Advice to the expectant father: leave now
A friend of mine is expecting his first child soon — a girl. He asked me for tips on what to do when you have a daughter in the house. So I told him. But he didn’t think assuming a fake identity and moving to Peru was a good idea.
Just as he’ll learn that a Faberge egg is less fragile than the psyche of a 4-year-old girl, and how she’ll insist on dressing herself — even when she comes out looking like the pastel section at Sherman Williams threw up on her.
So we met for beers. He had that look of a nervous first-time dad. The look that says, “I still have time. The baby’s not due for 2 more months. I haven’t formed an emotional attachment to it yet. I can still leave and go explore Europe, or to join a rock band.” But his old self is dead. He just doesn’t know it yet.
By the look on his face, he needed more than beer. Like whiskey. Or rubbing alcohol.
ME: Congrats to you! There’s nothing more special than having a daughter.
BUDDY: Really? You mean that?
ME: Of course not. Get real. Waitress! Two beers, please.
BUDDY: And some shots.
ME: Do you want advice from a guy who’s raising what is, thus far, a very well-adjusted daughter?
BUDDY: Sure. Give me his number and I’ll call him.
ME: Very funny.
BUDDY: Lemme guess. You wanted a boy?
ME: Every guy wants a boy.
BUDDY: Not every guy. Most just want a healthy baby.
ME: (rolling my eyes) Jeez. Listen up. When a man says, “I don’t care what we have, as long as it’s healthy,” the word “healthy” means “a boy.”
BUDDY: So what do you do for fun?
BUDDY: Yeah. I mean, if I had a boy, at least I’d know how to take him fishing, or hunting, or throw a ball. What do you do with a girl?
ME: This isn’t the 1920s. You can treat your daughter the same as you would a boy.
BUDDY: So your daughter wants to go pheasant hunting?
ME: Don’t be stupid. We have tea parties.
BUDDY: For real? Like you show her how to boil tea and stuff?
ME: Oh my gosh, noob. You have so much to learn. It’s not real tea.
BUDDY: So what’s in the cup? Water?
ME: No! There’s nothing in the cup!
BUDDY: So you just sit there, with an empty tea cup, pretending to drink nothing?
ME: Fake slurping noises helps make it seem more realistic.
BUDDY: Waitress! We’ll need two more.
ME: And some shots.
BUDDY: I guess my wife will spend most of the time with her.
ME: You’ll still have to dress up like a princess.
BUDDY: The hell I will.
ME: Oh, you most definitely will. At some point before her sixth birthday I promise you will don a silver tiara. Probably while holding a “magic” wand, too.
BUDDY: Oh God, no!
ME: It gets worse.
BUDDY: How could it?
ME: You’ll have to watch every Disney princess movie.
BUDDY: That doesn’t sound so bad.
ME: You obviously have not seen “Mulan 2.”
BUDDY: You have to buy those?
ME: Yes. And they’ll get a lot of wear, so buy brand new DVDs. My daughter got very upset when our copy of “Cinderella” broke.
BUDDY: How’d it break?
ME: I accidentally smashed it with a hammer 37 times.
BUDDY: There’s got to be some positives.
ME: Sure. You’re her whole world. To her you’re a combination of prince, protector, provider — basically the most powerful, special man in the entire universe.
BUDDY: I guess I’ve got that to look forward to.
ME: Not really. That will be over in a few years, and she’ll turn 12, hate you, then graduate and end up shacking up with some slimeball named “Trevor.”
BUDDY: Waitress! We’ll need two more, please.
ME: And some shots.