Friday, December 5, 2008


That’s right! The holidays are upon us. All set for Rohatsu, the Japanese observance of the enlightenment of Buddha? I bet you can’t wait to meditate all through the night on the 8th. I know I can’t. Little Jackson has been practicing his buddha position for months.

Later in the month, we will celebrate Jackson’s first Chanukah and Christmas. Although we don’t believe in the Jewish or Christian Mythology, we’ll take part in the festivities just because FUN is FUN no matter which space-god you worship. Shit, I might even light the seven candles of Kwanzaa this year with my good friend Obama. If it means I get to dress my little guy up in another cute outfit and send cards out, why not?!?
P.S. - Is it any surprise that the spell check didn’t recognize Rohatsu?


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Been A While...

Sorry for the are some pics of Jackson from the last few months.

Relaxing with my buddy Itahy in Florida with the kids.

Halloween with the little monster.

Daddy Day... Wednesday Before Thanksgiving

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Crash Course

A family is hard work. First of all, if you are a man, you have to deal with a wife. If you are a woman, you have to deal with a husband. I am sure both pose equally challenging dilemmas. If you are a gay or lesbian, I can only assume that you endure your own special brand of relationship psychosis.

After man and woman (or other) get involved, and decide to have a child, they should really have to take a class, and possibly go through a realistic training month. Here are a few suggestions that I have for anyone with the slightest interest in breeding.

First, buy an alarm clock with multiple alarm functions. Set this clock to ring at 9pm, 11pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm. The clock should be designed so that when it goes off, there is no way to stop the buzzer for at least 10-20 minutes.

Next, contact your bank, and set up an automatic withdrawal on a monthly basis for about $300.00 more than you think you can really afford. This withdrawal should go right to a fund established to educate people on the dangers of marriage and children. You will never see this money again, and you will most likely not see anything in return for it.

Take a carton of milk. Allow it to spoil. Fill an eye dropper with the spoiled milk. Use generously as a cologne every morning when you wake up, as you will smell like this for a good time after your child is born.

Stop exercising, and start eating shit. You are going to gain about twenty to thirty pounds regardless of whether or not you are the carrier vessel for the unborn child.

Take all of your music and movies and throw them away. Begin listening to only the sound of static (I prefer 104.9FM in NY), and music that is played from children’s toys. For your viewing pleasure, welcome to PBS.

Leave your house 30 minutes later than you planned and get everywhere late. People will begin to expect this behavior, and will eventually stop getting upset.

Start a pit bull walking service, and when you are up to 10 clients, take all of the pit bulls to your home and set them loose. Your house will never be clean or orderly again.

Strap about 20 pounds of weight to your chest and watch your back slowly disintegrate into a cramped, hunched mess. If your spouse is doing the same and asks you for a massage, refuse. He/She will refuse your request also.

Finally, mediated on the fact that things will only get worse despite the lies parents tell you. If you set yourself up for things to get better you will only be disappointed.

To Be Continued...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Keep Those Balls in the Air

It’s 1am. I just got in from a FUCT rehearsal and I know that I will be awake at 2, and 6 with Jackson. He may go back to sleep at 6, but you never really know. I have been sleeping about 4-6 hours per night which is good if I don’t workout. If I start running again I am up shits creek because my body will want more sleep and I just don’t have the time in the day right now.

I haven’t done a post in a while. It is hard to write about life when you are busy living it, but that’s an excuse. The real reason is that I haven’t been able to schedule it properly. Unless I am reminded, or am forced to pay consequences, my priorities slip out of place, and get lost in the shuffle. So, I decided to focus on very few, very important aspects of my life for the time being.

First comes Jackson and Nicole. Nicole returned to her 9-5, but it’s not really a 9-5, which is nice. She only is out of the house for 2.5 days a week. This allows me to also work 2.5 days a week. When she works, I watch Jackson. When I work, she watches Jackson. I love this arrangement because even when I am at work, I am just a staircase away from him and Nicole. When Nicole works, I get to bring him over to her job for his daily boob breaks.

I am out of the house about four nights a week now, which kinda sucks, but in light of the fact that I get to spend so much other time during the day with my family, it is still more time than most lawyers schedules. The other two aspects of my life that I am focused on are FUCT, which has been keeping me very busy with recent success, and my law firm, which still pays the bills, for now.

Life has become more cluttered and I am spinning plates while juggling, but I am committed to writing one new blog per week, even if it is just a short post with a picture.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jackson’s First Game

On September 6th, Hurricane Hanna decided that Jackson’s first baseball game was not going to happen. The game was postponed to the next day, but the 16 family members who couldn’t make it on the rain day forced me to simply accept the offered refund. We were disappointed because we wanted Jackson to have pictures and memoirs of both Shea and Yankee stadium before they are torn down at the end of this season.

Yesterday, on a silly whim, I gave the ol’ Met’s website a shoot for tickets for today’s 1pm game. Somehow, someway, we got two tickets...on the FIELD! Someone must have died. Woo Hoo!

We arrived at the game, and were ushered to the parking lot which was located in Canada. After a 5 hour walk, Nicole, Jackson and I found our way to our gate, got our tickets and made our way through the stadium crowd. To this day, I am still in awe every time I enter a major league ball park. There is just something so amazingly special about walking through the passage from the stadium to the field. It is almost like the infield and outfield, loge and tier, hot dog and beer become one great life all their own. It is so overwhelming.

We sat in out seats, and 30 seconds later we were pouring sweat in the 95 degree heat and humidity. Frustration levels rose, until I finally gave in and agreed to go inside. Thankfully, the inside of the stadium was much cooler, and we still were able to see the game from a field level perspective. Nicole and I ate all of the baseball cuisine, and washed it down with the finest, most expensive bud light in New York. Then I noticed something.

It was the fifth inning. I opened up my wallet to buy another beer. Between the gas, tickets, beer, food, parking, and souvenir ball, I had spent a small fortune. I handed over another $8 for a beer, and looked around, noticing that everyone was white. I saw no blacks, no hispanics, and no asians. Minorities were non-existent. I guess the closest class to minorities were the fat white people, but they were quickly gaining membership and would outnumber the skinny and healthy with in a matter of a few corn dogs. This got me down.

Baseball is the American game, but unfortunately, “America” can no longer afford to treat their family to this game. It’s becoming an elitist club of white people who can afford the pastime. This is sad to me, and as I look in the ass-crack of Shea stadium at the hemorrhoid of Citi-Fucking-Corporate-Park, I wonder where this country is going. Personally, I am cool. I can afford it, and I will be able to share the “simpler” things, which aren’t so simple, with my kids...but will they be able to do the same with their children? What if my kids don’t make enough money? Will they not be able to take my grandkids to a game? It really is a shame. Maybe the answer is in minor league games, or college teams. Maybe the answer is little league. I don’t know. I guess I’m just too much of a pussy to go head to head with hockey, baseball and soccer moms.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mr. Party Animal

Last night my comedy troupe FUCT performed to a sold-out audience at Caroline’s on Broadway. It was an amazing show, and an experience that I will always remember. The reason everything worked so well was due to the commitment and dedication of the troupe. My personal role often times takes me out of the house, mostly at night. This past “hell” week required me to rehearse every night. Nicole decided she would take Jackson on Saturday night to visit her mom and sister for a sleep-over. Twelve weeks after my son was born, and the day finally arrived...a night home ALONE!

During the endless hours of listening to crying, smelling baby shit, and juggling all of the other parental chores associated with daddyhood, the mind has a tendency to wander. I often think to myself, “What would I do with this time if I didn’t have a wife and a child?” The answer is clear. I would be a party animal; chillin’ with the ladies, hangin’ with the boys, drinking, sports, concerts, parties, WOOHOO! And the day finally came. I had a free night all to myself. I could live it up, even if only for one night.

So, what did I do? I sat at home, watched TV, and missed my family. Sure, it was nice to get a full night of sleep. I had the bed to myself, and there was no baby there to wake me up. Nevertheless, I felt lonely and wished they were back. I even woke up in the middle of the night anticipating a dirty diaper. I’m such a loser, but I guess the mind always sees the grass as greener on the other side.

The best part of the weekend was seeing Nicole and Jackson the next day. It was only 24 hours, but it was the longest I had been apart from them since Jackson was born. Nicole and I both felt like we had been apart for a week. I think we both have come to the conclusion that a little separation really does make the heart grow fonder. Solo vacations, here we come!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Good, The Bad and Please Kill Me (Part Two)

Please Kill Me (maybe I’m being a little dramatic).

I write this from a hotel in Austin, Texas. I am on my first family vacation, with MY family; Nicole, Jackson and Me.

Yesterday was our first flight with Jackson. We are travelers, so this was our first of what will be many. I welcomed and dreaded this trip for the following two reasons: First, I have been on plenty of flights with screaming children, and have always thought, “not when I have a kid.” The thought of my child being the disruptive one on the flight was horrible. Second, I welcomed this flight because I have always wanted to be able to respond to the announcement: “We are now boarding passengers with small children”...YES!!! THAT’s ME!

We woke up in the morning, and Jackson’s eyes were red and a bit, uh, shall we say...gunky. Nicole explained that his eyes looked like this the night before, and she was afraid we might have a problem. OF COURSE! Nicole and I never take a trip where one of us doesn’t get sick or have some kind of problem...NEVER. Anyway, we left for JFK.

Jackson slept like a good little man in the airport before we got on the plane. He was even peaceful when we boarded. I was going to be the daddy with the golden child. We sat in our seats, which were conveniently located in the “extra room” emergency exit. As we sat in our roomy seats, Jackson decided it was time to let everyone on the plane know we had arrived. Ok, No problem, because we are still on the runway and there is still time to do a quick bathroom diaper change. At this point things got a little hazy. It felt like we had 120 eyes on us as Jackson screamed and shot green puss out of his eyes. Nicole quickly leapt to her feet, smashing her head on the carry-on compartments while I twisted and turned, negotiating our surroundings. When we were finally somewhat comfortable, the flight attendant notified us that we were not permitted to stay in our luxurious exit seats with the extra room since we have a baby. We were exiled to the ass of the plane.

Over all, Jackson was wonderful. His eyes continued to spooge out green funk, and we had to call our pediatrician on out first day in Austin. The prescription for his meds didn’t come in until this morning, which was our second day. Luckily, he doesn’t seem to notice that he is shitting goblins out of his face, so no harm, no foul. We took a long walk yesterday, and had a nice dinner, which seems to be the theme of our family vacations at this point, but whatever. I am in another city, in another place, with my beautiful wife and son. Not many people have this opportunity, so I will take it....boogers and all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Good, The Bad and Please Kill Me (Part One)

The Good and The Bad...

Over the last few days, I have experienced a new level of disappointment cloaked within a milestone of my newborn’s life. I returned home from rehearsal the other night at the “normal” hour of 1am. I promptly went to sleep, and as a matter of course, was pulled from my slumber by Jackson’s wail. Normally, when I wake for the first changing and feeding, it’s approximately 3am. On this particular occasion the red digits in the black night screamed 5:30am. Jackson had slept from 9ish, which meant he was asleep approximately 8 hours, or “THROUGH THE NIGHT!”

I could hardly contain myself. “Nicole, wake up, wake up...It’s 5:30...He slept through the night!!! Do we have Champagne? Where can we get some?” But then it hit me. My baby slept through the night...but I didn’t. I only slept about 4 hours. This is a major dilemma. If I want to sleep through the night, I must go to bed at 9pm. “Not likely,” I thought, and suddenly was forced to come to terms with the fact that I will not sleep 8 consecutive hours again for about five to ten years.

I suppose that this realization is not terrible since Nicole and I decided to have children early in our marriage. Many men in their early 30’s and women in their mid-20’s are still out in the field, looking for love, working all day, partying at night, and surviving on little sleep. We just have to transfer what’s left of our energy into Jackson rather than a 3am bar scene. This leads to my next great insight. Sleep is overrated and the grass is always greener.

Last night, I went to bed at 1am. I woke up for my flight to Austin, TX at 6:30. Five and a half hours of deep REM deliciousness. When I woke up, I felt groggy as usual, and remembered that when I used to get 8 hours of sleep I was equally schlepish. Further, this morning when I woke up, there was no going back to sleep. I looked at the clock and thought, “That’s it? No going back to sleep?” For the first time, I actually missed waking up 3 or 5 times during the night. I felt gipped because the night went so fast. If this isn’t the craziest shit in the world, I don’t know what is. It all comes down to the grass always being greener on the other side.

We always think we are being screwed and that the “other situation” is better then the one we are in. When we are single, we think it is better to be married, when we are married, we daydream about the freedom’s of the single life. And now I know for certain that it never ends. My conclusion...we will never be happy. Stay tuned for my next Blog entitled The Good, The Bad and Please Kill Me (Part Two)...Please Kill Me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Babies and Luck

My father told me that my great-grandmother used to say “babies bring luck.” Well, the only thing that I know for sure is that they bring sleepless nights, floods of drool, and explosive shits. I don’t put too much stock in luck, but the happenings over the past ten weeks have certainly been interesting to say the least.

First of all, Jackson was born on Saturday, June 14th 2008. The last Cherry Lane Theatre installment of FUCT began on Thursday, June, 12th. I wisely chose not to appear in this run of the show because I might have been faced with the decision of performing, or attending my son’s birth. I did, however, plan on going to every performance until Jackson was born. The night of the second show, which was also the night before the baby arrival, I went to FUCT, had a few drinks, and went out afterwards, and had a few more drinks. Before I left the bar, the cast and crew did their ceremonial group shot of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey. I abstained.

On the drive home, I took what I thought would be the safest slowest route, which landed me right into a DWI traffic stop. Although I have no proof of my actual blood alcohol content, I would venture to guess that I was slightly above the legal limit, while not nearly drunk enough to pose an actual risk to society. Stupid, yes. Extremely fucking retarded, not really. In fact, I was sober enough that I was able to convince Mr. 5-O that I was more than capable of driving home. I drove off with a slight bit of poo in my pants, but not under arrest, which worked out very well considering that 6 hours later Nicole’s water broke. Had I done the shot, and the cop smelled it, I would have spent the weekend in jail, and missed Jackson’s birth. Babies bring luck? Maybe.

I own a law firm. I represent about 30 medical facilities. I make a nice living, work from my basement in my underwear, and have the freedom to raise my son without a nanny. I don’t do much active marketing because the business is more than enough, and my doctors are very happy with my performance. After Jackson was born, three huge happenings occurred with my practice. First, a doctor who stopped using my services returned...with a million dollars worth of business. Another doctor who retired decided he would connect me with a billing company that would provide me with even more business. And, finally, I entered negotiations to do cross-marketing with a major x-ray/diagnostic facility...Nice! Luck? I am starting to think so.

Finally, during the June run of FUCT, the troupe was approached by Caroline’s Comedy Club and Simon & Schuster. For those of you not familiar with the comedy world, Caroline’s is the biggest, and most famous comedy club on the east coast. It hosts the most famous comedians in the world, and is not the type of place that is easy to get into for a comic. It is also a classic stand-up comic club, which rarely if ever permits sketch comedy. New comedians usually get a 6 minute spot on Monday, New Talent Night. After Jackson was born, Caroline’s offered FUCT 2 prime time performances, both for an hour and 40 minutes on September 10th and October 8th. If all goes well, it looks like this might be a permanent gig, and a stepping stone to the next level. Simon & Schuster felt we would be doing great things within the next year and wanted to lock us into a book deal for when it happens...Luck...Shit, I don’t know...but I think I am going to have a few more kids and let the dice roll!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Tonight I get to fulfill my passion once again. I am privileged to take the stage at the Broadway Comedy Club with my fellow FUCT cast-mates to perform an evening of comedy for our wonderful audience. As Jackson gets older, I plan on teaching him that regardless of money, peer pressure, and/or his own self doubts and fear, he must always follow his passion, or be condemned to live someone else’s life.

Now it’s time for me to live my life, which consists of performing either naked, dressed in drag, or completely FUCT in some way or another; all to get a laugh. I love this!

Friday, August 15, 2008

To Soothe and Protect

Nicole had to get ready this morning, and was running short on time. Jackson was crying in his usual maniac howl, and Nicole couldn’t balance his shitty mood with the 15 other tasks to begin her day. This meant I had to forgo running the law firm and put on my Super-Dad costume. I immediately put my 9 week old child into the position he loves best. His crotch sits in my hand, while he lays on his belly with his body running the length of my arm. It is a position that usually quells his unpleasantness instantly, and today it worked like a charm.

Proud of my success, I made my best effort to do some simple tasks at my office desk. After a short while, I felt something cool and wet in my hand, which turned out to be liquid poo. This vile fluid was leaking out of the side of his diaper like coffee dripping through a filter. Coincidentally, I was drinking a cup of cold coffee at the time, and I didn’t immediately make the connection. I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when I saw the light brown liquid, and brought my hand to my face for nasal identification. Thankfully, I didn’t choose to test the diaper juice with my sense of taste.

I am convinced that babies are cute to ensure we don’t eat our young. At some point, I pray, my son will become at least somewhat useful, for as of right now, all he has going for him is that he is adorable, and I love him. In addition to my unending love, I have an overwhelming instinct to protect him. Instinct, however, can be a tricky little bitch when it’s at odds with the conscious mind. This afternoon we brought little Jackson to his two month doctor’s appointment. He weighs 10 pounds and 11 ounces and is 22.5 inches long; perfect. In addition to the two month check-up is the first round of vaccinations. Today, he had two. The first of the two was very simple for both myself and the boy. It was just a sugary syrup in the mouth. He loved it. Jackson’s little brain was so flooded with sugar and delight that I could almost forget that this man of science was pouring some type of virus or disease into my baby.

Next came the needle. I knew it was coming. I personally hate needles, and when he stuck it into Jackson’s little leg, I was blown away that my strong little guy didn’t peep...until the doctor pushed the syringe to inject the serum. The second I heard my baby scream, I felt like a lion wanting to rip open the animal that threatened his cub. But alas, it was over in a heartbeat and there was no time for me to tear off the doctor’s limbs. I had to settle for my backup instinct; soothing the wound. The doctor told us that this particular vaccine could cause Jackson to cry inconsolably for three to five hours. Well, within five minutes, my little boy was sound asleep in my arms, drooling on my shirt, and transferring every bit of his pain to me with his vice-like grip on my chest hair.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Week Six? or Weak Sex?

So, I figured that if I was going to be honest in this blog, I would eventually have to tackle the question of postpartum sex, or “intercourse,” as it's referenced by the index of “What to Expect...” My challenge in the balance of honesty and privacy, is to reflect on the issue with respect for my wife and our marriage, while informing and entertaining the reader. Luckily, just the topic of sex reverts most grown adults into giggling goof balls, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. (Plus, I got the approval of my editor/wife).

I am sure that there are some men and women whose frustration over postpartum sex ranges from mild to absolute rage and confusion. Nicole and I have experienced our fair share of the spectrum. However, as we approach week nine, I think I am just now understanding how to deal with this experience. To be clear, let’s turn to the textbook.

Sexual issues you may experience after childbirth:

Hormones - Like we needed more of these pesky little chemicals swirling around our brains. A mother’s hormonal readjustment can screw around with sexual desire, and quite frankly, Dad’s hormones are not exactly stable. So the competing up and down of parental hormones makes the coordination of libidos nearly impossible.

Don’t Rush It - They say it could be less than six weeks. They say it can take longer than six weeks. Ah ha, once again we get an answer that amounts to, “We Have No Clue.” I wish I could get away with this line of reasoning in my everyday life. “Honey, I guarantee you I will be home from rehearsal either before midnight, or after midnight.”

Expect Some Discomfort - It goes without saying that birthing a child can and usually does cause some damage. Of course, this translates into sexual pain, even after the healing. I totally respect the strength of women, and have nothing to say other than Ouch...Big Ouch!

Don’t Expect Perfection - Well, since I can’t exactly swear to my own “perfect” sexual abilities pre-baby, I think it would be pretty ballsy of me to think I would be “perfect” at sex afterwards. I’ll settle for gosh darn good, and making an effort to improve every chance I get.

Express Love in Different Ways - Hugging, cuddling, kissing, caressing, uh, use your imagination.

Ok, let recap: We are essentially hormonal people who shouldn’t rush it, but if we do have sex we should expect some discomfort, without perfection and in the end we should feel comfortable expressing love in different ways. AH, I GET IT! We are Teenage Virgins all over again! That doesn’t sound so bad at all. In fact, that is my ultimate conclusion. This is the closest I will ever be to a teenage virgin without facing jail time and divorce, so I am going to take advantage of the opportunity and get to the necking ASAP!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Saturday Morning

It’s Saturday morning. Nicole is still tired from waking up three times last night to cater to the eating habits of our 8 week old Jackson. I was sleepy when I woke up, but nothing compares to Nicole. I have never met a person outside of their teen years that requires as much sleep as my wife. Don’t get me wrong. She is totally a “tough guy,” and when the situations call, she can survive on mere winks of shut eye. Nevertheless, today is a quiet, cool Saturday morn, so after she let me sleep from 7:30am to 9am, I took responsibility of my little screaming monster.

Jackson was cranky as usual, and I simply wasn’t interested in bouncing and walking him all over the house. I decided to make this morning very special considering we had some Daddy/Son time, and today is another special day: Jackson’s official 8 week mark. For this special day, we would take our first Daddy/Baby shower. Nicole took the pictures to memorialize this special landmark before slipping into a drool filled coma. As you can see, right before the first flash went off, Jackson let us both know what he thought of our plans.

The shower was fun and Jackson adorable. I don’t know if he left the shower much cleaner than when he entered, as this was quite a precarious endeavor. On the way into the shower I tripped over his shampoo bottle, and from that point, I held a vice-like grip on the slippery little eel. All in all, it was a great experience. Jackson loves the water. He already knows how to hold his breath when the shower water splashes on this head and face. This both amazes me, and gives me a silly sense of fatherly pride.

I love being around for these moments, and get a kick out of the little things, like how he cries as soon as we get out of the shower because fun water time is over, or after the shower when in the middle of attaching the new diaper he throws an ass-ball, as though the diaper is a catchers mitt and I’m Johnny Bench.

As I write this, the little man sleeps, strapped to my chest like a roast beef in a book bag. I just hope he doesn’t puke again on his cute little Saturday morning outfit...I’m sure he will.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Uncomfortable Handling

During my fatherhood experience, I’ve kept up with parenting books, including “What to Expect,” “Dr. Spock,” and a variety of others. I peruse each month’s section to learn the necessary information, and otherwise default to my wife’s more thorough knowledge of parenting literature. Despite my review of the published expertise, I haven’t found anything that covers the uncomfortable feeling of handling my baby’s genitals.

As far as I can tell, there are no published rules, and this frightens me. Up until now, I’ve been OK with the layer of protection offered by a baby wipe. I’m sure the thin, moist cloth, coupled with my intention to cleanse is enough to prevent the skin to skin contact that triggers federal sentencing guidelines. Despite the legal ramifications, my moral integrity is at stake, and I become concerned at the slightest slip. I’ve already had to check his foreskin to make sure all is kosher, which, strictly speaking, it’s not. This contact makes me shutter. I certainly don’t want to violate him, but I must be brave if I expect to educate my little man about his little man. I just wish someone would tell me the appropriate rules. For now, I’m going to stick to the following: I will clean him down there until he can clean himself. Once he realizes he has opposable thumbs, it’s in his hands.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Kids These Days...

You do your best to raise them right. You give them love, a home, and little bit of freedom.

The next thing you know, they throw a party, trash the house, and raid your liquor cabinet. What’s a father to do?

Boat Basin Sundays

There is a haven on the Upper West Side of Manhattan called the West 79th Street Boat Basin Café a/k/a Boat Basin. Every Sunday this oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of New York City takes on special meaning to the friends and family of the comedy troupe FUCT.

The Boat Basin is home to a huge outdoor/indoor deck and café overlooking the Hudson River. Many Sundays ago, Mr. Jon Crane, writer and cast member of FUCT experienced the serene sunset view, and the amazing glory of warm summer breezes carrying the ocean air. It was then that he christened the weekly event, Boat Basin Sundays.

Yesterday was my first official Boat Basin Sunday with my beautiful wife, and my party animal baby, Jackson. We arrived later than the beginning time as sanctioned by Mr. Crane, but early enough to have plenty of hours of daylight as the sun slowly fell. We took our place on the wall where people wait for a seat in the café, never actually requesting a table. At Boat Basin Sunday, we wait only for the sinking sun and the next drink; never for a seat in the actual café.

I drank Coronas with lime, as Nicole sipped her Mango Mai Tai and Frozon Electric Blue Lemonade in the perfectly sunny, 76 degree weather as it is every Boat Basin Sunday despite the climate experienced by the rest of the city. Jackson was a total angel, with only minor fussing here and there. Afterward, we made the ceremonial trek to our Boat Basin family dinner at Brother Jimmy’s, where my vegetarian diet took a temporary hiatus for an all you can eat rib, and all you can drink beer fest.

We made it home around 11ish, and Jackson had his dinner, which lasted until slightly after twelve. He then slept until 5:45am, waking for a short nip sip, and then back to sleep until 8:45am. Last night was the first night in 7 weeks that I woke up to pee more often then Jackson. It must have been the magic of the salty breeze, a relaxing sunset, and the Boat Basin Sunday family and friends.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

"What The Hell Was I Thinking?"

Sometimes I look at my son, and think to myself, “What the hell was I thinking?” I've silently asked myself this question many times in my life.

Looking back, my college years all seem a blur. However, I do remember a classic “What the hell was I thinking?” moment. This specific event is tame compared to the stories that my better judgment will not let me publish at this time. It was early fall, or late spring, or sometime in between. I went to the local bar as we did on many a Thursday night. I don’t remember how long I was at the bar. I don’t remember what, or how much I drank. I don’t remember leaving the bar. All I know is that I entered the bar, and when I came back to my senses, I had been sleeping in the parking lot of the restaurant next door to the bar. I was in the passenger seat of a car that didn’t belong to me. Next to me, sound asleep, was a stranger, who I assumed was the owner of this vehicle of slumber. On his lap was a number of crisp green dollar bills. Without thinking twice, I swiped the money from proprietor of this fine establishment. My cat-like precision ensured I wouldn’t wake him and be caught in the act.

Now it was time for a major decision. Do I try to leave the sedan, and risk getting pinched by my new companion as I exit his bed at 6am? OR Do I let my curiosity get the best of me, wake him, and start the interrogation in an attempt to put the pieces of last night’s puzzle back together? Dear reader, as I am sure you have already guessed, I woke the sleeping beauty with a few delicate nudges to his leg. As the hangover sweat steam clouded the windows I said, “Excuse me, do you know how I got here?” Rubbing the sleepiness from his eyes, he exclaimed “Who the FUCK ARE YOU?!?” At this point, I figured I had nothing to lose. “I was at the bar last night, and I got drunk, and I have no idea how I ended up here. I thought you might have some insight, but I guess not.” And then, I really pushed the envelope with the question. “Would you mind giving me a ride back to campus?” I could almost see this guys temple vein pop as he roared, “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY CAR YOU ASSHOLE.” I exited. I though to myself that he was a bit rude considering the circumstances. I had a long walk ahead of me, so I made my way to the seven eleven to buy a cup of coffee with the innkeeper’s money. I certainly did have many “What the hell was I thinking?” moments in college, but after my undergraduate years I really got my act together, right?

In February of 2003, Brooklyn experienced a huge snowstorm. The nostalgia of being at my mother’s house quickly lead me to my old garage where I found my winter sleds and summer boogie boards. It was time for a good ol’ game of garage roof bobsled. After a few slaloms down the slippery slope my brother and I became bored, as children usually do. In my infinite wisdom, I grabbed my sled and sibling, and made my way to my little sister’s bedroom the second floor where we climbed through the window onto the roof of the front porch. I knew we had to do our deed before the logic of my parents could set in, and with that we jumped. My brother, always the smarter of the pair, jumped right beside me, but knew enough to land on his back, distributing his weight in the fall. I, on the other hand, spiked feet first into the ground like a lawn dart. Immediately, “What the hell was I thinking?” ran through my mind. We made it through the blizzard to the hospital where the x-rays showed sprained ankles. The doctor said it was a miracle I didn’t break my legs. The next day was my first appearance as a self-employed attorney. “What the hell was I thinking?,” indeed.

Today, I look at my son and think about the life I currently live. I run my own law office, usually in nothing more than my underwear, as I work from my basement. I perform in a comedy troupe, FUCT, also usually in my underwear. I sometimes get in at odd hours of the night, and I juggle wife, baby, and life throughout the day. Nicole and I could have spent the first few years of our marriage “enjoying ourselves,” as they say couples should. However, I think in the long run, this is exactly how we choose to enjoy ourselves. We enter different, challenging, and downright crazy situations with a sense of excitement. Jackson was a planned roller coaster ride, and every time he smiles at me I know he’s worth the cost of admission.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just to be fair, I'm circumcised

Jackson was born healthy. Ten little fingers. Ten little toes. Two monster testicles and one perfect little schlong. Nicole and I decided to NOT go medieval on Jackson’s member, leaving it intact as nature intended. At the beginning of Nicole’s pregnancy the issue came up, and I was staunchly against playing snip-snip on my son’s new baby flesh. Nicole, at first, was in favor of circumcision. She’s a nurse, but there is no biology class in the world that could educate her on ownership of male genitalia.

As we waited for Jackson’s arrival, Nicole would drop bits of cock carving info on me from time to time. The most commonly cited medical grounds are reduced risk of urinary tract infection, reduced risk of penile cancer, and reduced risk in AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. I stood my ground. I would not be swayed by medical fear mongers. Especially since the medical reasons just don’t add up. According to the American Cancer Society only 290 men will die in 2008 from penile cancer. We might as well just scratch that one off the list. Fear of the other reasons just adds up to lazy parenting. Instead of slicing your little man’s little man, be a good parent and teach your kid crotch hygiene, and sexual safety. I really feel that parents who would sooner subject their children to an unnecessary medical procedure rather than educate their children on health issues are the same shitty parents who use the TV as a baby sitter, and candy as a pacifier.

What are some of the other reasons we humans disfigure our children? Religious and cultural...of course.

Religious. Well, I guess if you are Jewish, and dinky dissection is something you really believe your God wants, then go for it. Personally, I can’t figure out why God would want you to cut off something he just gave your son. I’m Buddhist, and my spiritual beliefs are strictly at odds with foreskin amputation of a human being unless that decision is self-made.

Cultural. “I don’t want my son’s penis to look different than mine” or “I don’t want my son to feel different in the locker room” are shit reasons. To all the dads out there: Get over yourself! Just because your parents mutilated you doesn’t mean you have to pass on the love. My father was not circumcised, and when I was born he gave in to my mother’s wishes to take off my skin hat. I didn’t look like him, and I never felt bad about that. What I did feel bad about was that my parents cared so little about the top 10% of my penis that they threw it away with my first roommate, the placenta. As far as the locker room goes, I plan on explaining this whole societal mind-fuck to my son. He’ll understand that the other boys look different because their mothers simply don’t love them. Look, it’s way more likely that kids are going to tease your child because he is fat or skinny, tall or short. Please don’t use this as an excuse to rip the cover off his little rod.

Here are some of the cons to circumcision:

Up to 20% of circumcised males will suffer from one or more of the following complications, to some degree:

* Meatal stenosis (narrowing of the urethral opening due to infection and subsequent scarring, that occurs almost exclusively in circumcised boys)
* extensive scarring of the penile shaft
* skin tags and skin bridges
* bleeding of the circumcision scar
* curvature of the penis
* tight, painful erections
* psychological and psychosexual problems

20%!!! Those are scary odds when compared with the 290 men in all of America who will get penile cancer. Rather than teaching me how to pull back my foreskin to clean a little smegma, you put me at risk for a scarred and curvy penis with painful erections. It’s no wonder this leads to mental problems.

Ultimately, little boys are human beings, not property. I say teach them the options, and let’s see how many 18 year olds choose to go under the knife. I wish I had the option.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Be Afraid...of too much advice.

Be AFRAID!!! Sudden Infant Death Syndrome...Fear Fear Fear. Shaken Baby Syndrome. Are you scared yet? Is the baby eating enough? Did he poop? He should be sleeping on his back, not his tummy, uh, or is it the side? AHHHH!

Babies are not born with instruction manuals. That’s because it would be a waste of paper since family, friends and strangers take advantage of every opportunity to tell you how to care for your child. The only time Nicole and I are not inundated with “expert advice” is when we are home alone, with the TV, phones and internet off. The advice, while well-intentioned, is often laced with over-exaggerated fear tactics. If you don’t get enough doom and gloom from the evening news, have a baby and pay close attention to the advice of the masses.

Most recently, I was told by a very concerned relative that bouncing the baby too hard was a no-no. Really? Then I guess I shouldn’t bounce his head off the wall when I am shaking him violently to calm him down. I understand the concern, but please have some faith. I think I know how to rock my son to sleep after dealing with the last few weeks of extreme parental paranoia. I read the books. I get it. When you shake a baby to quiet them down, their little necks snap and you break all of the blood vessels in their heads. That’s a no-no! Not rocking a baby to sleep.

Humans have survived for thousands of years on shitty information and conflicting advice. In 1977 my mother’s doctor told her NOT to quit smoking because it would be too much of a stress on her pregnant body. Brilliant! When I used to cry as an infant she immediately dipped the pacifier in trachea clogging honey. HONEY!!! If it was the evening, the pacifier was coated with benedictine, a/k/a Baby Booze. It’s a wonder she didn’t duct tape my mouth closed and inject me with heroin.

We think we are so much smarter these days, but in all honesty, our clueless society is plagued by safety fanatics and the misinformed. For example, they say babies should sleep on their back to avoid a dead baby with your morning coffee. This affliction is called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. Here is my beef with SIDS. First of all, no one knows the cause...spooky. Already we should be afraid because no one knows what causes this phantom like death. But wait, we have preventative measures. How could that be? Doesn’t that belie the logic of cause and effect? Either way, let’s look at some ways to prevent ruining an otherwise good day with a dead child. First, babies should sleep on their backs on a firm mattress. Don’t over-clothe and don’t let them sleep with blankets, pillows or toys. Don’t expose babies to people with respiratory infections. (Does this sound like suffocation to anyone else?) Here is the kicker: If your baby stops breathing, gags excessively or TURNS BLUE, tell your pediatrician at once. No shit? If he turns blue, tell the doctor, huh? This is what I am talking about. Not only does the world want to scare the shit out of us, but society thinks that we are fucking idiots. But should I really worry about my little tyke turning into human smurf?

In 2007 there were over four million births in the United States; 4,315,000 to be exact. Approximately 2,500 babies die of SIDS per year. That’s a .058 percent chance of a child dying from this unexplainable syndrome that sounds a lot like oxygen deficiency. In reality, the odds are on my side that I am not going to wake up to a dead baby. So, rather than give in to fear, I focus on my immediate sphere of actual influence. Jackson likes sleeping on his tummy. It helps him shit well. Who am I to deny him the comfort of a productive bowel movement. So, I compromise. He can sleep on his belly when I am awake and can monitor him. I don’t leave plastic wrap or any other choking hazards in his crib, and when his crying makes my ears bleed, I change my approach instead of shaking his little noggin off his shoulders. It really all boils down to common sense. Sounds pretty simple to me. Unfortunately, I still have to protect Jackson from the rest morons of the world.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Sleep When the Baby Sleeps" ...yeah right!

Jackson is six weeks old today. Three nights ago, I had the best sleep in all six weeks of his life. He only woke up twice; once at 3:30am and once at 6am. I rose in the morning feeling alive and refreshed. Then came Friday. While the world took advantage of sleeping in on Saturday morning, Jackson had other plans. He reverted to the Jackson of week one who wakes every hour to suck milk, while laughing inside at his parent’s sleepless plight.

Ready for a load of horse shit? Here’s the advice of books, baby classes, and knowledgeable friends and family: “Sleep When the Baby Sleeps.”

“Sleep When the Baby Sleeps” is probably the most useless advice I’ve ever heard. Let’s look at this recommendation logically. “Sleep When the Baby Sleeps” implies that I currently sleep when the baby is awake, which is ridiculous. First of all, it’s dangerous for parents to sleep when babies are awake. Unsupervised, awake children tend to eat poison and die. Excellent parenting tip. Second, sleeping while Jackson is awake is impossible. Don’t believe me? Please come to my house for some shut-eye while Jackson exercises your ear drums with his vocal cords. As an alternative, bring a pillow and blanket to the busiest intersection or closest construction site in your home town and attempt to get a few zzzz’s.

The “Sleep When the Baby Sleeps” instruction is extremely insensitive to fathers. Sure, some mom’s get anywhere from six weeks to three months of maternity leave, but unless you live in Canada, most Dads continue the daily grind. Should they follow this ludicrous council too? It certainly would be easy to spot the fathers of newborns. Men dozing off into a blissful slumber during business meetings. Subways pausing in the tunnels for power naps. I’m sure sleepy time at the air traffic control station would be completely acceptable.

The main reason this advice stinks is because baby’s don’t sleep like adults. Babies enter deep REM sleep in seconds, and they get to sleep whenever they want. Adult require more time to hit REM, and we just can’t slip into a warm sleep coma when we feel a little drowsy. Jackson hasn’t slept for more then three hours since birth. In the evening, he often sleeps in 1, 2 or 3 hour spurts. Therefore, Nicole an I get about 2 hours of quality REM sleep per night.

I don’t want my blog to turn into a bitch session, so here is my exploration of possible solutions. With over six weeks of expert daddy experience, I propose the following: Uppers and Downers. A strict regimen of highly potent Caffeine, Taurine, L-Carntine and Guarana should do the trick. Cocaine probably works like a charm, and I hear Meth use among mid-west Mom’s is all the rage. Unfortunately, Federal, State, and local governments frown upon illicit drug use around children. Clearly, DEA officials are infertile, children-less, joy-killers. Since the heyday of legal narcotics in the 1800s is over, it looks like Maxwell House will have to suffice.

For downers there are some really wonderful neurological depressants that will help you come down from the day’s binge of Red Bull and Jolt. First the soft stuff: Chamomile and other herbs. Nature has created a variety of products in tea, pill, and liquid form that act as relaxing agents, perfect after a long day of colic and nipple ripping. I’m not sure of the effect on breast milk, but these natural downers are perfect for a stressed out Dad. Now for the hard (fun) stuff: booze. I’m a big fan of booze, in moderation of course. We don’t need a nation of alcoholics raising our children, and sooner or later the fuzz will find the drunk parents too. Responsibly, a glass of wine or three can take the edge off of a day of crazy baby antics. Drinking alcohol in moderation is socially acceptable, and in some instances can be beneficial to your health. It can even help with mommy’s breast milk production, so the family can enjoy responsibly together. Best of all, as long as you are not driving, have a sober adult to care for your child, and are not a raging alcoholic, you can get shit faced every now and again.

I’m still seeking healthy solutions, and I will continue to learn and share as my daddyhood continues. For now, ignore the “Sleep When the Baby Sleeps” adage, brew a pot of java, and pick up a six pack of your favorite micro-brew.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Everyone seems to want to see more pictures of Jackson. I don't know why. Aside from the fact that his eyes are no longer crossed, and the red spot on his head has lightened, he looks exactly the same. Besides, he only takes two pictures; shock, and anger/fear. Since the day he was born, I haven’t been able to capture a smile on camera; not even a phony gas smile. Here are some pics of the little model. Let me know if I am wrong.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dad Day: Take One

I am self employed with a home office. Nicole works for a fertility clinic, and she also writes for In today’s economy, we cannot afford to live on one salary, so we have negotiated a deal with Nicole’s employer that allows her to return to work for 20 hours a week, and take calls from home for a portion of the week. At the same time, we both want to raise our children without a nanny. This equation results in me being Mr. Mom on Tuesday mornings, Wednesdays and Fridays. Since my schedule is very flexible, I will readjust my time to make this arrangement possible.

In anticipation of this major change, I started taking over Wednesdays today. It was an interesting and tiring day filled with tears, crying and more tears. I am completely exhausted, I feel totally unfunny and unmotivated. Jackson enjoyed approximately 30 minutes of the day. The remainder, he spent puking his reflux stomach goo all over me, my sofa, my clothes, and his baby wrap. I spent the majority of the day attempting to write a comedic song to use in one of the upcoming shows of FUCT. It was challenging with a crying baby. The challenge was further enhanced by the flop of a scene that I presented at last night’s meeting. Comedy can be a real bitch. As a comedian, I know that the majority of the things I write will suck. If I get one great scene out of twenty attempts, I should be happy. However, it is still tough to bomb, even in front of your troupe. I am incredibly lucky that I have such a supportive team. It has been a while since I have presented material, and they are extremely forgiving, as a great troupe should be. Comedy partners realize the challenge of comedy, and make it easy to bounce back.

Thankfully, Jackson went to bed early tonight, which is where I am headed shortly. I am looking forward to getting back on the comedy saddle, as I know I have great product in this twisted mind. I am also excited about Day Two of Mr. Momhood, as I am sure it is similar to comedy, where the more I do it, the better I will become.

Monday, July 21, 2008


My wife and I are constantly blown away by the generosity of the family, friends, acquaintances and strangers in our life. Another gift arrived in the mail today. It was a package from an old school buddy whom I haven’t seen in years. Last week we received about five outfits from the family of a classmate of my little sister who is twelve. We have never even met this family. All in all, we simply have more clothing then Jackson could possibly wear.

This past Friday, on the cusp of week 5, we stumbled upon the the first outfit that didn’t fit. The incredibly expanding boy has already outgrown a pair of pajamas, and the kicker is, he never wore them. At this rate, we have so many onesies, shorts, pants, and shirts that we won’t need to buy this kid clothes until he is fifteen.

I’m certainly not complaining, but it seems a little unfair. I sometimes wonder if Jackson would cry so uncontrollably if his little brain could conceptualize the fortune of his life. Children all over the world lack basic necessities like shelter and clothing; many starve and sadly, many die. Jackson on the other hand drives my wife to tears, as he happily gulps away at her sore milk factories, never realizing that he has been given so much already. We’ll just have to take advantage of the opportunity to use this against him in the future in the form of guilt.

As far as our social and environmental responsibility, we decided to pass down Jackson’s baby clothes to his future sibling. And if our next child is a girl, we are just going to have to dress her in “Daddy’s Little Man” clothes, and raise her gay.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

You Suck

There can only be so many things that make a newborn cry, right? Hunger, Gas, Shit, Piss, Pacify. I mean, he doesn’t want to go outside to play with his friends. It can't be that he wants an X-Box, and I doubt he understands the concept of an allowance. So if he is still crying after I have gone through all five of the checklist, then it can only mean one thing - I'm a bad parent. Yup, so incompetent that I can't even take care of the five basic needs of a newborn.

Now, consciously I know that this isn’t true. Nevertheless, my subconscious continues to reinforce the fact that I’m a failure. The internal voice which says “YOU SUCK AT PARENTHOOD” is further amplified in public. When Jackson howls for no apparent reason I immediately jump into action. I burp, I bounce...he bellows. I sing...he screams. His diaper! It must be his diaper. I check and change...he squeals even louder. My efforts are to no avail. At home, alone, my baby technique works, at least sometimes. When he cries I hear “Daddy, help me, I need something.” However, in public, the message in his voice changes to “Help me somebody, my father is obviously useless!”

I have expressed this feeling to others, and they explain that I am not useless...just nuts. “Relax Tommy, every parent goes through this.” I know this, and I understand that I’m doing my best. Of course Jackson will turn out just fine. Nevertheless, it is incredibly unnerving to know that you are doing the right thing, when your mind keeps telling you “everyone’s looking, and you SUCK!”

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Udderly Unbelievable

My son has two major states of being. Hungry, and extreme fucking hunger. I know he is merely hungry when, and only when he isn’t in extreme fucking hunger mode. When he sleeps, hungry. When he smiles or coos, hungry. When he grunts like a pot bellied pig, hungry. I know that he’s always hungry, because he has never once turned down the opportunity to hang from my wife’s chest by his lips. No matter what the circumstances, to my wife’s chagrin, the milk sacks always make things better. I’ve seen the little animal eat for forty-five minutes, puke and then go back to eating. At this rate, I am going to have to convert my basement into a vomitorium. Even my dog has limits. At five weeks old, his appetite/weight ratio is comparable to a teenaged boy on pot. It is absolutely endless.

This leaves state of being number two, extreme fucking hunger. Extreme fucking hunger sets in sometime between a microsecond to a nanosecond after he realizes that the smell of his mother/slave is not within sucking distance. When he enters extreme fucking hunger mode, beware. By “beware”, I mean grab your nuts and pray. You’re about to get slammed worse than a drunk cliff diver. During this time, your only solace is when his blood curdling screams turn into the super-sonic pierce that makes the dog leave the room. At this point you don’t know if you want him to catch his breath or just pass out from an oxygen deficiency.

When I started out with fatherhood, I thought there were only about five different baby needs; food, shit, piss, burp, pacify. Like so many other thing in my life, I was sadly mistaken. Now I understand that all his needs can be satisfied with tits; similar to his father, yet dramatically different in many ways. Proud as I am that my son and I share a love for woman’s breasts, the reality is quite concerning. You see, in less than two months my wife goes back to work. In an effort to give my son the chance to be raised by his parents rather than a west indian pedophile, I have agreed be Mr. Mom on Wednesdays and Fridays, and on Tuesday mornings. This leaves me with a dilemma. I have a child who would sooner turn to cannibalism then wait patiently for his next meal, and I don’t have breasts; not useful ones anyway.

We decided to breast feed for all of the positive benefits, which for some reason escape me now. I know breast feeding is a wonderful way to bond, but at this point, a fishing trip sounds so much more accommodating. Nevertheless, we are no quitters. So, in an effort to solve this predicament, we invested in a $300 breast pump. This medieval form of torture consists of two large suction cups connecting to bottles held to the aureolas by the suction of little tubes that run to a device that looks like a mini car battery. My first perverted thought was that this would make an interesting accessory to prosthetic molding of Jenna Jameson’s face, but then I saw it in action and my member recoiled in horror.

When the pump starts, it pulls on the nipple with a force that completely contorts the shape into what looks like a long drawn out cow udder. This human tit milking process is what we call technology. The bottles capture the milk and, viola, mother’s milk we can freeze into mom pops, so a second salary can go towards college rather than formula. Brilliant!...or is it? Unfortunately, here is my not-so-cheery prediction. Mom goes back to work, pumps in the morning, pumps at 10am, pumps at noon, pumps at 2pm, pumps at 4pm...and get absolutely nothing fucking done. After a few weeks of creating momsicles, her boss realizes that her work is suffering, and guess what? FORMULA. We waste hundreds of dollars on the stupid pump, that I could have made myself in the basement with my vacuum, a funnel and an iced-tea pitcher, and still have to buy formula for the next two years. Double screwed! Not to mention I am going to have to store this pump like so much other useless shit, including my deli slicer (used once), my creme brulee torch (used never) and my penis (used on occasion to make babies and change batteries in the smoke detector).

At the very least, my wife has been able to extract a few ounces of boob juice here and there, and although it is a grueling process, I did fall in love with my son all over again when I got to feed him for the first time. It really is magical to feed a newborn. He latched on in an instant, and his crying stopped. (Thank God) His eyes immediately locked with mine, almost to say “thank you.” To know that I was able to provide nourishment is really wonderful, even if it doesn’t come directly from my useless man boobs.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Got Boobs?

From my very first pubescent moment, I truly believed there could never be a love for female breasts as strong as my sheer animal magnetism. Big or small, perky or droopy, I loved them all. Despite my passion, I’ve always remained a complete gentleman when it comes to the lovely chest pillows. When I converse with a lass, eye contact is always maintained, never straying south to the steep slopes of the milky mountains. Until the birth of my son, I thought my love for boobs could never be matched. Oh how I was wrong. When he is full of mother’s milk, my Jackson is a perfect gentleman. However, when the little man craves his sustenance, the story is quite different. If his leg was butchered to his hip in a meat grinder, I have no doubt that his blood curdling screams would be pacified instantly by the touch of an aureola to his upper lip.

Friday, June 20, 2008


There is a very well known series of books called "What to expect..." Every month of Nicole's pregnancy I read the corresponding chapter of "What to Expect When You're Expecting." I also read the spoof, "What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding," a light-hearted read for soon-to-be Dads.

Now that Jackson has arrived, I conveniently filed "What to Expect The First Year" in the reference area of my library, located on the left side of my toilet bowl. Earlier today, while I was deep in, uh, thought I read away that the pages that seemed most appropriate to Jackson's current stage of life. On page 115, I came across a boxed section in the upper-right hand corner of the page labeled: FOR FATHERS ONLY: BECOMING ENGROSSED. It sounded important.

Apparently, research has given a name to the bonding that takes place between an infant and a father. Engrossment in a nutshell is the things a father does for his baby (holding, comforting, rocking, massaging), the different way a father does such things (different touches and sounds), and the things that a baby does for the father, such as bringing out the sensitive and nurturing side.

Naturally, I am engrossed. This absolutely goes without saying. From the second I saw Jackson, I couldn't take my eyes off of him. After our first hour together in the delivery room, they took him away from me for 4 hours, and there wasn't a second that I didn't pace, waiting for him to return. Over the last few days, I have on more than one occasion mentioned that I do not really like holding, playing with, or caring for other people's children, or OPC.

In fact, OPC usually disgust me. Don't get me wrong. I think they are cute, wonderful and amazing in their own way. However, I have no desire to entertain, help, or give to them anything more then minimal attention. Jackson on the other hand, well, completely has me squarely in his half-dollar sized palm. I could hold him for hours through miserable back pain, and I have. I immediately want to be there to make his crying go away, and I think he already knows this. I would spend the rest of my days wiping his little poopy ass, sacrificing everything else in my life that I love, and I think he kinda gets a kick out of it.

This morning, Jackson woke up at around 6:30 and he just wouldn't go back to sleep after a feeding. Nicole needed more rest, so I decided that it was going to be Daddy-Baby time. We slipped into a recliner in the living room, and kicked back with Jackson resting on my chest. His cries immediately disappeared as he fell asleep. We chilled out and watched a movie called Super High Me, a twist on the Morgan Spurlock documentary Super Size Me, in which the stand-up comedian Doug Benson, smokes Marijuana for 30 days straight to test the results on this body and mind. Basically, the movie is a protest against the prohibition against pot in the United States. Jackson, being in his own breast milk high just slept away, caring not for the political views of a bunch of hippies.

There was one really interesting point in the movie that I thought was particularly sad. An advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana said that the majority of adults who get involved in heavy drugs (not pot) didn't have their father involved in their lives during their childhood. What a shame, I thought. Then I started to think about engrossment. How can a father experience what I feel for Jackson, and then disappear? It just doesn't make sense. The only explanation that I can fathom is that those fathers don't stick around long enough to become engrossed, or they have some mental defect that prevents them from experiencing this magical feeling. I feel sad for the OPC, and the fathers that don't experience this bond, and I can promise my Jackson that as long as I am alive, he will never know a life without his father's presence and unconditional love.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh Crap...It's Here

My son Jackson was born 12 days early, but "he" is not the "It's" that I refer to in the title of this, my second blog. Rather, "It's" refers to the shit-river my little play-doh fun factory expelled from his bowels earlier this afternoon. You see, one of the fun things us fathers learn about babies is that during the first few days of a baby's life, it only poops a little bit of this black substance called meconium. This black tar smells only a bit, but it is harder to get off of the skin then an ass tattoo of Yosemite Sam.

If the mommy chooses to breastfeed, a few days after the birth, she starts to produce milk. I know, dear reader, what you must be thinking. If the mother is breast-feeding, what the hell is coming out of the breast for the first few days, Kool-Aid? It is actually a substance called colostrum, which is meant to hold baby over til supper; a four-day snack if you will. I had no idea either.

Anyway, sometime around day four or five, mommy's tits become at least three times the size they were on your first date. Don't get excited gents, as they are useless to daddy at this point; doctor's orders, nothing in the vagina for six weeks. No, these boobs are the milk sacks of the nurturing mother, delivering the life giving flow to the eager mouth of the little angel. Sounds beautiful, and it is, until the life giving flow becomes the chocolate river from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

At approximately 4pm, I was relaxing in my recliner with baby Jackson on my lap resting away. There was a slight breeze in the air, and I could hear the soft chime of an ice cream truck ever so slightly singing its song in the distance...and then it happened.

I looked down and noticed a single brown polka-dot on the waistline of Jackson's baby blue onesie. Oh my God, it's SHIT! Do I get excited or do I panic? Nicole is in the shower, and although I had changed a few meconium diapers over the last few days, this was totally different. For starters this "new poop" has no respect for the authority of a diaper. Christ, if he is going to shit right through his friggin clothes, why the hell do we have to spend so much money on diapers. I might as well just dress him in his clothes and keep the washing machine spinning all day.

I brought him into the nursery and plopped him down on the changing table. Interestingly, this was the first time Jackson didn't cry on the changing table. He had this strange look of pride on his face. Similar to the look Barry Bonds had in his record setting 2001 season when he hit his first home run. A look that says, "Get Ready Folks, You are in for a lot of this shit."

I proceeded to grab the little spud's ankles like a chicken at the butcher to lift his ass right up off the table. Novice that I am, I don't use the soiled diaper to begin the cleaning process, and wind up using about a thousand baby wipes to move the shit slime all over his ass, legs, hips and back. Eventually, my ever-so-patient wife arrives on the scene, no doubt in haste due to her belief that although I am not groaning and screaming, I am still a man, and useless in the baby ass-cleaning department. Upon her arrival, I shifted to the side to hold the little tykes legs high over his head, allowing room for her to finish the job.

We both quickly learn that the penis of a five day old child does, in fact, expel piss with total disregard for the gracious parents who lovingly scoop pools of brown goop away from the delicate bundle of joy to which it is attached. We are also made aware that just because there is enough feces on the diaper to make the strongest stomach wretch, does not necessarily mean the anus will cease the expulsion.

Despite the foregoing, shit scene, I must give some credit to Mr. Brown Eye, as he is certainly a gentleman. When the last drop of pudding hit the diaper he made sure to say "thank you," with a well timed sphincter rattling fart. Don't mention it my little aristocrat. You are very welcome.

Day 5 is already Day 5, and I am just starting this blog. How am I supposed to raise a child when I am so far behind in all of my plans? Not to mention I started my blog with an expletive, my home looks like Kansas after the twister despite our days of "nesting," and my son was born 12 days early. I guess it's too late to ask whether or not I am ready for fatherhood when my five day old baby is sleeping on my lap. "Ready" doesn't seem to matter any more. My wife and I weren't ready on Saturday, June 14th when her water broke, and I don't know if I will ever feel ready for anything again in my life. I certainly wasn't ready a few hours ago when my son took his first crap, which looked as though we applied melted soft-serve chocolate ice cream from his heels to his neck with a paint roller. I did my best, with plenty of help from my wonderful wife and can only pray that the poop slows down or that I get better at this over time.

Regardless of my fears, doubts and anxiety, I do know that I love this little guy a ton. It is like love plus. I love him, plus I feel this deep urge to protect him, care for him, and sacrifice myself for him. Although I have experienced some of these feelings in the past, I have never felt such an overwhelming desire to sacrifice. I can't fully explain what I mean, though I'm sure that my reflections in this blog will make it more apparent.

I guess the reason I am writing a daddy blog is for personal recollection (my memory has slowly drowned over the years), as well as for my son. I hope someday he learns from my writings, and more importantly, I would love it for him to look back at these experiences and have a laugh.

I love you Jackson Paul Galan, and ready or not, here we go.