Daditude: How I’m becoming Elaine Benes’ father.

All fathers are intimidating. They’re intimidating because they are fathers. Once a man has children, for the rest of his life, his attitude is, “To hell with the world, I can make my own people. I’ll eat whatever I want. I’ll wear whatever I want, and I’ll create whoever I want.” – Seinfeld, S02E03 “The Jacket

Pipe down, chorus boy!

One thing I’ve noticed since I’ve become a father is a general disregard for other people’s crap and some social conventions regarding “politeness”. I’m pretty sure I’m channeling Alton Benes.

This may sound like an odd statement to those of you who know me; I am often perceived to be someone who doesn’t really care about these things anyhow – which is not entirely true. I often find myself being awkward about things that aren’t that big of a deal… for example, if Carrie and I are on a road trip and have some water bottles which we’ve emptied (purchased ones – Dasani, etc.), Carrie will just want me to go into a gas station to fill them up at a water fountain rather than purchase more. For some reason this sets off my “socially awkward” alarm and I have a hard time doing it. These are the kind of things that I usually care about and get wierded out by… I don’t know why.

Lately, though, I’ve grown a bit of what I’m calling a Daditude. That is, if there’s something regarding my child’s (or baby mama’s) comfort, hunger, privacy, or anything else that I notice needs taken care of – I just do it.

I don’t care who thinks it’s rude or weird or anything else… you can deal with it, my kid is happier when we sit in the shade so I’m going to sit right behind you in the grass.

I think that this is healthy at some level. I’m not doing this for my own good, comfort, or whatever… it’s for the two ladies who are my priority. The things that I won’t do to save myself $5 or make myself less blasted hot are things that I’ll blow right past for these two without looking back.

So, if a bald-headed dad with big eyes pushes you out of the way for a place in the shade for his daughter’s stroller, I’m sorry.

Kinda.

Not really.

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On becoming a father…

I haven’t really mentioned it here, but I’m going to have a daughter as of early June.

Most of that reality hasn’t sunk in yet. My wife is definitely “showing” now, but beyond that, my kid is just a sonogram. We don’t have any names picked out, we don’t know anything about her. I am looking forward to meeting her though.

I started to write what I thought might become a “daddy blog,” but I am not good at writing regularly. Perhaps I’ll improve though. I’ll try to include these thoughts on fatherhood here. Here’s something I wrote on the other blog:

Today I’m thinking about things both before and after me, us, the Kiddo, etc.

On the way to work today NPR was talking about in-vitro fertilization and one of the scientists who pioneered it getting the Nobel Prize after 32 years. It’s only 2 years older than I am & I’ve always known it as a reality (not for me, just in general).

This made me think about things that have happened before and after we’re around. I remember back to my developmental psychology class and talking about how long it takes children to gain a concept of things that happened before them. The Kiddo will grow up learning about 9/11, the internet, the Steelers winning one for the thumb all as history, the same way I did with Vietnam, Elvis, and Koehler beer.

I also think of things that people who have died have missed. A friend who died while I was in college never knew of September 11th either. “Dimebag” Darrell (of Pantera fame) died before Saddam Hussein was captured.

I just wonder what the things are that will shock the Kiddo to learn. Especially the things that I grew up through or was just a part of reality for me. What do you mean you didn’t have a cell phone until you were out of college?!

I also wonder at the things that the Kiddo will experience after we’re gone.

I’m really angry that I’m going to miss out on teleportation.

Well, off to ponder becoming a big softy.