Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...

The Pain of Shopping with a Baby: And The Stomach Ache That Follows

Every once in a while your wife will need some well deserved time to herself. Not too much time, but enough to take the pressure off. These are the times when you should take your baby along and run some of the household errands that you can do on your own. For me, it's food shopping. I actually prefer to do this alone because I can wheel around the store and get it done in half the time if my wife, who hates this chore (and drags her heels), stays at home. Of course, it's a totally different experience with a baby in tow.

Yes, shopping with a baby can be painful for a number of reasons. Babies grab things off the shelves, drop things that you end up having to pay for, and/or cry the entire time you are in the store. This has not been my experience, but shopping with my daughter is painful none-the-less. Actually, my daughter is quite well behaved. She smiles as I race down the aisles, laughing and kicking her legs with excitement the whole time - and that's the problem. No, not the laughing: its the kicking. Now at an age where she can sit up in the cart, her kicking has only one trajectory - my testicles.

When you're racing around the store, a child's soft kicking, again and again, doesn't even register. But, the next day, when the pain kicks in, it's excruciating. So, if I may suggest a remedy, and you're a father, like me, who plans on helping his wife out by taking your baby on regular outings to the store alone...buy a cup, a strong one. Trust me, it will same you a world of hurt, and the embarrassment of having to tell a story like mine to your friends, or wife.

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