Rock-A-Bye Dingo Part Three: Consuming Mass Quantities of Candy

LollipopsBeing an award-winning father is all about mastering the basics. In this post, I cover more of the essentials.


My wife and I approached toy buying a little differently. She insisted on purchasing toys without small, breakaway pieces, fearing that our daughter might ingest them or use the jagged parts to poke out an eye. My wife also searched for toys that provided educational value, such as the game that encouraged our toddler to match wildlife sounds to the appropriate animal pictures, like the sound a polar bear makes while ripping apart a baby penguin.

Rock-A-Bye Dingo Part Two: “Yes, I Dare to Discuss Breast-Feeding”

Cute Baby
I'm continuing my post about important stuff related to becoming an award-winning husband and father.

Breast feeding.

This looks easy, yet many women complain that it’s very complicated and technically difficult. I don’t know how to breastfeed an infant, although I do recollect at one point in my life knowing how to be breastfed. I thought about verifying this fact with parents, but that type of question never prompts a simple yes or no answer. Multiple unrelated “stories” always spawn from a son’s inquiry, which in turn prompts too many followups, such as other relatives learning about my quirky potty training habits or the mole on my butt that resembles Mount Rushmore (Hilary Clinton replaces President Lincoln on my version of the national monument, which results in only a subtle difference from the original).

In all honesty, I’m against breastfeeding. God created dairy cows to relieve females of this responsibility. During some point in history, though, a mean-spirited group started an anti-cow movement, which led to the formation of the La Leche League. Don’t waste your time checking my facts on this matter – I conducted extensive research, so that you could use your free time more constructively.

Rock-A-Bye Dingo

“Sweetie Pie, I’ll be gone tonight. Do you mind checking Junior’s ears at bedtime to make sure they’re disgustingly filthy? And make sure that his butt is completely crusted with mud and poop, okay? Some relatives are swinging by tomorrow and Junior should look his best.”

“What?” she shot back. “Another wild evening out with the guys? Parenting is supposed to be a shared responsibility. I resent always having the monkey on my back!”

He spoke calmly. “Now, now, Dear. We both know Junior is a huge handful. Sure, our son is a little different, a little too smooth and maybe a bit too erect. And his speech impediment makes our lives extra challenging. But gosh darn it, we both love the ugly little ape despite his blemishes and abnormal behavior.”  

“You’re right,” she admitted. “You’ve always been the rock of our family. I just wish he didn’t smell so vile, so clean.”

They picked him up and took turns smashing long-horned beetles into each of his ears. As little Tarzan looked into his parents’ eyes, he burst into tears. He cried because he couldn’t understand one single word his mom and dad were speaking, partly because insect guts oozed into his eardrums. Daily life again reminded Tarzan that he wasn’t the brightest firefly in the jungle.

In a single post, I certainly can’t divulge all of my knowledge on child development and successful fatherhood. To suggest otherwise would be presumptuous. I could share everything in two medium-length posts, definitely in three short posts, but not in one.

I’ve decided to concentrate my advice on a child’s earliest years, during the time span when most husbands and fathers fail to meet their wive’s multiplying expectations. And here’s another piece of insider information: it’s impossible to become the world’s best husband without having some Father of the Year qualities. Yes, I’m well aware that not all husbands transition to fatherhood and, quite frankly, that’s a good thing. But the majority of husbands convert into dads and that’s why judges evaluate a contestant’s talents in this important area.

Let’s start with the basics, so you can gain some much needed confidence. Then I’ll progress to more intricate matters of early fatherhood.

First, diapers. 

Change at least one. Relax and relish your accomplishment. Then change a second to prove that the first wasn’t a fluke. After you’ve accomplished that, kick back and relax until potty training is over.

Seasoned veterans will warn you against volunteering to handle your baby’s very first diaper. While it might be tempting to quickly complete the responsibility just to get it over with, you’d be committing a serious error from which you might not recover. I’ve known dads who gave up their newborns for adoption after tangling with the first diaper.

A baby’s first bowel movement is called a “meconium.” Sounds extraterrestrial, doesn’t it?  Something that might power the reactors of the Starship Enterprise? Scientists have yet to figure out how this maiden poop supernova occurs. They have studied this mystery for centuries and devoted the largest percentage of all government research funds trying to solve this one universal dilemma.

Here’s what the world does know about meconium. It contains black licorice, sweat from a camel, concentrated ammonia, asphalt, ten-month-old hard boiled eggs, mildew from a hockey player’s duffle bag and Rocky Road fudge from Mackinac Island. What researchers still don’t know is how all those ingredients get inside the baby.

Scientists have documented that meconium can dissolve the armor off a United States M1 Abrams Battle Tank. In addition, the vapors from a single, modest-sized diaper will defoliate ten square miles of dense rain forest.  

A close friend of mine, unaware of meconium’s lethal effects, volunteered to change his baby’s first diaper on the hospital’s maternity ward, while his new family still glowed from the magic of childbirth. He now lives in a bubble. And seaweed grows where his eyebrows used to reside. Mom and baby are fine.

One last tip. Save the first diaper that you change by wrapping it in tinfoil and shoving the memento in back of your refrigerator’s freezer compartment. Be sure to label it and insert your business card or wristwatch or some other form of personal identification. Then, when someone inevitably challenges your diaper changing boast - such as your wife, mother-in-law or bowling buddies - defrost the diaper and invite the doubting spectators to examine the evidence.

(next post: Rock-A-Bye Dingo part two, Yes, I Dare to Discuss Breast-feeding)

Don’t Cross the Solid Yellow Line, finale: “Why Yes, Those Are Concrete Penguins”

animal statues
I need to make a confession. I told a white lie at the beginning of these posts. I promised not to cheapen this broad topic by narrowly focusing on men’s unwillingness to accept help when lost in transit. But I’ll end by sharing a slightly true story about a normal wife and pathetic husband from the Midwest who hopped in their car one autumn, Saturday morning to visit the Wisconsin Concrete Park near the community of Phillips.

To clarify, the Concrete Park really exists and it’s actually full of concrete. Go online and check it out. The park contains approximately 200 statues made from, you guessed it, concrete. Local artist Fred Smith, a retired lumberjack, created these masterpieces which now grace the rural landscape. Smith owned a tavern and brilliantly imbedded pieces of glass, mirrors and beer bottles into each of his concrete creations. He crafted replicas of Paul Bunyan, his ox Babe, soldiers, miners, Native Americans, cowboys, angels, farmers, deer, moose and other assorted legends, icons and wildlife. There’s no admission into the park, which surprises most tourists since demand for concrete art has reached an all-time crescendo.