What I’ve Learn From Being a Dad. Lessons and Insights.

*Please note that I occassionally update this post when I acquire new knowledge.

This newsletter is a little different than my previous ones. Since the end of summer is near and school is starting, I decided to go with something more lighthearted.

I’ve been a dad for a little over three years now and I wanted to share some insights and observations that could be useful to current and future dads. When you announce you are expecting, you get endless advice from friends who already have a family. You will hear or read something like “The family needs come first”. The advice is good, the intentions are good, but it’s not very practical. So here’s more. Please note that there’s a lot left to learn.

Gnarl5
It doesn’t come with a manual. No return policy.
  • During my wife’s pregnancy I didn’t read any “how to become a daddy” book. Parenting books are a joke. They are filled with b.s. Parents, present company included, don’t understand very much about what they do – not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t work when it’s bad. I figured the shorter the post, the less b.s.
  • How many times have you heard “What’s wrong with my baby? He’s not conforming to the behavior model in the book.” Well maybe the behavior model in the book is not conforming to your baby. The whole point is that you need to figure it out yourself. You can’t read a parenting textbook and say you know how to parent. It’s a life journey, an experience that can’t be described or learned in a book. That’s why there’s no special parent training center. My wife tells me anything I needed to know because she knows everything. I’m very lucky to have married my wife.
  • You can’t complain around a pregnant woman. Never say you are tired. Try at your own risk.
  • I also found out that you can’t complain around a post-pregnant woman either. You can’t say something like “Well you were pregnant like two months ago!”
  • Everyone’s mom got pregnant.
  • We did go to a prenatal class. You learn a few things but it’s not a must go. The baby is coming out anyway. And when your wife is in labor, you rapidly forget all these cute fancy breathing techniques that you learned.
  • When your wife is in labor, as a dad, you are totally incompetent. That’s why they make you cut the umbilical cord, to justify your presence. Between the doctors, nurses, and painkilling drugs, you are at the bottom of the list in terms of importance. Your job as a future dad comes after.GNARL3
  • I’m a parent and my baby has displayed a lack of interest in being parented. I told her that if you are going to raise yourself at least do a good job.
  • Once my baby was born, I was shocked to learn that there’s wasn’t a postnatal class. There no such thing. You leave the hospital like you are leaving the grocery store except you are carrying a baby inside the house. It’s pretty much “here’s your baby and go figure it out”. Again my wife knew everything.
  • Then I quickly realized there’s no way in hell there’s a training manual for my baby.
  • As a dad, you’re in second place. Like far behind second place. Mom is the winner and it’s not even close. Mommy and baby can snuggle and read stories for hours. Maybe it’s the hair on my face.
  • I realized that the world is divided between parents and non-parents. There’s no in the middle. Sorry non-parents but the baby doesn’t come with a mute button.
  • Dear non-parents, having a dog is not like having a baby. Dogs come when you call their name. Babies don’t.
  • There seems to be two dominant schools of thought when it comes to sleep training. There’s the attachment parenting and the traditional parenting. Traditional parenting basically involves putting your kids to bed and listening to them scream all night. And there’s the attachment parenting, which involves cuddling your kids and then listening to them scream all night.

gnarl

  • Babies don’t care how many whiskies you had the night before.
  • Sleeping babies often cry due to discomfort of some sort (hungry, diaper…). If you can find a way to defuse the problem immediately, they will return to a fully sleeping state. If you miss this opportunity to intervene, the results can be devastating for the entire household.
  • If the baby is not sleeping, nobody is.
  • When the baby is tired, you have a window of time to put your baby to bed. If you missed it, again the results can be devastating. You’ll be up for the next three hours with a tired cranky baby.
  • Moms are magical. They don’t sleep and they have more than two arms. And they know everything.
  • Day cares are basically labs for new diseases and viruses. You want to take down ISIS? Send a toddler with a runny nose.
  • There’s no point of going anywhere in the winter. By the time I got my baby inside a snow suit it was already spring thaw. If you a parenting pro and managed to get your baby all zipped up, they have to go to the bathroom.
  • If you do need to go somewhere, it looks like you are moving. There’s the stuff the baby needs, there’s the stuff the baby wants, there’s the maybe stuff, and there’s the “what if” stuff.
  • NEVER say the word “i-c-e c-r-e-a-m” in front of kids.
  • If leaving the house with kids is impossible, try leaving the park. The longer they stay, the more tired they are, the more difficult it is to leave without a crisis. But you stay longer because you want to be a good dad. The best time to leave the park is shortly after you got there (nobody is hurt and tired). But it looks awkward if you leave before time and it’s a check in the bad dad column. Try the word “i-c-e c-r-e-a-m” to get the troops in line.
  • Baby music has some very depressing origins. For example, the charming rhyme “Ring around the Rosie” refers to the Black Plague that decimated Europe’s population. In “Old Macdonald had a farm”, Macdonald HAD a farm. What happened to the farm? Did the bank take it?
  • Can the geniuses at Fisher-Price come up with a toy that’s more fun than a toilet-paper roll?
  • Just like cats, your baby will enjoy the box your gift comes into more than the actual gift.
  • Unlike cats, you can’t leave a tray of food on the floor with cereals in it for your kid to eat it in the morning. I have the ceremonial role of getting up in the morning because my toddler is “starving” and for some odd reason my “starving” toddler doesn’t want to eat anything presented.
  • When eating, my baby’s food knows where to find her hair, ears, eyes, face but rarely the mouth. My baby girl doesn’t bother to eat over her plate. If she realized how much there’s under the table maybe I wouldn’t get up so early in the morning. Drinks however are spilled on the table. This is where babies can wreak the most havoc. Kids are fascinated by spills. Whoever invented the sippy cup should be the richest person alive.

gnarl4

  • In the morning, do not get fully dressed for work until you have to step out of the door.
  • Silence is a luxury. It was silent the other day and it woke me up. If you are lucky, your baby might sleep at night and you get a moment of silence but the night ends very quickly.

gNARL2

  • To whoever said that “it takes a village” to raise a kid, well I want to move to that village.
  • My village is not adequate. So far it would take more than a village to raise my baby.
  • Whoever came up with “terrible twos” must feel pretty silly when they turn 3.
  • If you call your two year old “terrible twos”, you never had a 3 year old. They are like tiny teenagers.
  • Expect them to be in the house until they are 30. My baby is still unemployed and doesn’t pay rent.
  • If you are going to give clothes, make sure they are made of velcro. Snaps are ok but make sure the snaps are aligned. Buttons are just plain evil.
  • It’s amazing how little kids cans spend hours in the pool without having to go to the bathroom.
  • When I was a young I remember thinking that dads are the ultimate boss and kids were slaves. I had it backward. I’m the slave and the baby is my master.
  • Babies don’t learn how to walk, they run. They run into things head first at high speed.
  • Toddlers don’t put their hands up to prevent brain injury when they are falling. Their face hits the ground first and they slide a bit. In the process they managed to scrape the whole front part of the body.
  • Watching a toddler is a little bit like keeping an eye on somebody on suicide watch. Me and my wife take shifts to keep her alive. I’m not sure what I did, but my baby is always trying to find new ways to hurt herself. My baby girl’s approach can be described as “run head first into the coffee table”. She is fearless, a climber and a jumper.My whole job is to keep her alive.
  • My baby girl doesn’t speak English or French but somehow she has mastered the art of negotiation. Why does everything turn into a negotiation? Why am I negotiating with a two year old?
  • Kids don’t process that you are talking to them when they are watching T.V.
  • Kid shoes should come in pairs of three.
  • Kids have no awareness when they have to go to the bathroom. And if they ever do, there’s no bathroom nearby.
  • Kids might not know the value of money but they know the value of candies. Candies are the kids’ currency. That’s how they make friends and get stuff.
  • Family restaurant: It means you can come in with your wild crazy family and just destroy the place and it’s fine.
  • It feels like my wife gave birth yesterday. What I’m saying is that they are growing way too fast and you are going to miss the cute little things they do. Enjoy the moment.
  • Remember all the nonsense your parents said when you were a kid, well you finally piece it together. They tried their best.
  • Do you remember when you were about to have your first child, and everyone said to you, “Life as you know it is about to end,” and you laughed and nodded but didn’t really believe them, and then your child was born and you discovered that what everyone had told you was an understatement.
  • My virility caused this whole situation.

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2 thoughts on “What I’ve Learn From Being a Dad. Lessons and Insights.

  1. Hey Brian! Me and Adam really enjoyed reading your article! And we agree with many of your points! Go Team Parents!
    Salbi + Adam

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