Friday, April 24, 2009

Before... and After.

As we approach our 4th month of fatherhood tomorrow, I am once again reminded of just how much things have changed in our lives recently. Less sleep, more poop, more noise, more work, less space in the house, more love than we could EVER imagine. As many gay dads would confess - we wouldn’t change anything, obviously, but we do have to admit that our lifestyle is just a wee bit differenet now. That includes the meaning of words and phrases around the ItsDaddies.Plural household.

Obviously these are all in good fun.

“Let’s go for dinner and a show.”

Before Kensington: On Saturdays, Chris and I would travel into the city, get tickets to the newest show on the Great White Way and head to a great little restaurant in the Village. We’d take our time, talk about our week at work and flirt a little… sometimes with each other.

After Kensington: Dinner consists of eating cereal on the couch… in shifts. One eats, the other one tries to put Kensington to bed. Then we select whatever show has been Tivo’d, and in the system for the last two month, and try to watch it over the screams from the angry baby in the nursery. One of us is asleep by 8:30. [side note… please don’t tell me who is winning on American Idol. We’re still watching the auditions. I’m kinda digging the new judge.]

“Let’s get out of the house.”

Before Kensington: Pack some things in a bag, grab the bare essentials and hit the open road. Where are we going? Who knows? Who Cares!!! We don’t need a stink’n destination, wherever we end up is good enough – D.C., Philly, Down the Shore, Connecticut, London for the weekend – where ever! No schedule, no timetable and no worries.

After Kensington: Um… and go where? What time is it? Hmmm, well we’ll have to make it a quick trip because she should take a nap in about an hour and she’ll never sleep if we break her schedule. So let’s pack the diaper bag. Bring a change of clothes. Wait, better make that two changes of clothes. Don’t forget the wipes and the extra diapers. Grab the camera. Wait… is the battery fully charged? Plug it in real quick. Did you bring the formula? And the bottle. Oh oh oh wait, we need the stroller too. Don’t forget her hat in case we end up outside. Oh, what about Duncan & Gossip? We need to take them too…. that means we can’t fit the stroller so we can’t go anywhere that requires us to get out of the car. Look at the time…it’s time for her nap. Let’s just forget it.

“Honey, we were invited to a party!”

Before Kensington: Our friends call, or sends an Evite, or even Facebook message to let us know there’s a soiree happening at so-and-so’s house. Whip up a dish of Hot Crab Artichoke Dip. Bring a change of clothes because you maybe staying in the guest room if it gets too late.

After Kensington: The Evite turns into a Winnie the Pooh card from other couples with kids. No one calls anymore because we’re too busy to ever answer our phone. The Cabernet Sauvignon has transformed into 16-oz of formula. The Hot Crab Artichoke Dip turns into chips and salsa. The only change of clothes we need is for Kensi, who will surely pick this opportunity to poop or pee her way through her onsie. We’ll never see another guest room again.

“I’m gonna take a quick shower.”

Before Kensington: Well, this one’s pretty self-explanatory If you wanted to perform the simple task of showering you just jumped in. End of story.

After Kensington: The only time we can shower is when we’re home together. Kensington cannot stand it when we go around the corner and she knows we’re in house. That means we have to bring her to the master bedroom while we shower, so we can hear her and she can hear us. Which also means we have to bring either the pack-n-play up or the bassinet, because if not she’ll roll herself off the bed, or if on the floor, roll under our bed – which is Gossip’s domain.

“Let’s watch some TV.”

Before Kensington: We were both HUGE television junkies. I start my mornings off with Matt, Meredith, Ann and Al… or if I woke up earlier than when they were on, I’d watch the shows that we’re on our upstairs Tivo unit. When we’d get home from work we’d watch Chelsea Lately, Private Practice, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, Fringe, Reaper, Heroes, Brothers and Sisters… and then we can’t forget the 12 reality shows that are recorded and watched religiously.

After Kensington: The morning lineup is drastically different - Baby Einstein. When we get home, it tummy time and giggles… that’s our reality.

“I’m on my way.”

Before Kensington: The phone would ring with someone asking me if I’d want to meet up with them. I’d pick up the jeans that are laying across the ironing board, throw on a top, two sprays of Banana Republics Slate cologne and run out the door.

After Kensington: I’d pick up the jeans that are laying across the ironing board, throw on a top, two sprays of Banana Republics Slate cologne and run to get Kensington ready. Steps following that are changing her diaper and giving her five ounces of formula, burping every two ounces. Once feed, it’s going through her closet to find an outfit that she 1) Hasn’t worn in two weeks, 2) Hasn’t worn in the presence of the same company (she is a lady) and 3) Is favorable to the weather forecast for the next couple of hours.

“Sleeping in.”

Before Kensington: 11 a.m. on a weekend.

After Kensington: Not applicable.

“I need to be pampered.”

Before Kensington: Chris and I would frequently go to the spa for a deep tissue or sports massage… an occasional facial, followed by a mani and petti.

After Kensington: With no time to actually schedule an appointment, for anything, we’ve been reduced to using the Neutrogena Wave as the only form of smoothing out the pores. As far as a massage, there is that house located a couple miles away that never has any business and a flickering neon “Open” sign that is lit 24/7. I may have to give it a try…

“How Do I Look?”

Before Kensington: One of us would be getting ready to go out and casually ask if this shirt looks good with these jeans… am I overdressed or under-dressed for the occasion. Do these shoes go with this top? Brown belt or black belt? “Yes” or “no” to the cuff links.

After Kensington: Can you see the spit up that I just wiped off my shoulder?

“So This Is What Life Is?”

Before Kensiginton: Spending time with each other, our friends and our family.

After Kensington: Loving someone like you could never have imagined.

Thanks to Aaron at DaddyFiles for his creative influence on this post.


Patricia in Princeton said...

You are an amazing writer. This from someone who is an amazing writer. I love your stories, admire your devotion, and hope you will turn your musings into a book. It will be a bestseller.

Patricia at Princeton

Michelle said...

I love your writing!

It's Daddies. Plural. said...

Thanks Patricia! Find me a publisher and lets make this happen :)

{ha ha ha... and Chris thought I was bad before, just wait to he's see's my book listed on Amazon)

Banteringblonde said...

How very true this is! i do have to say the shower thing gets easier and the spit up does eventually stop accessorizing every outfit!

john said... this post. I can so relate, but it gets worse, they get The invites stop then your friends start getting new friends that they talk about and you dont even know who they are (or Mark my words..

Andrew's Daddies said...

Oh Hell YES. And hell yes to John's comment!.
This totally changes you. But the interesting thing is, these things you did in the past did/does not define you. The little one in your you probably already realize, is what defines you..

Bella Daddy said...

Ah, the memories...welcome to DaddyDom!

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul, I don't get to post very often but this latest journal really made me laugh since hubby and I will be welcoming our little one in 6 weeks (eek!). Natasha Coleman

fabricpaper said...

Love this post, but makes me sad I don't know the knew Daddy versions of Chris and Paul like I know the former versions. Damn Grad school and jobs and trying to make a living.....promise to visit DC? please, I'm begging.

GayDad said...

Great post - and I can so relate! The whole getting ready to go somewhere routine is just exhausting, and "times two" with our twins. And then after getting them dressed, putting on their shoes 6 times because while you're putting on one boy's shoes, the other one takes his off, and after loading the diaper bag, making sure I don't look like a mess, and loading them into the car, somebody pooped and then it's back into the house! I tell people that when we say come over at 6 or we'll be there at six, add at least 45 minutes onto that estimate! But in the end, it's all worth it to experience parenthood and loving a child!