“Hey, Mr. Mustard Seed Man…” or “I Dream of Diaper Genie”

Mustard Seeds

Has it really been two weeks? It is so hard to believe that I’ve only been a dad for less than a month. It seems as though it’s been an eternity (in every good sense of the word).

Milo is still the most precious being I’ve ever encountered – even after I’ve witnessed his pooping in action whilst changing him.

Speaking of baby poop, anyone who has ever changed a baby diaper and is reading this, knows exactly what I’m referring to in the title of this post.

Yes indeed folks, Milo has progressed from the Meconuim tar-like poops (that I like to call Texas Tea because it looks like crude oil – “Come listen to the story about a man named Jed…”) to the mustard seed-looking ones. In fact, this morning it looked like Pesto. So weird!

disclaimer: Though it may look like mustard or other condiments, please do not proceed to treat it as such. You’ve been warned!

Since we’re on the topic of baby poop – let’s talk about what I’ve learned from changing my son’s messy diapers and trying to figure out the damn “Diaper Genie”.

Now, the “Diaper Genie” is not what you think. It’s not a magical lamp that you rub and a blue-tinted Au Pair floats out offering to wipe your baby’s butt. It does not sing hit Disney Parodies like, “You Ain’t Never Cleaned Mess Like Me…” or “Prince Poopie, stinky bug he…”

No. This device is a parental aid. A fancy wastebasket for dirty diapers. Perhaps not fancy. More Ghetto-Fabulous than Fancy. But, it does the trick quite well.

You see, the “Diaper Genie” is a take-the-stink-away wastebasket. You place the diaper inside of the bin and a set of double jaws take the diaper and drop it into the plastic bag abyss. A specialized chemical cartridge is affixed to the inside of the upper lid to eliminate stink.

I must say it works quite well!

Now, for the journey of my learning curve with said device…

Time for another backstory:

My creative brain can be, and is rather technical.

You want me to fix a computer issue or learn and teach you a new software program, you got it! I can do that in a matter of minutes.

I’ve been a Technical Trainer and Designer for a very long time.

However, you want me to do something mechanical with my hands – give me several hours or days.

Case in point:

Before Milo arrived, we changed out the doors on our Laundry Closet.

Now mind you, we wouldn’t have had to change these out if I hadn’t messed up the previous ones.

I embody the male stereotype of never reading directions and taking the longest to finish a task because of it.

Doors get installed upside down, I hammer the wrong thing into hole A with part C (should have been Part B dammit!).

I can also be really ditzy when it comes to these things. I usually end up getting really frustrated and having a temper tantrum or I’ll laugh in a high-pitched Valley Girl way.

Nobody likes to see a grown man lying on the floor crying, pounding his fists, then laughing insanely – or do they?

So, I royally messed up the previous doors. I made them impossible to use.

So, off to Lowes we went to get new ones.

The installation of the new ones only took me three hours.

After actually reading the directions (progress folks!), I realized that I had screwed a few too many holes into the wall and it was going to take some work to get the track system into place.

After many metal pieces falling from the doorway and me maneuvering myself in contortoinist-like ways, the doors were up.

My best handiwork to date, methinks.

Now, fast forward to week one of being a new parent.

Cue Music and Barbara Eden – “Yes, Master?”

Setting: The Nursery.
Time: The present.

For some reason, I think perhaps I saw a visual depiction online or in Babies R Us, I believed that in order to use the “Diaper Genie” I had to do the following:

1. Press the pedal
2. Drop the stinky diaper
3. Twist the bag apparatus to contain 1 diaper in a link
4. Release the pedal

Somehow by doing this, we would get the promised 90 diapers to a bag with the starter pack.

Twenty diapers later, I was out of bag and had loose sausage link-like diapers to dispose of.

It looked like a worn out intestine or The Human Centipede (sorry for the visual folks).

Note: If you are not familiar with The Human Centipede, do not Google it. Do not ask your students for a description. You will never be the same! Stick to baby poop – it’s easier to handle.

Cue “Ditzy girl Fran” with lips pursed and eyes looking up.

I thought to myself, “What am I doing wrong? This is not 90 diapers. Hmm. At least it doesn’t stink.”

It then occurred to me, “Use your resources! Look up a demo online.” Thank you YouTube!

I found a very nice dad who has a series of videos on various modern-day child rearing devices. Well, devices that aid in handling various aspects of child rearing – the machines don’t actually take care of your kid… Well, You get the idea.

Here’s the clip (for any of you who are still curious about the “Diaper Genie”):

In a matter of moments the sky opened up and clarity filled my confused and tired brain.

I finally had the knowledge and skill to operate this torturous and bewildering device to its full potential. Operator error over!

Segue:

Cue “Working it Out” from THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG.

Two weeks and some change in and I am “working it out”. The late night diaper changes, the cries, and the learning curves have “Only Just Begun”, and I’m thrilled!

I will continue to fight with furniture assembly, poop buckets, and even learn how to do other new things (Gasp: even a sport!) – anything for my little guy!

He’s worth every guffaw, curse word, and ah-ha!

IMG_0172

Join me next week for a recap of my struggles with the loading and unloading the car seat into our fancy Britax Stroller.

More Sappy Dad next week. Ciao!

Welcome!

Salutations (Cue Debbie Reynolds as Charlotte)!

Welcome to Sappy Dad Land! Within these digital pages I will recount my experiences of what my son teaches me as I learn how to be the best dad I can be.

My son Milo David (pictured below) was born on March 19, 2015 at 5:13PM.

Milo

watching him enter this world and every moment since, has changed the way I look at the world.

Time for my backstory…

Now, you’ve may have guessed it by now (from my tone, sass, pop culture and musical theatre references), I’m a queer person (I use this term for empowerment and not to put myself or anyone else down).

Currently I identify as Pansexual. I feel that love and sexuality is fluid and I am attracted to both men and women.

I don’t like the term bisexual as much as I do pan or omnisexual – but, if you feel more comfortable tagging me as bi, I’m okay with that too.

For the longest time, I thought that bi was a phase on the way to becoming 100% gay. I’ve learned (in my experience and opinion) that sexuality is a continuum that is quite fluid. I’m attracted to the whole being, not just the anatomy.

I could go on for hours about this – maybe even write an entirely different blog in this topic. But, let’s move on.

My wife Lindsay and I have been together for a little over twelve years. We’ve been married for nearly five.

She is my rock; the person who has taught me how to love fully and unconditionally. She has helped me see the value in myself. I’m so very fortunate to traverse through this life with her by my side.

Again, I could probably write an entire blog about her too.

Now, let’s talk about the baby journey…

For the longest time I didn’t want kids. I thought it was the final step in becoming an actual adult (“I Won’t Grow Up!”). I felt the financial pressures and burdens would be well outside my ability to provide.

My fear of the unknown kept me away from the thought of being a parent for a long time.

Cue the Norman Rockwell Painting…

One October day after going apple picking with our dear friends who (at the time) had one child, my dad clock went off.

I was taking pictures of the day and watched Ben (the dad) and Clark (the son) interacting. The tenderness and sweetness I observed made me want to have that experience.

I told Linds in the car ride home how I was feeling, and that was the day that the Universe aligned for us and we decided to plan to have a child.

A short time after this, we jumped off of the precipice and created the most precious and wonderful little man.

“The baby’s coming…”

In my extremely biased opinion, Milo is perfect! He’s an incredible amalgamation of the love that Lindsay and I have had bottled up in our hearts for so very long.

I’m not sure that I fully understood the love that a parent can have for a child until I greeted my son as he entered the world.

I’ve taught children of all ages for well over a decade, have a niece and nephew that I adore, have friends and family with children, etc. But, no other love compares to the love you feel for your own child or children, methinks.

As I cradle him in my arms and look into his beautiful blue eyes, I feel so connected to my son on a spiritual level that cannot be successfully articulated.

I could stare at him for hours and watch him encounter the world outside of the womb.

The way he learns to communicate, to feed, to interpret stimuli is so impressive and awe-inspiring to me. He does it all with quite a bit of ease.

To watch him is to feel reborn in his curiosity, innocence, and wonderment.

Tears fill my eyes as I slowly rock him back and forth in my arms, still amazed by him.

“Just calm the child…”

This new relationship has me thinking a lot about the way that we nurture and raise our boys.

I reject gender-based stereotypes and expectations. I think that as humans, we should be connected to all aspects of ourselves.

It’s okay for a boy to cry and express himself in any way that is does not cause harm.

There is a fantastic documentary being created titled, “The Mask You Live In” that explores male gender stereotypes.

It’s wonderful food for thought. Take a peek at the doc here: http://jezebel.com/new-documentary-explores-the-pressures-of-male-gender-s-747395006

I feel that through love, honesty, and support we can overcome anything and raise our children to be compassionate, thoughtful, and loving individuals.

More to come later…