Wow, I was just looking back at my latest posts, and I realized that I haven’t posted any real updates about my personal life in a very long time. So here goes.
Having never done this before, I am very much learning how to be a father as I go. Of course pretty much everyone has to start out from scratch, so I’m not really special in my situation. The easiest way to categorize activities in this area is “things I was reasonably expecting to happen” and “what? did that really just happen? You must be kidding me!”
So in the first category I put things like changing diapers, feeding, and playing with my children. To a large degree I’ve had experience with this by having taken care of my dog Maury for several years now. The key here, as much as I understand things, is to understand the desire of the dog/child and things will go smoothly. If someone is making an unpleasant sound, or error code as I like to say, then resolving the situation is just a matter of finding the cause of the error code and fixing the underlying problem. To start out, babies generally have a small set of error codes– my diaper’s full, my stomach is empty, and someone isn’t giving me their full attention. So debugging small children is a pretty simple process.
The only situations to look out for are false positives and false negatives. For example, my oldest child Isabel doesn’t seem to mind running around with a diaper full of poop. And to make things more fun she likes to run and hide when we try and change her diaper. Don’t forget that kids can just start crying for no known reason. This is the most frustrating of all the error codes since there is no corresponding resolution action. The key to this situation is to identify it as a “Kobayashi Maru.” For anyone not intimately familiar with Star Trek terminology, this is a no win situation used to train Star Fleet officers. So just think, “What would Captain Kirk do?” And the correct answer isn’t “make more cheesy Priceline commercials.”
So now we come to the next group of activities. These are things that you will in no way be able to see coming. My personal favorite example of this is having Isabel on my chest fall asleep. Since I can’t really do anything else without waking up, I soon fell asleep myself. Then, for really no reason I could understand, Isabel emptied the entire contents of her stomach onto my face and chest. Very unpleasant I must say. But my point here is that I couldn’t have seen it coming.
So this is all I’ve learned in my two years or so of being a father. That, and if you want to get anything done on the computer your kids better be asleep or at grandmas for the weekend.