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7 Things I’ve Learned From Being A Dad

8:10 AM EDT on May 23, 2018

Well, that was a fun a little break.

On Friday, May 4th, my significant other and I welcomed our baby daughter Harper into the world. It's been a pretty awesome experience. For the most part, all the good (and bad) things people tell you about having a baby and keeping it (and you) alive are 100% true.

Although I've only been a dad for 19 days or so, I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned so far as a parent. It seems like an easy enough thing to do before I get back into the flow of writing about the great depressing state of Oklahoma...

1. People drive like absolute lunatics

Outside of the time I found myself in the back of my cousin's pickup sailing through dirt roads outside of Watonga like an extra in an After School Special about teen drunk driving, the scariest car ride of my life was the trip home from the hospital on Sunday afternoon. I've gone from being the guy who speeds up when the light turns yellow to the old man who slows down when it turns green. Well, that is when Harper is in the car with me. Otherwise, I'm still the asshole aggressive driver that all the other new parents yell at. Learn to drive, people!

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2. Time stands still

Did Stephen Hawking ever look into to the effects babies have on space-time, because in my world, time now stands still. Babies are like a black hole – they swallow your body clock and laugh at it like a pair of Aaron Tuttle's daisy duke gym shorts. Days seem to last longer, but somehow, weeks go by faster. I was having a chat with someone yesterday and they asked what I was doing for Memorial Day weekend. My response was "Not sure. When is Memorial Day weekend?" Apparently it's this weekend.

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3. Facetime finally serves a purpose

Until a few weeks ago, I've only used Facetime a handful of times – each begrudgingly and never by choice. It just never really appealed to me, which is strange, because when I was a kid nothing seemed cooler than the video telephone conversations in futuristic sci-fi movies.

Anyway, now that I have a baby to keep the camera on 100% of the time, Facetime is where it's at. It keeps grandmas, aunts and other family members happy and content, and fends off their requests for hourly photos.

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4. Daytime television is as awful as ever

There's not a lot you can do while holding a newborn. They're either sleeping, eating, crying or thinking about crying. I guess they also like to move their eyes around and make strange faces. As a result, you find yourself watching the great standard of today's idiocracy – daytime television.

Although there were no Victor Wood and Budget Divorce commercial sightings, daytime TV really hasn't changed that much since the 1990s. Did you know that Jerry Springer is still on TV? I thought he would be a member of Trump's cabinet by now. Outside of the bouncer who looks likes Cal Ripken getting his own talk show, the premise of Jerry Springer is the same. The episode I watched featured three guys who looked like they walked out of Old Paris Flea Market waiting to see who was the father of a child, and some other dude discovering his Xbox girlfriend was a transgendered stripper. It's great mindless entertainment that makes you question if it's humane to bring a new life into today's world.

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5. I'm the only person left who covers the Oklahoma City sports radio scene…

The day before Harper was born, Regular Jim Traber and Boomer Tramel got in a fight on the radio. The topic was some brown-nosing column Jenni Carlson wrote about Tramel making it into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. She literally called the folksy, square writer with marble mouth "The Voice of Our State."

The column was standard Jenni fare (a.k.a. boring, unoriginal, waste of time), but Regular Jim's big misplaced, narcissistic gripe was that the column didn't mention anything about Tramel's work on The Sports Animal. According to some Moles, Jim even suggested that Jenni omitted the Sports Animal  because she failed at sports talk. This led to Tramel – Jenni's biggest fan and supporter at The Oklahoman –  getting all salty and hanging up on Jim. He was then notably absent from the total... dominance... hour for a week or so.

For the most part, it was standard Jim Traber stuff. He takes pride in making his co-workers and colleagues despise him, but based on the emails I received, you would have thought Mary Fallin mooned a group of teachers at Mazzio's. Everyone wanted to know if I had located audio of the clip or if Tramel had finally had enough and quit. The answers are no and no.

This made me think – we really need more people in this town to help cover the local sports radio beat for those times when I'm away. Can someone lure Mel Bracht out of forced retirement?

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6. People love to bring you food

The first few days you're back from the hospital, literally any A, B or C-list family member or Facebook friend will offer to bring you food or something from the grocery store. Needless to say, take these people up on the offer! Nothing is better than food delivery without the Postmates delivery charge. Sometimes they'll even pay for it.

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7. Baby photos are social media "Like" magnets

Seriously, check out the likes on that tweet. I think it's the most liked social media item I've ever posted that didn't have anything to do with teachers, racists frat boys or Emily Sutton. It even got Lord England's attention. He took a break from liking right-wing patriot memes to share this:

Amen.

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