As a man who could transform from a carefree turd to father at any moment, I'm spending a lot time dealing with stuff I'm not used to: like breast-pumps, onesies and my own feelings.
I've also found myself thinking very seriously about things I never thought about before. Here is just a sampling of the kind of stuff I can't stop obsessing about.
What to call the boy.
I'm not talking about a name. We've been pretty decided on Grant for a while now.
Although now that we're to the point where we're telling random strangers that this is our choice, I'm starting to doubt it. Everyone we've told so far has responded the way: “Oh that's so cute.”
Listen ladies. There is not a man on the planet who wants his firstborn son to have a “cute” name. We want names to be solid, strong, respectable and most importantly, easy to spell.
If one more woman tells me “Grant” is cute, I'm changing it back to my first choice, “Bothor the Destroyer.”
I'd like to get a dude's opinion on the whole subject but no guy has asked yet. Guys just aren't too concerned about this kind of thing.
There are seven-year-olds out there that I still don't know what to call.
Anyway, back to my point, I don't know what to call my son. As in I'm not sure what to refer to him in an offhand remark. Nothing seems right. Buddy, is too common. Boy is too condescending. Buckaroo is too long. Skippy is hopefully going to be his little brother's name. Right now I'm thinking Captain, after two of my greatest heroes: Captain America and Captain Crunch.
Whether or not to fart in front of the child.
This is a big one for me. Before I got married, one of my biggest (as it is for all guys, don't lie to yourselves ladies) concerns was what I would do with all my gut gas after I got hitched.
My wife and I however have a deal about farting. I can do it whenever I need to, and if she ever had to break wind (which of course she hasn't yet, because she's a girl, but you never know) we can make fun of each other as much as we want, but we never speak of it with another soul.
Kids, have no sense of such honorable arrangements.
I don't need the lady at the Best Buy to come up to us as a family and have the following exchange happen.
“Is there anything I can help you with?”
“Thanks ma'am but I think we're alright,”
“Are you sure, you've been playing our display Playstation 4 for six hours.”
“Yeah, I know I'm just testing th–”
“Daddy made a stinky in the car.”
“That's OK Grant, she doesn't need to know this.”
“He made the air taste like meatloaf.”
Can I make up imaginary friends for him?
People always talk about the imagination of a child like it is truly magical, and can give birth to a thousand unique and lively creatures.
Really, kids can't come up with crap.
I remember my imaginary friend. He was a one foot tall boy who looked just like me name Joey. From age 2 to 8 that was seriously the best I could come up with.
Grant needs better than that. I'm thinking a dragon who speaks with a pirate accent and shoots marshmallows out of his nose.
That beats a stupid 1 foot tall kid any day.
What words should I stop using.
Unless Street Fighter or a wireless network is involved, I usually have a pretty clean volcabulary. But still, we live in a different world than the one I grew up in, and my son will not be considered spunky for calling is friend a “frickin' retard” or a “Dirty Scotsman.”
I'm trying to come up with more fatherly phrases to use. So far all I got is “Holy Muffintop.” and “What the soggy burrito?”
As you can see, I have a lot of work in front of me. Fortunately I have a wide selection of multi-sided dice that make most problem solving a lot easier.
Steve Shinney is currently operating on four hours of sleep a night. The rest of the time is spent lying awake, thinking about what action figure he should buy his son first and apologizing to imaginary friends.