Today marks one year that I’ve been blogging. I started this blog while sitting on the couch, covered in poison ivy. I was a miserable, itching mess, but anxious with anticipation of labor starting for my six days overdue wife. I spent hours itching and coding, desperate to get all the shades of blue correct for my forthcoming adventures in blogging.

My first blog just talked about my itchiness and my desire to see what Sarah has been cooking for the last 40 weeks.

From my first post:

One year ago, I didn’t care at all whether I had kids or not. If I had kids, fine. If I didn’t have kids, fine. I think, in my entire life (30 years), I’ve only held a baby 3 times. That’s no joke… ask anyone who knows. And I’ve NEVER changed a diaper. I don’t really know how to talk or act when I’m with/near babies/children. They made me uncomfortable. I was scared that I would traumatize them or, worse, break them.

It shocks me to think back just one year, or even two (to get a real grasp on how I was regarding babies). I simply cannot imagine life without Tyler. It’s completely unfathomable to me. That little man inspires me every single day. To see Sarah love someone so completely, so unconditionally, is beautiful (I try to keep my jealousy at bay). Every single day, one of us is bound to ask the other, “How did we get such a beautiful baby?” I am almost offended at myself for thinking that I didn’t want to have a baby, but I’m sure that most of us have gone through that phase at some point of our lives. Truth be told, I’m glad (I know this is a bit contradictory to what I just said) that I felt that way previously, because I wouldn’t have wanted to have a baby with any of the women in my previous relationships. It took a perfect series of events and timing to bring precious little Tyler into my life (and the lives of all who love him). For all this, I am eternally grateful.

But we’re talking about my blog-birthday here, not Tyler. Why does he need to be the center of attention all. the. time?

I need to apologize to all the readers that take a few extra minutes to leave a comment on my blog. I truly appreciate the time you take to do so. Unfortunately, I had a misspelled piece of code on my commenting script. As a result, email addresses were never passed along. They were deleted as soon as you clicked “Submit”. So, if you clicked the little checkbox that says “Hey, email me if someone else leaves a comment, so that I can keep up with the discussion” (ok, it doesn’t say that, but that’s what it means), you never received those emails. Also, I understand that not everyone wants to always see every single comment show up in their email box and, therefore, they don’t subscribe to the comments. So, if I were to reply to the comments (which I have done sometimes), they wouldn’t know. Instead, I would send an email to each commenter, replying to what they said. I did this for two reasons. One, you took the time to say something, or ask something. The least I can do is write back with an answer or something witty. Two, it keeps discussion alive. It helps me learn more about you and vicey versey.

But, like I said, I misspelled a word, and that was never possible. Every reply I sent bounced back to me as undeliverable. I assumed that you didn’t leave your email address – I have it as being an optional field – and didn’t want me to reply. I feel like a putz, and I’m sorry. I found the offending code and fixed it. So, please, continue leaving comments. If you want to receive an email when someone else leaves a comment, check the box to do so. Otherwise, don’t check it and I’ll just email you personally to say “What’s up?” or something along those lines.

Thanks for reading, everyone.

Note: The photo above is Delilah having a blast running around the yard. She was running directly at me while I had the camera out. I’m still learning the auto focus settings (especially when you have a monster running directly towards you), so there’s a bit of a blur.

Extra Note: I know I’ve been slacking on the NonDad blog (i.e. one post). It’s mostly because when I do find time to blog, I’ve always got something I want to say about Tyler. Keep an eye out for a three part series of posts over the course of the next 6 days. They will give you a little insight into a bit of my past.

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Tyler loves dandelions. Anytime we’re playing outside, if he sees one, he high-tails it over to the Taraxacum, picks it and sniffs it. If we’re taking a walk and he’s in his stroller, Tyler will lean out, start pointing and say “Dat dat dat.” Truth be told, this applies to just about any flower, but the only “flower” we grow in our yard is a dandelion.

”Tyler, can daddy smell the flower?”

He will then walk over to me, put the “flower” against my nose and smile wildly when I exaggeratingly inhale through my nose. Of course, Tyler’s fine motor controls aren’t perfect, so he sometimes ends up cramming the deceptively cute weed into my – or Sarah’s – mouth.

Recently, we were all upstairs – in Tyler’s room – for storytime. One of the books we were reading was from the library and involved counting objects. The first page had something like one red apple, and the second page would have two orange fish. Those aren’t exactly what was on the pages, but you get the point. On page four, there was a picture of four flowers; a blue one, a yellow one, a red one, and a purple one.

”Four,” I said. “There are four flowers. One two th—.”

Before I could finish counting the flowers, pointing at each as I went, Tyler placed his nose against the yellow flower on the page and tried to smell it. Adorable.

At an even more recent family gathering with Sarah’s fam, Sarah’s aunt brought a pre-birthday gift for Tyler because she wasn’t sure she’d be able to make it to his forthcoming party. On the top of the newspaper wrapped (family tradition) gift was a giant red bow. In Tyler’s eyes, it was a giant red flower. I actually snapped off a picture of him sniffing it (DSLR cameras rock the house when you’ve got a baby running around).

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When I became a father, I joined a club. There are fathers, and there are not-fathers. I had become a father and assumed that other fathers would welcome me with open arms, make me a drink, and then sit me down and show me the ropes. You know, give me fatherly advice on being a father. Not so. It seems that the other members of this elite group of men wanted me to live through the same pains they did. They wanted to sit back and laugh as I subject myself to the hells that could have been prevented if they had only just warned me. I don’t want to put any fathers-to-be through the same tortures I went through. So, here I am, sharing with you a few tips to get you through some of the perils we refer to as fatherhood.

Learn speed diapering: Men, when you pull off your baby’s diaper, don’t goof around by tickling his thighs, or saying cute things like "oooooooooo wheeeeee… You are P U STINKY!" Also, make sure all supplies are ready before you pull the diaper off. You want to have the baby wipes out and ready, have the Desitin cap off, and have the new diaper unfolded (and oriented correctly). Failure to explicitly follow these words will result in the baby pretending he is a fireman and you’re on fire.

Perceptiveness and Imitation: Sometimes, your baby will be unhappy. You will learn to make silly faces or noises to elicit a smile or a laugh. Do not (DO NOT) pretend that the kitchen table is a drum set while you are feeding your baby. Your baby will imitate those actions and make a huge mess of his food. Making things worse, said action is horribly cute when your baby does it, which will make you laugh. Laughing is the ONE thing you never want to do in such a situation. Babies like to hear their fathers laugh and will continue doing whatever it was that resulted in a laugh. If you laugh again, they will do it again. If you don’t laugh again, they will keep doing it until you do laugh again. It’s a horrible cycle for which there is no escape.

And now for the one that prompted the publishing of this post. This may or may not have been an incident that took place Wednesday afternoon. Listen up, fellas. If you are daydreaming, please clear your head for a moment, turn off all background music and hop on the focus train.

Know your environment: Do not take a nearly one year old baby to Toys ‘R Us. EVER! Your baby will point at EVERYTHING and say "Dat. Dat. Dat! Dat! Dat!" If you don’t give them whatever "dat" is – in our case, "dat" is every damn toy in the store that wasn’t pink – you will be made sorry. If you do give them a "dat", just to appease the little one, you better be prepared to buy "dat." If not, the world will come crashing upon you when you take "dat" away.

Ok, men, with any luck, these tips will help you survive to fight another day. Good luck and God speed.

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