You Know You're a Dad: A Book for Dads Who Never Thought They?d Say Binkies, Blankies, or Curfew

You Know You're a Dad: A Book for Dads Who Never Thought They?d Say Binkies, Blankies, or Curfew

by Harry Harrison

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718087074
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 1,264,231
Product dimensions: 4.80(w) x 5.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Harry H Harrison Jr. is a bestselling writer with more than 3.5 million books in print. He has been the subject of two documentaries. His books have been listed on the New York Times and Book Sense list of bestselling non-fiction trade paperback books for over ten years. They are also available in some thirty foreign countries.

Read an Excerpt

You Know You're A Dad

A Book for Dads Who Never Thought They'd Say, Binkies, Blankies, Or Curfew


By Harry H. Harrison Jr.

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2017 Harry H. Harrison Jr.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7180-8707-4



CHAPTER 1

YOU KNOW YOU'RE A DAD WHEN YOU THINK DIFFERENTLY THAN MEN WITHOUT KIDS


You know you're a dad when ...

You secretly panic after hearing the news that she's pregnant, then are overcome by feelings of nausea, doom, and the need to hold on to the remote control. This condition can last minutes or through college graduation.

* * *

You feel overcome at the third month when you learn your baby — who in your mind is a just a cute little blob in your wife's belly — is four inches long and weighs one ounce; has arms, hands, fingers, feet, and toes; and can open and close her fists and mouth and suck her thumb. The circulatory and urinary systems are even working. She's alive!

* * *

You start giving back rubs to your pregnant wife every single night. Foot rubs are not out of the question either.

* * *

You realize your wife wants you to show unrestrained joy at the little line on the stick, while you deal with the reality that that line means your future savings just took a $400,000 hit.

* * *

She wants to have a deep, meaningful discussion about whether Brook is a boy's name or a girl's name — with about two minutes to go in a tight game.

* * *

You buy your unborn baby a baseball glove while everyone else is buying teething toys and baby mobiles and Binkies, because no matter the sex of your baby, he or she is going to be a shortstop.

* * *

You wake up in a cold sweat over the thought of your increased responsibility. This is called "delayed onset maturity."

* * *

You watch your man cave turn pink because you've been told it's now the nursery.

* * *

Despite the fact that your wife's doctor has delivered thousands of babies, you wonder if that's quite enough experience.

* * *

You never miss one of your wife's appointments with the ob-gyn, even if it means pushing an important client meeting back.

* * *

You tour the maternity ward with your wife and realize your honeymoon hotel wasn't this luxurious.

* * *

You spend the time learning what the health insurance will pay. Some births cost a big-screen TV. Some cost a small car.

* * *

You are stunned by the cost of baby furniture because you think small furniture means small prices, so really, how expensive could that small stuff be?

* * *

Suddenly it seems like those commercials for life insurance are talking directly to you.

* * *

You decide only the best crib will do for your baby — and then, after pricing out cribs, you wonder just how important a crib really is.

* * *

You believe you can put a crib together in an hour, tops, then open the box to find two thousand parts and eight pages of instructions, and then, after six hours, realize you're missing the three most critical pieces.

* * *

You finally get the crib together at 6:00 a.m. only to learn you need to spend more money. On a mattress. Actually, on two of them. Not to mention the sheets and a bumper pad, whatever that is.

* * *

Even though your baby is the size of a golf ball at the moment, you grasp that this fatherhood thing requires a man, so you sell your old Pokémon card collection to start a college fund.

* * *

You know the only way you can be the kind of father God wants you to be is to ask for His help.

* * *

You celebrate the fact that she's beginning to show.

* * *

You give her the side of the bed near the bathroom because she's scurrying there most of the night.

* * *

You stagger out of bed at 2:30 a.m. because she has a craving for cottage cheese with French dressing and chili peppers. You try not to gag while your wife gulps it down in bed. You also keep a can of room spray for this very purpose.

* * *

You both realize that last month's maternity clothes don't necessarily fit this month's maternity body. So it's off to the mall again.

* * *

You're overcome with the urge to talk to other men about baby names.

* * *

After you've looked at over a thousand baby names, you name her after your grandmother.

* * *

You learn that arguing with a pregnant woman is suicidal.

* * *

Without saying a word, you quietly air out the house after she takes her prenatal vitamins.

* * *

You're not thrilled about killing a good Saturday afternoon attending a baby shower — but you know it's important to your wife, so you give her a big hug and tell her you're happy to attend.

* * *

You care enough to lie and tell her she looks better with thin hair.

* * *

You start watching other men with their kids and deciding which dads you want to imitate. And definitely which ones you don't.

* * *

You leave a hotel at 1 a.m. to grab the red-eye so you can be at the ultrasound the next morning.

* * *

You start paying down all the debt you've piled up till now. Which is challenging in light of the cost of a crib.

* * *

You read the sports commentary to your wife's stomach no matter whether your baby is a boy or a girl.

* * *

You constantly reassure a panic-stricken mom at 3:00 a.m. that you do have a plan for the family finances, and urge her to go back to sleep. (It helps greatly here to actually have a plan.)

* * *

You stop any TV commercial with a baby, wait thirty seconds, then fast-forward through it knowing that failure to follow this exact plan will result in ten minutes of tears from your pregnant wife.

* * *

You continually tell her she's going to be a great mom. And after nine months you tell her she is a great mom for the rest of her life.

* * *

You come home from work early to say hello to your baby by tapping on your wife's stomach. And your biggest joy is when your baby pushes back.

* * *

You make the unfortunate discovery that all moms have a deep genetic need to whack off all their hair. When this happens, you tell her she looks great.

* * *

You say, "Good morning" and "Good night" to your wife's stomach. Perfectly normal.

* * *

You wrestle with whether to calmly fill out the myriad of hospital and insurance forms piling up on your desk now instead of watching football, or wait until your wife's water breaks all over the admissions room floor and you have to furiously fill them out while she's giving birth. It's not an easy call.

* * *

You find yourself nauseated, gaining weight, and feeling a bit moody. You have sympathetic pregnancy. Resist the urge to cut off all your hair.

* * *

For the first time in your life, you stand in the grocery store aisle, suspiciously reading the nutritional label on jars of baby food. And you're not sure you like what you see.

* * *

You wake up in the middle of the night and find your wife — a fierce trial lawyer during the day — next to you, cross-stitching a quilt for the nursery. This is called "nesting." Don't interfere. Just go back to sleep.

* * *

You discover underwear twice the size of yours in the washing machine and don't make a single comment.

* * *

You start visiting child care providers and grilling them like you're in the KGB.

* * *

You spend the last couple of months of pregnancy watching videos of complete strangers giving birth. (This would probably be an excellent time to fill out those hospital forms.)

* * *

Even though you think it's insane because your baby isn't even born, you have to start calling private schools about their admission requirements.

* * *

You secretly wonder if her body will ever return to normal. It will. Maybe not totally, but 99.9 percent. Okay, 97 percent. Whatever.

* * *

You start making a future budget and listing diapers, baby food, clothes, high chair, crib, doctor's visits, formula, and so on, before you get to the vacation fund.

* * *

You tell her she's beautiful in the ninth month. She needs to hear it. All the time.

* * *

Every time you're away from the house and your cell phone rings, you wonder if this phone call means, "Come get me! And hurry!"

* * *

You take your pregnant wife out for dinner and/or a movie as often as she feels like it. Going out will soon be just a sweet but distant memory.

* * *

You appreciate her fragile condition when she says she doesn't think ten blankets, seven sheets, two cribs, one layette, seven mobiles, two changing tables, baby furniture, push toys, pull toys, and two chests of clothes will be enough. So you go baby-stuff shopping with her again.

* * *

You try not to totally freak out when your baby's due date comes and goes and there's no baby.

* * *

You start reading Consumer Reports and comparing different cars and SUVs because side-impact safety protection suddenly matters to you.

* * *

You realize you have to decide between a Bugaboo and a 42-inch TV. Your wife, of course, has already decided. And she's not impressed that you don't know what a Bugaboo is.

* * *

You make a detailed plan about what to do when she goes into labor that would rival that of the D-Day invasion

* * *

You keep the "hospital" car filled with gas so you don't have to stop when the baby starts knocking.

* * *

You panic at the first sign of labor, only to learn it's false. Then feel a bit worried at the second sign of labor, only to learn it, too, is false. Then you're on the golf course when your wife calls, and you wonder if you should answer the phone.

* * *

You accept the fact that your wife will probably go into labor late at night at least three times. And that this is just a preview of what your child will do to your sleep.

* * *

You're watching the game when she starts having contractions again, and you wonder if you should panic or if you can just wait until the end of the fourth quarter and then race to the hospital.

* * *

In an effort to keep her calm as you're racing to the hospital, you ask her if she'd like to listen to rock music or a sports station. Seems neither is a good idea.

* * *

You try to time her contractions while driving to the hospital with your wife screaming, "Drive faster!"

* * *

You come to the realization that your usefulness in the labor room barely rivals that of a lampshade.

* * *

You learn your baby is coming in an hour and decide in the labor room that maybe you ought to thumb through a few of those child care books. Maybe fill out some forms.

* * *

You fight to stay calm while you're in the delivery room. You calculate how far it is to the bathroom if you have to throw up.

* * *

You're forced to give up the fantasy that you will be able to fix your wife's labor pains. You realize only the delivery of the baby can do that.

* * *

You find yourself sitting in the labor room in the dark and listening to Pavarotti. It does nothing for your mood.

* * *

During a long labor, you very subtly sneak a peek at your phone to see if you have any important e-mails or messages. And, okay, to check the sports updates.

* * *

You start feeling guilty because you forgot the aroma oils that she says are the only things that will help reduce her pain. Even though you got her to the hospital in record time.

* * *

You listen to a woman — who has vowed for nine months that she wants natural childbirth — scream for pain relief after ten minutes of hard labor. It's okay. Her doctors won't be surprised.

* * *

You hold your wife's hand for five hours because she asks you to. You don't relax your hand even when it turns white and loses all feeling.

* * *

You are asked to cut the umbilical cord. You may or may not faint.

* * *

Your wife tells you to not even think of pulling out your phone and taking a picture until she has her hair done. Yes, this happens.

* * *

She tells you not to worry about taking a photo; she has a photographer coming for a glamour shot. Yes, this happens too.

* * *

You go on and sneak a picture that causes her embarrassment every time she sees it.

* * *

This newborn baby is put into your hands, and you simultaneously become terrified and fall in love.

* * *

You understand that God has big plans for you. He chose you to be the father of His child.

* * *

You start making promises to yourself about the kind of man you're going to be. Superman comes to mind.

CHAPTER 2

YOU KNOW YOU'RE A DAD WHEN EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE A MANLY MAN, YOU SPEAK IN BABY TALK

You know you're a dad when ...

You anxiously start counting fingers and toes after delivery. Somebody has to.

* * *

You are mystified as to what a Binkie is even though your wife says you have five of them.

* * *

Suddenly, whenever you're out with your baby, you start meeting other men with babies. Who knew they were out there?

* * *

You no longer spend evenings and weekends on the couch. (Unless there's a baby sleeping on your stomach.)

* * *

You know happiness isn't a goal, but a consequence. Good grades make people happy. Helping others makes people happy. Self-respect makes people happy. Being potty trained makes people happy.

* * *

You understand that how dumb you are depends on the age of your child:

0 to 6 years old: Dad knows everything.

7 to 8 years old: Dad knows almost everything.

9 to 12 years old: Dad knows many things.

13 to 16 years old: Dad knows one or two things.

17 to 20 years old: Dad knows nothing.

21 to 23 years old: Maybe Dad does know one or two things.

24 to 25 years old: Actually, Dad knows many things.

Over 25: Dad knows everything.

* * *

You no longer spend every afternoon on the golf course. Or every weekend biking a hundred miles. Or every day working at the office for eighteen hours. Instead your new favorite hobby is being at home playing peekaboo with your baby.

* * *

You joyfully post five hundred photos of the birth, the mother, the baby, and the happy family on every social media site known to humankind. You fill her room with flowers. Not just a vase. Her room.

* * *

You come to grips with the fact that more than a baby has been born. So has a mother and a father.

* * *

You take your newborn into the hospital chapel and offer your baby to God.

* * *

You phone brothers, sisters, distant aunts, your friends, your insurance agent, the lady at the grocery checkout — everyone — the day the baby arrives. If anyone is left out, feelings will be hurt.

* * *

You find out how long the insurance company will allow your wife to stay in the hospital. And you insist she stay there and rest until the last possible minute.

* * *

You panic because you haven't read a single book, and in the excitement you've forgotten everything you've learned in delivery class, so you bribe a nurse to show you how to change your baby's diaper. This lesson will give you the illusion of knowledge.

* * *

You apply for your baby's Social Security number when you fill out her birth certificate because now you have a bouncing baby tax deduction.

* * *

You learn to handle baby with care. But definitely handle.

* * *

Overnight, you up your values a notch. Maybe two or three notches.

* * *

You get mother and child home and inside, and you realize you're officially on your own. You marvel that they don't even require a license for parenthood.

* * *

You take the week off after your baby comes home because you have seven days to learn how to be a father.

* * *

You realize you have to let your wife teach you child care. After all, she's read all the books. You've been reading Sports Illustrated.

* * *

You realize that all the stupid stuff your wife bought to simply change the baby — like wet wipes, diaper pins, a lined trash can with a lid, new outfits, and diaper rash cream — are, well, really important.

* * *

You put your child's wants, needs, and desires ahead of your own wants, needs, and desires. Every day.

* * *

You stare at your baby all night the first night home. And most of the second.

* * *

You spend their first year or so teaching them to stand on their own two feet. Then you spend the next twenty years or so reinforcing that lesson.

* * *

Wherever you are in the room you try to make eye contact with your baby, even though he can't focus beyond his nose yet.

* * *

You decide even though your baby is only a week old, she needs to exercise. So you gently move her arms and legs up and down and in little yoga poses.

* * *

The first night your baby is in his own room, you stay up all night listening to the baby monitor.

* * *

You refuse to say "sippy cup" in public.

* * *

You start a 529 college savings plan. You're excited that $300 a month will turn into more than $110,000 in seventeen years, but then you learn that won't be half of what you need.

* * *

You gently hint to grandparents that contributions to the college fund will always make nice birthday gifts.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from You Know You're A Dad by Harry H. Harrison Jr.. Copyright © 2017 Harry H. Harrison Jr.. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction, vii,
1. You Know You're a Dad When ... You Think Differently than Men Without Kids, 1,
2. You Know You're a Dad When ... Even Though You're a Manly Man, You Speak in Baby Talk, 27,
3. You Know You're a Dad When ... Your Teen Doesn't Believe You Can Dress Yourself, 83,
4. You Know You're a Dad When ... You Realize You're Raising God's Children, 119,
5. You Know You're a Dad When ... You Think Differently than Moms, 129,
6. You Know You're a Dad When ... You Realize That Fifteen-Hour Days at Work Are Easier than Fifteen-Hour Days with the Kids, 167,
7. You Know You're a Dad When ... Even Though You Stay at Home, You're Not Mr. Mom. You're Dad, 173,
8. You Know You're a Dad When ... High School Graduation Means Being Terrified of the Next Four Years, 177,
9. You Know You're a Dad When ... You Realize That No Matter How Old They Get, They Will Always Need Their Dad, 193,

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