My Co-Sleeping Number Is Four

My Co-Sleeping Number Is Four

Sleep is a huge waste of my time. Not everyone’s time, mind you, but certainly mine. Spending 1/3 of my life unconscious deprives me of valuable hours that I could spend being awesome. In fact, you should be just as upset that sleep is depriving you of more me. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who should sleep more than they already are, because their being awake isn’t benefitting any of us. Regardless of all that we, as humans, require a considerable amount of sleep to function at our highest level and to be generally healthy. As such, I make sure I get a significant number of hours in every night.

Most parents will tell you that having a baby means giving up sleep for anywhere between 6 months and 23 years. My wife and I gamed the system early on with a simple rotating feeding schedule, battery powered swing, and co-sleeping. From the first week we were both getting at least 5-6 consecutive hours plus additional hours after that. In general, we felt pretty well rested for being the parents of a newborn. It wasn’t long before we phased out the feeding schedule and, shortly thereafter, the swing. Notice that I didn’t mention the co-sleeping.

Co-sleeping

Frankie Four is just about to turn 18 months old and has slept every night of his life in bed with us. Every night. All of them. Granted, I’ve traveled a bit for work so some of the nights were just he and Lisa, but he’s always slept with one of us.

co-sleeping

He’s had a crib since birth and has been asleep in it, but only for a few daytime naps, never at night. It was so underused that we converted it to a toddler bed early just so he could crawl in and out of it for fun. Today, it sits in our bedroom, acting as a holding pen for stuffed animals, spare blankets, and sometimes clean laundry that goes unfolded for days so my wife better get her ass in gear because it’s tough to stay on top of household chores when you have a toddler.

We didn’t intend to co-sleep for the length of time or in the manner that we did/still do. In fact, we bought a co-sleeper that attached to our bed so Lisa could breast feed then roll our fat little baby back into his own space. Frankie wasn’t having it. As far as he was concerned, our space was his space. I have no idea where he got that sense of entitlement. From day one, unless he was in the swing, he’d only sleep on or adjacent to us. Most of the time he slept with his lips attached to Lisa’s boob, which I think we can all agree is the best way to sleep. Or be awake, for that matter.  Take that Ambien.

When he’s not attached to the boob he finds some position that doesn’t inhibit my comfort or sleep at all. He’s a very considerate little guy.

co-sleeping

co-sleepingMaking sure mommy doesn’t breathe in any  of that harmful oxygen while she sleeps.

Co-sleeping gets mixed reviews in the parenting world which I totally understand. Before we were forced into embraced it, I considered it some hippie bullshit that women who didn’t shave their pits and named their kid Featherbreeze did. Being lumped in with those yurt dwelling shroom eaters horrified me, but once I burned all of the dreamcatchers hanging in that imagined world, I bought in. Ever since, having Frankie Four in bed with us has been one of the most gratifying aspects of fatherhood. And today I am the greatest at co-sleeping just as I am the greatest at all other aspects of parenting. As such, I’ve listed 5 of the potential problems that can arise from sharing a bed with your child, along with my solutions. However, because you’re not me, you’ll probably screw it up and damage your kid, so I take no legal or moral responsibility for anything you do.

1- BED SHARING WITH AN INFANT IS DANGEROUS
Experts say not to share a bed with an infant if you are fat, drink, smoke, take sedatives, have long hair, use blankets or pillows or sheets or a mattress, shit yourself at night, light fires in bed, sleep with a live alligator, watch Downton Abbey, create vision boards, think Trump “makes a lot of sense”, live in a home that had wheels but is now on cinderblocks, have too many sister-wives, think Tupac is alive, have a sword attached to the headboard, watch WWE, or are just plain stupid. Also, don’t sleep with an infant in your bed. Just don’t. Yes, I did. No, you shouldn’t.

co-sleepingNever leave your child in a bed unsupervised.

2- NO MORE SEX
You realize that sex is what got you in this predicament in the first place, right? Fine, if you want to continue playing Russian roulette with your finances/freedom/sleep/youth, read on. Your child is sleeping in your bed, so now you just have to relocate your shenanigans to other areas of your home. You can make the beast with two backs on the crunchy bed of Cheerios and crackers he’s gingerly placed on your sofa. Perhaps a steamy encounter on the kitchen counter between the leftover bowl of dried noodles she refused to eat and the half chewed Fig Newton she spit out because even toddler’s know that Fig Newton’s are fucking gross. Maybe a romantic interlude in front of the fireplace on a sticky, juice soaked rug where your spine will be tickled by the soft kiss of Lego pieces and one broken toy truck. There are countless places where you can throw down while your kid drools all over your pillow. Personally, by the time night rolls around, my version of “sex” is staying awake long enough to watch one show on the iPad. So F4 sleeping like a giant dash mark between us isn’t infringing on my action. My peak energy level/libido is early afternoon so if homeboy naps we’re in flagrante delicto somewhere in the house. If you want to use the bed to boink during the day, find another comfortable spot for your kid to nap. Below are some suitable options:

baby in a box

baby carrier

baby asleep on tricycle

baby asleep with eggs

bread pillow

co-sleeping

3- BED SHARING WITH A TODDLER IS DANGEROUS
Whereas sharing your bed with an infant is dangerous to them, bed sharing with a toddler is dangerous to you. A spinning back fist to the face is bad enough, but when your son is genetically gifted with powerful legs because he has your genes, it’s the feet you have to fear. I’ve been kicked in both eyes, the nose, both ears, the temple, the forehead, the throat, and the testicles, all multiple times. My beloved boy likes to sleep sideways across the bed, with his head near his mother, for obvious reasons (See: Boobs), and his feet near me. Asleep or awake, he kicks his feet like a bull trying to buck off a cowboy with a rope tied around his nuts. On more than one occasion I thought I had a broken nose. There are only two solutions to this problem. Solution 1 is to wear a hockey mask or one of those beekeeper hoods that fencers wear. Solution 2 is to stop being a pussy. If you can’t take a punch or a kick from a toddler then you’re not a man. If you’re a woman, you’re already not a man but now you’re even less of a man.

4- YOU WON’T BE FORCED GET TO CUDDLE
Woman, I’m sorry to say that there’s no solution to this particular problem.
Men, you’re welcome.

5- YOU’LL GET WOKEN UP EARLY/THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT
Early – People who sleep in are lazy. By the time my son wakes up I’ve already worked out, showered, perfected my hair game for the day, checked my email, and still had 10 spare minutes to flex in the mirror. If you sleep in you don’t deserve to sleep in.

Throughout The Night – 60 ounces of coffee every day, along with a gallon of water and a 46 year old prostate, means I pee every half hour all night long. My son complains that I wake him up too many times. If you sleep normally, and so does your kid, you’ll be fine. Otherwise the two of you can stay up together for fun time! Mommy will love that.

co-sleeping

Look, there’s lists on lists of reasons that people don’t co-sleep and I support their right to not care about their children as much as I care about mine. The fact is, I love co-sleeping. I’m a first time, and decidedly “one-and-done”, dad. In the immortal words of Aerosmith, I “don’t wanna miss a thing“. Having Frankie fall asleep with his head on my chest, snuggle up to me in the middle of the night, and smile at me when he opens his eyes in the morning, are some of my favorite moments.

co-sleeping

I know his childhood won’t last forever so I’m embracing every opportunity to connect, and just be with him. One day he’ll be too big to want to give me 10 kisses goodnight, or cuddle, or even sleep in our bed. After some emotional adjustment, I’ll embrace that stage too. But for now I’m going to enjoy the fact that I love my boy so much that comfort, sleep, and an unbroken nose don’t compare to me being allowed to doze off with him every night and wake up with him every day.

co-sleeping

And how could you pass up witnessing the childlike wonder as your little one peacefully watches the sun come up out the window?

co-sleeping

But really, this sums up co-sleeping better than any words.

co-sleeping

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Here We Go Sport

Here We Go Sport

I just did something I swore I’d never, under any circumstances, do once I had a child. It’s difficult to reconcile that I’ve gone against my principles and risked all that I hold dear, gambling both my and my childs well being.

I signed my son up for soccer.

There’s a list of sports I want to kill and soccer holds a place firmly in the top 5 along with golf, tennis, lacrosse,  and golf. Yes, golf is listed twice because I harbor double the disdain for this so-called “sport”. It’s a skill, certainly, but not a sport. At least tennis and lacrosse require some level of physical fitness. You can play golf if you have one eye, emphysema, or even a wooden peg leg. Not to mention the fact that watching it is like staring into an empty abyss for all of eternity, only not as exciting.

Soccer held a similar position in my heart up until a few months ago. It was not Cristian Ronaldo or Lionel Messi that swayed me. Nor was it the great and glorious god of hairstyles that I worship, David Beckham. It was my one year old son himself, Frankie Four. See, I’d purchased F4 a little soccer ball on a whim one day. Not because I wanted him to play soccer, far from it, but because the ball itself was more durable than the other balls on sale for $4.99. My vehement opposition to soccer is overshadowed only by my frugality. I hate soccer but I still want to kick it in its cheap balls. Anyway, Frankie Four and I were outside playing the day before his first birthday. The ball was just sitting there when he walked up and kicked it. I figured it was an accident, that he’d been walking toward it and his foot hit before he had a chance to pick it up. Then he kicked it again. My son is only one but he’s sharp, so I doubted that the second time was inadvertent. Just to be sure, I pulled out the trusty phone and nudged the ball with my foot. Seconds later—

Boo ya! And ever since that first flurry of kicks, roughly 3 months ago, he’s constantly dribbling the soccer ball. Dribbling. Is that what it’s called? I know that’s what you call bouncing a basketball to move it down court, but is it the same for soccer? I could Google it but I’m terrified that soccer related ads will start showing up in my email and newsfeed. I’d rather Google “animal with largest testicles” or “is human pancreas edible” or “am I secretly a woman trapped in a mans body?’ than have soccer related marketing target me. That’s my level of disdain for soccer.

You’re probably wondering why I hate soccer worse than Donald Trump hates well, everyone. First off, I played one season of soccer back in elementary school and I sucked at it. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe there was ever anything at which I did not excel. That should be proof enough that soccer is a ridiculous activity. If I wasn’t good at it then, by default, it must actually be the thing itself that sucks, because look at me. Aside of  the traumatic childhood experience of participating in that horror show of a sport, it’s fucking boring. Painfully boring. Granted, it’s not “golf boring”, but it’s definitely a snooze fest to the nth degree. Proof is in the goals. The average number of goals in most World Cup matches is less than 3. Remember, we’re talking about a 90 minute game. That means you’re lucky if you see one goal every half hour. In between those goals you’re watching 22 people run toward a ball. One of those 22 people kicks the ball really far down a field roughly the size of Rhode Island. Then, all 22 people turn and run after the ball. Whoever gets there first kicks it back in the opposite direction and they all turn the other way and run. In the unlikely event that someone kicks the ball into the opposing teams net, a man, always from a foreign country, screams “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!” then immediately dies of surprise that someone scored. His scream is roughly 19 minutes long and is easily the most exciting part of the game. Unfortunately, just after he dies, the 22 people go back to playing soccer.

To make matters worse, I’m going to have to pretend to enjoy soccer. My son is only 15 months old so there aren’t a lot of sports he can play. I can’t sign him up for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or wrestling because it’s too early for the other toddlers to get choked out or suplexed. I considered swimming but that breast milk gut he’s rocking is not a good look in a Speedo. I’m going to discourage him from football because I prefer to avoid brain damage. And don’t start lecturing me about how MMA fighters can get brain damage because I’ll head kick you. When he’s ready to fight, he’ll fight.

One aspect of this that I do enjoy is that Frankie Four is going to start the soccer program at exactly 16 months old, to the day. The age range is 18-26 months for the starter program so he’ll be one of, if not the youngest kid on the field. If he’s good, I can brag about how advanced he is for his age. If he sucks (like I did), I can explain it away because he started so young. Either way, I win.

If I take a step back, and pretend that I’ve signed him up for something that’s not soccer, I’m really excited. It’s Four’s first group activity other than a sign language and sing along class that I never had the opportunity to attend. The soccer “league” is on Saturday mornings, right in our neighborhood, so that gets to be a daddy activity. I’m looking forward to seeing him interact with other kids in an “organized” manner and introduce him to being a team player. Although most of the sports I personally enjoy participating in and watching are solo endeavors, I understand the value of the team structure. Mostly I’m just enamored of the idea that this will be the first of many activities throughout his life where I can be there to cheer him on. Watching him school the other toddlers enjoy himself while learning valuable life lessons will be an immense source of joy for me. Whenever I took on a sport as a child my dad was always there and it was a great bonding experience. I look forward to sharing the same experiences with my son.

At the end of the day, I don’t care that he likes sports as long as he embraces physical activities and fitness. But if he does like sports, and wants to play, I’ll be on the sidelines 100% of the time, cheering him on, encouraging him, congratulating him for wins, consoling him for defeats, and always reminding him that I am his biggest fan.

Even if he loves to play soccer.

Although I’d prefer baseball.

Or powerlifting.

Bad Ass Dad

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Baby Food For Thought

Baby Food For Thought

My favorite part of the day has always been early morning. I like to get up before my wife, before noisy traffic, often before the sun has risen. The world is still a peaceful place and I can ease into life, like gently lowering myself into a warm bath infused with some sort of ridiculous overpriced chick-nonsense scented bath ball.

And then a baby fart rudely awakens me from my beautiful daydream.

Theses days I’m getting up even earlier than before. But it’s not to enjoy a few moments of quiet introspection, or a leisurely stretching session, or to watch mankind destroying itself, aka the news. It’s because I have an 8 month old baby boy who owns my mornings, along with any other previously labeled “me time”.

Ironically, I love these morning more than any mornings that came before them. Before Frankie Four was born the morning would (he said “morning wood”) be dedicated to avoiding all other human contact. Now the start of my day is dedicated solely to interacting with my son.

I usually wake up before Lisa and Four, so I hustle to shower and complete a few chores like take out the trash, wash the dishes, or poop. In the midst of these tasks, usually the pooping, I inevitably hear a call of, “Daaaaddy”, which is Lisa’s cute way of saying, “This kid chomped on my boobs half the night while you slept like you’re on vacation, so batter up motherfucker.” I drop whatever I’m doing and rush in to find my boy smiling up at me. He’s a happy kid in general, almost always smiling or laughing. But he’s got this big sleepy grin when he first wakes up that reminds me of what a great life I have.

I scoop him up and he presses his face against mine, his little warm cheek soft against my cheek, his arm around my neck, and nothing else in the world exists. It’s just me and my son and a love so strong that I don’t think my heart can contain it. There are mornings when holding him almost brings me to tears because I’d never imagined that being a dad would feel this good.

Now that I’m done weeping on my Macbook Pro like a little bitch, let’s get to the fun part—breakfast! This truly is the best part of my day. Every morning I put Four in his high chair and I make us breakfast. My oatmeal, his rice cereal mixed with carrots. My coffee, his steamed sweet potato. My scrambled egg whites, his scrambled egg whites. Actually, they’re the same egg whites. I don’t make them in separate batches. That would be stupid and inefficient.

Bad Ass DadI prepare eggs delicately, hence the extended pinky.

Bad Ass Dad CookingPlating and presentation of an ample bicep is key to being a good chef.

Bad Ass Dad feeding babyFour glares at me waits patiently between bites.

Bad Ass Dad feeding babyMy cereal looks good dad, but mommy taught me to try to eat your food instead of my own.

Bad Ass Dad feeding babyI’m not kidding old man. Gimme the goddamn oatmeal.

Bad Ass Dad feeding babyI’m done now. Be gone.

Before I say anything else, let me just point out how much I love my son. I allowed Lisa to take these photos prior to applying any hair product to my always perfect coif. In essence, I’ve bared my soul for you, for him, and for all mankind. You’re welcome. (Also, side note, I don’t have a soul because that’s not a real thing.)

This is a pretty typical morning for us. We also spend some time playing, maybe read a book, and practicing our conversation. I’m in an office Monday through Friday, have a few personal projects I work on, and go to the gym 4-5 days per week. Other than that, my family gets 100% of my time and attention. In a perfect world I’d spend all of my time with them, but then we’d be living in a dumpster behind an Arby’s and worse, be eating Arby’s. So, I maximize my time to the best of my ability in order to take an active role in raising my son. Lisa busts her ass on a daily basis taking care of Four (and me), and she deserves some time for herself. But more than that, I want to be a good dad more than I’ve ever wanted to be anything in my life. Each and every day I wake up grateful for the opportunity to be a father, and I want my son to know how much that means to me. If I can communicate that with morning snuggles, a diaper change, and some scrambled eggs, I think I’ve done my job.

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What I Learned From My First Father’s Day

What I Learned From My First Father’s Day

I’m a dad.

That thought recurs periodically throughout each day, and every time I’m hit with a surreal sense of wonder. I wake up in the morning, there’s my baby. I get home from work, there’s my baby. I get a text in the middle of the day, there’s a picture of my baby. It’s not as if I ever forget that I have a son, but rather that my mind is occasionally occupied with other thoughts until his existence unceremoniously dropkicks those “other thoughts” out of my head.

This past Sunday, my first Father’s Day as a dad, there was not a single moment where any thought other than, “I’m a dad” was able to cross my synapses. It actually began a day early, on Saturday, when the first card arrived from my mom. Sunday started with a text at 5:59am from my stepmom, followed by one from my mother-in-law, my dad, then a bunch of friends throughout the day.

text1 text2 text3

There were also some awesome cards.

Father's Day Cards

Most importantly, there were these two:

LisaFour

That’s my wife, Lisa, and my 4 month old son Frankie, aka “Four”.

My Father’s Day kicked off with a family walk at the beach, pushing Four along in his stroller with his fat little feet sticking out just enough to feel the warmth of the sun. We passed quite a few other couples doing the same thing, each time the dad and I exchanging a nod and a knowing smile. It was an unspoken acknowledgment that we were proud members of the new dad club, and that this was our day. In many ways it was similar to the looks I get from other bikers when I’m sitting on my motorcycle, only this felt way cooler. I never imagined that pushing a quiet stroller would make me feel infinitely more Bad Ass than a roaring 1600 cc Harley.

Dad with stroller at beach

Lisa took me for sushi after the beach and Four cooperatively slept through the entire lunch.

Next we headed to treat ourselves to some Açaí bowls and boobs, both refreshing on a hot summer day.

boobandbowl

Our final stop was  so that I could revisit 1982, the last time I bought a pair of Van’s. That particular pair were the black and white, checkered slip-ons a la Jeff Spicoli in “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” which 12 year old me watched hundreds of times just to see Phoebe Cates boobs. The new kicks I treated myself to have laces, and no checkers, because my son seemed to like this pair more.

FourShoes

On a side note, growing up in Maryland, I loved Fast Times because, to me, it romanticized the idea of living in a Southern California beach town where life appeared to be sunshine and boobs every day. Funny how, 33 years later, I bought my second pair of Van’s in Hermosa Beach, just a few miles from where I live now, enjoying year round sunshine and a gorgeous Southern California bred wife with even better boobs than Phoebe Cates.

boobs

Sunday really was the perfect day. A simple time spent with my wife and my son, the two people that I love most in this world, and the two people who made me a dad. And, over the course of my first Father’s Day, I came to learn something I’ll endeavor to keep in mind for the rest of my life.

On Father’s Day, while everyone is honoring me, I need to remind myself that they’ve got it all wrong. To me, the day shouldn’t be about others honoring me, but about me honoring them. Honoring them for allowing me to take on the most important role I will ever have in my life, that of being a dad.

Frank Prather

Cloning Myself Part 1

Cloning Myself Part 1

We all agree that I am an exceptionally great person who cares about everyone else in the world and just wants them to be happy. As such, it’s my duty to share with them the most magnificent gift that mankind could ever hope to receive, more of me. And, while I’ve been voted “Most Likely To Be Immortal” by my peers (I have no peers), there’s still a reasonable chance that I will one day expire. Hence, I have created life in the form of my son, Franklin Nathaniel Prather IV (aka Four) and will raise him to be exactly like me, perfect.

Below are 10 things that I’m teaching Four so he can be a superior being, just like his humble father.

1) Most people are irritating so it’s best to simply avoid them. However, you can to share yourself with them via social media so that they may bask in the digital glow of your visage. By the time you’re ready to do that without my assistance, I predict that the most popular site will be Instahologram.com (Instaholagram.com in Spanish) where others can feel ignored by a life sized you, as if you were in the same room.

2) All religion is nonsense, “god” is pretend, and “spirituality” is for hippies, chicks, and motivational speakers. You should be logical, like Spock, only with a scathing wit and winning smile.

3) Exercising and eating right will result in good health, a better physique, hotter significant others, and the right to lord your superiority over everyone to an even greater degree than just being smarter than they are. Nice pecs = lots of se…you get the idea.

4) Be smarter than everyone. This might be the easiest thing on the list.

5) You can listen to and enjoy all types of music as long as you agree that Prince is the greatest musical artist that has ever lived.

6) I don’t care if you’re straight or gay, just never wear white sneakers with jeans or use emoticons.

7) Make fun of everyone equally but lay off those weaker than you. Mockery makes life worth living but bullying is for pussies.

8) Violence is never the answer unless you’re beating the shit out of a bully.

9) Being attractive is a result of good genetics which were bestowed upon you by your father. You’re welcome.

10) There is no one greater than your father in any way. No one.

This is just the beginning of what I’m going to teach you. Eventually you will be filled with so much knowledge that, along with your impressive physique and extreme good looks, you’ll be pretty much the best person ever, just like me.

We are already alike in so many ways…

Spartan4

Frank Prather

My First Post As A First Time Dad – The Birth

My First Post As A First Time Dad – The Birth

When I launched this blog back in September of 2014 I obviously knew that I was going to have a kid, because otherwise a dad blog would be an extremely stupid idea. But that didn’t really mean anything to me, in the sense of what it’s like to actually have a child in my possession. I thought it did but, until that little goopy Golem came gurgle splurgling out of my wife’s nether regions, it was all speculation. Then, on 2/25/15, which is a cool ass birthday, numerically speaking, my offspring sprung himself out of the womb and into my arms. Boom, in an instant I become the greatest dad that ever lived. Go me!

That was also around the time I fell in love with an 8lb. ball of slime-covered pink-ish flesh named Franklin Nathaniel Prather IV, aka Four, aka my son.

The birth went down in the typical fashion. Lisa, my wife, informed me that her water broke on a Monday afternoon. She called the groinocologist who told her to head to the hospital. As any responsible adult would, she decided that we’d go the following day, depending on whether or not we’d have time to watch The Blacklist first. Tuesday morning came and she still felt fine so I went to work while she stayed home and made meatballs.

pregant wife bad ass dadMeatballer, Shot Caller, Bra-ler.

While the meatballs were simmering she called the hospital and they let her know that she should come in right away. So, when I arrived home from work, she suggested that I had time to go to Crossfit before dinner because “right away” is such a vague term. It occurred to me that I might be making a poor decision by going to Crossfit, mostly because my back was a little sore. Oh, and because my wife was having a baby. But honestly, my physique has been looking so good lately that I have to keep my priorities straight, so off to the gym I went. When I returned Lisa had dinner all ready for me, as any good wife in labor should, so we ate some delicious meatballs with her mom then lazily packed up and headed to the hospital.

bad ass dad maternity ward“Patients ONLY”? Then I’m preggers, bitches. Open up.

Given Lisa’s casual demeanor over the previous twenty-four hours, I wasn’t completely convinced that she was in labor. However, when the nurse performed the examination she confirmed that the water had, in fact, broken. We were here to stay.

Because she read too many hippy birth articles written by women who probably don’t shave their armpits, my fit, tough, Spartan Racer wife had been determined to go through the labor process naturally, sans drugs, in order to fully experience the miracle of childbirth. Unfortunately, they needed to induce labor because, although her water had broken, she wasn’t having any contractions. Once the water breaks, both mom and baby are at high risk for infection so the labor process needs to get kick started. We asked every question you could think of and waited as long as we could, but ultimately the risk of our baby catching an infection outweighed her desire to avoid medical intervention. They started the induction drip and we settled in for the HOLY SHIT WHY IS SHE SCREAMING?

pregnant lady

Apparently the contractions are pretty horrific when they induce labor and get progressively worse as they increase the amount of the drug. Lisa went from, “Ouch these are uncomfortable” to, “Oh god, these are unbearable” in about 4 hours”. Now, lest you think my claims of her being “tough” are exaggerated, I’ve seen her complete a 13-mile Spartan Beast on what was essentially a broken foot. Lisa doesn’t just give in to pain. She’s been with me for over five years which I think speaks to her pain tolerance. So, when she looked at me at 3am and said, “Would you be disappointed in me if I asked for an epidural?” I thought what every loving, compassionate husband would think—I may finally get to go to sleep. Epidurals for everybody. First round is on me! Less than an hour later we were both out cold.

Suck it, natural childbirth.

Our doctor arrived the next morning and informed us that we were approximately two hours away from having a baby.

pregnantI’d like to order two large pizzas, a side of fries, and an epidural.

At that moment, for the first time, I actually started to get a bit nervous. It seemed like I was going to have a kid before lunch and I eat on a really strict schedule. What if I didn’t get to eat on time? Would the lack of protein cause my biceps to shrink 1/4356 of an inch? Could low blood sugar cause me to feel mildly irritable? What if my tummy grumbled uncomfortably? This baby is a couple of hours away from existing and is already a pain in my ass. My hangry musings were interrupted by the nurse coming in to get Lisa started on her pushing. Pushing real good.

I’d love to have some dramatic story about how it took her 6,000 hours of labor to squeeze the baby out but it went both quickly and smoothly-ish. Lisa’s pushing was pretty effective which I attribute to the fact that I force her to she works out consistently. I stood to one side holding her leg in an awkward position while offering words of encouragement like, “You get to have my baby!”, “Look how great I am at holding your leg!”, and “I don’t think you’re going to infringe on my lunch hour, good deal!”. Suffice to say that she is a very lucky girl and I am the epitome of a birthing coach.

dad bedside deliveryYou’re doing great, me. Stay strong! And that shirt looks really good on you.

When not single-handedly making the labor go well with my leg holding and word saying, I was watching her lady love-tunnel for the appearance of a baby head. A lot of things came out while I was waiting, none of which were a newborn baby. At one point the doctor said he would use a vacuum to suck the baby out which sounded awesome until I realized it wasn’t a Roomba or even a DustBuster. They have some sort of special skull sucking machine that clamps down on the babies head turning it into a living Stretch Armstrong doll. Finally, the giant gooey head of my heir parted her um, parts, and started smushing out. I was transfixed as the horror unfolded most joyous of events took place before my very eyes.

In every language the term, “miracle of childbirth” translates literally to, “That’s fucking gross.” After the misshapen head rips through an opening that’s ten sizes too small, the entire body basically slurps out like a rubber chicken covered in glop. When it was completely out I panicked for a second thinking that they might try to hand it to me and no way I was touching that thing.

babys first picI must have some gorilla DNA because look at his face.
He’ll be swatting planes off the Empire State Bldg in no time.

Fortunately they dropped the creature on to Lisa’s ample bosom for some skin-to-skin before they shuttled it over to a table for a quick weigh in and wipe down.

weighing a newbornApparently they try to see if the babies head will pop off to make sure he’s healthy.

Moments later the grossest ball of snot that I’d ever witnessed in person looked like a tiny baby boy/MMA fighter after a brutal beating. The nurse handed him to me so that I could have a brief moment before returning him to Lisa.

I held him the way one might hold the most fragile glass, or something made of egg shells. He felt almost weightless in my arms. I stared, hypnotized by his little face.  In that instant, everything, every person, and every moment I’d ever experienced, ceased to exist. There was only this tiny newborn baby who was more meaningful to me than all that had come before him and all that would come after him. At a healthy eight pounds even, this boy entered the ring of life as the undisputed heavyweight champion of my heart.

family

A few seconds later I handed him off to his mommy and he was instantly asleep, lulled by the sound of her heart. I stood next to the bed, beaming proudly at my family, and was hit with the most powerful realization of my life.

I am a dad.

Bad Ass Dad

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Here We Go

Here We Go

I’m about to re-write the book on fatherhood.

Bad Ass Dad

and piss off a lot of parents in the process.

Bad Ass Dad