whisky and reading a biography of Theodore Roosevelt when she brought up the subject of names. “Have you thought anymore about what to name him?”

“How about Theodore?” I dismissively replied.

There was a pause, followed by, “OH MY GOD I LOVE IT!”

I was not serious. I only threw out the name because I assumed it would be rejected like all the others. This is the one she picks out of all those names?

Theodore Roosevelt is one of my favorite presidents. However, he is not who most people usually think of when they hear the name Theodore or any of its variations – Theo, Teddy, or Ted. They think of an annoying cartoon chipmunk, or that kid from The Cosby Show. Or the foul-mouthed CGI bear that hangs out with the last remaining shreds of Mark Wahlberg’s career and dignity.  The name also sounds a bit pretentious. Instead of a onesie and pacifier, the name to me connotes an ascot and monocle.

To be fair, there have been some impressive Theodore’s throughout history. There was the aforementioned president; Roethke the poet; Williams the baseball player; Dr. Suess.

But then there is Theodore “Ted” Bundy, Theodore John Kaczynski (The Unabomber) and Ted Nugent.

I have begged and pleaded and continued to suggest names, but my wife will not budge. I have not given up all hope, but I must be realistic as well. Will my son grow up to be a president, professional athlete or famous author? Or will he grow up to be a deranged psychopath? Only time will tell.

 

 

 

 

D-Day Prepper

I thought I had plenty of time nine months ago when my wife told me she was pregnant. August seemed so far away on that brisk November day, and yet here we are. We are less than a month from my son’s projected arrival and I still am not ready.
I took one of those “how to dad” courses offered by a local hospital and it did not end well. I nodded my head knowingly as the instructor went through her PowerPoint slides: the warning signs of postpartum depression, the needs of infants (spoiler: food, sleep, diapers), and many suggestions on how to be a “supportive” partner during the labor.
And yet, while my head may be filled with book knowledge, it is lacking in practical skills. I still do not have a car seat, or even the faintest idea of how to install one. I knocked the baby doll off the table while trying to learn how to swaddle in class. I did it again when trying to practice how to apply a diaper. Frankly, this kid is probably doomed.
To try to subdue my mounting anxiety, I thought I would at least go ahead and pack my hospital “go bag” for when that Delivery Day finally comes. Unfortunately, I have no idea what to pack and my wife’s baby book is more geared toward what she should pack. I decided to just use my common sense.
Here’s what I have so far:
  1. Phone charger. Duh.
  1. Whisky. I am fairly certain this will become a necessity at some point.
  1. Health Insurance Card. There is a 97.8% chance I will faint and give myself a concussion.
  1. Prizes. These are for the nurses. To help pass the time, I figured I’d have them vote to see who was screaming the loudest during delivery between myself and my wife.
  1. GoPro. My plan is to use my head mount on the doctor to get a first person perspective on the deliver for posterity. My wife rejects this idea. We shall see who wins the argument.
  1. Riot Shield and Protective Clothing. My wife will blame me for her pain and agony. She can be unpleasant.
  1. Lion King Soundtrack. One cannot recreate the presentation of Simba by Rafiki without The Circle of Life playing loudly in the background.

Are you a new parent who has been through this before? Are you a soon-to-be dad who is also trying to figure out what to take? What would you add? Let me hear from you.