The Dad Gig

In my next life I want to come back as a man.

While the joys of parenthood are countless, in a battle between fatherhood and motherhood, the dad gig is definitely the best gig around. But what about the all the warm, fuzzy feelings of motherhood, you ask? Oh there are plenty! It’s just that the lack of sleep, utter exhaustion, broken self-image, and long, overwhelming to-do lists that tip the scales in the other direction. That’s not to say fathers don’t deal with some of these negative aspects of parenthood. They do. Sometimes.

I love watching my husband play with our son. You can tell he is absolutely head over heels in love with this baby boy; and, the feeling is mutual. Our tired, cranky baby could finally be drifting off to sleep for the night, but when dad walks in the door his eyes instantly brighten, and he wants to play. Sleep? Who needs sleep?!

Mom does. That’s who.

As I woke up for the 5th time last night to attend to my whimpering child, I found it incredibly difficult to block out the sound of my snoring husband. So I lay there, thinking. Whimpering in one ear. Snoring in the other. And, that, boys and girls, is why Mother’s day is a bigger deal than Father’s day.

Another night passes, and another day arrives. The baby is up bright and early, ready to play. As I write this, it is 9:30AM. My little guy is down for his first nap.  My husband is closing in on 12 hours of sleep. Yes, 12 hours.

If you are dad and reading this, you are rolling your eyes right about now. Yet another blog post about how hard it is to be a mother, and how easy dads have it. That would certainly make for a passionate and heartfelt blog post; but, this is not it. My point is the dad gig is a pretty awesome gig. So if you’re lucky enough to be dad, I hope you are enjoying every second of it. For every dad out there there’s a mom who envies you.

What do you do?

A few days ago, we went to the bank to open a new account. As one would expect, it was a very uneventful ordeal. All the typical questions were asked, and I answered without hesitation. Except one. For the last five years, the answer to the question “What do you do?” was very simple. I’m a teacher. This time when the question was asked, I stopped for a split second and thought about it. A couple of cheeky responses came to mind: 

I am a Waste Management Specialist. I change diapers, clean up vomit, wash pee and poop stained clothes, wipe runny noses, clean out ears, armpits, fingers, toes, fat folds, and other crevices. 

I am an Entertainer. I have been recently employed as a singer. I have no prior experience (lucky for the rest of the world), and the job demands dancing, putting on puppet shows, acting, and sometimes all of the above at the same time. Beat that, JT.

I am a Restaurant Owner, and have acquired a local snack bar. It is a very exclusive venue catering to a private audience. Refreshment is served 24/7. No, that is not a typo. Only one refreshment is served. 

I am a Quality Control and Assurance Analyst. This position is closely tied to (1) above. I carefully analyze poop to ensure it is the right colour and consistency . Any abnormalities are meticulously documented and reported to head office (ped). 

While any of these responses would have probably made this particular CSR’s day, I opted for Teacher. Because, above all, I am a teacher. Just like every other mother out there. Perhaps not to a classroom full of students, but to one little boy.  I see the look of wonderment on his face as he learns something new everyday. He stares at me with his big brown eyes and I can’t help but happily take on each of my new jobs. 

The Big Move

Last week, my husband and I took our four-month old on a bit of an adventure. We packed up the contents of our home, and had them shipped to San Francisco, California. While the contents are still en route, we have arrived safely. The journey thus far has been quite the experience. 

The Airport: What Kind of People Nearly Miss Their Flight?

I have never met a “just-right” packer. People either over-pack or under-pack. I am the latter, while my husband is the former. Things tend to work out for us, as such. (similar to Marshall’s “Olive Theory” from How I Met Your Mother). Enter: Baby. The baby weighs a measly 15 lbs; his belongings took up two large check-in bags, totalling a whopping 100lbs. Needless to say, we were WAY over the weight limit for our bags, and spent far too long desperately trying to rearrange contents to make it work. As we steadily trudged through check-in, security, and customs, it appeared we were cutting it very close. So close that we were THAT family. The family racing through the airport, screaming baby, stroller, and all. The speakers blared a last call for the crazy people who were about to miss their flight (not in those words, but they might as well have said that). As on-lookers stared, I stared back helplessly.

I was once in that beautiful glass castle, my friend. 

Just like you. 

Eyebrows raised. 

Sunglasses lowered. 

Thinking to myself: what kind of people nearly miss their flight?

The Flight: Why the Hell do People Fly with Babies?

In our “priority” seats, we let out a sigh of relief. I use quotation marks because I am not too sure why the extra 2 inches of leg room deem these seats “priority” seats. Whose amazing idea was it to put the passengers with the baby directly behind business class, only to be separated by a non-soundproof curtain? Clearly not someone with a baby. 

Fed, and upright, our baby was ready for take-off. The pediatrician recommended we preemptively give him Baby Tylenol to prevent any pain due to pressure changes during take-off. So we did. It is my belief that the large meal, followed by the bitter taste of Baby Tylenol, followed by the unique sensation of take-off resulted in the 3-part projectile vomiting that ensued. The flight attendant literally yelled, “OH SHIT!” and ran to get us some hot towels (a genuinely wonderful crew, they were). So they sat there, both dad and baby completely drenched in vomit; dad telepathically trying to switch off the seat belt sign, and baby screaming bloody murder. 

A lot of crying, screaming, pooping, and more screaming later, our little angel was fast asleep in my arms. He slept a good 3 hours; and, although, I had lost feeling in my arms, I was content. He awoke from his slumber, played, watched the Wiggles. We have never watched the Wiggles before. It’s interesting, to say the least. Grown men dressed in primary colours wiggling? I had no earphones so I’m not sure if they were saying anything meaningful while they were wiggling, but even if they were, what’s with all the wiggling? I was confused. The baby loved it. Now my husband wiggles to get him to stop crying. It’s hilarious. 

 A lot of crying, screaming, pooping, and screaming later, we finally landed. Of the 6 hour flight, 3.5 hours were pleasant. I guess that’s not too bad. 

We were ecstatic to finally be here.