A tip for new dads
Okay, this is another tip for all those dads out there. If you’re a mom, stop reading now. One of the biggest challenges that you’ll face as a new dad is competing with mom for the new child’s attention. I know, I know. It’s not a competition. We’re all in it together. Blah, blah, blah.
Here’s the thing: mom will be the "go-to" person for the baby. She’s the one who spends the most time with the baby. She’s the one doing the nursing. She’s The Mom. You need to differentiate yourself. If you just do the same stuff she’s doing, you’ll be "that parent who’s not quite as good as mom" You have to come up with creative and unusual ways of forging strong bonds between you and your new kids. You can’t skate by – you have to get active.
You have to do things that Mom doesn’t do. You have to be The Dad.
Worried that you’re not up to the task?
Relax. Here’s an easy way to cheat:
Step 1: Realize that babies don’t really understand your words. While it’s important that you talk to them, the words aren’t as important as the tone and rhythm.
Step 2: Whenever you’re playing, turn every word into a form of "daddy". "Daddy-daddy daddy daaaady da da. Daddy, daddy?" Heck, you can do this whenever you’re talking to the child – but not when you’re angry or sad. Stick to the positive emotions.
Step 3: Whenever you come in to the room with the child, give the most enthusiastic over-the top greeting possible: "DADDY! Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy. DADDY!" I recommend leaping about and making large hand gestures. If you can somersault, that would be best. Don’t scare the child, of course, but you want that little heart to race every time he or she sees you.
I guarantee you that the first word the baby says will be "Da", followed by "Daddy" as the second. Not only will you have differentiated yourself from The Mom, but you’ll have "first word" bragging rights and those last a lifetime.
P.S. Yes, C’s first word was "Da" so was N’s. And yes, J is quite annoyed with me that I managed to pull it off for both of them.