April 19, 2009

Daddy Boot Camp: Hooh – Uh!

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.


The Coach said...

Mr. Cool -

Marshall (who showed this book to me) and I highly recommend the following book:

Be Prepared by Greenberg and Hayden. It's a no-nonsense, practical, realistic handbook that is also quite humorous. Amazo-google it (that's a new word I just made up), and I think you'll say "Yup, I gotta order that."

Boy-Scout-Handbook-Meets-Ultimate-Survival-Guide. Two thumbs up.

The Coach said...

On another note, the budget's not that big a deal. You'll notice a few distinct pinches:

1: Adding "family" rather than just employee plus spouse on the benefits enrollment has a little bite.

2: Baby formula is expensive. I don't want to lecture you on the benefits of mother's milk or anything, but besides the preponderance of evidence that says good-old-fashioned nursing is infinitely superior to formula for an infant's health, formula costs a ton. And there are only Three (3) manufacturers of Baby Formula who can legally sell the stuff in the U.S. That means that the stuff you get a Sam's or Costco is made on the same line as Enfamil, Gerber, or Similac.

3: Diapers. Seriously? Environmental impact debate notwithstanding, disposable diapers are better. But again, the name-brands are gonna get ya. We have found in our four years of paper-based poop-catchers that the Albertson's brand diapers are not only as good at absorbing pee and preventing the aptly-named "blowouts" as Huggies or Luvs, they also are significantly less expensive. Still at .20 cents a poop, er pop, it adds up.

Also, Luvs smell bad even before poop gets in there.