(*Author’s note: this is not an advice column. If one more person offers me unsolicited parenting advice that is not directly related to me, I’m probably going to kiss my son on the head, apologize to my wife, and commit some kind of felonious crime in a misguided act of retaliation. I don’t know what I’m doing any better than anyone else does. However, the “you” I’m talking to here, is anyone that is a parent, has a strange sense of humor, and can identify with any of the skewed views that I have)
- Be careful how many R. Kelly jokes you’ve made in your life. Eventually you will become the pissee. In my case, after making roughly 11,275 “Oh, you just got R. Kellied!” type of jokes, it took about 2 days for Karma to come back for me with a urine-tinged vengeance.
- Whatever you think you know. . .you probably do. See how I did that? I bet you were expecting: “throw it out the window.” Or “you have no idea” or some other doom-prophesying, obscure, Nostradamus-style reference to the mysteries of parenting. It’s not true. You know that you love your child. You know that you would do anything to oversee their safety, happiness and well-being. (*Author’s note: die/get maimed/____ insert barbaric, medieval torture type device here. Why do we always go so violent on these things?)
And after all, that’s all that really matters. The little things? You’ll learn those. You’ll absorb some through osmosis, others through trial and error, but you’ll learn every day. And you’ll learn a lot. But you can’t be taught the way you feel when his tiny fingers squeeze into a fist on your pinky. You can’t be taught the way your head will surge like an overwhelmed electric outlet of fierce love when he turns his fuzzy, peach-frizzed-head so he can nuzzle closer to your beating heart. Everything else is secondary to emotions; to love.
(*Author’s note: I know, I know. . .wayyyyyyy sappier than an R. Kelly crack, right?)
- Now that you have a child, everything you do, he does, or your wife does will become public fodder for discussion. Not by choice either. Every woman who has so much as watched an episode of Teen Mom 2 will come flying out of the woodwork with an entire Parenting for Dummies handbook that they have mentally written over the years. Every dude that’s had a cousin that’s had a nephew will think he needs to step in and singlehandedly Dr. Drew you into superdad/supermom. Sometimes they help. Sometimes they don’t. (*Author’s note: below is a picture of “Teen Mom”s paragon of parenting, Gary Shirley. Don’t ask me why I know his name, because I don’t want to answer.)
I was horrified to find out that immediately upon marrying my wife, our sex life became a casual piece of conversation. You know, “Pass the bread please, did you guys get any rest at night on your honeymoon? AHAHAHAH.” Wink wink. Nudge nudge. Perv perv. That doesn’t begin to compare with the conversations people will try to begin with you once you have a child.
Just wait until you or your spouse have a baby. Prepare yourself for a whole lot of nipple terminology. People are going to ask you questions about your wife that normally would make you get into a fist fight on the spot and now you just have to kind of happily nod and attempt to take it in stumbling stride.
- Your mother is going to use the terms “circumcision” way more than you would like. And, considering that the amount of times I think it’s okay for she and I to have a casual conversation about it is exactly 0.0000000, we’re way over budget on our circumcision conversation plan.
- If you have a boy, he can hold way more pee than you think. He may be 10 lbs. but at least 5 of that is water. And when the dam breaks? Head for high ground.
- If you’ve got a boy, his eating habits will fall somewhere between a malnourished elephant that just stumbled into an oasis and a Joey Chestnut on the 4th of July.
- Your sleep schedule will begin to resemble that of 2011 Charlie Sheen.
- Your mind will also start to operate in a similar way to 2011 Charlie Sheen.
- If you’re a sports-obsessed whack-job like myself, you’ll find yourself collapsing into a pool of NBC late night Olympic coverage. Last night, I watched Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps’ butterfly leg of their 200 IM heat 6 times and was asleep by the backstroke leg six times. I rewound it so many times, in the hopes that I could watch the whole race, that my DVR nearly staged a walkout for better wages. I woke up, watched rowing just long enough to laugh that there’s a sports position called a coxswain, and then was passed back out.
- I’ve slept like the dead.
- I’ve never felt more alive.
- If your child has stomach issues, like mine does, you may find yourself high-fiving a really good fart just like you did when you were in 6th grade at someone’s birthday party sleepover.
- I’ve learned that there are certain times when your life takes an inexorable, carnival-ride-hard 90 degree turn. Don’t be afraid. Don’t close your eyes. Hold hands with whomever you love, toss your arms recklessly into the air, and enjoy the ride.
(*Author’s note: a special thanks to my friend, Brandon, for the idea for this column. I always take requests, so if you’ve got ‘em let me know.)