My first Father’s Day

I’m eight months into the wonderful world of fatherhood, and I have come to the realization of many things.
The big one — dad doesn’t matter during that first year of life. It’s all about mom … and when you’re the one carrying the food and the one who carried the child for nine months, it’s completely understandable.
When a child begins to crawl, there is no more “down time” unless you own one of those kiddie corrals (which I used to find inhumane, but am now seriously considering purchasing with each passing day). One second, your child is sitting innocently playing with a rubber mushroom, and five seconds later (the time it takes to look for a remote control), she’s inches away from the dog food bowl in search of a mid-day snack.
You can never child-proof enough. All the rubber corners on your wooden tables won’t keep a curious kid from trying to chomp down on the lamp cord.
When it comes to poopy diapers, your attitude toward them changes with each month. At first, I was terrified to change a diaper because I feared the mess I would see. Now that solid foods are part of the diet, the “mess” is bigger and more odorous. I no longer hesitate to change a diaper, but rather jump at the chance just to rid of the smell.
The first time your child grabs your nose, it’s the cutest thing in the world. The first time she grabs it, twists and plucks at least two nose hairs, it’s not nearly as cute.
An 8-month-old’s smile will make your day better. No matter what.
If you were to line up 10 objects in front of a baby, and nine of them were her toys, there’s a 100-percent chance she will go for that 10th object, whether it be a dog bone, car keys, a cell phone or chainsaw.
Babies are brutally honest. If what you’re doing isn’t funny to them — no matter how stretchy the face becomes or how silly the dance is — they won’t crack a smile. On more than once occasion, I’ve asked for at least a sympathy smile.
A sleeping baby is the model of beauty and innocence. A snoring baby is just funny.
When it comes to the everyday welfare of a child — from what it should have for dinner to what it should wear that day — don’t argue with mom. In fact, don’t even suggest anything unless you’re asked for your opinion. Because as dad, you’re usually wrong.
Taking hundreds of photos of your baby (or young children) and posting them on Facebook may annoy some people (a lot), but for the family members on your friends list — especially those living a few states away — it’s more than accepted. But taking hundreds of photos of your baby (or young children) and posting them on Facebook with notes about how much of a genius they are or how advanced they are just annoys everybody.
I’ll never forget the moment I found out I was going to be a dad. I’ll also never forget the moment I became a dad. I’m continually amazed by the moments I experience on a daily basis that I’ll always remember as well.
Even the cutest, most proper of babies fart. And when they do, like the snoring, it’s hilarious.
Always assume the outfit your baby has on will get stained. Whether it’s food, spit-up or the mud or grass they crawl through, there’s no such thing as a tidy baby.
I lived 33 years before I became a dad. Eight months later, it’s hard to fathom life any other way.
I learned a few weeks back that a little boy, barely a month or two older than my daughter, pulled her hair and took away her toy … making her cry. My first reaction was to “pay a little visit” to this boy (before remembering, of course, that he’s just a baby). I have a feeling this gut reaction will both benefit and destroy me when she’s a teenager.
There’s a saying that goes something like: “It’s easy to be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad.” I disagree with this statement. Being a dad is just about one of the most rewarding, most entertaining and most fulfilling things a man can do in his life. There’s nothing “special” about a man who embraces the role and performs to the best of his ability, because the rewards are a million times greater than the effort put in. It’s the fathers who choose not to be a “dad” as well whom I feel sorry for. Quite simply, they have no idea what they’re missing.
I’m going to enjoy my first “official” Father’s Day on the other side, keeping in mind the whole time that the real kudos still go to Momma.
Happy Father’s Day to all the “dads” out there … and even though I said you weren’t “special,” I hope you all know that I appreciate your efforts. You’re making the world a better place.
Happy Father’s Day to my dad, whom I owe much to; my father-in-law, who loves me like a son despite that first impression he had; and my two grandfathers, who’ve showed me what hard work and love of family can make a man.

And to Hayley … thank you.


3 thoughts on “My first Father’s Day

  1. Thank you Billy. You said it the way it is. Imagine that feeling with 4 sons, 6 grandchildren and 4 great grandbabies. We burst with joy.

  2. Great post Billy.
    Fathers Day isn’t really about us after all. It’s about the wonderful children we have the privilege of being fathers to. To be honest, though, I’m really not looking forward to those “messy” diapers…

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