Being the Baby Daddy

Tanya Dodd-Hise

By: Tanya Dodd-Hise

I decided yesterday that I need to send my boys’ father a thank-you card.  No, seriously.  As I was fighting with the stroller construction, and attaching carseat bases into our vehicles, kicking and cussing them all, it struck me that this was a pain in the ass!  I stepped back, after practically throwing the stroller across the driveway, sweating and frustrated, and realized that, while I had all of this same equipment when Noah was a baby, I NEVER once had to put any of it together.  I took off my sweaty Texas Rangers baseball hat and scratched my head, and thought about all of the baby crap that I had previously owned.  We had a decent crib that magically appeared in our bedroom at the time, and brought the baby home to it.  We had a car seat with base installed in my SUV, and all I had to do was click the infant seat into it and go.  We had strollers – yes, multiple (we wore about three out), and I never once had to put one together; didn’t they just come that way??  We had a high chair that matched our whole set of baby gear, and it also magically appeared in our kitchen when the time came to start giving him food.  I DID, back then, learn how to (often) put together and tear down our Pack n’ Plays. We had FOUR of those – one for home, one for the nanny, one at my mother’s, and one in the car.  Yeah, it was a little overkill, but we had one that matched our set and the rest that I found cheap at consignment stores.  But I digress.  My point is that we had all of the baby gear that we needed, and I never had to put any of it together.

This time around?  Oh dear God the baby stuff.  The carseat base in MY Jeep was pretty straightforward and easy.  When I got into Erikka’s SUV to install, however, that was another story.  Hers is much newer than mine, and the seatbelt system is much more complicated.  The stroller was easy, to be quite honest.  I was just hot and thought it would be easier than it actually was – I just don’t have a lot of patience.  I am looking at a baby swing that is in the box, knowing that I will have to put it together, and soon.  When we took the crib and dresser out of their boxes to put them together, my eyes just about popped out of my head, and I very happily handed over the screw gun to the friends who came over to help.  There were a LOT of pieces, to say the least.  I was perfectly content to supervise, hand pieces or screwdrivers to the assemblers, and then swoop in at the end for a picture next to the finished product (and claim the credit for the beautiful construction).

Preparing for a baby

So yeah, I want to send a thank-you card to the guy who did all of that for me before.  I am once again seeing a glimpse into an involved father’s life, or perhaps that of other non-biological moms-to-be.  I really, really appreciate the fact that there are those out there who not only don’t mind putting all of the crap together, but actually enjoy doing it, too.  I am most definitely NOT handy, but my girly wife is!  But at this stage in the game, it is becoming more and more difficult for her to get around comfortably, much less sit (or stand) and spend loads of time putting more stuff together.  At least if our baby girl decides to come early – she is supposed to come on 11/1/11 – then I know that we can go to the hospital in MY vehicle, and we’ll be good to go for bringing the baby home in a properly installed carseat.  Next step?  Getting that d*&% base installed into Erikka’s SUV and getting the swing put together.  Maybe tomorrow…

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