May 5, 2007

Smells like teen spirit...

Doctor McHenry says there is no
reason the boy shouldn't be working.

Well, it’s been eleven days now and the novelty has worn off. That wonderful new baby smell has faded and I’m left with the question of what to do with the boy until he turns eighteen and I can boot him out of the house. I’m already tired of listening to his music and if I hear that song about the farmer and his dell one more time I won’t be held responsible for what might happen. Darn kids and their rap music.

Yo, McDonald had dis farm, with a hoe-hoe here,
and a hoe-hoe dere,
here a hoe, dere a hoe, everywhere a hoe-hoe.
Man, I thought it was a Washington call girl service.

All the boy wants to do all day is lay around, suck the nipple and sleep. When I was his age I already had two paper routes, a fledging lawn service and I sold Band-Booster candy bars on the side. I can’t even get my son to empty the trash once a week and his diapers are two thirds of what we throw away now; except for the really soiled ones which I’m burying in the backyard in an attempt to recycle them as fertilizer for the herb garden. The idea will work too if I can just get the dogs to stop digging them back up and using them for chew toys.

He’s already giving me that look too. The one that says, “All the other kids have a big wheel, why can’t I have one too?” Oh yeah, like next he’ll be wanting some sunglasses and rub-on-tattoos so he looks real cool cruising around the block smoking candy cigarettes and hitting on the young girls. Does he think his dad was born yesterday? My kid ain’t leaving the yard until he’s twenty-five and even then I’ll be chaperoning.

I believe a child has got to have structure and discipline. That is why I’m now raising my boy in a Skinner box. Once he learns to push the right combination of buttons the food will flow again and he’ll put on enough weight to join the work force. I’ve been preparing to start him off on a career of weaving hemp and sea-shell necklaces. Once he pays me back for the initial investment of materials, the small wooden crutch and tin cup I had custom made for marketing I’ll begin salting away his three percent of the profits towards his community college fund.

Well, I’d write more but I’ve got to go and complete the once a week hosing down of the Skinner box. You’d be amazed at how nasty those things can get after five or six days of infant occupation.

May 2, 2007

Hush little baby don't you cry...

He's such a good boy.

There is something uniquely satisfying about keeping watch over my family as they sleep. Felicia is finally getting some badly needed rest and Micah is sated for the moment and quiet in his crib. David Letterman is winding down, the dishes are drying in the rack and I have only one load of laundry remaining before the chores are done and the house is in order.

It is so good to have my family back home again even though it seems like a whole new world with all of these baby-fangled things like infant car seats, baby monitors, diaper bins and changing tables. It appears that having a child brings more baggage along with it than a multiple divorcee. We’ve got a million of something called a receiving blanket. I don’t know why they don’t call them swaddling cloths. Isn’t that what everyone does with them-swaddle up the baby and put him down for sleeping?

Swaddling is an art form. If you do it correctly the baby can’t be freed by anything short of a ninja or a direct nuclear hit. Do it wrong and he’s flailing around like a teenager at a Rave in five seconds with the receiving blanket wrapped around his tiny feet. If you want a baby to sleep you learn to swaddle as quickly as humanly possible. Once Micah is swaddled you can bounce a quarter off his little blanket. Daddy Dirk don’t mess around; turn on the wave machine and he’s sleeping like a log for a good hour and a half.

How do women manage to breastfeed for at least a year? Right now Micah is feeding every two hours and the toll it is taking on Felicia is undeniable. Rewards? Mothers-to-be let me warn you right now; you are nothing but milk sacs to your baby. They eat, fart, poop and pee and the only conscious thought they have is, “Feed Me!” The only pet name they have for you is, Food. They are little milk junkies and God help you if you keep them waiting even a millisecond. Half of the time they don’t even open their little eyes to look at you. It is all about the nipple to a baby-the rest of you is invisible to an infant.

Here is a tip for dads; never pick up a baby if you are not wearing a robe or a shirt. They strike like little cobras and if you are not careful you wind up looking like you were attacked by a giant squid. Their little jaw muscles are strong. Trust me on this and do not experiment. You will regret it.

One more piece of advice for the dads before it is my turn to get a little sleep. You need to learn the one word survival tool for fathers handed down from generation to generation of men.


Goodnight gentle souls...

April 30, 2007

Everybody's in show biz, it doesn't matter who you are.

"Do you think the divine proportion should be super-sized?"

Thanks to Danielle from Modern Musings for stopping by to interview me. She runs one of my favorite contests each week, Random Lyrics. She is a very cool hippie activist and I enjoy visiting her blog on a daily basis.

Now, I've been a bit worried about people thinking I've become just another mommy blog so I welcomed her opportunity to write about something other than my domestic foray into the world of fatherhood. After all, I'm sure most of you are not interested in reading about the most perfect and wonderful child born into the world during this current century. So without further ado let’s get to the questions.

1. With the new addition's arrival fast approaching what scares you the most about being a father and what are you most looking forward to?

I am so scared that by the time I got around to having a child that the planet will fall apart around him. Will he see honey bees? Will he be able to breathe air without wearing a filtration mask? Will the ocean be clean enough for him to swim in? Will there be woods for him to walk in and discover the beauty of the natural world?

At my age I look forward to every single moment I get to share with my son. As my regulars readers already know, Micah has been in the hospital for the past three days now and it is tearing my heart out to be apart from him. I want every moment I can possibly spend with him. What do I look forward to the most? Every waking moment I get to share his adventure through life.

2. Name three events that have molded you into what you are today?

1. The death of my mother.
2. Marriage
3. Going to college in my forties.

3. Are you retired from the fight club for good?

Yes! However, I did learn a couple good lessons from the experience.

First, when I’m in a negative, agitated or stressed state of consciousness it is time to step away from the computer and not up to it.

Second, the most important form of comment moderation we can practice is in the words we think about leaving on another person’s blog.

Does the comment promote disharmony? This is the litmus test I now apply to all of my comments. If I think the answer might even possibly be yes then I censor my own words before I worry about those of another.

4. What are your thoughts on the divine proportion?

Can I get fries with that?

5. Now the kid is all grown up and comes to you and says "Dad, we need to talk, I'm registering Republican", how will you handle the situation?

It is my hope that my son will always feel free to approach me about any subject and say, “Dad, we need to talk.” I don’t believe that it is my job as a parent to prepare my son to walk in my footprints. My son’s journey will not be through my past but onward towards the world of tomorrow. In order to make the most of his future my son must be prepared think for himself and to arrive at solutions to problems I may never have faced in my lifetime. I do not enable him to succeed in that task if I insist he only fill his mind with the beliefs I hold to be true. I will always try to honor his thoughts, his beliefs and his choices as he makes his way through his life.

April 29, 2007

Send in the clowns...

"Never fear, little Micah, Underdog is here."

After twenty-two hours of labor the miracle moment finally arrived. The baby’s head crowned and I caught my first glimpse of the miracle about to enter my life. Chills ran up and down my body as the reality of our baby coming into the world dawned upon me in all of its-can-not-be-denied-realness. It was a moment I would not have missed for all of the treasures in the world.

If you are a father-to-be you simply must believe me when I tell you that you do want to be present when your baby is born. It is something you can do and it is one of the most beautiful experiences you’ll ever have in your entire life. You do want to cut the umbilical cord and participate in the process of birthing your baby. You want to hear his first wet cry. You do want to feel his wet body in your hands and know the joy of fatherhood from the very first second of your child’s life. It will change forever how you view the world and you will be a better man for it.

So, the baby has just been born, I’ve cut the umbilical cord and the nurse carries the baby over to the little tray where they do the vitals and clean him up before wrapping him in his little blanket and handing him over to the mother. Everyone in the room is in tears.

“Have you picked out a name for the baby?” One of the nurses asks.

Yes ma’am I have. He will be called, Micah in honor of the place where he was conceived.”

Silence fell upon the room and confused faces turned to look at each other. Finally the doctor looked up at me with a puzzled look on his face.

“As in For-mica.” I said.

It took a moment for realization to dawn upon the assembled team and then the laughter rolled across the room like a tidal wave. It was the sound I wanted to be the very first my son heard as he entered the world; the sound of laughter-the sound of people sharing a happy moment in a world that hasn’t seemed very funny of late.

Two days later the head of the department came by for the obligatory visit.

“You must be Felicia. This is the baby, Micah and you must be the hippie daddy everyone is talking about.”

Felicia and I looked at her a little puzzled and she said,” Let me just say this; I arrived at work this morning at six-thirty a.m. and by seven-thirty a.m. I’d heard the Formica story four times. Your joke is now legendary in this hospital, Mr. Bauman.”

On a sad note...

Baby Micah is back in the hospital being treated for Jaundice. Yes, it sucks big time. We got to have him at home for one day and now he’s been back at the hospital for the past two days.

We hope he will back where he belongs tomorrow. Felicia has been staying with him and I have been visiting and taking care of the home-front. I miss them both so very much.

"Its okay, dad I'm catching some rays and the food is awesome!"

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