The best part of being an expecting first-time father is you get to talk tough. I present to you a list of things I promise not to do as a parent (but probably will).
I will not use baby talk.
Not only is it annoying to everyone around you, but I recently saw on the news that studies have shown speaking in complete sentences to small children--surprise--helps them learn to speak in complete sentences sooner. So this da-da will not talk about the woof-woof drinking wa-wa.
I will not give up control.
Nothing about parenting scares me more than thinking about discipline. My biggest fear is to wake up one day with a spoiled four-year-old. I'm trying to get myself ready to lay down the law early. Caring, loving, nurturing…but drawing a firm line in the sand.
The thing to keep in mind is I'm smarter than the baby. I have more life experience than she does. I figure I've got at least two years before she passes me intellectually. I shouldn't lower myself to arguing with the child. I shouldn't concede when I know my parental position is right. I certainly shouldn't give in to any tantrum.
Discipline, baby, discipline.
I will not fall off the face of the earth.
When do you go from a young person to an old person? Some would say it's when you hit an arbitrary age like 30 or 40. I say it's when you stop hanging out with your friends. It seems too many people just disappear when they have kids. They decide it's too much of a hassle to make plans in advance, or to get a babysitter. They end up doing nothing with nobody. They have no friends. That's when you become old.
We plan to use the golden rule of childcare: Babysit unto others as you would have them babysit unto you. If you know two or three other couples with children, there's no point in all of you sitting at home every Saturday night. If you take turns watching everyone else's kids, you'll get to keep seeing everyone on a regular basis. Plus your children can begin to develop social skills with people other than siblings. This looks like a win all the way around.
I will watch the baby so Lorisa can go out with the girls. She will watch the baby so I can go out with the guys. Like so many other things in life it comes down to how much you want something. If you truly want to stay in close contact with your friends, and you're willing to put in the extra time and effort to accommodate your growing family, it can be done.
Am I going to be at the club three nights a week while my child is raised by strangers? Of course not. But I'm not going to be a parental hermit either.
I will not teach my daughter to be shallow.
Where did I put my soapbox? Oh, there it is….
We have a problem in this country. Young women are being trained to be completely controlled by men. All you have to do is look at popular fashion among young people today. Boys wear loose, comfortable clothes. Girls where skin-tight clothes that cover about 2% of their bodies. It goes all the way down to their underwear. Boys wear loose, comfortable boxer shorts. Girls wear butt floss. Does anyone really think they do it because it's comfortable? No, girls dress the way they do to please boys. Why? Because from childhood boys are complimented for their strength, personality, and leadership, while girls are complimented for their appearance.
I will not teach my daughter to seek affection by being "pretty." I will encourage her to be intelligent, strong and independent. I will teach her to give and expect affection based on the depth of a person's character.
…Wow, that was pretty deep. I'd better make a stupid joke here fast:
Have ever thought about naming a document "Private Ryan" so your computer would tell you it was "Saving Private Ryan"?
I feel better now.
And there you have it. You're completely caught up with our baby tale. We're now a few days past the due date and we're waiting for our little miss to show up. It's frustrating, and a little annoying, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be all worth it.
I can't wait.