Let me start off by saying Dominique is a great dad and husband. And he has approved this message.
Sometimes I wonder while moms are getting settled in to the room to deliver their baby, the husbands are pulled into a little “information” session. I mean it seems consistent from many women that dads tend to have the same
tricks strategies (and if your husband doesn’t qualify — I really don’t need to know — your bragging is bad for my husband’s well-being). I believe the information session agenda must include the following key talking points:
1. The Pause: When you hear your baby crying (or toddler about to do something dangerous) just pause. Count maybe to 10, max 15. In those short few seconds, your wife will stop whatever it is she is doing, jump up and handle the situation. Now to ensure she doesn’t murder you, as she gets up pop up and say “I was just about to get him/her”. This will make it look like you were intending to remedy the situation, but really you were pausing knowing she will beat you to it.
2. Bedtime Routines:Try real hard to care. Even say to your wife “ok so I give him a bath, read a few books, and then talk about his day. Great, I got this” However, instead of actually following through say Flynn (well you might want to use your child’s name) I am going to put you to bed now. This will cause Flynn to start chanting Mommy do it, Mommy do it. And well good chance you are off the hook.
Now if you end up having to start the process, just ensure the child or baby cries really loud. For a long period of time. Like during the bath wash the hair in just a way to get the kid worked up or forget the blankie. Whatever you can do to get the kid worked up the better because mom will come in and take over and you can just look like “I am not sure what his/her problem is tonight. Sorry honey, I’ll go fold some clothes” (see below about folding clothes)
3. Baby Changing:This is similar to above. The more worked up the kid, the quicker your wife will come to
the baby’s your rescue. To make this happen faster, it is always great to get the baby undressed and then realize you have no wipes or the cloth diaper isn’t put together yet. This will make the kid get real mad and start screaming for a more component diaper changer…like his/her mother. Off the hook again. (Now if you are as awesome as Kayne you can convince your wife that you don’t do diaper changes and that she enjoys wiping poop so much that you don’t ever have to do it.)
4.Nighttime: Now this one, Dads, works even better if you practice being a deep sleeper from the beginning, like prebaby beginning. It can be really hard to throw this one into the mix, if you didn’t prep your wife for just how deep a sleeper you really are. If your wife is still pregnant – throw around stories about how you slept through the fire alarm in college. Heck, get the fire alarm to go off and sleep through it and be like Man, I didn’t even hear that loud, alarm blasting in my ear. When the baby arrives and wakes at night – just keep sleeping. Don’t move. When your wife shoves you stay as still as possible. After she hits you really hard, jump up and act totally confused. Bonus points if you hop out of bed and go to pick up the wrong child or frantically look for your glasses, instead finding your phone to wear as vision enhancers. This will ensure your wife wants you nowhere near her children and she will just give up trying to wake you anyway. If she does continue to attempt to wake you – up the ante. If she sends you to get something from downstairs – take really long. Or bring up the wrong thing. Change the wrong kids diaper. Be as incompetent as possible. She will finally retreat and your sleep will be left alone.
5. Tricks:When you feel that the baby is pretty much asleep in your wife’s arms, offer to take her so your wife can shower, or check her email or get some work down. Then sit down and hold the
remote sleeping baby. This will allow you hours of TV watching without looking like a bum because “what I am holding the baby; she always wakes up when I put her down”.
6. Key Phrases:When things are looking rough and you are just tired of bouncing a cranky baby or don’t really want to push toy cars around anymore, just hand off the whiny kid to the wife and say “They just really like you more” and act like it upsets you. Then continue, “Here I’ll get some chores done, what needs to be done, these clothes, stuff the diapers?” Always try to fold clothes because this results in two things. First, you can sit and watch TV while folding the clothes and second, when you bring them upstairs to put away you can take a long time coming back downstairs. Always work really slow because chores that you can do while sitting are RARE and you don’t want to be caught doing nothing.
These are just a few ideas to support you Dads over the next few months. If you stop back after your wife delivers we will have our toddler series where we will be sure to share tips such as “When your toddler is driving you mad. Tell your wife to take a shower or go get some Starbucks. Key is get her as far away as possible. Then as soon as she leaves. Throw on a movie. When she returns, annoyed with the TV, play dumb and say “what did he already watch too much TV this week, I tried reading him a book?”