Friday, July 4, 2008

Dad tip #76: How holiday baby outfits affect your life


You'll discover pretty early on that people love buying your baby outfits -- not just individual items of clothing, but entire outfits. This behavior becomes even more prevalent around the holidays. I suspect that you may find that holiday-themed outfits frequently end up being funny, inconvenient, frustrating, and/or impractical; but always well-intentioned.

For example, our boy received about a half dozen Christmas outfits within the first few weeks of his life. If I recall correctly, we actually changed his outfit two or three times on Christmas Eve and Christmas day to make sure that we didn't offend anyone by not having him at least appear in a photo with each outfit. Among the many outfits were an obligatory "My First Christmas" onesie and a full-fledged Santa Claus outfit (sans beard).

On Saint Patrick's Day we dressed our son briefly in a shamrock-patterned hand-me-down onesie that made him look more like a girl than a thousand pink bows would've. On Easter, our son had so much poop erupt out of his diaper that we had to dispose of his "My First Easter" onsies half way through the day. And today, he wore a very patriotic red, white, and blue striped t-shirt that he promptly spit up on after his first meal of the day.

There's always some underlying aggravation when something happens to the outfit of choice, but thanks to friends and family, you may very well have a back up (or even a back up to the back up). So, the advice here is appreciate that people are considerate and thinking of you baby and try not to get to frustrated if the outfit doesn't make it through the whole day.

Happy 4th of July!

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dad tip #36: Help stay-at-home moms escape baby prison

I'm sure there will be a number of overly sensitive people out there offended by the title of this post. The notion that babies could possibly be perceived as wardens of a home prison for stay-at-home moms should be absurd, but when you really think about pre-baby freedom versus post-baby limitations, the metaphor kind of works. And equally obviously (but being stated for the overly sensitive), for 99.99% of mothers out there it's the most joyous "prison" in the world that they'd never want to escape from.

That said, moms should be paroled occasionally. And you, as the husband and governor in this increasingly elaborate metaphor, are the one who should not only ensure that parole can logistically happen, but you should also encourage it.

If you're working 40+ hours a week and your time with your kid is limited, by all means encourage your wife to take some time to herself or take some time to hit the Christmas Tree Shops (BLEEEARGH! Eww ewww ewwwwwww! Barf!) with some of her gal pals. It'll give you that extra precious one-on-one time with your kid that you need.

And in the end, it'll keep everyone much saner and you curb the risk of your wife going all Shawshank Redemption on you.

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