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The Father Factor

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There is a Reason for the Gaping Hole in My Trousers

Ah, the joys of fatherhood!

This morning, as I was dropping my little guy off at day care, I bent over to pick up his diaper bag and heard a thunderous roar come from behind. No, it wasn't that. It was the sound of my pants splitting.

So, there I was, in a room full of infants, toddlers, and women, with a six inch tear right down the buttocks of my nice pants. Fortunately, I was wearing a jacket, so I could conceal the "important stuff," but it was still embarrassing.

It was 8:20, I have to be at work at 8:30, and home is 25 minutes away. Doesn't take a math genius to figure out that I would be late to work. And I had someone coming in for an interview at 9.

So, I finished handing the baby off to the kind day care people (who were shielding their eyes), and headed home to change my pants.

If this happened to me a year ago, I probably would have been a lot more flustered and upset by the situation. But the fact that I ripped my pants open for a noble cause - getting my son safely in the hands of his caretakers - made it seem not so bad.

The lesson here, if there is one, is that having a child does indeed change everything. It made an impatient guy who hates being late not care about being late.

Tomorrow, I plan to have my shirt burst open while I lift my child out of his car seat.

First Day of Day Care

This morning, my wife and I dropped off three-month-old Vinny for his first day in day care. It is also, of course, my wife's first day back at work since January. It was an emotional morning, especially for my wife. Really, this episode highlights one of the differences between moms and dads.

For the most part, I was excited to see the little guy in a new environment with all kinds of new things and people to learn about. I, of course, was a little sad to be leaving him with someone other than mom, who has been the greatest caretaker he will ever have.

But while I was "a little sad," my wife was very sad. There were tears. She is going to miss the baby very much. She has been caring for him every day and night for three months, and now someone else is going to be in charge of that. I imagine she is going through some very complex emotions right now. I did my best to comfort her, but I know it is going to take a few days, or even weeks, for her to get used to leaving her "prince" in someone else's hands.

Or maybe she will never get used to it. In fact, it is probably a healthy sign for a mother to always believe that she is her own baby's best nurturer. After all, I would not want to live in a society that is too comfortable with the idea of parents offhandedly leaving their children for other people to take care of in their place.

For now, we simply understand that this is an economic reality for our family that we both have to work. Fortunately, the baby is in very caring hands. But it still does not make it easy...

Does anyone remember the first day they left their little one in day care? Any stories?

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