I’m the kind of guy who always reads the manual. As soon as Aleisha found out she was pregnant, I hit the library. I found a great book, Daddy Smarts: A Guide for Rookie Fathers, that filled me in on pregnancy from a father’s perspective. I found an even better book for what will come later, Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads. Styled after a Boy Scout manual, this guide is both humorous and helpful when offering advice on everything from Gripping a Slippery Baby to the Secret Meaning of Peek-A-Boo.
So, it did not take much convincing on Aleisha’s part for me to enroll in a class called Daddy Boot Camp offered at the hospital. One can never have too much advice. Still, I was glad that my friend Pete (whose wife taught with Aleisha and is expecting in January) was also going. If the three-hour session got the least bit boring, I knew I could count on Pete to liven things up.
Fortunately, we both found the class pretty useful. When I walked in (only two minutes late…don’t tell my wife), two recent dads were sitting at the head of the class with their babies, one four-months old, the other nine weeks. For the next 45 minutes, they shared with us their experiences before, during and after labor. Then, a doctor with his own toddler, went through a checklist of info and advice.
We wrapped up the session (no pun intended) by trying our hand at changing a diaper and swaddling a baby doll, learning how to hold and burp. When I first sat down, I switched babies with Pete because the one in front of my chair had a blue blanket, and Pete knows he is having a boy. As we changed the diapers, he was surprised to see that his “boy” lacked the proper equipment. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen on labor day!