LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

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...

FATHER OF THE WEEK: DARTH VADER? WHAT?


Okay, so he's not a very good role model, but given time he came around and stepped up for his kid. Sure he helped put the galaxy under the control of a dictator only slightly less handsome than Manuel Noriega. Sure he sliced off his kid's hand with a light saber (but it cauterized really fast). Sure his naivety helped to kill his wife, put himself on life support (it's essentially what it is), and orphan his kids...but he's still an all around good guy... under that evil archetype exterior.

So here's to you Darth Vader (as voiced by James Earl Jones, brought to life by David Prowse, and unmasked to be british actor Sebastian Shaw- before Lucas Bastardized the original films by replacing Shaw's face with Hayden Christensen's) - for coming out of your twenty-something year coma and realizing that being a dad was more important than ruling the universe. Also, thank you for this heart warming scene, and the one that follows, as seeing as most of us never saw our Yuppy Dad's as they were too busy working, golfing, or shtupping the secretary, this is possibly the last fond memory many of us have of our childhood (as sad as that is) and possibly the best example of what a real father/son relationship should look like. It makes me want to cry, just looking at it... or, at the very least, kick some Imperial ass.

So here's to you, Darth "Lord" Vader, our 4th Father of the Week. May you rest in peace... unless George Lucas isn't finished ruining your legacy as yet. (All I can say is just be happy I didn't go the Chewbacca route and pull out that footage of the Star Wars/Wookie Family X-mas Special, circa 1979...whoops).

(And, Hayden Christensen, don't let anyone slag your acting...we all know that to play Mark Hamill's dad you had to play up the whin-y-ness. What am I saying? You're both horrible actors).

TRUE DAT: THE STRAIGHT FACTS ON FIRST-TIME FATHERHOOD

PART THREE: THE REALITY



Right. Part Three in our continuing series on the real deal regarding fatherhood. I promised to hold nothing back, and this installment is no exception. We've covered The Pregnancy (you survived). We've covered The Delivery (we almost lost you there when you saw the blood and the after birth... but you survived). Now it's time to cover what I like to call The Reality (i.e. YOU'RE A FREAKIN' FATHER!). Um, Nurse? Can we get an orderly to pick that dude up off the floor? I think he fainted...

# 3.  ALL WORK AND NO PLAY... THE FUN OF NEWBORNS

 

Well, your Mom warned you. Remember when she used to curse you by saying: "one day I'll get my revenge when you have a child just like you!?" Well, that day has come. And it doesn't really matter what your personality is, your Mom didn't need to add the words "just like you," as just cursing you with a child should have sufficed. No. I'm not saying a child is a curse. But what I am saying is your Mom's been waiting for the day when you finally realized the sacrifices she made as a parent, and what a soul-sucking, life draining ordeal it is to care for a newborn. Today is that day.

Lucky for you, I'm in a good mood. I'm on four hours of sleep a night for two months straight, my daughter has the stomach flu and either pukes and/or soils her diaper with diarrhea every hour on the hour, she fights me and my wife every time we try to give her liquids, and the whining and crying has been non-stop for two days. What does that mean to you? I'm not in the mood for bullsh@#. You want to know what it's like to care for a newborn - your own - 24/7? Brace yourself... you're in for a bumpy ride.



What's it like to care for a newborn? No different than caring for a toddler or a teenager, except for the fact that a newborn can't talk (which can be both a blessing and a curse). There's the crying, the wailing, the screaming, the crapping, the pissing, and the puking. There's the lack of sleep, the lack of sex, and the lack of any common sense on your part (according to your wife and all her friends). There's the loss of free time, loss of time to yourself and loss of self as your learn that your world is no longer about you and your needs but about the needs of your child and the needs of your wife to remind you of those needs and her own, ignoring yours entirely (for a few months anyway). There's the stress and the struggle of coming to terms with the fact that your life (and certain parts of your wife) will never be the same and you're about eight months past the point when you should have complained about it. The whole thing is alien to you, and staring at a useless blob that looks kinda like you is unnerving at first because you don't have the slightest clue who this person is, and, like any family member that comes to visit, you want to know what the hell he (or she) really wants from you. It's scary, and suffocating, and surreal to think that you, the guy that used to let his friends push him down hills made of asphalt in a shopping cart while high on the fumes of cooking spray, is now a father.



Caring for a newborn is thankless. You won't win any awards from your wife, or child for doing what needs to get done just to get through a regular day, but God forbid you wash one bottle improperly and you'll hear about it for months. Caring for a newborn is a competition; not an intentional one, but a competition none-the-less of who did what when and who deserves a break now. Caring for a newborn is complicated. It's like getting a superhero costume, but throwing the instructions away by mistake... and we all know how that turns out (see The Greatest American Hero). Caring for a newborn is tedious, and taxing, and ten times harder than caring for any dog you've ever had in your entire life. It's a roller coaster ride that turns into a hall of mirrors (my favorite one is the one that makes you look fat after only a few months) then a haunted house where you are guided around in the dark and asked to stick your hand in various containers holding one disgusting concoction after another.

Gross, hunh? Feeling woozy yet? I haven't even talked about babies with colic, or croup. I'm just talking about kids that sleep through the night, eat and poop regularly, and cry occasionally. It's not the babies that are the problem- you'll grow to love them- it's the schedule, and the sleep deprivation, and the stuff; all that stuff that goes with you everywhere and just gathers and gathers until one day...well, you have another kid and just get more STUFF. And what about the stuff the comes out of them... (sorry, I dry heaved in my mouth a bit)?

So what am I saying? Newborns are hard work. Work that neither you, nor any other father in history has been prepared for. But, like any job, if it's worth doing it's worth doing well. And the payoff? Well that's up to the individual to discover for himself. If you ask me, fathers (and yes mothers too) are under appreciated, but every once in a while, if the stars align, the world is a happy place.




Unless your daughter is sick with the stomach flu and your happy place turns into a diarrhea infused disaster...

Enjoy...




DADDY AND DYLAN GO TO THE ZOO: ONE MAN'S DECISION TO SPEND HIS BIRTHDAY INTRODUCING HIS DAUGHTER TO ALL OF GOD'S CREATURES... BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY THE STUPID FACES HUMANS MAKE IN THE PRESENCE OF ANIMALS... AND BABIES


Okay, it's my birthday today... 37, if I remember correctly (but, let's be honest, I'm more likely trying to forget it). And, in my opinion, birthdays past the age of 35, other than ones that fall on the tens (40, 50, 60, 70, 80...) aren't all that important. It's only a birthday. It's just another day- an increasing integer in an insipidly innocuous illusion formed in the imagination of one man (well, me). Having referred to my 35th birthday as my "half-life birthday" (much to my 70-year-old-stepfather's chagrin), you can imagine that I'm not really keen on counting down to the inevitable end- but that doesn't mean I won't milk it for an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins or some presents from family and friends. I am equal opportunity that way. There's nothing like presents and a plate of melted Rocky Road to remind you that you're expiring at a rate equal to that of a Twinkie and your best before date is rapidly approaching. But, that's why we have kids...

This year, when my wife asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, I could have said "all day sleep-in," what I really wanted, but instead I suggested we go to The Zoo. Why the Zoo? Well, there are many reasons for this: One, my 14-month-old daugther has never been to the zoo before and watching her reactions to all the colorful animals locked up in their enclosures, unable to do what nature intended (i.e. rounding up the stupid humans and picking them off like antelope) will do my heart good and make me feel like a carefree, uncaring kid again. Two, it will be nice to witness other animals, especially those with much shorter life expectancies than my own, struggling to come to terms with their existence, as I ignore the fact that I am a member of the only species on the planet that can actually do this. And three, I like the smell of manure in the morning. It reminds me of nature, and the earth, and being under the earth, and the possibility that if someone waited long enough I would be able to power the (jet propelled) engines of 1,000,002, 992 A.D, like the dinosaurs have so kindly done for my generation. It just sounded like an all around good idea.

So, with my the wise words of my eldest brother still floating in my head ("After the age of 35 the only people that care about your birthday are your wife and kids, and that's the way it should be") I am going to spend my birthday, my 37th, with the two girls in the world I love most (my wife and daughter), my favorite primate (pronounced Or-ang-U-tan; no "G" at the end), a Happy Meal, and a camel-toed dromedary that would probably pay as much to get me off of it as I paid to get on it (no, not a prostitute with a humpback... unless they have those at the zoo, and my wife has money left over to spend on my birthday). And that's just fine by me. I'll most likely fall asleep on the mono-rail between the Arachnid and America's pavilions anyway... But I can't think of a better way to spend my birthday -  me and "the kid" looking down on all of god's other creatures while my wife gets it all on film for posterity's sake. Jim Fowler and Marlin Perkins would be so proud...

This will be our theme song for the day...



...once it's in your head, you'll be screwed like me. And, if that doesn't prove I'm old, nothing else will... except maybe this...


Yes Dylan. There were cartoons in Daddy's day too... they  just had actual stories and didn't try to brainwash you into buying toys.... Wait a minute? Why was Papa Smurf drinking that can of Coke while chewing a whole pack of Hubba Bubba? I feel so used...

Note: We never actually made it to the zoo. We were rained out. There's always next year.

TRUE DAT: THE STRAIGHT FACTS ON FIRST-TIME FATHERHOOD- PART II: THE DELIVERY PROCESS



"That's not how they look on TV?"
And so it begins...

In Part I we covered the truth behind pregnancy and the low down on the kind of demands (both of your time, and your soul) that you can expect from a pregnant wife.  This week we move on to our next topic:

 PART TWO: THE DELIVERY PROCESS 

"D-DAY" - WHERE BOYS BECOME MEN


There is nothing more nerve wracking than having your first child- other than your wedding speech, or the day you signed to get your first home loan, or that drive you took back to school in 98' with those two guys who just took two hits of acid. But I think the birth of your child ranks up there at number one, both as the scariest moment of your life, and by far the most amazing. It will also be the day where nothing you say or do will come out or off right. And I mean nothing...

Try not to do or say anything that will  make your wife hate you any more than she already does. Her discomfort will quickly become yours. If she asks you for ice chips- do it! If she asks you for another pillow- get it! If she says to hold her hand, do it, but know this: it won't ever come back looking the same. And, for God's sake, don't even think about suggesting a quickie to help along the birthing process (two words: John Bobbitt). Sit in your chair, do as your told (by everyone who enters the room), say as little as possible and watch the monitor. Do not move unless you want your wife to give you the look of death to end all looks of death. Sorry pal. If she ain't getting a coffee, neither are you.

" Um, where do you think you're going, Mister...?"


 Nope. Assume the position - right next to your wife. Comfort her. Rub her back. Stroke her hair. But don't do it for too long in one spot if your know what's good for you (women hate that). Ask her once if she's okay, then back the hell off unless you want to get the tongue lashing of a lifetime. Wait patiently like a good soldier until the moment for greatness arrives... then fail miserably.

The birth of your child could take hours, but more likely it will be over in a few seconds- a few crucial seconds where everything you say and do will be mentally recorded and replayed, again and again, by your wife for all of your days. ALL OF YOUR DAYS.

Remember these questions: "Did you see the baby being born? Did you cry? Did you cut the umbilical cord? Did you touch that nurses ass? Did you see his eyes? Were they blue? How many fingers and toes? Who does he look like?" The answers to all these questions should be yes (except # 4 and # 8- where you should just flat out lie- "No, I didn't touch that nurses ass... and she looks just like you... the baby.")

Finally, you will have that bundle of joy you've been waiting for. No more pregnancy. No more doctor's appointments, or delivery rooms, and most importantly no more waiting. The day has arrived! You have a healthy baby boy or girl....Now what? Well, we'll get to that. For now, enjoy your kid and the conversation you're about to have with your wife about how insensitive you must be to not even shed a single tear over the birth of your child, when your cousin Melvin blubbered like a baby.

Serenity now! Serenity Now!



Oh, and remember to tell your wife how proud you are of her. Without her, and that Easy Bake Oven of hers, none of this would be possible.

(To be continued...)


NO YOU DIDN'T?: THE BATTLE FOR WHO GETS TO CLAIM DOMESTIC SUPREMACY- MOM OR DAD?


"SURVEY SAYS..."
As if I haven't had to defend myself before when it comes to my abilities (or capabilities, as the case may be) of "parenting" my child, someone had to come up with a study to slam me and my fellow first-time fathers, yet again. Well, www.cozi.com (enjoy your shout out from me because it will be your last) you have your numbers (separated in two columns - pink and blue- just to show how outdated your world views are) and I have mine.

So, for the folks at home, here's what you (cozi.com) came up with...

http://www.cozi.com/live-simply/who-works-harder-mom-or-dad


And, here's the truth...

Unless you physically went to each and every one of these people's houses (proper english? don't know? don't care), you don't know jack! My wife can "claim" all she wants that she out-parents me (not that it should be a competition), but it doesn't mean it's (always) true. Hell, for all you know, your wife "claimed" she only slept with 3 people before you met her, but somehow, when the Jerry Macguire-esqe bachelorette video surfaced, those numbers were closer to 13 or 30. So if a woman can lie about the number of sexual partner's she's had, under-valuing the actual number, what's to stop her from over-valuing the number of loads of laundry she does on a weekly basis to skew a survey in her favor. Not much.

So, c'mon guys, let's hear from you... Tell us who really does the cooking, and the laundry, and the home repair, and the shovelling, and the mowing, and the dirty deed of cleaning up the dog doo from the backyard. What are the numbers really like in YOUR house?

(Comment Below)

TRUE DAT: THE STRAIGHT FACTS ON FIRST-TIME FATHERHOOD- PART ONE: CONCEPTION

"If he only knew what he was in for..."
Any guy who had the nickname of "Pee Wee" in high school can tell you: women talk. Unfortunately for first-time dads, men don't. It's just the way it is. Women talk about their day, and their feelings, and their children. Men talk about sports, and finance, and gambling, but everything else (like their favorite porn sites) they keep to themselves.  Why? Well, we don't like to talk about our feelings. We don't like to share (unless there's the possibility for a threesome... with another woman). And, our competitive nature ensures that we'll never divulge our trade secrets to a rookie.

I have two older brother's with kids. Do you think either one of them gave me any constructive commentary on what it was like to be a first-time father? Hell no. All I ever got was a whole lot of "you'll see" and "enjoy the life you have now while you can." It's just the nature of the beast- men don't talk (too much) about parenting.

Well, I want to change all of that. Men can talk about feelings, as long as those feelings are anger and bitterness, and irritation toward their wives. And when it comes to our kids, we can talk about our "boldness," our "daring" and our "bravery" at the prospect of becoming a dad, just so long as we never use the words sensitive or loving in our conversations. So, let's give it a try...

Here is a list of all the things you need to know as you become a first-time father; from one dude to another:

PART ONE: CONCEPTION (i.e. Pregnant wives suck):

I don't care if your wife is the kind who "loves" (cough... "bullsh@#t") being pregnant or hates it, having a pregnant wife sucks from the moment she takes that pee-on-a-stick fertility test to the moment the doctor yanks your child from her loins. She hates it, and because of that so will you.

Don't buy in to that crap your buddy tells you about how awesome pregnancy is and how cool it is to feel the baby moving around in there- it is, but it's the one (and only) highlight he can think of amongst the sea of b.s. he has to put up with on a daily basis ("Rub my feet!" "Go to the store!" "Help me get to the refrigerator so I can see what's in it so you can make me a platter and bring it to me on the couch!")

It's never-ending. And, yes, you're not the one who has to undergo the hormonal and "girth" changes that your wife must endure, but you're also (most likely) not the one who suggested having a kid (at this particular time in your life) in the first place. Because, let's be honest: IT NEVER WORKS THAT WAY (sorry sweetie, love you). But, if you want to survive to see the birth of your child, I wouldn't ever say that (oh crap). Instead, say "yes dear" (a lot), keep your head down, do everything that she asks (within reason), call reinforcements whenever possible (" Hi, Mom? She's foaming at the mouth again...Can you come over?"), sign up for as many sports as you can play (to get the hell out of the house), and if you have a water bed wear a helmet whenever you get in first (think about it).

Nine months doesn't seem like a long time, but when Jabba the Hut has that chain wrapped around your neck it's gonna feel like a millenia (nice gold bikini, dude). Just grin and bare it. Remember why you married your wife. Remember your love. Remember the girl who stole your heart, and remind yourself that that person was engulfed by the woman that now lays sprawled out on the couch, drooling over a king-size pizza. She will be returned back to you... kinda (have you ever seen the movie The Fly when the monkey's DNA gets all messed up...? Um, yeah). Until then, enjoy your kid, because the only thing more demanding than a pregnant woman is one that has just given birth.

Sucker!

Welcome to fatherhood...



To Be Continued...

FIRST "NOT-SO-STUPID" STUDY OF THE WEEK: GAP IN SUPPORT FOR NEW DADS

 

http://www.fira.ca/article.php?id=136


 FIRA (Father Involvement Research Alliance) is a great resource for new and expectant dads. With interesting articles and up to date stats specifically relating to fatherhood, the FIRA website is a one stop shop for all questions first-time father-related. This article merely points out that there is a resource gap for first-time dads in the postpartum period after the birth of a child. Apparently, after pre-natal classes and play groups, there's no where for a dad to turn for information on what to do regarding the raising of his child. I'd call it a stupid study except for the fact that they're actually looking at ways to fix the problem, and that's something I can get behind. As fathers, we all should. 





FOLLOW UP: WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' LULLABIES.... PART DEUX


Here's some more classic rock songs you can use to sing your bawling baby to bed:

"I'd Love to Change the World" (Ten Years After, 1971, from the album 'A Space in Time')

Let's face it, now that you have kids, you don't really have the time to be an idealist. Your days of being a force for change are over- unless you've decided to switch your breakfast cereal from Froot Loops to Mini Wheats. This song rocks, and the message is clear - you're too old to change so why not teach your kids to do your dirty work. Works for me. (Does that include snow shoveling?)

"Watching the Wheels" (John Lennon, 1981, from the album 'Double Fantasy')

Lennon's answer to those who didn't understand his "househusband" years, this song is perfect for any dad  stuck home on a Saturday night (like I am right now) keeping an eye on his kid.

"It Ain't Me Babe" (Bob Dylan, 1964, from the album 'Another Side of Bob Dylan')

With too many covers to mention, this Bob classic is an old standby- used to convince women the world over that you aren't worth having. It comes in real handy when it's time to change your daughter's diaper too...

"What is Life" (George Harrison, 1970, from the Album "All Things Must Pass").

Just a fun song to sing to the kid if he or she is in a playful mood.

"All Day and All of the Night" (The Kinks, 1964, Single)

For dads with daughters, this song may not get your little girl to sleep but it will hopefully undo all the damage from all the Back Street Boys your wife sings in the car. 

If you have some songs of your own that you'd like to add, just make a comment (below). We always like to hear from you.  


FATHER OF THE WEEK: DAD HAS THE 'MAGIC' TOUCH

It's not every day that you find yourself having to deliver your own baby. But that's the situation Marc Stephens found himself in when his wife went into early labour in April 2009. How did he do it? "I spent about half a hour on Google and watched a couple of videos on YouTube...," he says.


WHAT???? Why the hell weren't you watching porn like every other self-respecting dad-to-be?


Here's more on the story:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/apr/30/father-delivers-baby-youtube-clips


Now, maybe you didn't catch what his wife had to say...


" I was quite relaxed. I have to say, out of all my four labours, that was the one I enjoyed the most. Marc is one of those people who can put his hand to anything."


Okay? Anything, except my hand that is. No handshake on this one, just a salute from a safe distance... and possibly a travel size bottle of Purell.


Here's to Marc Stephens, our Father of the Week.


And here's a video so you too can cut out the middle man and deliver your own child- minus all the blood and gore...( it's a dummy).




Ya, I'm sure my reaction was the same as yours...







JUST MY IMAGINATION: THE FINE LINE BETWEEN "IMAGINARY" FRIEND AND POSSIBLE POLTERGEIST


Maybe I watch too many horror films, but when your 14-month-old ignores her favorite TV show and all of her toys choosing to instead sit in front of a bookshelf repeating "Hi Rory" as she smiles and waves at nothing but books, it's a little unnerving. Sure, it's not like she was staring at the snow on a blank TV screen (ala Poltergeist, 1982) but it's still a little odd, especially when you consider she wasn't addressing a photo, or a stuffed animal or even a picture on the cover of a children's book. She was staring at a row of dictionary spines with words she couldn't possibly read (obviously).

This was just the other day. So I threw my wife, who seemed unfazed by it, a questioning look. "Oh, she's been doing that all week," she said. "It's perfectly normal." "Is it?" I said, and proceeded to call the city to make sure our house wasn't built on some sacred Indian burial ground. Is it normal for a child (barely old enough to string two words together) to pull a name out of thin air and use it to converse with a friend she conjured up out of nothing? Of course it is. Kids do it every day. But at 14-months of age? I looked it up on-line and had a hard time finding reference of children with imaginary friends under the age of 18 months. In fact, most of the research I read suggested imaginary friends most often appear between two and four years of age. So my initial reaction stands: am I dealing with an imaginary friend, or something else entirely?

According to experts, imaginary friends are perfectly normal amongst first born children and early talkers. In fact, in most instances, if your kid has an imaginary friend, he's bright (i.e. he's smart enough to have created a scapegoat for whenever he does something wrong). And, it's true that my daughter is both a first born child and an early talker, but she's not old enough to need a back up plan??? So until somebody tells me differently, I'm either going to call her Sybil (click name for pop culture reference) or assume that she's talking to a relative of Casper the Ghost that I can't see. I've asked my mother, my wife, my daughter's daycare provider, almost everybody she's ever come in contact with if they've ever tried to teach my daughter a name that even remotely resembles "Rory," and the answer is a resounding no. Hell, even the women at daycare thought it could be a ghost! MY DAUGHTER SEES DEAD PEOPLE! Great...

So I'm gonna keep researching this, but the first time she utters "RED RUM" on the change table, we're moving. I've got enough mouths to feed.

Here's more on Imaginary Friends, Babies and Poltergeists, and Schizophrenia in Babies. I watch Fringe- anything is possible!

Links:


Poltergeists:


http://www.yourghoststories.com/real-ghost-story.php?story=8064
http://ghoststudy.com/new8/studies/children.htm
http://www.circleofmoms.com/debating-mums/do-babies-see-spirits-ghosts-angels-336731

Schizophrenia:
http://www.emaxhealth.com/1275/early-signs-schizophrenia-infant-brains
http://www.mentalhealth.com/mag1/p5h-sc24.html
http://www.schizophrenic.com/content/%5Btermpath-raw%5D/detecting-schizophrenia-risk-infants
http://www.futurity.org/health-medicine/signs-of-schizophrenia-appear-in-infancy/

Imaginary Friends:
http://www.ivillage.com/should-you-worry-about-your-childs-imaginary-friend/6-n-146009
http://www.mrdad.com/qa/toddler/imaginary-friends.html
http://wondertime.go.com/learning/article/imaginary-friends.html
http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/2816/why-kids-with-imaginary-friends-develop-faster
http://www.familyresource.com/parenting/character-development/imaginary-friends-should-you-be-concerned
http://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-normal-for-my-toddler-to-have-an-imaginary-friend_11537.bc

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Link @ https://twitter.com/#!/Fodder4Fathers, or by clicking the Twitter button at the top (or bottom) of the page.

Once again, thanks for your support...

Fodder 4 Fathers



I SEE BOOBIES!: BREASTFEEDING AND THE ARGUMENT FOR FORM OVER FUNCTION

I know I'm gonna take some flack over this one, but here goes....

Remember when you were first dating your wife? Those first few dates when all you could really focus on was what she looked like naked? You know what I'm talking about - those first few dates where she'd flash you some cleavage and about a half inch of her black lace, see-through bra and it drove you nuts with anticipation. She knew what you wanted to see, but she made you work for it: the date planning, the late-night calling, the wooing- it was all part of her master plan. She saw your eyes, even if you weren't even remotely looking at her own, and knew exactly the kind of man you were. There's no legs or thighs in your bucket of chicken- you're a breast man all the way. And there is nothing you enjoyed more than the 'big reveal' of seeing your wife's breasts for the first time... except for seeing your buddy's wife's breasts every time she whips them out to feed her baby!

We're men ladies. We're not mature adults. From the day you started dating our buddy we've been wondering what you've been hiding under your sweater. It's what we were designed to do. Funny thing is, you made him wait three weeks to catch a glimpse of your marvelous mounds of well-formed flesh. All I had to do was bring a gift to the hospital. It's shocking! "Here's your gift" BAM!...free peep show. And I'm talking full breast and 90 % areola (once you get a good angle around that bald baby's head). I don't even think you get to see that much exposed skin at some U.S. strip joints (not that I've ever been).

When do women make this 'switch?' One day you're making your future husband work for a mere glimpse of your mammary glands, then you have a kid and suddenly you're giving free admission to any guy in the food court at the local mall. Oh, you think no one's watching when you whip out that five pound jug of milk, or 'breast' if you prefer, and softly suction (or 'latch') your baby's mouth to it, but you're wrong- dead wrong. Not only is every guy in the room staring at you, but each is having one of only two possible reactions: he's either turned on by it or equally as turned off by it. There's no happy medium. One guy's watching you like he just unscrambled the playboy channel, while the next guy is watching you like you're some African Gorilla on the Nature Channel feeding your baby and flinging green sh@# at the camera. But they're watching. And you're poor husband, "the Protector" in nature, is watching them and their peering eyes, knowing that he got the raw end of the deal.

Hey. I'm not against breast feeding. To the contrary, I'm all for it. I like how it takes even the most modest of modern feminists and turns them into Zulu Warrior women from the pages of National Geographic. If you want to sit in a restaurant with a baby hanging from your breast, I've got no problem with it, as long as you're not my wife, and you don't mind the old-guy sitting next to me, and every other guy in the restaurant, leering at you. We can't help it! Your breasts were designed to feed babies. Our eyes were designed to find breasts that can feed babies. In our modern society, with our laws (both spoken and unspoken), the two kind of work against each other. But, you'll never hear me complaining about it.

Frankly, I'm upset that more women aren't able to breast feed, or for that matter don't want to. No, not so I can stare, but so my wife won't be the only one in the restaurant being leered at. And dude, don't tell me you're "just admiring what a cute baby I have;" I used that on some other dude's wife last week. You're admiring the gi-normousness (not a word) of my wife's breasts, and all I can say is, thank god they won't be recognizable to me, or you, in a year from now. It was just a dream. A large, double-breasted, milk filled dream that had to end (until the birth of my next child at least).

Anyway, whichever way you 'look' at it, breast feeding is a wonderful thing. Every woman should look into giving it a try. Both the Breast Feeding Committee of Canada, The Infant Feeding Action Coalition, and myself (possibly for different reasons though) agree - breast feeding is the way to go. Take my word for it - it's fun for the whole family.



Disclaimer: Although I have made light of the topic above, breast feeding is a serious topic parents need to discuss before the birth of a child. Consult your doctor for more information or check out these links and decide if breast feeding appeals to you... as a couple:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_breastfeeding
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/family-and-relationships/why-arent-more-women-breastfeeding/article1636178/
http://sanevax.org/blog/?p=2763

http://books.google.ca/books?id=Qt4QYzrGyvMC&pg=PA117&lpg=PA117&dq=proponents+of+breastfeeding&source=bl&ots=7laOqBfCKB&sig=ofuagLn9EVbqdrCV9RwsjfQkWr0&hl=en&ei=lLPFTYncDuHe0QGduuX_Bw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CEUQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=proponents%20of%20breastfeeding&f=false

http://www.thelaboroflove.com/articles/feeding-baby-breast-or-bottle
http://www.healthwellnessdigest.com/how-to-not-get-embroiled-in-the-breastfeeding-debate/
http://www.safekids.co.uk/BreastVsBottleFeeding.html
http://www.breastfeeding.com/advocacy/advocacy_bfinpublic.html



OH MOTHER... THREE MORE DAYS 'TIL MOTHER'S DAY: A FOLLOW UP REPORT


For the last few days my wife has been reading me off one email after another wishing her luck with her Mother's Day gift this year. Women are walking up to her on the street, shaking their heads, giving her hugs and saying: "I'm sorry. Maybe this is the year he gets you what you deserve."  Well, I'm proud to say that this year I am well ahead of the curve...thank-you very much.

Dylan (my 14-month-old daughter) and I were at the mall this evening picking my lovely wife up a few gifts that we hope (fingers crossed) will more than make up for the fiasco from last year. However, if she doesn't "like" (as in please "like"our Facebook page) what we got, my one trump card is I didn't pick out a single thing- I let my daughter choose everything, from the card to the wrapping paper.

So, see if you can yell at me now! Uh-hunh.

And, there you have it. You are now all updated.You no longer have to console my wife on the street, or in the grocery store, or the nail salon, or the  park. I got it covered. It's all been 'handled.'

Wait? What's the date? May 6th? Damn!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! Sorry I didn't get you a present.... My wife was so preoccupied with Mother's Day that she forgot to remind me.


Oh sh@#... your Mother's Day present??? Um. Ya....

Can I make it up to you next year?

(Kill me now).


Just a friendly reminder not to forget to buy your wife a Mother's Day present... or else!

FATHER OF THE WEEK: AUSSIE 'SUPER DAD' SHIELDS INFANT SON FROM SPEEDING SEDAN


The footage is shocking. One minute you're taking a leisurely stroll with your parents and four-month-old son. The next minute, this happens...


Congratulations to Andrew Leitch of Penrith, Australia, our Father of the Week. Not only did you save your infant son Hayden from certain death, but you lived to tell the tale. You are a true Super Hero.


Fodder 4 Fathers



More on this story from May, 2010...
 "Shocking Car Crash Footage Shows Father Taking Full Impact to Save Baby"
 "Hero Dad Saves Baby Son as Car Smashes into Them"   
"A Father Saves his Child in an Accident in Australia"


WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' LULLABIES: ROCKIN' YOUR BABY TO SLEEP - DAD STYLE


I've never been a lullaby kind of guy. I don't know about you, but I've always been of the mindset that a baby should add to your life, not take it over completely. And there are times when I can stomach nursery rhymes and lullabies- for the good of my daughter- but there are other times when I want to punch each and every one of The Wiggles in the face. I'm sure even The Wiggles get sick of The Wiggles, and if they had their druthers they would much prefer to rock out. So when it comes time to sing my daughter to sleep, I don't sing her "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," I sing her some Skynyrd ("Tuesday's Gone") or some Springsteen ("Thunder Road").

Let my wife play all the Justin Beiber she wants in her car- when Daddy has the baby it's classic rock all the way. So say goodbye to "Rock a' Bye Baby," and "Hush Little Baby (Don't You Cry)," and say hello to a play list sure to send even the most raucous rug rat to bed mumbling the chorus to your favorite song from the 60's, 70's, 80's, and even the 90's. We're "rockin'" baby to sleep...daddy style.

Here's my list of the twelve best song's that you can sing to soothe your kid off to sleep (in no particular order):

note: click song title for video...

"Forever Young" (Bob Dylan, 1974, from the album 'Planet Waves')

Every Daddy should do some Dylan. This song, written as a blessing from a parent to a child, has the perfect melodic quality, and length, to put a baby to sleep in no time. But, if you want to ensure slumber, and actually teach your kid some words, impersonate a cover version of the song... As we all know, Bob's voice takes some getting used to and who the f@# knows what he's singing about?

"The Sound of Silence" (Simon and Garfunkel, remastered single, 1965)

If what you desire is silence from your screaming child, this is a no-brainer.

"Where did You Sleep Last Night" (a.k.a. "In the Pines" and "Black Girl," this is an American folk song dating back to the 1870s. This version by Nirvana is a reinterpretation of Lead Belly's 1944 version of the song. It was  recorded for MTV Unplugged  in 1993)

If you have a daughter, why not get her used to you asking her where the hell she's been long before her teen years? This song is amazing, and even the most tenacious of tearing toddlers will stop dead in their tracks to hear it.

"I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" (Jim Croce, 1973, from the album 'I Got a Name')

Okay, so it's folk rock, but it's no worse or better than Puff the Magic Dragon, and it's got a great sentiment. Sue me.

"In My Life" (The Beatles, 1965, from the album 'Rubber Soul')

Forget "Ob-la-di-ob-la-da" and "Yellow Submarine". If you want to put your kid to bed with a Beatles' Song, don't wuss out and go for the one with the high notes.

(Note: I've included a cover by Jason Mraz [click his name to play] to appease my wife and sister-in-laws... See?!! He even sucks when he sings other people's songs).

"You Better You Bet" (The Who, 1981, from the album 'Face Dances')

Here's a great interactive song for father and child. Get instant satisfaction when your kid sings the chorus back to you as he or she drifts off the dreamland.

"Babe" (Styx, 1979, from the album 'Corner Stone')

C'mon, you know the words to this one. Any kid trapped in his mom's station wagon in the early eighties while she left you in the car to go and buy smokes has been haunted by this song. They played it on the radio every two minutes in 1982 for three straight months. Now you get to pass it on to another generation, so it lives on and on and on... Why should we be the only ones who had to suffer?

"Better Man" (Pearl Jam, 1994, from the album 'Vitalogy')

When you're looking down at your little girl wailing in her crib because like a moron you wanted to check on her at two a.m., this is the song to keep in your back pocket. Let her know you're probably not the best man for the job, but you're all she's got, and maybe she'll cut you some slack and pass out in your arms.

"No Woman, No Cry" (Bob Marley and the Wailers, Live 1979)

As Bob says in the accompanying video (click the song), "Everybody has the answer," and hopefully, as your last resort; this song is the answer to your prayers when you're trying to get your future rabble-rouser to sleep. Just insert little Timmy or Tammy's names in place of the word "Woman" and you'll lull them off to sweet dreams... Then you can sneak out to the garage and appreciate the song in your own "unique" way.

"Midnight Special" (Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1969, from the album 'Willy and the Poor Boys')

This traditional folk song, recorded many times over, was popular with many an inmate in the American South in the early 1900's hoping to take his own life to avoid a lifetime of incarceration. With its reference to a hand gun that could quickly put you out of your misery, I thought it fitting for fathers trying to get a wailing kid to bed. So when you're screaming "Just shoot me," play this song in your own head to keep your sanity. It helps.

"No Surrender"  (Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, 1984, Live Boxset)

If you can capture the feel of the live version of this song, it's the equivalent of falling asleep in the great outdoors, next to a campfire, eating s'mores. This is a personal favorite... but the album version sucks, so don't even go there. If you're a father with a kid that refuses to go to bed, this is your anthem.

"My Way" (Sid Vicious version, 1978)

Ya, it starts off a bit slow, but once you speed it up, and get your Sid snarl on, you'll be rocking your kid like a rag doll to the beat. Trust me, when all else fails, protect your kid's neck from whiplash and get your punk on. Mosh it up, and this song will tire out the whole family in mere minutes. 


There you have it. And in the words of AC/DC: "For those about to rock...We SALUTE you!"; or, at the very least, we hope your kid goes to sleep before 6 a.m.

Bin' there. Done that.

THAT'S BRILLIANT: FODDER 4 FATHER'S NEW PRODUCT PICK OF THE WEEK


I thought I'd try something new here, as I'm always being introduced to new products or services from more experienced Moms and Dads. Sometimes it's a product for dads. Sometimes it's for moms or babies. And more often than not it's a product for dads to buy mom, or babies, just to get a little piece of mind (or some peace and quiet). You already know how I feel about the Slap Chop. Well here's another product I would like to suggest, but this time for it's strictly for "The Wife."

As the old saying goes: "Happy wife. Happy life." But when you're wife's trying to shed that excess baby weight and none of her clothes fit her, and she constantly complains that walking is uncomfortable because her thighs keep rubbing together, you better either hide out in the basement or help her find a way to get back to her old self.  Introducing Thigh Society, a unique underwear/short that prevents inner thighs from rubbing together. It's the perfect solution for what the owner/creator calls "chub rub," an affliction affecting millions of women; including your wife. These shorts are super soft, light, stretchy, ultra-comfortable, won't pinch, and leave no visible panty lines (so I'm told). They are also chafe resistant (damn friction), so you won't have to follow your wife on her weekend walks with a fire extinguisher. Perfect for running errands, light walks, and carting around the baby, Thigh Society is what every New Mom needs to help her get up and go. 

Pre-shrunk and machine washable, these shorts (available in white, black and beige) make the perfect gift for the first-time mom trying to get her body back (and the first-time dad trying to get back in to her good graces). Hey, if you want to send your wife outside in a tight, constricting pair of bicycle shorts, be my guest. But if you want to give your wife the comfort and confidence she deserves while showing your pride and joy off to the world, there’s only one choice – Thigh Society.

Thigh Society shorts can be worn under skirts, dresses, shorts, pants and even all those t-shirts your wife stole from you, claiming: "But they’re comfortable.” Great for walks, the playground, the mall, around the house and around the world, Thigh Society is nothing short of sheer brilliance. 

Buy a pair for your wife today and before you know it she’ll be shedding the pounds...and thanking YOU for it. And hey, while she's out with the baby you'll finally be able to take that nap you're been daydreaming about. Nice!

Sounds like a brilliant idea to me?

Thanks Thigh Society


 No need to thank me... but you will.

 Thigh Society can also be found on facebook.

Disclaimer: Fodder 4 Fathers does not endorse this product for male usage. And if you are caught by your wife trying on her undergarments, you're on your own (but send me a picture so I can post it). Also, this product is called Thigh Society, not to be confused with High Society, an adult men's magazine which I have never, uh, read.

**With walking in mind, here are some related products or services you may also want to look in to for your wife:



 

MOTHER F@#*%ER - IT'S MOTHER'S DAY ALREADY? AGAIN???? F@#K!!!!!

As some of you may already know, I have a terrible track record when it comes to buying gifts for my wife. Let me rephrase that: I'm terrible at buying gifts for holidays that I deem to be b.s.- like Valentine's Day and, more specifically, Mother's Day. I'll give her Christmas, her birthday, and our anniversary, but I draw the line at holiday's created by big business to increase the bottom line (again, I'll let Christmas slide because it's for the big kid in all of us). Nothing bugs me more than being told that I have to do something nice for my wife just because the calendar says so. These holidays put both husbands and fathers between a rock and a hard place, and every flower shop, card store, jeweller and chocolatier knows it. And it angers me. I have a mother. I buy her flowers. I do my duty. Why do I have to buy a Mother's Day gift for my wife? Is it not my kid's responsibility to buy a mother's day gift? Is it my fault she's only 13-months-old?

Having said that, I do like to sleep in my own bed. And, although my contrary nature incites me to "fight the system," from time to time, my need to avoid frivolous philosophical arguments with my wife trumps that. And, if I wasn't such a procrastinator, I'd probably get my wife the kind of gift she'd like, but when you combine my hatred of these holidays with my half-assed approach to shopping for gifts, it creates some problems.

Case in point: last year my wife gave me three months warning that a mother's first "Mother's Day" was the most important. I could screw up all the Mother's day's for the rest of her life, she said, but if I screwed up this one, I was dead meat. I had ideas. I had plans. I had good intentions, but, of course, I left everything until the last minute. I can blame it on the baby and tell you that it's hard to find the time to shop with an infant at home, but we all know if I made mere mention that I was going to buy my wife her Mother's Day "award" she would have given me the entire weekend to shop for it... night and day... whatever it took. Instead I decided to wait until she was going to the mall with her dad and her sister to shop for a gift for her mom and asked if I could tag along. Did I mention this was the day before Mother's Day? Ya. Bad idea.

Looking back on it, I should have done things a little differently. For one, showing up at a mall with your wife the day before Mother's Day tells her two things: 1) You haven't gotten her a gift yet, and 2) you have no idea what you're going to get her. So I split up from my angry wife, her dad and her sister, took the baby and went in search of the perfect gift.

I hit the card store- there was a line-up out the door. I stood in line at the engravers, but the woman at the front of the line was taking too long to get the right words out that I left in utter frustration. I found a small gift at the photo shop, but it was just a teaser, and I knew it wouldn't go over well without a bigger, better, gift to accompany it. I scoured the mall, but every where I turned there was a line-up. Mac, Coach, you name it, all the stores that could have saved my sorry ass were filled to the brim with other schmucks with the exact same plan as mine, except they were smart enough to get an early start on the day. Some stores I could have squeezed into had I not had the baby and her massive stroller in tow. It was fruitless. It was hopeless, but I couldn't return home empty handed- I had to at least try. And there it was... a certain body and bath store that will remain unnamed; the only store with aisles wide enough for both my sorry ass and my little girl's big ass stroller. There were soaps, and aroma therapy oils, loofah, and creams. It was a sea of choices, not the right ones, but what else was I to do? I figured a hundred dollars worth of something was better than a whole lot of nothing. Boy, was I wrong.



I hid my purchases beneath the stroller and made my way back to my wife. With an evil eye, she stared me up and down. "How did it go?," she asked."Did you get me something I'll like?" I said: "Define like?"

Needless to say, the next morning was extremely uncomfortable for me. There was yelling, and screaming, and stuff being thrown at the walls... and that was just the baby. My wife, opening her gift of measly bath oils and bubble bath salts was none too pleased. She pointed at me, her finger trembling with anger, and said: "If you love me, you will make this right. You will not ruin my first Mother's Day! You will not!" Apparently, I had her all wrong. My wife wasn't after anything expensive. She wanted something from the heart. For a quarter of the hundred bucks I spent in soaps, she said, I could have just as easily bought a nice frame and filled it with a Sears portrait of me and my daughter. I could have painted a picture with my then three-month old's help, framed it, and she would have been happy (until the next day when she found out what her friends got, of course).

So, I did the only thing I could think of... I went to the balloon store, bought about twenty helium filled balloons that read: "I love you. Happy Mother's Day," and hoped for the best.

Now, it didn't get me out of the doghouse, although it softened her own heart, a tad. But, she forgave me, and said: "There's always next year. Hopefully, you've learned your lesson?" Only time will tell - seven days and counting to be exact. So if you're like me and you'll be out shopping for the Mother's Day present to end all Mother's Day presents this weekend, save me a place in line... I might be a little late.

Happy Mother's Day from Fodder 4 Fathers!

Mothers, may you get what you deserve (or was it want? I get confused).


For the guys:  Here's a rather extensive list of the gift's your wife won't be accepting this year:

http://www.redheadranting.com/top-five-worst-mothers-day-gifts/

http://www.smosh.com/smosh-pit/lists/16-worst-mothers-day-gifts-ever

http://duluth.patch.com/articles/the-top-5-best-and-worst-mothers-day-gifts

http://www.sermoncentral.com/videos/video-illustration-countdown-worst-mothers-day-gifts-ever-beamer-films-relationships-parenting-family-3898.asp


As far as good ones go... who are we kidding? I can't help you.






STUPID STUDY OF THE WEEK

Here we go again...

The First-Time Fathers Study: a prospective study of the mental health and wellbeing of men during the transition to parenthood.

Imagine, proposing that new fathers would have feelings of distress from the sixth month of their wife's pregnancy until at least one year after the birth of their first child. Go figure. Did we need a study to tell us that? Uh, no! Where do they get the funding for this crap? I certainly hope it's not taxpayer's money.

The only interesting thing I can say about it is that it confirms "sexual functioning...deteriorates markedly" from the moment "the wife" gets pregnant until well after your kid's first birthday. Wait? The amount of sex you have decreases during pregnancy and for at least an entire year thereafter? Shocker! Why did they even bother to pay 312 guys to figure this out. One quick straw poll at a strip club on a Saturday night would have sufficed. 

"Why are you here, sir?" 

"Not gettin' it from my wife..." 

"Oh...."

Was there any merit to this study at all? 

Actually, the only thing in this study that was shocking was the idiocy of its participants. Apparently, most of these guys were anticipating their sex lives would return to normal after a year or so, but this "failed to eventuate." It did, hunh? Wow. Who would have thought? And who would have thought that men, especially the poor saps they chose for this study, would have been "ill-prepared for the impact of fatherhood on their lives?" ANY GUY WHO, IN A MOMENT OF WEAKNESS, LISTENED TO HIS DAD BITCH ABOUT PARENTHOOD, THAT'S WHO!!!

So, who benefits from a study like this? The Porn Industry of course. Why have a half-naked girl stand outside a strip club when it makes better sense to have her stand outside a pre-natal class, handing out flyers like they do in Vegas? Now, if you want to see how many guys would take the flyers (with their pregnant wives standing next to them) that's a study I could get behind. This one, not so much.