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I Should’ve Never Said: Ramblings of a First Time Dad
I was dumb… Like annoyingly dumb. I deserve all the “I told you so’s” that everyone can muster. I’ve heard the old adage so many times and still I did it. But after only two nights of being a dad, I truly understand why you should NEVER say never.
Of course I was one of those smart mouthed kids that questioned the literal nature of statements like that. “How can you say ‘never’ say never? Isn’t that a never in and of itself?” And then I would smile that smug smile that I’ve mastered over the years. Well, the adult me who just got 5 hours of sleep collectively over the last two days wants to slap the snot out of that smug little jerk. I don’t want to be one of those “until you have a child you can never understand” parents because honestly, I should’ve understood this concept a long time ago.
Arrogance is a trip! And it was purely arrogance that made me state things I’d never do, so proudly. And it’s not just about how I would raise my children, but the things I’d never do as a husband or an adult in general. I remember my mom in the kitchen back when I was still in the single digits. She said, “Tony, do you want to come learn how to cook?” And that smug little jerk exclaimed so matter of factly, “I don’t need to learn how to cook mommy, I’m gonna have a WIFE who does that for me!” In that moment I was too young to really understand my own mortality, but even still, I could see fire and brimstone in my mother’s eyes and the thought came to me that this may be my last day.
After she resigned herself to letting me live, she handed me a spatula and calmly explained to that, there’s no guarantee that you will ever get married, and even if you do, there’s no guarantee that your wife will be able to cook. She taught me that day, the importance of not only independence, but respecting women as more than just caregivers, despite how trying and important the role of caregiver is. Whether it’s karma for the ignorant statement I made at that young age, or balance because I’m such an amazing cook myself (no lie), but of course I’ve spent the last ten years with a Woman who treats the stove like it was painted with ebola and sealed with anthrax.
I should’ve understood then, but no, I’ve spent most of my adult life smugly telling people how I will and won’t raise my children having never changed a diaper, let alone been responsible for another life.
The Lie: “My kids can share our bed every blue moon, but we will not make it a habit.”
The Truth: If it will get me two extra hours of sleep, she can park her little butt here until she’s 30.
The Lie: “We won’t use pacifiers. They cause dental problems, speech impediments and unnecessary attachment issues.
The Truth: I don’t care if she’s a toothless, stuttering kid clinging to my leg if I can just get the screaming to stop, NOW!
In all honesty, I still feel the way I do about a lot of things. I think it’s great to have standards for your family, but just like anything in life, parenting has to be organic and ever-changing. I want to raise a strong, independent woman with great teeth and we will do our best to give her the structure we discussed at length before we ever chose to have her in the first place. However, after two nights, I get it. Sometimes you have to give in for the greater good.
So tonight, we’ll put Aria in her crib, turn on her nursery projector we went out and bought on a hope and a prayer and ask God to forgive our arrogance. Lord, can I just get a solid two hours here and there? Pwease…
– Tony B
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