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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » 2000 Posts and 5 Weeks to Go (Page 1)

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Author Topic: 2000 Posts and 5 Weeks to Go
zgator
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The day is fast arriving when I will be a father. The due date is Sept. 16, so Iíve got about 5 weeks left to prepare for this wonderful event. Iíve been going through my list making sure Iíve got everything taken care of ahead of time so Iíll be ready.

Car seat - to be installed this weekend
packed bags - done
Lamaze classes - done
learn to diaper - I saw a video
crib / changing table - done
nursery - done
learn to be a good father - [Angst]

Whoa, Iím not sure Iím ready for this. I donít know what to do. [Dont Know] Iíve always been a great uncle. My nieces and nephew all love me and are always excited when I come around. Iím the one who always seems to know exactly what toy to get them and then sits down and plays with them. It never bothers me that my nieces think Iím a tree that needs to be climbed or a horse that must be ridden. But being an uncle is easy - you can always walk away from it. The only responsibility you have is to not be too bad of an example for them.

I think Iíll be a good father. My Dad was a good father to me with minor exceptions, which is a good thing. Iíve always read and heard that you learn to be a father from your own. Obviously, there are exceptions to that like Patrick. He came through some really rough times and ended up as great person and father (except for that gender confusion thing heís got [Razz] ) through strength of will. I can look back and see some of the mistakes my Dad made and Iíll try not to repeat them, but Iím afraid theyíll happen without me consciously thinking about it.

I know the care and feeding wonít necessarily be easy, but Iím far more concerned about the long-term. I want to make sure he grows up to be kind and considerate, but not a wuss; loyal to his friends, but not too trusting; athletic, but not consumed with it; smart, but not arrogant about it (I can see this in my nephew). Most of all I want him to be a thrill seeker, because I need someone to ride roller coasters with me [Big Grin] .

So give me your advice all you fathers, mothers, son and daughters of Hatrack. Tell me what you think makes a good Dad.

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Bob_Scopatz
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quote:
Tell me what you think makes a good Dad.
1. Thinking about it in the first place.
2. Wanting to do a good job.
3. Working together with the mother so things are consistent.
4. Setting clear rules, age appropriate, and sticking to them consistently.
5. Working your frustrations out somewhere else, even if home is the source of the frustrations.
6. Doing everything with love in your heart, even discipline.
7. Realizing you are only human, but not using that as an excuse.

Zgator, I've only met you socially, but if I can "judge" from such brief exposure, I think you will make an awesome father. And your lovely wife will make a great mom. Doing it together is important, IMHO. I've known so many kids whose parents fought through the children -- undermining each other by not discussing things ahead of time, and then countermanding each others decisions. Oh, and letting the kids know that "mommy is an idiot" or what have you.

I think the main thing is to spend time and effort thinking and planning.

Don't worry about your kid being too much of one thing and not another. He or she will be his/her own person. And you should help your kid be the best person he or she can be. Not your image of what's best, but what fits for that child. For example, there's nothing terribly wrong with being proud of ones own intelligence, and it sure beats the negative version (not trusting ones own intelligence). But arrogance is something you seem like you might be "on the lookout" for. Don't drive your kid in the opposite direction just because your nephew is a litle monster and that's your example.

Know what I mean?

Having been around a lot of low-self-esteem people in my life, I have to say that if you find a way to raise a confident, self-assured child, you are giving that new person one of the most lasting gifts you can give another human being.

Oh, that and a sense of humor.

I suggest Marx Brothers movies playing on a flat-panel screen over the crib.

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Bob_Scopatz
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By the way, congratulations and I'm very excited for both of you!!! (well, all three of you!!!)

[Big Grin]

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Jacare Sorridente
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Here are a couple of unrelated fathering tips that have stood me in good stead:

1) When (not if) your baby gets a cold and has a runny nose, make the kid sleep in the car seat or swing or whatever similar reasonably comforatble but elevated type fixture you may have. Babies' eustachian tubes are nearly horizontal whereas older kids and adults have some vertical incline. This means that when that tasty, bacteria-laden snot is running down their throat it ends up in their ears. While colds may be bad colds with ear infections are much, much worse.

2) Only threaten your kid with real punishments and follow through if the kid does not obey. This is for later, but it is a rather common thing for parents to threaten unrealistic punishments. (how many times did your dad say something like "If you two don't stop fighting I'm going to turn this car around"?) and of course make sure that the punishment fits the crime. For example, if the kid writes on the wall with crayon (as they all inevitably do) make them clean the walls as part of the punishment.

3) WD40 is your friend. It cleans crayon marks off of painted walls like magic.

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asQmh
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Speaking as a Daddy's girl, contrary to popular belief, having the answer "yes" for every "daddy, can I" isn't the (only) way to be a good dad.

I dunno if you're having a boy or girl, but whichever it is, make him/her feel special. ^_^ Teach him/her to be a person. Teach him/her to care about others and about themselves. Ummm. . . I'm sure there are more concrete and less esoteric things, but I don't know them. So ignore my advice and go with that Marx Brothers thing.

Or possibly M*A*S*H

Q.

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waltdisneysfrozenhead
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Jac has some really good points, I think.

I have no advice, myself. Just wanted to say that I hope everything comes out all right. [Smile]

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Olivet
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Congrats!

Just remember in the first few months, it's normal to sometimes wonder why in the HECK you ever thought it was a good idea to have a baby. That's normal. Don't comment on your wife's bedraggled appearance or lack of hygene . It takes a while to figure out when you can actually take a shower. You'll be busy and muzzy-headed. You'll start wondering how much you could get for your healthy baby on the black market. That passes with the first unbroken five hour stretch of sleep. [Smile]

[Wink]

I'm kidding, but only half. Remember to rest when you can, and encourage your wife to sleep when the baby does, instead of doing all the cleaning that has gone undone. Remind her how beautiful she is and the baby, too.

Never, NEVER hum "The old Gray Mare" under any circumstances. [Big Grin]

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zgator
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Bob
quote:
But arrogance is something you seem like you might be "on the lookout" for. Don't drive your kid in the opposite direction just because your nephew is a litle monster and that's your example.
I shouldnít have implied that he was a monster. Heís very smart, though. He read Lord of the Rings before he was 8 and was ďknightedĒ at his school for reading a year before anyone else had ever done it. Itís something his parents have to watch.

quote:
Oh, and letting the kids know that "mommy is an idiot" or what have you.
It would probably undermine my authority far more when mommy smacked me upside the head, so that wonít be a problem.

quote:
5. Working your frustrations out somewhere else, even if home is the source of the frustrations.
6. Doing everything with love in your heart, even discipline.

These are some of the things I worry about most. I get easily frustrated with things and people. Itís something Iíve worked on most of my life. I would never, ever strike anyone, although I have wrecked a few tennis rackets early in life. Sometimes (many times?) I have to bite my tongue from saying something that canít be easily retracted, though. Maybe I worry too much about it, because in over 4 years of marriage, Iíve never said anything too bad. Itís actually a struggle when I get mad because my tendency is for that silent, not-speaking anger because Iím afraid of what I might say. Of course, thatís not real productive either.

Jacare

First off, thatís good advice, but eewww.

Did you ever use to draw battle scenes? Youíd draw planes with bullets coming out of them shooting at tanks and then draw explosions on the tanks. I did one of those on the linoleum floor in the basement (theyíre possible in Lake Wales) with permanent marker. Years later after many thousands of feet and walked across it, you could still see some lines.

Thanks for the advice everyone. Keep it coming.

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KarlEd
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Is it too late to trade mine in for Bob or Jacare? [Grumble]
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zgator
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<wonder whether KarlEd has been drawing on the walls or just wants a flat-screen TV>
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Jacare Sorridente
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quote:
Jac has some really good points, I think.
The nicknames are starting to fly pretty hot and heavy around here these days, eh saxy?

quote:
Did you ever use to draw battle scenes? Youíd draw planes with bullets coming out of them shooting at tanks and then draw explosions on the tanks.
To be honest I don't remember ever drawing on walls, floors etc. My dad brought home giant newspaper rolls (the rolls that newspaper is printed on, the paper he brought home was blank) which I would fill up with crayon pictures of pirate monsters. I was never much of a marker guy.

quote:
Is it too late to trade mine in for Bob or Jacare?
I am trying to figure this one out still. Are you saying you would like to trade in your old-model punster for a new, fully-upgradeable Scopatz2003? Or your battered and beaten wanna-be theologian for crocodilian that spouts scripture at the drop of a hat?
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Bob_Scopatz
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KarlEd...

Who's your daddy?

[Razz]

Sorry, couldn't resist.

zgator, you'll do fine! The stewing in silence thing is not good, but it's sort of the norm for those of us who have "conquered" our tempers.

I forgot one of the most important things -- you have to cultivate "the look." That's the parental visage that one adopts when you want the kids to be aware of your impending explosion. It saves a lot of hassles and backtalk. Cor has the perfect one. If I ever have children, I'm going to pattern my "look" after hers.

[Big Grin]

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BannaOj
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My mom bought those giant rolls of butcher paper. You could unroll and scribble and unroll some more. When she would go "educational" on us, we would lie down on the butcher paper, she would trace us, and then we would have to draw in our major organs.

You will be a great Dad I'm sure. I second the, don't threaten punishments that you don't follow through on. The people who do, are the ones that end up with the annoying kids screaming through the mall, long past the age when they are allowed to scream because they can't talk.

AJ

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Kasie H
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Read to him. A lot.
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Elizabeth
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"5. Working your frustrations out somewhere else, even if home is the source of the frustrations."

To a certain point, I disagree with Bob on this one. I think it is very important for children to watch their parents work out their frustrations. I do not mean it is good to watch them abuse each other verbally or physically, of course. I think they need to see the whole cycle of an argument, especially as they get older, how you can go from being angry, to talking, to working things out.

The main thing about being a parent is something you can never prepare for, a feeling of love that eclipses all others. Just let that love guide you, and you will do just fine...

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Kasie H
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At least, until he learns to read. Then have him read to you. A lot.
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Ela
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Send your wife to a La Leche League meeting before the baby comes. And she is also free to email me for breastfeeding advice. [Smile]

Bob, that's pretty good advice for someone who has never been a Dad, and never plans to be. [Wink]
But I would expect nothing less from you. [Smile]

Agrees with Olivet:
quote:
Remember to rest when you can, and encourage your wife to sleep when the baby does, instead of doing all the cleaning that has gone undone. Remind her how beautiful she is and the baby, too.
Having a baby is a big adjustment, but very rewarding. Babies take a lot of time, feed (it seems like) almost constantly, and don't sleep as much as some of us (including me!) were led to believe. Ask your friends to send your meals you can freeze for those busy days. And you can do some cooking and freezing yourself, before the baby comes, and make sure you have quick, healthy foods around that you snack, when necessary.

Oh, and Zan, if the baby comes on schedule, the baby will be born on my wedding anniversary. [Big Grin]

**Ela**

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Dan_raven
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On the way into work this morning someone on the radio mentioned the need for an owners manual to come with each child.

My wife suggested I write it. It would be funny and usefule.

I pointed out one flaw in her plan. "I Know NOTHING!"

Now, thanks to this thread, I have some ideas.

Here are what an Uncle, and one time child can suggest:

1) Definate on the reading thing. Read to the child and let the child see you reading for pleasure. I started my illustrious reading addiction with the newspaper comics.

2) It should hardly ever take more than two paper towels to clean a baby's bottom. One roll of towels per event is way overboard. This is experience talking.

3) Touch the child. I don't mean anything inappropriate or perverted. I mean hugs, pats on the back, hold hands, tickle and physically wipe away the tears.

4) Listen to your child. I once, when about 4, asked my mother if I could bite her. She wasn't paying attention and said "Yes dear." So I bit her.

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Elizabeth
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Do you have pets? be prepared to hate them. It might not happen, but if it does, it is best to be prepared for it and understand it.

My dogs were my life. After my second child, I wanted them to go away. I despised them for existing, and presenting another need to be met.

I think, if you are prepared for this, you can at least not feel guilty IF it happens. I know many other pet owners that this happened to, and also many who stayed full of love for their pets.

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celia60
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First, Congratulations!

As for parenting advice, well, I am not really in a good position to give it, but you did ask [Wink]

Absolutely do not make threats unless you will follow up on them. The same is true of promises. No empty promises.

If you have a second child, don't ever, EVER compair them. "Why can't you be nice to people like your sister is?" "Why can't you do well in school like Mary?"

If I listed any more I'd be letting my bitterness show. [Big Grin]

Zan, I know I give you a lot of crap, but I think you'll do a wonderful job.

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Dan_raven
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P.S. Congradulations on hitting 2K.
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Elizabeth
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"If you have a second child, don't ever, EVER compair them. "Why can't you be nice to people like your sister is?" "Why can't you do well in school like Mary?""

No, don't compare them, but be there to help them when they compare themselves to each other. Make sure that they know they each have separate gifts, and that they are different from anyone else's. Make sure they understand that it is OK for some things to come harder for them, because just as many things will come easily.

Children are different, and I realized that with my second child. He was different in the womb, at birth, as an infant. I could cuddle him to sleep. I realized i did not know how that felt, because my daughter was so uncuddly. She just wanted to be up high watching things, so she loved the backpack.

Zgator, it always goes back to Mister Rogers(oh, great, here come the tears), simply love them just the way they are and you will be all set.

And Congratulations!!

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TheTick
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You'll do great. I had much the same worries before Thomas's birth, compounded by memories of how my wife nearly died a couple years back after surgery. We decided to avoid c-section at all costs because of that...well guess what, she had a c-section anyway. And she did amazingly well, no complications, giving us a handsome little guy. [Smile] I has been a lot easier than I thought, so far (that'll probably change once he's mobile) and I couldn't be happier.

Here are a few helpful hints:

1. Always be mindful of where the 'water cannon' is pointed when you remove the diaper.
2. Clothes that snap at the bottom are your friend.
3. Acutally, clothes that you can lay the kid on and close up are even better. [Wink]
4. Your baby really IS the cutest baby ever, no matter what those other people say. (except for mine!)
5. On a serious note, remember that you are the ones raising your kid. Listen to advice, but discard what doesn't feel right to you. A LOT of people have out of date information.

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saxon75
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I have nothing to add about parenting, having no experience of my own and since so many other people have already said what I might. I just wanted to say congrats on 2000 and CONGRATS (very soon) on becoming a dad.
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Mr.Funny
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Kasie H. is SOOOOOOOOOO right. Reading to your child is incredibly important.
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zgator
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Kasie, I certainly will be reading to him a lot. Right now Iím reading Guns, Germs and Steel, which I hope heíll enjoy as much as I.

Elizabeth, that is a lot of good advice and I hadnít even thought of some of that.

Ela, we get to start Breastfeeding 101 tonight. Thatís right, with only a few free Friday nights left, this is how we will spend tonight. Iím still not sure why Iím supposed to go. Nobody's going to pull anything out, are they? [Embarrassed]

Celia, thank you. Iíll get back to you after Iíve finished searching your posts for hidden jokes.

Dan, the comics are still the first part of the Sunday paper that I read. And the fact that it might take 2 paper towels scares me. [Eek!]

Tick, Iím very happy that my family lives over an hour away. My sister lives about 3 minutes away and is constantly getting helpful advice on raising her kids. Of course, that may be a small price to pay for free, reliable babysitting.

You guys are awesome! [Big Grin]

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celia60
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[Taunt]
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Narnia
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One more vote for LOTS of reading. It's amazingly helpful and your child will have less difficulty in school!!! Not to mention that the love of good books is one of the best things that parents can instill in their children. I'm really grateful that my mom did that for me.

and good luck z...you'll be just great. I have two older brothers that BOTH became dads in the last year. It's a struggle. Don't be surprised if a crying baby makes you nervous or irritated. Just do your best to stay calm and find that nifty colic medicine at wal-mart. [Smile] As Bob already mentioned, the fact that you're concerned, seeking advice, and took a lamaze class shows that you will be great!! You're greatest trait is your desire to always be the best you can and find ways to be better. With that, you can't fail. (Listen to me, I sound like a Jedi or something!) [Blushing]

[ August 08, 2003, 02:43 PM: Message edited by: Narnia ]

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Head Ditch Digger
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Repeat after me, "Kids are our slaves."

Seriously, don;t make him grow up too fast and do not get angry when he does not want to ride the roller coasters.

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zgator
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quote:
do not get angry when he does not want to ride the roller coasters
I won't get angry. But I still hope he gets his mother's looks and my stomach.
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Elizabeth
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"You're greatest trait is your desire to always be the best you can and find ways to be better. With that, you can't fail. (Listen to me, I sound like a Jedi or something!)"

Nope, it's that pesky Mister Rogers again, I think.

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Narnia
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[Taunt]
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Icarus
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[Smile]

Congratulations!

Um, paper towels? [Confused]

Try some baby wipes. And then try them for other stuff. Baby wipes are the most amazing invention of the last century. They will gently clean virtually anything. You will keep buying them long after your baby is out of diapers, and wonder how you ever lived without them.

And Huggies makes the best everything. If you don't feel like spending the extra money, that's your decision, but the people who tell you it doesn't make a difference if you use a premium brand or if you use Sam's Choice Diapers (is there such a thing?) are only saying that 'cause they're not the ones who will suffer from the rash!

Don't buy expensive baby clothes. Oh, how I wish I had won that fight! They outgrow them in no time, and if the clothes are cheap your heart won't break when they are ripped, spewed upon, or otherwise ruined.

Don't take your child to Gatorland until he is at least 19.

Do you have a support network of people who will give the two of you time to be grown-ups? It feels a little like a betrayal any time you leave your baby with someone, but you will be better parents if you can let off steam and have a good time every once in a while.

Guess that's all for now!

((Zan and family))

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Ela
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quote:
Don't buy expensive baby clothes.
Seconds that sentiment. My daughter spent the first summer of her life in a diapers and t-shirts, unless we were going visiting.

Oh, and Zan, even though you are attending breastfeeding classes, do make sure your wife contacts La Leche League as well. They are a good resource for questions and problems. [Smile]

**Ela**

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Elizabeth
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My biggest mistake was thinking I did not need to be educated about nursing. One word: OUCH!!

It is really important for you to know all about it as well. Sometimes, it takes a few days for the baby and mom to work well together in this area. I was a ball of panic.

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zgator
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Icarus, we have so many baby wipes it's not funny. For some reason, every gift we get is accompanied by a box of wipes. The 2 dozen boxes we now have will last at least a week or so I guess.

Big Question

Tick already weighed in somewhat on this, but I want more opinions. When is the best time for me to stay at home after the baby is born considering the following?

Both K's mom and mine will be coming up for a week or so at different times right after he is born.

My job is fairly flexible regarding time off, however, it will be easier to schedule an extended time off with more notice. I do plan on taking at least a couple of days off immediately after we get home whichever way we choose.

Thinking logically, it seems like it would be better for me to take the time off after the moms have left. That way, K has help at home for a longer period of time. But will I be missing out on some important bonding time if I'm not around at the start?

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Ela
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Zan, my husband stayed home the first week after each of our babies arrived (if you can stay home longer, that's great!) We wanted this time together for bonding as a family.

We requested of my mom, who offered to come and help out, to delay their visits from out of town till after my husband had to go back to work, so that I ended up having someone around the house to help me out for a good several weeks. My mom was great - she cooked, cleaned and did laundry for me, so that I could take care of the baby. [Big Grin]

**Ela**

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TheTick
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Nah...the bonding will happen, if you are seeking it. I was worried at first, when I went back to work. But now when I get home I get a smile every time. [Smile]
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Elizabeth
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I agree with Ela, if you can delay the moms' visits, and stay home that first week, you will have the help later. Plus, people will be bringing you food and pampering her for a while. It gives you both a chance to be new parents without hearing lots of advice.

On the flip side of that, though. i grew up without a mother. After I had my first baby, I felt like a little kid who wants their mommy, but she wasn't around. So, I guess it depends on her realtionship with your mom and hers.

Great, I just gave advice and cancelled it out in one fell swoop.

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zgator
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That's weird. I dug this out of several pages back and when I posted, there were suddenly new posts.

So far, almost all the clothes we have bought have come off the clearance racks. We've only got a few outfits that cost more than $5.

Ela, this lactation thing seems much more complicated than I would have ever thought. We may be sending emails your way.

For some odd reason, I hadn't really thought about delaying the moms from coming up. Maybe I could stay home a week, then have the moms come in, and then stay home again after they leave.
BTW, this post

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Ela
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Zan, you are very welcome to send emails my way or even phone me up. If you or one of the central FL clumpers doesn't still have my phone number from our get-together last winter, email me for it.

Also, I highly recommend the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, published by La Leche League. You should be able to buy it from a local LLL group, or I can send you a copy if you send your address. Actually, I could send you some helpful information sheets, too, so just let me know where to send them to. [Smile]

**Ela**

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Papa Moose
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Excellent, zgator. Mooselet is over two now, and we still get most of his clothes off clearance racks. As for staying home, I stayed home for the first week, then ended up taking more time off when he got sick four weeks later. If it had been feasible, I would have spent even more at home. Every second is valuable and rewarding, and continues to be to this day and forward.

In addition to staying home being good for the father-child relationship, it does good things for the mother-child relationship. In those first few days/weeks, it's easy to see exactly how exhausting it can be with a newborn, even when it doesn't seem you are doing anything. I think it gave me a more healthy understanding and empathy than I might otherwise have had.

'Course, now that I'm the stay-at-home, I'm glad mom had those first couple months at home, so she can understand what I'm going through.

--Pop

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TheTick
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Heh. Thomas is the first grandchild on both sides...I can't imagine trying to get my mom to wait longer than she did!
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Bob_Scopatz
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[Laugh]
quote:
Don't take your child to Gatorland until he is at least 19.



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advice for robots
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Congratulations! Just wait until you see that little munchkin for the first time. The births of my two kids have been two of the few times I've ever felt lightheaded with joy and didn't realize I was yelling loudly (with joy). It's an indescribable experience. As soon as I saw my children for the first time I felt such overwhelming love for them, and at the same time the heavy weight of responsibility of being their father settled on my shoulders.

My own advice, added to what's been given already:

1. Treat your wife with utmost respect and love, especially around the kids, but no matter where you are with her. Cultivate your marriage and keep it in bloom. Get your kids used to being babysat regularly as you take your wife on dates. They won't mind when they see how you treat their mother.

2. Protect your home from bad influences. Make it a place where everyone can come for refuge. Make it a peaceful, warm, loving place where Dad and Mom are accessible and ready to listen and help. Get rid of all bad habits that will detract from this.

3. Make your family your priority. When anyone asks what you do, be able to proudly tell them, "I'm a family man."

4. Give your wife a break. If she's at home with the kids while you're at work, take over for a while when you get home so she can have some free time. Be willing to forego your favorite TV shows and your Saturday football to take the kids to the park, or put them to sleep, or whatever. Wash the dishes. Make dinner. Clean the bathroom. Be serviceable.

5. Be humble and selfless. You will be called upon to give up sleep, energy, leisure time, work time, gas, food, money, bad moods, books, etc. Of course this takes discipline. But be willing and work at it constantly. There will be times when you downright resent your kid for stripping you of your former comforts. At these times, remember what a father should be. To me, this is the difference between successful dads and mediocre ones. I've still got a long way to go on this, but this is one trait I really admire in dads I've known.

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zgator
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I don't see how bad it could have been. Icarus' kids practically grew up in Disney theme parks. Gatorland should have been a cake walk for them.
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Elizabeth
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Z,
My husband, because he is a bartender, was able to be home with both children, then he would go to work when I came home. For a few years, that is how it was, but I did stay home a full year once.

There was never any of that reject-daddy stuff. in fact, they were far more connected to him when they were little. He was so much more fun, for one thing.

On the other hand, it is OK if you both have to work. It is all OK, just remember that. There is only right way to parent your kids: your own.

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Teshi
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My parents only bought half my clothes, instead, my whole family wore the same babygrow (do you call them babygrows in Canada/America? I don't remember) home from the hospital. As we grew up we borrowed clothes from elder siblings and older family friends, sometimes regardless of gender.

Now my little sisters has thousands of completely useless clothes because a family friend was late in having a child and had a baby girl and consequently the child owns literally hundreds of cute little girls clothes. Children and babies don't need thousands of clothes!

How to be a good father: When child grows up, don't harp on about turning lights off, shutting doors, locking doors, mats on tables, etc. Never ever ever call your children names. It's not a good things. (But I'm sure you won't, I'm sure you'll be a wonderful father [Smile] )

Good Luck and Congratulations!

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jeniwren
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Icarus, I thought the girls were really good at Gatorland. Were they bored? Christian loved it. Maybe it's a boy thing.

I was out of town when this thread hit, so I'm glad it got bumped. [Smile]

Zan, you're going to be a super dad, I just know it.

Advice:

1. Postpartum, no matter what your wife does, unless it's physically harmful to someone you love, including yourself, it's probably okay. Spats of unreasonable crying and temper are normal. Tell her OFTEN that she's the most beautiful woman you've ever seen (or something like that), because I can virtually guarantee that she won't *feel* all that beautiful. If you can help keep the house clean and food on the table while she's recovering, that will really help her outlook on life a lot. Tell her she's a *great* Mom.

Let friends help if they offer. In fact, if you can organize your friends *now* to bring you dinner every other night for a couple of weeks after the baby is born, that's great. It really helps, and honestly, if you've got a good circle of friends, they will not be offended that you asked or that you got that organized ahead of time. A friend of mine did this, and I thought she was insane, but after having Rayne, I saw the wisdom in it. She had so many people signed up to bring them dinner, she didn't have to cook for a month, leaving them free to build their family and adjust to the change.

2. One day at a time. The first few weeks are like a whirlwind, so in the tough moments, it can make you wonder if it is always that tough. It gets better. In fact, it gets incredible. But I can never remember that in the heat of the moment, so I've learned to try not to future-trip. One day at a time.

3. Since little Ryan comes with an outie, keep your mouth closed during diaper changes.

4. I like the Walmart brand of diapers -- White Cloud. Huggies are okay, but I like that there isn't any adhesive to the Walmart brand, just velcro. They don't leak unless baby goes overboard in the downloading, which is going to happen with any diaper. Stay away from Walgreen brand diapers. They're terrible.

5. Kids are great, and you gotta love 'em, but at the foundation of the happiest homes, there's a good marriage. Do Ryan the biggest favor by nurturing your marriage just as tenderly as you do him.

And when you have a chance, email me your address. I'd like to send you a baby gift. [Smile]

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Jimmy
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1 Corinthians 13
Love
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Love never fails

I do not know if you are a religious man, but if you are remember this chapter always. And if you are not, then remember anyway. Because it can teach a great deal on how to love. And remember that quote... "Love never fails". As people before me have said, it is evident that you love this child dearly already because of the way that you are concerned. Remember to try and treat your child in the ways of love that this chapter speaks of. Trust in what love is capable of, and rely on it. I truly believe that if you can accomplish that, your child will turn out to be a great human being, and you will be an incrediable father. Teach your child how to love, by loving him/her. And he will gain the most precious attribute that man has to offer.

[ August 13, 2003, 03:28 PM: Message edited by: Jimmy ]

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