If you’re like me, and thankfully few of you are, the words “daddy boot camp” conjures up images of tiny prodigy wearing camouflage onesies and stealth booties, while their rough and youthful fathers run around throwing live diaper grenades and singing “I don’t know what you’ve been told…but this smelly diaper is twenty-seven hours old…sound off, one-two, sound off, one-two-three-four…” (it sounds better if you sing it in your head five or twenty-five times.)
Sadly, daddy boot camp was more a support group discussion about how your life will change for the better, how you can support your partner, and the realities of changing diapers, SIDS, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Post Partum Depression, traveling with babies, sleep deprivation, and putting your guns, knives, deadly chemicals, and vials of anthrax off the floor and out reach. Please don’t get me wrong, these are great and helpful things, but I was looking for more.
(An aside here about the word “partner” – in these classes this word it thrown about with reckless abandon. At first I tried to ignore it, but eventually I recognized it for what it was – not some left-wing conspiracy for alternative family planning – but an economy of words: saying partner is way faster, easier, and more accurate than saying “husband / wife / girlfriend / boyfriend / life partner” every time you talk about your better half.)
Again, all good things (refer to above) – but I would have liked and benefited from the following:
Diaper Drills: actually showing me how to change a diaper and see who could do it the fastest.
Infant CPR and First Aid: I will probably do something wrong with my baby, and I would like to know how to fix it.
Baby Budget: what will this baby actually cost? Medical bills, monthly expenses, how much should a diaper actually cost. Scary but practical.
Sex: Don’t get used to it, it’s going to be a while…
Many of you are parents and have an even better idea of what should be, or should have been, included in parenting classes for expectant dads. Please feel free to add a subject and brief description of knowledge to be found.