I don’t know everything about raising kids, but through the years I have learned a few things. My Dad never passed anything on to me or my brother about raising kids, he’s really old school: beat your kids, don’t ever hug them, tell them they stink. Most of what we know we had to learn the hard way. I do have some brothers-in-law that are very smart, and were kind enough to pass on very important information from time to time too. I like to think that I’m a nice guy too, so I’ll pass some on to Skippy and anyone else needing guidance.
Disclaimer: These will not work if your wife reads this.
(Note from Skippy: You are aware that she knows about this site, right?)
First, a fact, just in case you didn’t know:
As long as your wife is breast feeding, baby poop really doesn’t stink.
This is important, because this is your window to rack up a lot points. Change as many poopy diapers as you can during this phase. Change as many diapers as you can regardless during this phase.
When your wife begins using formula and such, grab every wet diaper you can to build up points. At this time, stop cutting the grass, or stop doing a common chore that is “yours” that won’t totally make the wife mad or bring in the health department. When the little ones have a totally messy, spilling out of the diaper, crap, that’s when you go out and cut the grass. Always check down the back of the diaper, pull it out really far, because sometimes it can seep around to the front and the back will look clear.
In the last trimester take on extra jobs, the ones that the wife considers to be hers, to let her know that you care. My wife doesn’t like me to be in the kitchen (no! I did not burn anything, it’s just her thing), but I did step in and do the work. I got paper plates to help me out too.
My wife was green before Al Gore was in government, so it was a bit of a struggle, but I got her to give in by agreeing to toss the paper into the fireplace – she likes a romantic fire and I know fire isn’t green, but she’s my wife – and then toss the ashes onto the compost pile. Save the environment!
Always do the dishes as soon as you finish dinner and make sure the kitchen is clean, etc. I would get the “You’re so good to me…” line followed by hormone filled tears.
Do the laundry before she runs out of clothes. “Oh, how sweet…”
Insist that she stretch out on the recliner, or the couch if you don’t have a recliner. Get her her favorite cool or warm drink, depending upon the season. Record her favorite show so she can watch it at her leisure. This should get you the hormone filled tears, and provide her with lots of happy memories.
Vacuum a lot too, especially if she’s stretched out on the couch so she can see you doing it, even if she insists you don’t have to do it. Just let her know that you want to do everything you can to help her out. More happy memories for her.
The happy memories are very important for when you skip out to cut the grass.
Another tip is when your kid looks like he/she’s going to puke, they are. Don’t ask them, just take immediate action. A buddy of mine picked his kid and held her above him while asking the little one if she felt sick. She puked onto his face and into his mouth. He immediately returned the favor. Just get the kid into the bathroom and near any of the toilet, sink or tub as that will make clean up soooo much easier.
Toilet training: girls do it quickly, but boys are all slow. My mother thought my brother and I would graduate high school wearing diapers, at least that’s what she always said. It’s not out of the ordinary for a boy to go to three years old in some sort of diaper. Boys just don’t seem to care. My own son followed in my footsteps. It got so bad, and I ran out of grass to cut, so I went to Bosnia. My wife still says I had something to do with the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Once your boys get to a certain age, they will start watering the trees outside. My wife surprised me when she decided it was okay. About the age of four is when boys start marking their territory.
When your kids recognize the McDonald’s sign and proclaim they have to go to the can, you can quickly determine if they need to go, or just want a happy meal and/or play in the hamster maze. I did this by pulling over onto the side of the road and telling my son to pick out his tree. If he didn’t want to pick a tree, then it was apparent he just wanted to play or get a toy.
If they say they have to take a dump, go to the dirtiest gas station. If he makes like he’s going to get out, then he really does have to go and take him to the cleanest restroom you know of.
On second thought, none of these will work for girls as most of them won’t go in public and refuse to go to a restroom that has not been hermetically sealed. At least that’s how it works in my family.
I’ll cut it off at this point, there are more tips and such, but I’d rather not overwhelm the new father to be.