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.