Monday, March 2, 2009


My infant daughter makes me feel inadequate. I’ve been doing this parenting thing for over three years, so I’d like to think that I’ve learned a thing or two. But this girl I’ve brought into the world is seriously messing with my esteem. It’s not that I couldn’t feed her. She broke the will of the nursing specialist, so what chance did I have? It’s that to Sprout, the world consists solely of my wife. Sure, I get courtesy smiles from her. But people she passes in the aisles of the supermarket get the same smiles. This makes parenting her somewhat difficult.

It didn’t seem like a big deal when WW™ wanted to take the Bean on an excursion, leaving me and Sprout to hang out for the afternoon. Things were perfectly pleasant for a half-hour, then the screaming started. At first, I was startled. These weren’t like any screams I have heard before. These were “there’s a dude in a hockey mask chasing me with a knife” screams. They were so loud that they sounded distorted, like when you yell into a microphone. I went through a checklist of what could have been wrong. Diaper? Dry. Hungry? Nope, she rejected food. Hurt? She didn’t appear to be. Black widow spider bit her when we were outside? Improbable.

I fought every urge to call WW™. I’m a grown man and a father, I could figure out how to soothe my daughter. I tried every trick in the book, including figuring out how to strap her into the mei tai by myself and taking her for a walk. After two hours of blood-curdling screams, I gave up, swallowed my pride and called reinforcements.

A half hour later WW™ was back home and almost immediately Sprout stopped crying. I was exhausted, defeated, angry, cranky and in desperate need of a trough of alcohol. I know that we will be out of the infant stage soon, but based on Sprout’s track record so far, this does not console me.


SciFi Dad said...

Dude, you know I have been there. The only thing we can do is keep trying... eventually they will figure out that "Not The Mama" is a parent too.

In the meantime, I offer one suggestion: bath. I don't know about Sprout, but my son LOVES his bath, so if he's freaking out, my new plan is to put him in the tub (Daddy joining him optional).

B, Esq. said...

I feel your pain! Big Man is home with our 3 month old during the day, and when I come home at night (and he goes to sleep) there is often the period of screaming that lets me know that the self-described "guy who gives her bottles and cleans her dirty booty" is the preferred caregiver. It varies from day to day, but the screaming, oh the screaming......It's like you can't work the corkscrew fast enough to start drinking heavily.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Post script to the story. I had one glass of wine, watched America's Funniest Home Videos and passed out by 9pm.


rohansmom said...

Funny - just last week I asked my friend "Why can't my husband be a better mother?"

No advice here, just my sympathy.

Super Mega Dad said...

I've had those days as well.

I think my FAVORITE was when a neighbor yelled from their yard to tell me to "shut that baby up". Nice.

Evie_Edlund said...

I do feel your pain. I could tell countless stories of each of my kids doing this sort of thing to their father. My youngest, the Boy, is the worst so far, but my middle child also gave him a run for his money.

All I can offer is that it really does seem to be a phase, to keep trying, perhaps look for small victories. Take her to the hardware/grocery/corner store with you. When the weather is warmer, take her for a short walk every evening. If she's on solids now, be the one to give her dinner. Every little bit counts.

Evie_Edlund said...

My god... someone yelled to "shut that baby up?"

I would have fed that f*cker his own spleen. Why does that make my head explode?

... said...

Next time get WW to make you a leisure suit of smushies.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

If you read my post on the "Phish Shirts" you'll learn that WW™ has trouble making me anything.

Steph said...

Like the others have said give it time. DD is the same age as Bean and is just now really letting Daddy do much of anything.

There have been times recently when she has called for Daddy and I answered that she will reply- I said Daddy. lol!!

On a side note- give WW some time and she will make your Phish pillows. I have faith in her. =)

minmate said...

Hang in there. Moms and their daughters will always have a special relationship that makes dad seem kind of like an outsider, but please try to remember (based on research) the father's influence in his daughters life, in the long run, is just as important - if not more so, in nurturing a girl's self-esteem, confidence, independence and ability to form positive, healthy relationships of her own. So even though you may feel about as relevant as those dirty diapers in the diaper genie, you are indeed quite important... and she will learn to talk, and you will learn to communicate with each other and it will be okay... probably even great.