Before I was a dad, I went to sleep when I damn well pleased. Now, I’m lucky to make it through my favorite prime-time programming, and my child goes to sleep when they damn well please.
Before I was a dad, I could bump my knee, or stub my toe and have a cuss word or two. Now, I get a letter from my child’s school about the vocabulary words that they don’t teach.
Before I was a dad, I was “only going to let my child watch Sesame Street. You know the stuff I grew up on. The real deal educational stuff. Children’s programming sucks these days.” Now, I catch myself singing songs from, “Go, Diego, Go!”, “The Imagination Movers” and “Phineas and Ferb” at work.
Before I was a dad, I answered to no one. Now, I swear I must answer my child at least 50 times a day. “You watchin’ TV, Daddy?” “Yes I am.” “You tying your shoes Daddy?” “Yes I am.” “You poopin’ Daddy?” “Yes I am, now get out of the bathroom and shut the door please!”
Before I was a dad, I could also urinate without an audience. Well, unless I was drunk at a party, in which case, whatever.
Before I was a dad, I could quit my job on a lunch break because, well, just because. Screw ‘em. Now, I’d shovel human feces for 8 hours a day to make sure my kid has food to eat and a roof over his head.
Before I was a dad, a young, hot mom was nice to look at. Now, they still are, but when they catch me looking, I can pull the, “I have a little one myself.” and am no longer creepy. I hope.
Before I was a dad, I never traveled with a constantly running tape recorder that never thinks to repeat the “but I love her” part, just the “My wife’s a pain…” part that preceded it.
Before I was a dad, I used to look at other kids in public and think, “If I have a kid, they will never act like that.” Now that I have a kid, he never acts like that. What? You thought I was going to say that he does? Sorry! Mine will never pull any of that, because I’d whoop some little tail in public, and he knows it.
Before I was a dad, I watched Jackass the Movie and laughed at someone shoving a Matchbox car in their rectum. Now, I watch Jackass the Movie and it’s a painful reminder to never sit on my couch without looking again.
Before I was a dad, I tried to watch what I eat. Now, if my child doesn’t finish his food, he’s “wasting money”. And even though I’m trying to watch what I eat, we “paid 4 dollars for that meal, and somebody had better eat it.”
Before I was a dad, smothering my wife with a pillow during sex was “kinky”. Now it’s a necessity because, “if you wake him up, I swear…”.
Before I was a dad, I swear that I had everything figured out. Granted it was only wake up, work if you wanna, shower if you wanna, watch TV, eat, go to the bathroom, get drunk, get laid if you can, pass out and do it all over again tomorrow, but I had it figured out.
Before I was a dad, it seemed as if every song on the radio reminded me of an ex-girlfriend or a happier more carefree time. Now those same songs remind me of how incomplete my life was before.
Because before I was a dad, I never felt so unconditionally loved by anyone.
Before I was a dad, I would have never thought that sleeping on the hard living room floor, or the hard ground, for indoor and outdoor camp outs would be worth every single ache the next day.
Before I was a dad, I could never imagine being fine sleeping with a 60 lb weight on my chest. Now I just hope that when 60 lbs grows into 80, 100, or 120, that my child knows that I still will never mind.
Before I was a dad, I used to feel proud of myself and others. Now I find myself welling up with pride over something as simple as watching my child put his own waffles in the toaster by himself.
Before I was a dad, I never felt like somebody’s superhero.
Before I was a dad, there were times that I would think that things couldn’t get any worse. Now I find myself thinking that things couldn’t possibly get any better. Yet they still do.
Yes, my life can still be great, and other times just as sad, but I know it will never be as empty as before I was a dad.