Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Ready for Fatherhood?

Lately I've noticed a distinct increase in personal posts on this blog. This is due in large part to the fact that I've been through the physical wringer and back. I promise, I'll get back my smarmy ways again soon, but for now you'll all just have to live with it.

The title of this post is "Ready for Fatherhood". For the longest time, I thought that being a father was incredibly hard work. Loss of sleep, endless diaper changes, erratic feeding times, crazy mood swings... and that's just the wife!
I'm in a bit of a unique position. Most of the people I consider to be friends are married. Many of them have young children. I've been able to observe they way these people deal with the various situations that arise in their lives.
It has been eight months since I returned to Smithers from Abbotsford. In that time I've been able to experience (either first, or second-hand) what my friends go through to make their relationships work. It really is quite fascinating... for me anyways, because I am completely oblivious to the kinds of things that they must go through. I can stay up until whatever hour I like. I can play video games, read books, post to my blog, or drive aimlessly around town until my gas guage is on empty. Not to mention, when I purchase a bag of cheetos, I can eat the whole darned thing by myself. I am not in the position where I need to take into account the feelings (or hunger pains) of my spouse, let alone a little one! It is freedom at it's finest.
But it does get a little on the dull side. Which is why I observe with such interest the lives of my married friends. The ones with kids have chosen to live in such a way as to raise their kids right. They want to provide an opportunity for their offspring to do well in life. As Ann Coulter puts it, it is that dreaded "upward spiral known as acheivement". Kudos to them for making such a sacrifice! But is such a tremendous sacrifice really necessary?

Today, for the first time, I was able to babysit my nephew. When my brother and his better half are in need of a sitter, it is usually my mom or the mother-in-law to the rescue. Temujin isn't exactly on the short list of call-backs ;-) But today the circumstances were a little different, and I found myself babysitting my brothers' 11-month old little grommet. For an hour and a half, no less!

It was a rather uneventful hour and a half. He watched excitedly as I played games on my brothers P2. Anytime he seemed bored or restless, it wasn't much trouble to get him interesting in something else (a toy, a remote control, a cup... he is easily amused!). After about an hour, he seemed to desire my attention to a greater degree. I picked him up, placed a bottle in his mouth, and watched as he gulped down the nutritional goodness of said bottle. Within moments, his eyes began to sag, then droop, until he was off chasing toys in baby dreamland. I laid him down, put a blanket on him, and waited until my "relief" (aka mother) came to babysit for the rest of the night. And that's all there was to it. It was a piece of cake.

So I dunno what everyone complains about when it comes to parenthood, especially fatherhood. I mean, it was the easiest thing ever for me, and I'd never even done it before! No barking, no biting, no crying... I think a cat is harder to take care of. Why is it that all my married-with-children friends never have any free time? Come on guys, get with it!

So I'm officially ready for fatherhood. Bring it on, I say! It's no sweat, and at the end of the day, I'll still eat my Cheetos.