I tried out reading a bunch of dad books before Emmy was born and I tell you what, while they were pretty entertaining, there have just been some things to happen that those books didn’t prepare me for.
I’m going to give you guys a short list of the various things that reading those books written by dads about dad-ing doesn’t prepare you for. Come to think of it there are more than just a few… but we must start small. Here we go.
First off, the emotions that I felt the day Emmy was born and the emotions that I feel every day, whether it be pride, happiness, or just total love for the tiny baby, were briefly glanced over in some of the dad books. But the love that you actually feel when you meet your baby for the first time or the feeling you get when your kid is doing things and learning things for the first time weren’t really talked much about in those books. I think it’s because some of these things are indescribable and I couldn’t even put those experiences into words. Meeting Emmy was like a grenade filled with love and attachment went off literally inside my entire body. That’s a weak attempt at explanation. Watching Emmy learn is like watching something you’ve put a lot of work into really pay off, over and over.
Secondly, the things you used to think were pretty gross don’t stay all that gross to you. The dad books (at least the ones I read) yet again glanced over this, mostly with humor, of course. I used to think that touching poop with my hands and eating food that’s already been in someone else’s mouth was pretty disgusting… as does pretty much everyone in this world. When you have a kid though, those things become pretty normal and are no longer weird. I’ve gotten a lot of things on my hands and body that I never pictured ending up on me in the last almost year-and-a-half. I’ve eaten food after it’s already been in Emmy’s mouth to show her that it’s not bad. I’ve done some weird stuff, let me tell you.
And third, I’d say parenting books don’t really prepare you for all of the choices that you have to make as parents in how you’re going to raise your child. I know that a lot of the books do go into a fair amount of detail but they’re never going to be able to cover every single issue that you’re ever going to face with your kid, whether it be how to feed them the best that you can or what to do when a belly button comes out on your finger. Kids throw curve-balls left and right and Emmy is no exception to this, in any way—as a matter of fact, she probably throws more than most kids. What I mean is that you’re never going to be fully prepared for your children before you have them, but the beauty of becoming a parent is that you naturally change and shift to be able to take care of your babies. You don’t have to do much, it just happens, but nothing can prepare you for your new life as a mom or a dad.
That’s all for now. There are many more things that I didn’t learn in any book, things I’ve had to learn first-hand through experience.