"To secure peace is to prepare for war!"
I am writing this post for soon-to-be father's everywhere, whether it is your first time at bat or if you just didn't pay attention very much the first time 'round. Either way, your kid is coming and you know it is going to be war - a war that you will have to win one battle at a time. Well dads (sorry moms, good luck!), what wins battles is information. So if you find yourself in the wrong quadrant of Chaney's Matrix of Disaster, I have you covered.
Don't panic, just gird your loins for my campaign of shock and awe. Your baby doesn't stand a chance of beating you when you follow these steps:
Step 1 - Hide A Secret Stash
The premise here is simple. In a troubled land of endless tears, wailing and vile smells, where the living move about like zombies in a hazy fever-dream of sleeplessness, a hero will rise! Everybody loves a hero, and in this story it is you. Why? because it's 3am and your wife informs you that you have just run out of diapers. You know what that means - a sacrifice! You must suit up, drive through the pouring rain for 20 mins to the only all-night establishment that may or may not have the diapers you so desperately need.
But wait! Not you, sir. Like a true champion you stride triumphantly to your hiding place and retrieve a 20-pack of Pampers and an extra box of wipes. "Where was that hiding?" she'll say. Not important General, victory is yours. Now have a sip of that bourbon that you also had tucked away and go back to bed.
Step 2 - Make Your Man Pack
I can't stress enough how important this is - while having your man pack is about being prepared, it is also about maintaining your dignity and status as Alpha when surrounded by the enemy. Remember that what's in your manpack is just as important as what is not in it. Here's your list of bare essentials:
- A diaper - just one (live dangerously)
- Bag of wipes
- Ziploc freezer bag for the inevitable (aka - major blowout)
- Small, super-absorbent microfiber towel (think MSR's Packtowel)
- Extra onesie for the little one
- Black t-shirt (for when you get puke or shit on the one you are wearing)
- Energy bar - you won't need this because you are a man, it is for your wife. Inevitably she will shut down from being overtired and hungry. Deploy in case of said emergency.
- $10 bill (bribes, emergency cab ride, metro card, 2 beers or one cocktail)
That's it dudes. If the baby is with you, never leave home without this. Or just bring your wife, because you know she has everything.
Step 3 - Use Earplugs
Do yourself a huge favor and head over to a drugstore and get a 20 pack of foam earplugs. They work great, and are a must if you plan on sleeping. They don't call them Hearos for nothing.
Step 4 - Drop Melatonin
To be used alone or in conjunction with Step 3, depending on severity of the storm. For those of you who don't know, Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep cycles. I'm no doc, but I do know this stuff makes for a great night of sleep. Use it for getting over jet- or baby-lag.
Step 5 - Practice Baby Aikido
Real Aikido is a beautiful and graceful martial art whose practitioners are adept at redirecting their opponents movements and attacks. Baby Aikido, on the other hand, is a sloppy but affective technique of redirecting your baby's activity against your enemies. Need to take a shit when no public toilet is available? Want to leave that terrible company BBQ early? Use Screaming Baby Blowout. Need a table at your favorite brunch spot on Easter Sunday? Extra whip on your Frappucino? Use Smiling Happy Fun-time Attack or Cute Sleeping Outfit Overload. They're powerless against it.
Step 6 - Listen to Heavy Metal
I know I know, it's so obvious. Did I really need to tell people to do this? Apparently yes. Some dads are still not aware that there is an entire genre of music dedicated to harnessing the power of anger and crushing weakness out of yourself. Plus, kids love it!
Time to get ready for action, new dads. While no plan survives first contact with the enemy, to be prepared is half the victory.