I am Iron Dad! A Lesson in Logistics

For those of you who know me, you’ve probably heard by now that my wife and I had a child. Since this is the Wild West of the open internet (unlike my pretty private Facebook account), I won’t be sharing the baby’s name or any pictures.

I have heard of (and seen) plenty of dad blogs before, and I figured I would take a crack at one too. If you see a blog post with the word “Dad” in it, it’s part of my new self-deprecating and yet somehow all-knowing dad blog series. It will have the usual Nick Gagalis punnery, dad jokes and some thoughtful insight. However, because of our preference for privacy, you won’t see any cute baby pictures here. Here’s hoping this is an acceptable consolation.

I am Iron Dad

This is how I felt after carrying all of the groceries, the baby’s bottles and pump, my overnight bag, my wife’s overnight bag and a few other goodies into the house after a weekend away. While some of those items I normally packed and carried with me, I was amazed at how much more we needed because of the child-in-tow.

There are backpacks and frontpacks and arm bags and hand bags and shoulder bags and (hopefully not) neck bags. Give me a second to catch my breath! For someone that doesn’t go to the gym, lugging stuff is my CrossFit. I end up “working” a lot of different muscle groups and getting some “cardio” too when I lug it across the parking lot quickly. We’ll have more on Dadnastics at a later date.

Schlepping lots of stuff around is an enjoyable new challenge and reality for me. It’s changed my approach to many basic things that I do. Here are a few of the lessons in logistics that my wife and I have learned thanks to our experiences in the first few months as parents.

If you decide to go out, especially to a party or to visit family, give yourself waaaaay more time than you think you’ll need. My wife and I were pretty punctual people before the baby was born. There were three family parties while I was on paternity leave. We were an hour late for one of them. At another, we were 45 minutes tardy, and the last one we took an extra 15 minutes to arrive. Whether it’s a dirty diaper, soiled clothes, a last-second feeding or realizing you forgot something the second you touch the door handle of your car, there will be plenty of things that slow you down.

Make sure you have changing pads. Our diaper bag (which is a backpack) came with one, and we have a few others too. Along with everything else, it’s always good to have extras. We’ve found it helpful to have a second or third version of most hygiene items to take with us on the road (self-contained packages of wipes, changing pads, handfuls of diapers, burp cloths, bibs, etc.)

Be prepared to add extra steps to everything you do. If you’re anything like me and you want to do a bunch of small chores at once, you have two options: you can hold the baby and take one or two items at a time, or you can build in wiggle room to pick the baby up. Instead of a mad grab for everything out of place in the living room, it feels more like suicide sprints on a basketball court. Bring the bottle to the sink. Go back to the living room. Toss the burp cloth in the laundry. Go back to the living room. Toss the dirty diaper in the trash. Go back to the living room.

There’s also the option of waiting until the baby is asleep, then binging on chores, but I prefer to do a little of everything upfront, then relax afterwards. Plus, that gives me the perfect opportunity to hone my play-by-play skills. If I’m carrying the baby with me, I can always talk about what I’m doing. We all know that the trash is a great basketball hoop! (Plus, the baby can be a witness to the fact that I have actually made a shot at some point during my life.) At the rink or field, the fans in the stands get excited. At our house, the fan gets cool (and the baby gets excited). It’s incredibly tough to make something that rotates in place interesting, but I’ve found that it’s possible. (I don’t think the baby is a very harsh critic yet.)

If you’ve made it to the end of this post and you’re not ready to hit the mute button on me forever, you will probably like the entries I have coming up. In later installments of the dad blog, we’ll discuss my secret stash, my desperate attempts to be Weird Al Yankovic and my battles with kitchen appliances, all in the name of our baby. Talk to you then!

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