Things to do while waiting for your baby to recognize you

02Sep08
This ceiling fan is a more convincing father than you are.

Reading your child's eye contact, this ceiling fan is a more compelling father figure than you are.

Buster’s a great kid.   Considering his only job right now is to eat, poop, and to try not to cry, that may be a relatively meaningless statement, but so far, he’s pretty good at all those things.

That said, he doesn’t know me from an inanimate carbon rod.  At least not yet.

It is admittedly kind of thankless to be a dad of a very young infant.  If you have a kid Buster’s age, you’re working harder right now than you have in a while.   Previous divisions of labor have gone out the window.  Now, she’s in charge of feeding the baby and you’ve got… everything else.   Complaining results in immediate disqualification from the #1 Dad competition for the year, so if you want the coffee mug, you should shut up now.  This is why I’m writing this post in the second person.

Anyway, you’re running ragged.  You’re running both your laundry and hers… and his.  You’re running to the grocery store and running to catch the recycling guy.   Running the microwave and running the dishwasher.  Running the vacuum and running for Starbucks.  Cleaning the litter box and cleaning the dog run.

If for some reason you’re not doing these things, please call my wife and tell her so that I can seem comparatively awesome.

But if you’ve bothered to find this blog, chances are, you’re right there with me.  You’re even doing things around the house you may have never done.  Like having an opinion on a tablecloth.  And perking up when you hear about something new to do with chicken.

You’re doing a lot of things for the benefit of this little child you decided would be a good idea to go and make.

And if he’s still under four weeks, in all likelihood there’s not a damn glimmer of recognition in his eyes.

Actual expressions of genuine gratitude come about 30 years later.

So what are you supposed to do?  Suck it up, and be a man, boy, that’s what.

Or vent in your own daddy blog.  I’ll even link you.  We’ll be Twitter buds.   I’ll be like, “Man, I’m up early!” and you’ll be all like, “TELL me about it!” and I’ll be like, “We’re getting ready for tummy time” and then I’ll realize how girly that all sounds, so I’ll point out a joke on a new sports-related website with mildly misogynistic banner ads and oh, how we’ll LAUGH… <sigh>

Anyway, here are some constructive things to do while waiting for your baby to actually discern between you and the lab mix with more hair and only slightly worse breath.

  • Um, go brush your teeth man, that’s nasty.
  • Put the photos that you’ve taken so far online. You’re probably tired by now of taking photos of your kid in the car seat or in a swaddle.   Car seat.  Swaddle.  Swaddle.  Car seat.   I know.  But people aren’t tired of looking at them yet, so upload them for the jonesing grandmas and aunts.  We use Shutterfly so people can order prints.  There are lots of good services, but this was the one my wife seemed most willing to use, for whatever reason.  And even the Grandmas figured it out.
  • Look into college savings plans. A lot more tools and programs are provided these days than when our parents were saving for school.   And I hear college is now required to play in the NBA.
  • Search deep down within the core of your fatherhood to hawk the first loogie for this glove.  Shoot directly at point #32, above.  Rub dirt from your hometown field deeply in its leathery grain.  Pray for a lefty closer.

    Venture deep down within the core of your fatherhood and hawk the first loogie for this glove. Shoot it directly at point #32, above. Rub dirt from your hometown field deeply in its leathery grain at all labeled points. Pray for a lefty closer.

    Go buy a baseball mitt. I held myself back when it came to thinking in detail about stuff like this when we were still just hoping for a healthy baby.  This one I could barely wait for.   Whether I was having a son or daughter, I knew I was getting one, because team sports are vital for raising confident and cooperative adults.   The first mitt will be made of plastic and won’t need to be broken in.  But the next one will, so I might as well start now.  For you, a mitt may not be that symbolic prized childhood possession that you’ve been thinking about – but go ahead and get the one that you did fantasize about and put it away.  For both of you.

  • Think about your diet and lifestyle. Okay, I cannot stand when the recently converted preach.  But a bit over a year ago, I was a smoker who got 90% of his calories from chocolate products and proudly proclaimed college was meant so he wouldn’t have to lift anything heavy.   When we started thinking about having kids, I realized it wouldn’t be a great example, nor very nice of me to DIE while they still needed me.  And it wasn’t that hard to switch to a completely healthy lifestyle.  I swear.  Everyone kisses your ass for months and then women look at you again without scowling.  Plus your wife will love the gun show.
  • Get more insurance. That dying thing again, yeah, get life insurance for that.  But there are other kinds of protections that probably make sense for you.  I have a good friend who survived a tough battle with a childhood illness and once told me that the fact that his father sold insurance for awhile and bought what he sold saved their family from financial ruin.
  • Enjoy your favorite brand of nude photography. Because you still aren’t getting any.  Sorry.
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26 Responses to “Things to do while waiting for your baby to recognize you”

  1. I’ll never forget how obsessed my baby girl was with ceiling fans. When she was a baby, I was working as a waitress in a bar and I’d stop in there during the day for free lunch. (Hey, I was a 19 yr old single mom…working in a bar and jumping at the chance for free lunch are pretty standard.) It was one of those places with high ceilings and the poles for the ceiling fans were like 5 feet long. She’d sit there in her car seat perfectly content and cooing away at those flying pieces of wood.

    *sigh* That baby girl will be 18 in about 12 hours and 44 minutes. Enjoy this stuff while you can.

  2. First, thanks for the mention..second – thanks for the laugh. I haven’t read anything this relevant to my own life in, well…ever. This is an awesome post! Not too many of them are both informative and funny. I’m so going to look for you on Twitter when I’m up @ 5:30 am so we can chit chat.

    What’s my daughter doing right now? Watching the fan!

  3. Alarm went off a little early today…hitting snooze didn’t work 😉

    I guess ceiling fans are like the Formula 1 of mobiles. My little one stares at them as well. The recognition thing is really kicking in for us now, and the little raspberry/farting noises are starting up as well. Perhaps you could do a post on why they are called raspberries…I don’t get it. Have you ever seen a raspberry make such a noise?! Oh well, as always, thanks for the laughs!

  4. It will get better, little girl is at 3 months now and the recognition is there. It’s pretty cool. Well, I’m off to tummy ti…err, the bar I mean 😉

  5. Thanks for the mention on “AN” 🙂 … going through the exact same thing right now and this is catching the better of me. Want proof? In my last blog post I mentioned tummy time and even included a picture of it! My next post will definitely need to be about electronics…. and I don’t mean baby phone when I say electronics 🙂

  6. Hilarious! My daughter, when she was still new, would wake up around midnight and ogle the track lighting in our living room with her mouth open in awe. At that point I was snapping about 250 photos a day: “Ooh look, she gurgled!” And in the wee hours of the morning while everyone else was asleep I was on my computer looking at “art.” Lastly, I purchased another life insurance policy, so should the unthinkable happen there’d be enough to put my kids, my wife, and her next husband through college.

    You’re on the right track.

  7. You should write for a paper or something. Clever, truthful, funny, and applicable. This is my life in 6 weeks and its nice to “see into the future” bring it on.

    Thanks
    DaddyKV

  8. This is so funny and well written. I am going through the same right now so can totally relate. In fact, I just wrote a blog post about tummy time at my blog…. now I feel like my next post should be about electronics … and by electronics I don’t mean “baby phone” 😉

  9. LOL Yea. Our oldest is 3 and we did the whole picture thing…mostly when he was asleep…I have tons of sleeping pictures because I thought he was in a cute position. DH was the same as you describe too…but he was also laid off for almost 2 months when Babyhead was born.

    We now have our little girl…she is almost 10 weeks. I have to say she knows and loves her Daddy and will crane her head around and look for him. For all you Dad’s out there…it will come…just give it time. My favorite mantra (especially in the wee hours of the morning) is it will all be over soon. Unfortunately that goes with the good and the bad.

    One thing I can say for you Dads though…hold your kid. Even at 4 weeks…even if you are on the computer. DH figured out how to play games like Wolfenstein while holding a newborn (I got pics of that too)…and now Babyhead can’t get enough of him. For the past 3 years DH has been able to play his games while holding Babyhead…but now Babyhead wants to PLAY said games. LOL The point is, spend time with you kid…find a way to make it work…and all this will be a blur in the past and you won’t even remember it anyway.

    🙂

  10. I hear ya. Bout 6 or 7 week ago the little one got to that point. Don’t get me wrong the fan still rocks, but she throws me a bone now and then.

  11. You mean being a sahd, I’m suppose to do the laundry, wash the dishes, take out the trash, and change the boys diaper? Man, don’t tell my Lilly that or I’m screwed.

  12. Another great post, dadorbust! I had forgotten about the joys of ceiling fans. Now whenever my husband isn’t around, my daughter (almost 2) walks around with her hands up and a confused look on her face, saying “Daddy?”

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