Dads need a bottle too…in moderation, of course.

Dads: Take a load off; it’s Friday. You’ve had a long week. This is the week where your kid woke up screaming at 1 a.m. and decided to pull an all nighter with his one and only guest – yours truly (Father of the Year). Oh sure, you have a presentation to give at 9 a.m., but you won’t need sleep. A cold shower and a 30 minute dog walk – in which your furry children decide to bark at everything that moves – will surely wake you up.

This was the week where not just one car, but two, decide to break down and/or get flat tires. When you go on your next interview, and they ask if you can multi-task, you won’t say anything. You’ll just laugh and remember how you juggled bringing two cars to the mechanic while finishing your projects on time. You’ll laugh, and then slowly descend into a comatose state, as the PTSD and exhaustion kick in.

Doctor appointments, deadlines, meetings, monthlies/quarterlies, bath time, gym time, jury duty…you’ve mastered the week. And after the laundry is done and you’ve had dinner and taken a hot shower, you’ll sit down on that heavenly couch and exhale for the first time all week.

The next thing you know, your hand will instinctively reach for a glass of your choice. My recommendation? Good old, American bourbon. Booker’s Bourbon, to be precise. Take a load off, Dad. Enjoy a glass…maybe just one glass – you still have a kid to take care of. Get back to work!

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Can you put the baby to bed tonight?

Dads, whenever that question is asked, your answer is always, “yes.” “Absolutely,” “You got it,” and “Would you also like me to change his/her diaper?” are also acceptable answers.

Here’s why. As challenging as it is to be a parent, it’s always exponentially harder to be a mom. How do I know this? To be completely honest, I don’t. I can never know what it’s like to be my wife – to feel what she feels – but I try as best as I can to empathize (not easy). I see how hard it is for her to balance work and family life – to spend time with our son, Jack, while staying on top of her work responsibilities. As tired as I am, I know that she’s even more exhausted than I can imagine.

Somehow, whether it be luck or instinct, babies are 10 times tougher on their moms than dads. When its time for me to eat, Jack is a dormant volcano. When my wife, Cathy, lifts her fork, he erupts, leaving her no other choice but to stop eating and hold him close. Putting Jack to bed is no different. He can already be passed out, but as soon as it’s time for bed, you best be prepared for a slumber cage match! Not surprising, he’s always a greater handful for Cathy, so when she asked me tonight to put him to bed, I said yes.

Now, so that it doesn’t sound like I’m some sort of saint, the full disclosure is of course I didn’t want to put Jack to bed. No one wants someone screaming in their face for 30 minutes. Seriously, try it sometime if you won’t take my word for it.

The kicker is I put Jack to bed and in less than 30 seconds, he’s already asleep. All I had to do was lay him down in his crib. I go into our bedroom to get ready for bed…my wife’s eyes lock onto mine.

“He was already asleep for you wasn’t he?”

“Yes.”

[EXPLETIVES]

Breakfast of (parent) Champions!

I eat right; I exercise. But sometimes, when you have two crazy dogs to walk, a babysitter to pick up and you’re already running late for a 9 a.m. meeting, you make due with a granola bar, Diet Coke and coffee.

And that pretty much sums up what it’s like being a new parent: making due. Like when you would love to take the time to grind the coffee beans and brew a fresh cup, but instead, you make due with a watered-down Keurig. Or when you’ve had a long day and would like an even longer, hot bath, but instead, you make due with a 5 minute sprint / shower.

Adaptation and acceptance are the best friends of any parent. Every day, my wife and I accept that the routines we had before baby won’t necessarily work anymore. And the quicker we come to terms with it, the faster we adapt to our new lifestyle.

It’s not all bad; we celebrate our little victories when it comes along. This past Sunday, we finally watched “Inception.” I had rented the DVD from Netflix – five months ago!  It felt like we would never have the time to watch the movie, particularly one with such a complex plot. So six hours after starting the movie – after stopping three times to feed the baby, make dinner and walk the dogs – the end credits came on the screen, and Cathy and I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. Not only did we finally have our first movie-night date in forever, but we actually finished a movie. And yes, our egos were feeling rather large knowing that we actually understood it! Nothing like a quick minute of feeling normal to make you appreciate all those other moments you don’t.

And the Red Bull is now wearing off…

It’s Mother’s Day, Ask Your Father

I just turned on the Mets v. Phillies game, and the first thing I hear Gary Cohen say is “It’s Mother’s Day, ask your father.” That pretty much sums it up. And hey, after all the work that moms do, they deserve the day off plus an additional 364!

The truth is the reason why I even have time to write this blog is completely thanks to my wife, who is able to juggle taking great care of our baby boy, work a full-time job and keep together a household. Sure it’s not always so simple, things get messy – and hey! I do help out too. My wife is inspiring to watch – so many emotions, so many challenges, so many things that I just will never understand from a woman’s and mother’s perspective – and she handles herself with such grace and beauty. While I ask “How?,” she finds a way. While I feel like I should be awarded Olympic Gold for changing a Level 10, dirty diaper, she takes it on – no questions asked – and then some! I’m fully in love with her and the strength that she shows.

But anyway, this post isn’t just about kissing my wife’s butt, although I know she’ll be reading this, and I am totally going to get some brownie points for her first Mother’s Day. The point is there are a lot of moms and a lot of different kinds of families out there – all of which are doing the best that they can to be there for their kids. As a guy, it’s also a special time to celebrate all the moms in my life and all that I’ve learned from them, including my own mom to my sisters to all the women in my life that have helped shape me into the person I am today. Today, I’ll try to be the mom and the dad to our son, so my wife can have a relaxing day. And not even half way through the day, I’m exhausted and losing steam. I really don’t know how she does it. I guess I’m still learning from my wife: the new mom.

Happy deGrom Day!

Jacob deGrom has been banged up a bit his last two starts, so it’s great to see him pitching 7 innings (so far) with 9 Ks and 1 earned run. And with the bats in support, the Mets are winning 5 – 1 against the Orioles. All great news!

So I figured what better time than now to reflect that just last Saturday, May 2nd (ahem, My Birthday!), was deGnome Day! I truly loved this idea. Traditionally, MLB teams “Bobble Head” their star players, but I am really liking this new spin on baseball memorabilia. This is the second only gnome that a MLB team has released as a promo item, the first being Jayson Werth of the Nationals. Oh, and I’m a huge sucker for anything free at baseball games. Once, at a Nationals home game, I was all about the free t-shirts shot out of the t-shirt cannon. Fun Fact: A foot-long hot dog is wrapped within the Nationals Park t-shirts; some sort of weird tradition that I wish I knew about before leaving the shirt in my bag for a few days!

But I digress…My wife, Cathy, brought me to the Mets/Nats game on May 2nd, and I was very happy to be able to grab two deGnomes.

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One of course, will be mine, which I will call my precious and keep in the box as a collector’s piece. So far on eBay, the Jacob deGrom Gnomes are selling for over $45! Jayson Werth’s can go over $150, so I’m hoping as long as he does well, the deGrom Gnome won’t de-Value.

The other will be going to my son, Jack.  I’m a huge collector of everything Mets, sci-fi, geek and pop culture, some of which I’ll get into in future posts. It’s really important to me to have traditions and be able to pass on those traditions to Jack. Although I loved my Dad, something that sticks with me to this day is we never had a recurring thing that we could bond over. I don’t want to be that kind of dad with Jack, so I want to bring him to Mets games and collect bobble heads, gnomes, baseball cards and anything else that him and I can identify our relationship with. I know he’ll grow up one day and not have time for all my “traditions,” but that time is still a long ways away, so I don’t need to think about that just yet!  In the meantime, I can remain an oblivious dad that assumes my son will love everything I love!

Oh, and I also got to see my 50th Anniversary Brick, which again, my loving wife gave me for Christmas 2012. Cathy is a lot of things but most definitely a patient woman. After all, she has to deal with me on a daily basis! She’s also a Yankees fan, so this is a pretty big deal for her to put up with my Mets obsessions and come to games with me. I know she’ll try to make Jack a Yankees fan, but the brick speaks for itself: True Mets Fans Are Born HereLets Go Mets!

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May the Fourth Be with You

Thanks to my amazing co-worker for this great birthday gift. I’ll definitely be pulling this book out during bedtime story hour…and after father-son lightsaber battles!

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Because even when you have a stressful job of dominating the galaxy for an evil Sith lord, you still can’t sherk your responsibilities as dad!

Book Credits:
Title: Darth Vader and Son
Written and Drawn by: Jeffrey Brown
Designed by: Michael Morris
Copyright ©2012 by Lucasfilm LTD & ® or ™ where indicated
Chronicle Books LLC
www.Chroniclebooks.com
www.StarWars.com

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Jack’s birthday present to me was a whopping 10 minutes of no-nonsense, calm while I got to play some CoD on the Xbox 360.  Yes, 10 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot of time and, I know, I’m way behind the curve with getting the Xbox One.  But I’ll take 10 minutes of feeling like my normal self and getting to play a video game here and there.  And there are so many games I haven’t played that came out on the 360 console that I have plenty of time to beat those games before moving towards the One.

It’s really the little things.  Three months ago, when Jack was born, everything was so new and overwhelming that it really did feel like you had no other choice but to lose yourself and become 100% Dad.  I’ll be honest, it felt like prison with a very long sentence to serve!  I know parents before us said that things get easier, but you have to remember that when you’re in the moment, all those reassurances don’t mean much.  You have to learn on your own, and I’m glad to say that three months after Jack was born, all the hobbies and things that my wife and I love to do – that defined us – are slowly coming back in our lives.  The amount of time we have available to be ourselves sure has changed, but you do learn how to manage your time.  You have to in order to keep your sanity!

And bottom line, it sure does feel great hanging out with Jack.  One day soon, I’ll need to bust out a second controller for him.  That is, if I can keep up with the tech and new games!

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