"Are you ready to be a dad?" The great question that followed our discovery of what an impromptu, tear-stained shopping list of mint caffeine-free green tea, chocolate fudge (not chocolate!) ice cream, and pickles meant a few days before. A question the wife asked with only a small hint of levity. "Sure" was the best answer I could come up with while not choking on my own tongue.
From my own parent's example, I figured out (eventually) that it was probably a good idea to take an active role in parenting to keep your kids from turning into a real life Breaking Bad character or someone that calls their parents by their first name. My dad was in the army, my mom a nurse, so I had rules and free health care. I turned out well enough. Piece of cake. Faced with my own forthcoming child-rearing science experiment, I thought I was ready. But in the back of your mind, you just don't know how you'll respond when it really happens. Will I flinch at the smell of poop? Can I really hold a slippery baby without dropping it? How many drops do you get? Will I cave and get her an IPhone when she's five to make her love me? Will I turn into one of those people on the plane that just smiles or thumbs through a magazine while their kids act like rabid monkeys and take off for the cockpit? You just don't know until it happens.
Watching the minutes and weeks tick by until D-Day, I had to keep the thought process simple or go insane. My plan: keep fingers crossed that you contributed more good than evil DNA to create a healthy, normal little person that turns into a reasonably but not too attractive big person version of the best of you (and mom.) Let mom deal with the touchy girly, stuff. That just leaves me to deal with doing whatever the hell it takes to keep her off tables 'to pay for college.' Piece of cake.
How am I doing so far two years into this? Most nights, usually before bath time, I hear a squeal that means only one thing, she's either mostly or completely naked, running, and utterly ecstatic. It's like she knows its wrong but oh, does it feel good. Awesome. She's also started climbing up and standing on the coffee table, sofas, chairs or whatever else is around. She dances and quite well. At any toy, TV show, or sound that resembles anything sounding like music. She hasn't yet combined the two, but the guys at my liquor store are driving new cars. So yeah, doing swell. Thanks for asking.