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...

FODDER UP! PART XII: SCHEDULE THIS - "DISORGANIZED" DADS HAVE THEIR SAY


I guess I was having an off day last Wednesday because I decided to open up the discussion topics for our new Fodder Up! on our Facebook page. Of course, not a single man (it's getting lonely over here) piped in with a suggestion, but several of our female readers did- and as always, they weren't shy about airing their dirty laundry. One requested we write about teaching men to step up for the first few months after the birth of a child (Nah- we did that; it was called March through May). Another suggested we teach men about domestic duties (Ungh- sorry ladies, but if I can't teach the simple task of turning on a vacuum to my wife I'm certainly not going to have any luck teaching it to your husbands). But the last suggestion we received, well, that one deserved a look...

FODDER OF THE WEEK: WHEN DAD REALLY DELIVERS- A BIRTH STORY LIKE NO OTHER

It seems like every minute of every day someone is posting a "unique" labor and delivery story. The online magazines are full of horrific and harrowing tales from hapless heroines (and their husbands) enduring endless hours of labour pains and arduous acts of acrobatics just to get one little baby (or two, or three, or eight) out a single vagina. Now, I don't want to be insensitive, as there are "stork" stories that will break your heart and many more that will inspire the soul, but, if you ask me, if you were able to walk in to a hospital and walk out two days later with a beautiful, healthy baby without having to suffer through an emergency C-section, or any complications that put you or your baby at serious risk, I gotta tell you, your story is BORING. Amazing (as the miracle of life should never be understated), but boring. Capital B-O-R-I-N-G.

"WITH GREAT POWER, COMES GREAT RESPONSIBLITY": TOP TEN SUPER POWERS EVERY DAD CAN USE

Now, I'm not saying I would abuse super powers if I had them. Certainly, in my younger days, there were times when I might have enjoyed greater endurance, amazing agility, and the option of contorting my body in to all sorts of weird shapes, but who needs that when we have Viagara. As a parent of an eighteen-month-old, all I want now is the strength to help me through the average day. Caring for a toddler is a daunting task at the best of times, and any advantage a parent can get should be welcomed with open arms. So, being the comic book nerd I am, I have to wonder: what are the best super powers for a dad to have?And, what powers would serve me well, well in to my daughter's early thirties (when I'll finally allow her to date)...

THE BIRTH OF SOMETHING GREAT : DELIVERING NEW DADS TO THE PROMISED LAND

This should have been my first post...

I'm not a preacher. I'm not a leader of men. I'm a small voice in a very large crowd trying to speak to someone, anyone who can benefit from what I have to say. I had dreams. I had hopes, many of which never materialized. It always seemed like I was waiting for something to show me the way, but it never came (the way I thought it would). I don't blame my parents. I don't blame society. I don't blame circumstance. At the end of the day, the only person a man can blame for his own misfortunes (not that I'm so hard done by) is himself, and the choices he makes. And, to paraphrase Mott the Hoople ("All the Young Dudes," 1972) if you're lucky enough, before it's too late, you will realize that the concrete walls that surround you, those insurmountable mountains you must climb, have only been in your head.

FODDER UP! PART XI: NEW DADS- GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME - FACING YOUR FEARS OF FATHERHOOD

Image from "The Waterboy"
Perception is everything. If you believe in yourself you can do almost anything. But if you don't, you're doomed for failure from the very start. However, when it comes to fatherhood, you don't have the luxury of self-doubt. You're in it to win it. Every second of every day you're the quarterback and the game's on the line. No handing off the ball either, because, sometimes, it's just better to be "the man" and take one home for the team. It's time to perform like a champion, and the pressure's on you. What are YOU gonna do? Are you going to let your wife arm chair quarterback your relationship with your child, or are you going to take the ball and run with it to glory?

It's time to Fodder Up! This week's installment: Helping New Dads Manage the Emotional Roller Coaster that is Fatherhood . It's a game of respect, and you've gotta earn it... every inch of the way.

FODDER OF THE WEEK: KEEPING IT REAL - PROMISES TO YOUR UNBORN CHILD THAT EVERY MAN CAN KEEP

As a parenting blogger, I spend a lot of time (a lot of time) combing the Internet for "interesting" content. Some times I find it. More often than not, I don't. And, it's not that I haven't pointed it out before, but I just don't get the on-line parenting magazines? More specifically, I don't understand why women think they know what men want? I don't mind that you call yourself a "parenting"magazine" (well, maybe I do?) when you cater mostly to women, but don't insult me by trying to include "male" content that we all know has been edited, then edited again to appeal to a woman. I expect my male perspectives to be male! When I want a man's opinion, I don't want his wife's (or her Mother's).  And when I go to read a letter from a first-time dad to his unborn child I don't want the goddamn "Vagina Monologues!"


Baby Gift Madness: Preying on Pregnancy - Helping Dads (Help Moms) to Draw the Line Between Wants and Needs


Click for pricing
 Let's face it, shopping with an expectant mother is like shopping with a toddler- they grab everything in sight, not having a clue what they want, and you just try to quietly put things back on the shelves when they're not looking. It's a battle you can't possibly win. The truth is your wife sees a new baby as an excuse to go on a shopping spree, and she can sit there with her innocent little "who me?" smile and tell you that I'm wrong, but she knows I'm right and if somebody doesn't step in and stop the insanity, soon (i.e. NOW), it's going to get ugly.

FODDER UP! PART X: DADDY DRESS-UP - HOW TO DRESS A BABY...DAD STYLE

Some would say the best part of being a man is the minimal amount of time it takes to get out of the house in the morning. Sure, there are those who rival their wives for the amount of time it takes to coif their hair every morning, or those who painstakingly prepare their "outfits" for the next day, but, for the most part, us guys (metrosexuals aside) are pretty much wash n' wear. Wake up, run a comb through your hair, throw on some clothes, and you're out the door. And on the weekends - t-shirt, jeans, baseball cap. We care about running shoes- we don't care about fashion. We just want to be comfortable in our gently worn baseball shirts and torn blue jeans and socks that look like they should have been thrown out months ago. We are creatures of habit that will never change, much to the chagrin of our wives, but that doesn't mean we can't put a smart looking ensemble together for our kids.

Once again, it's time to Fodder Up! This weeks installment: Daddy Dress Up- Teaching New Dads the Ins and Outs of Dressing their Infants.

Fodder of the Week: "Testes...1,2,3! Testes...!" - New Dads: Oozing Estrogen, and Loving It?

If you want to test a microphone you blow on it. If you want to test out a guy's manhood you hoof him hard in the nuts, wait to see how long it takes him to get up, then measure the number of steps he's able to take before falling back down again. That's the test of a true man... or is it fatherhood? Let's think about that... No, it's hoofing him in the nuts.

"WHAT'S THE CAPITAL OF THAILAND ? BANGKOK! (click link for video)

No Clowning Around: The Serious Business of Feeding a Toddler

The Joker, Courtesy of DC Universe
When it comes to a baby's first words, all parents wait anxiously to hear one word ("Mama/Dada"), most can't wait to hear a certain three words ("I love you"), but, if you ask me, there's no two words better than the two words my daughter uttered for the first time the other day...

"LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE STORY 'BOUT A MAN NAMED 'SHH'": EVERY THING I KNOW ABOUT PARENTING I LEARNED FROM THE DOG WHISPERER

"SHH!"
(Funny In Any Language)

You can learn a lot about child rearing from a TV show on dog training. Now, I'm not saying kids and dogs are the same, but if a dog has the mental capacity of a two-year-old, it would stand to reason that you could at least try the same techniques you would use on a dog on a toddler. So I decided to test out a theory...

FODDER UP! PART VIIII- TEACHING DAD TO READ

As a new dad, people are always suggesting great books I should read, which always elicits the same question: "Is it a picture book?" No offence, but I barely have enough time to shave in the morning, let alone read a volume of some long winded parental advisory on the dangers of anything and/or everything related to my child. And forget pleasure reading for myself. Other than the odd comic book in the bathroom (yes, I said comic book), everything I have the opportunity to read during the day comes in digital form. That's the life of a dad. I need everything short, sweet, and to the point. My daughter, well that's a whole other story.

Fodder of the Week: "If I Can Dream" - Fodder 4 Father's Humble Quest 4 Top 10 Status


Don Quixote, Tilting at Windmills
Click for "Impossible Dream" Video
It's not every day a married, heterosexual male feels dejected when another man doesn't like him. Sure, I felt this
way once before when I was visiting my older brother in San Francisco and we were out for coffee one morning an he was hit on (by another man) and I wasn't. It's not that I like men  (not that there's anything wrong with that), but what's my brother have that I don't? What's any man have that I don't (note to my wife, you are not allowed to answer here)? The fact of the matter is you don't have to be gay to appreciate a compliment from another man- in my book, a compliment is a compliment. Personally, I don't mind getting a pat on the ass from another man in a non-baseball setting, if it means getting noticed. Appreciation is appreciation in my books, and I'll take it where I can get it. But today just wasn't that kind of day for me.

"I'm Walking Here!:" When Toddler's Take Over

From the moment I found myself knee deep in diaper changes, midnight feedings, and spit-up I've dreamed of a day where my daughter would walk. For some reason, in my mind anyway, this, for me, was Independence Day. No more having to get up off the couch to walk across the room to turn her over so she wasn't face down in her own puke (until she's a teenager). No more carrying her from crib to couch to change table to kitchen table to service all of her needs. No more rolling her back over on to her back to sleep, or on to her front to learn how to crawl, or on to the carpet so she gets better traction. No more being at her beckon call. As if...

Couples Golf and the "Get it in the Hole" Mentality: An Analogy on Pregnancy Performance Anxiety in Men

Tin Cup (1996)
In a perfect world, at the age of maturity every man would be able to do two things competently: 1) swing a golf club and, 2) propagate the species. Unfortunately, for many married men, the simple act of driving a tiny white ball (or impregnating their wives) eludes them simply because their minds get in the way. Call it performance anxiety. Call it a mental block. Call it a fear of failure. But no matter what you call it the fact remains that many a married man can't "get it up." In fact, entire industries have been built around supporting these men in their pursuit of mastering these rudimentary tasks. It’s a sad state of affairs but millions of men simply can't find their balls because their mind's not in the game, and they're shanking their swing when they should be focused on the hole.

The truth is, in golf and in life (producing a baby), all men want to get a hole in one but the pressure to produce results is simply too much for most men to handle. They crumble under the strain and either pull up (or out) at the wrong time. Ladies, how many times have you cheered your partner on, hoping he'd shine in the moment only to watch him lay-up and miss the mark? How many videos, coaches, and contraptions have you bought attempting to help your husband get his 'head' back in the game, only to watch in frustration as he comes up short, again and again and again? Is it his confidence? Is it his concentration? Is it his commitment that causes him to fail miserably with every attempt? No. It's you and your constant and consistent comments about his performance that makes every man feel like a frightened turtle unable to come out of his shell. Left to his own devices, every man is able to follow through on his stroke, but under the watchful, hopeful eyes of his wife, waiting for him to score that perfect game, a man just can't perform.

Fodder of the Week: Pregnancy Cravings and the Real Role of Dad

I was forwarded an article from a female friend the other day, and, after reading it, I thought to myself  "sure, this is sweet, but it's not an entirely accurate depiction of the pregnancy experience," at least not for new dads. I did promise her I would post it, and I am a man of my word, but I didn't say anything about not poking fun at it. So, here's the article: http://www.parenting.com/gallery/husbands-food-art-for-pregnant-wife-on-bed-rest? Its sweet, its sappy, its the fantasy of every woman who ever turned her uterus in to an easy bake oven, but its not what I would call the "the norm."