My son will be five months old on Tuesday, and I swear every day in my mind I ping-pong between “I don’t know where the time has gone” and “Wow, it’s only been five months?”
One of the joys of being a stay-at-home father is that every day, I seem to notice something new about how he’s growing, changing, and making my life so much better.
But you don’t want to hear about the mushy stuff. So here are some of the stranger thoughts and occurrences, as I present my latest installment of “The Daddy Files.”
— So I’m not sure if this is a typical baby thing or not, but it’s uncanny: Every night we put him down smack in the center of his crib, and within seconds my son scoots his way up to the top right corner, and sleeps with his head practically up against the edge of the crib. Whenever I go in and move him back to the center, he still gets back to the top corner within a few minutes.
I mean, is that particular spot the most comfy?
— The single most important item in your home when you have a baby? The Oxy-Clean spray that gets stains out. God, the number of outfits that have been saved by a quick Oxy treatment. Seriously, they could charge 50 bucks a bottle for it and I’d still pay it.
–I truly had no idea poop came in so many colors. Every time I change a diaper it’s like opening a bag of Skittles.
— He giggles now, often uncontrollably. Best sound in the world.
— Is it OK that I, as a perennially and permanently short person, am beyond excited that at his last checkup my son was found to be in the 75th percentile for height? I know, I know, it doesn’t really mean anything yet. But damn, as a 5-foot-5 1/2 inch person, I would so love for my spawn to hit, I don’t know, 5-9?
— People warned me that as a stay-at-home parent I’d be desperate for adult contact during the day. But honestly, between reporting for my freelance writing gigs and the fact that the grandparents are always checking in, it hasn’t been that bad.
— He’s a fantastic night sleeper, going 10-11 hours a night. But he’s not a great napper. Still, that’s a much better problem to have than the other way around, I know.
— I have conquered my previous, all-encompassing fear that I’m going to drop him.
Now I’m always worried that when he rolls over he’ll conk his head into a table and give himself a concussion.
Is that progress for my mental state?
**Next up, I consider myself a pretty big Billy Joel fan, but I’m nowhere near at the level of Christopher Bonanos, a writer for vulture.com. The other day Bonanos compiled an exhaustive list of all 121 recorded original songs by the Piano Man, and then ranked them.
It’s pretty much guaranteed to annoy most fans like me because he has some of my favorites ranked way too low (“Goodnight Saigon” is only No. 38, but”Say Goodbye to Hollywood” is No. 14? And “She’s Always a Woman” is way too lowly ranked), but it’s also fascinating to read why he rates certain songs higher.
Go ahead and lose yourself in the list for 10 minutes. And No. 1 is an inspired choice.
**Are you as sick of the braggart Seattle Seahawks, the (possibly) cheating New England Patriots, and the squirrelly, morals and facts-challenged NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as I am?
This week, with all the fallout from the Super Bowl, the story of a wonderful NFL player got lost in the shuffle a bit. Thomas Davis of the Carolina Panthers won the league’s Man of the Year award, and man, is this guy deserving.
Let me just tell you about some of the wonderful things Davis does: His hometown of Shellman, Ga., never had a playground when Thomas was a kid. So once he made the NFL, he built one. He sends two needy students from the Carolina area to college every year, on him. He buys Christmas presents for 300 kids who might not otherwise get any, and his Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation established an after-school leadership and mentoring program.
He also throws a lavish Thanksgiving dinner every year for victims of domestic abuse living in a women’s shelter.
In short, Thomas Davis is a wonderful human being, who deserves to be celebrated just as much as the arrogant Marshawn Lynches and Rob Gronkowskis of the world.
“I do things like that because I love to see kids have smiles on their faces,” Davis has said. “As a young kid, I knew my circumstances, I didn’t have the opportunity. I know as a leader of the community, I can give back. I want to be part of the solution.”