Confessions of a New Dad

Monday, March 23, 2009 6:00
Posted in category Parenting
<div class=\"postavatar\">Confessions of a New Dad</div>

Post written by Rick Doyle

Confessions of a New Dad

Okay, I’m not a brand new Dad but I’m new at being a Dad and every stage is unique and wondrous.  I became a Dad at 44 years of age and I wasn’t eased into it by any stretch of the imagination.  One day my family consisted of my wife and I and the next day we were a family of 4, with not just one baby but one boy and one girl!  My life changed forever, and though some days I miss the quiet, uncomplicated ease of the old family of 2, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 

From the emotional chaos of the IVF process, to pre-term labor and complications (which scared about 10 years off of my life), to induced labor what a wild ride it’s been. Yes, I gained the customary 20 lbs, trying to make my wife feel skinny by keeping pace with her waist.  She worked out and lost what she called her “baby fat” however I’m still holding onto mine.  Since my wife was practically incapacitated after all those hours of labor, I had the honor of changing the first poopy diaper.  No problem, since there was no smell…yet.  I never thought it could be so amazing to feed a baby or that it could be so satisfying to pat a burp out of one.   Twins are still a novelty to most people so there were many visits from family and friends gawking and ogling, oohing and aahing. 

At six months old my daughter greeted me one morning by pulling herself up in her crib and saying, “DaDa”.  I was tightly wrapped and the finger was tiny.  My son started walking around 11 months when he discovered his own unique form of balance.  He was so determined and independent that he didn’t want anyone to hold his hands or help him balance in any way.  He would grab a bib or any cloth item that he could twirl around for balance and away he went.   As long as he had a piece of cloth in his hand to wave he was good to go.    

I have learned more than I ever wanted to know and yet I realize that there’s still so much I don’t know.  I do know that sugar is NOT a vital food group! Neither is soda, candy, chocolate, hotdogs, white bread and about a zillion foods made especially for toddlers that are mostly empty carbohydrates.  My wife made most of their food the first year or two (yes, it’s an amazing concept called cooking!).  Very simple foods; fruits, veggies, yogurt and oatmeal, quickly cooked and pureed in a Mini Cuisinart.  Cooked meats were concealed in applesauce and sweet potatoes.  My kids were eating healthier than I ever did.  We kept them completely away from sugar those first 2 years and it paid off!  They have virtually never been sick and they just turned 4.  Yes, they get small treats occasionally but we keep it to a minimum, which has kept their cravings for junk food to a minimum as well.  Every birthday they each get their own mini birthday cake.  They spend more time playing with the cake than actually eating it. No matter how you look at it sugar, unhealthy starch and fruit juice do nothing but rot their teeth, add weight and slow brain development.  They’ve since moved on to whole fruits, cheese, sweet potatoes, black beans, all kinds of vegetables, nuts and grains all creatively made (and sometimes concealed) by Mom, the kitchen wizard. 

About the same time the twins began eating solid food came stink to the poop! Not funny.  However, Home Depot makes a fantastic respirator that lets air in and keeps smell out.  It hangs right next to the diaper bag.  Twins go through a lot of diapers but I managed to change my fair share. Friends and family still make fun of me for it.  My wife on the other hand calls on me to clean up sick, which happens rarely, but doesn’t bother me like the poop does.  Hey, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses.

As we blog on I’ll share all the best and worst and what we’ve learned along the way but for now I have to say one of the best parts of parenthood is going in every night to tuck them in.  Nothing can compare to the feelings evoked by those precious little faces, so sweet in sleep.  Well, until you get your first kiss, their little arms squeezing your neck and that first “I love you”, but I’ll save that for another day.

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