Confused why this blog exists? Sometimes, so am I. Here’s the first post to lay the groundwork for any late-arrivals to the Dad on Arrival Party:
Totally Bathsit Crazy
I looked up the term “batshit crazy” in one of those online dictionaries, and this was the definition:
“Two people who voluntarily decide to have three children in less than three years while both working full time, with a very limited family presence in town.”
Seems like a very specific definition, so you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that it applied to my wife and me. Yes, three kids in less than three years. Two sets of boots on the ground, and one bun in the oven.
There is a small group of people who understand this crazy undertaking. These are other parents who’ve had several kids in a short time frame—parents of multiples, manufacturers of Irish twins and those who aspire to form their own traveling family band. When we tell these folks that we’re working on three in three, they smile this knowing smile and simply say, “Congratulations!” The unspoken undertone, however, is closer to, “Ha, ha, ha! Sucker! Jump in to my nightmare. The water is warm.”
For those without a hoard of small children following them around like hungry ducklings, our latest baby project seems to be an alien concept. Common responses range from, “Oh, my god! You are crazy!” to “Congratulations … I guess,” to my personal favorite, courtesy of one of my wife’s male coworkers, “Haven’t you ever heard of birth control?” (Lawsuit pending.)
The inevitable follow-up question is usually some variation of “Did you mean to do that?” Actually, yes, we opted in to this insanity. My exact response to people is, “Well, we weren’t not trying, if you know what I mean,” and then I give a sly wink and walk away as mysteriously as possible. This technique can be awkward when I’m talking to someone at my house, as I usually end up doing a circle around the house and then skulking back into the room sheepishly. It’s hard work being mysterious.
But even if we didn’t plan this nutty familial adventure, I’m not sure that I’d publicize it. I know plenty of people who have openly laughed about their accidental child—or, I suppose the socially correct term is “surprise” child. “Yep, I guess we slipped one past the goalie, heh, heh. Oops.” But that’s not my style. While it makes a funny story now to joke about an expired pill box and a night of buy-one-get-one-free margaritas, it seems like it would be uncomfortable later on. Just think of the trauma at surprise birthday parties, when everyone jumps out of their hiding places and yells, “SURPRISE!” And there’d be poor junior in the corner crying, “C’mon, guys. Don’t rub it in.”
Or maybe not. Maybe it’d be a built-in excuse if the surprise kid turns out to be a trouble-maker.
“Sorry Principal Smith, I know junior keeps acting up in class,” I’d say as I leaned in confidentially, “but you see, he was a, well, um, ‘surprise.’”
Then I’d shrug my shoulders and hold up my hands as if to say, “What do you want me to do?” The principal would, no doubt, sigh in resignation, knowing there was nothing to be done other than sending junior home with a conduct card peppered with frowny faces. And that would be that. Junior and I would hive-five in the hall outside the principal’s office and go buy ice cream and fireworks.
Regardless of the family planning issues at play in this adventure, I figured it would be too entertaining not to document in a blog. So here we are, “Dad on Arrival” is born. I promise to keep it light; there’s enough heavy-duty parenting crap out there already. So enjoy. Visit often. Revel in the insanity. Life’s too short to play it sane.