Let us start by saying that we (moms) love our husbands dearly. And although it’s sometimes easy to forget in the thick of this thing called parenthood, we wouldn’t trade them in for anything. But as most moms of infants quickly learn, it does take them some time to ‘get it’…
Now we hate to be the bearer of bad news for all of you first-time expectant moms, but if you have any romantic delusions as we did about having a baby with the love of your life, brace yourself. A friend of ours articulated it perfectly: “I thought that having a baby was going to make me fall in love with my husband all over again. I now tell him he’s mildly dysfunctional on a daily basis.” Our response: “Only mildly?”
Now for the rest of you, you know exactly what we’re talking about. These strong, confident, virile men that we chose to have our babies with suddenly turn into deer-in-the-headlights wanderers as soon as our little people make their appearance – or in our case, as soon as you start puking in week 7. And it seems our kids sense it too. It’s as if they see their dads struggling with the most basic parenting tasks and think to themselves, “Poor guy, I better go easy on him.” I mean, let’s face it, there is no way our babies would have been as patient with us (moms) if we took 17.5 minutes to figure out how the insert in the bottle works…again.
However, we discovered something very important about 1 year in: they can’t help it! To call them jerks or uncaring implies intent and more importantly, an ability to change. We truly don’t believe (or perhaps just choose to believe) that this is the case. How could it be when he still stares aimlessly at the onesie, truly and profoundly perplexed 3 months in? Or when it still doesn’t occur to him to turn the door handle so it closes quietly after you spent 127 minutes to get the baby to sleep. Hence, the “Bobblehead.” Our baby daddies just sort of walk around in a daze, with a look of total and utter confusion on their face. Or as another friend of ours put it: “It’s like they all have their PhDs in ‘Duh.’
Some of our favorite Bobblehead expressions:
“Just tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it.”
“But his diaper was just changed”
“Why do I need to bring anything, we’ll only be gone a few hours.”
“She was great while you were gone – she sat quietly watching TV for 2.5 hours and didn’t make a peep.”
“Why are you mad at me?”
And to all of this, we have but one, simple reply: “Seriously?”
Finally, when things do start to click for him and he shows signs of ‘getting it’, he is going to require a lot of praise. For instance, it is not uncommon for him to start speaking in third person to your child, saying things like: “Didn’t Daddy do a good job playing with you today?”; “Didn’t you love the oatmeal that Daddy made for you today?”…
All of this, of course, is overshadowed by some of the sweetest and most heartfelt moments we’ll ever experience. Walking into your baby’s room to find him sleeping on the floor as a way to console your crying baby; watching him light up the first time his little angel gives him a picture she made just for him; carrying her ever so patiently through the long, slow moving lines at house after house during her first trick-or-treating adventure…
We’d love to hear your Bobblehead stories so if you’d like to vent or just make us laugh, please share!