Posts Tagged ‘fatherhood’


Read and watch a man, who has no earthly idea how to raise a child, raise a child.

I have been a father for about twelve days. This means that I possess the experience and all the prerequisites necessary to be deemed an expert in parenting by whomever deems people such things. As such, I can and will offer you unsolicited advice on the subject for the next, well, forever. For those of you who are not parents and have no interest in the matter, have no fear! Continue reading. I vow that my rants, advice, and rumblings will have value on a general life level. You just have to trust me, and help me–help you…

I want to talk to you about what nobody will. But I have to first write this disclaimer: I love being a father, and I am looking forward to every second of fatherhood. My wife loves being a mother and is also looking forward to every second of motherhood. It’s just not all rainbows and unicorns. Babies these days are just not as self sufficient as I was at two weeks old.

I am a bit concerned. All of this crying every time my daughter is hungry isn’t going to get my daughter married and out of the house anytime soon?

It’s two weeks into this raising a child thing, and every time my wife and I see a couple enjoying their life, or who looks like they may have slept more than three consecutive hours, we are quick to point out that they must not have kids.

My child is like an unhappy, non-contributing citizen of a communist government. My wife is the branch of the government that provides food. I am the part of the government that polices its citizens and enforces governmental regulations. As such, I have found my daughter guilty of a heinous crime–leeching off of all facets of government without contributing to its greater good. There you have it, I have illustrated the inefficiencies of communism by paralleling it to the state of my household. She is thankless in her leeching. This is not a trait I would have passed to her, I grow more and more concerned my wife has passed communist tendencies to my daughter.

I am not sure about a lot of things, but of these I am convinced:

1. My daughter seems unequivocally disappointed in my fathering abilities, but is willing to deal with it if I am holding a bottle.

2. My daughter is hellbent on killing her parents by systematically depriving them of all pleasures they once held dear. Mostly sleep, but followed by all other things I once derived joy from such as, but not limited to: beer consumption, eating a warm meal, smiling, not changing diapers, not being peed on, not being yelled at by a baby who refuses to use her words to specify what she is frustrated about, and finally, being able to touch my wife’s breasts without a look of horrific pain shooting through Whitney’s face.

3. She spawned from the womb well versed in Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War motivated and ready to utilize all aspects of warfare to annihilate her foes, and it seems we, her mother and I, are her mortal enemies.

I have developed a few Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that help me in my struggle against this skilled, thinking, and adapting foe. They are as follows:

1. In a sweet and nurturing voice I say what I really feel to my baby. Just like I would say, “look at my beautiful baby girl, is she a happy baby, yes she is…..” You know the voice, I say, “look at this little terrorist who steals my sleep and consistently tries to make me fall asleep while driving to work….” I feel like saying exactly what I feel helps me get through the process. We both win in this scenario.

2. I have also become the most wicked swaddler of babies, I want to call it what it is; I don’t swaddle I straight-jacket, and it is amazing. I was reaffirmed in this process by a movie I watched about making your baby the happiest baby on the block, so, now it’s a free for all.

3. I have began conducting reconnaissance patrols of my child’s living areas when she believed no one was paying attention. Imagery from this patrol has confirmed my worst fears–I may be fighting a much more formidable foe than I first thought. This snapshot was taken just before my daughter snapped her eyes open. Of note, the recon team that took this picture has not been seen or heard of since this transmission. We are convinced that this picture is evidence of some form of telepathy; yes, my daughter is a Jedi, who may be leaning towards the dark side.

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In the early hours of Tuesday morning I was awake holding the most beautiful terrorist imaginable. I felt what I can only describe as resignation. This darling girl, my nemesis, was already beginning what my mother warned me about years ago: That being; I would one day pay for my transgressions against my parents in the form of my own child–this is my reckoning.

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years…..

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This is the second edition of a two part blog that documents my wild ride to meeting my daughter. If you did not read my blog yesterday entitled, From the Womb to the Cold, Cold World, you are reading from the middle of the story. I encourage you to go back and read it. I also encourage you to pimp this blog to everyone you know at the expense of your friendship. Think of it like your friends that sell AMWAY, Tupperware, or some other pyramid scheme that you avoid, because they are always trying to sell you something, except in this case, you are doing it to them and you don’t benefit from it at all—to tell the truth, nobody really benefits from it.

When we last talked, I left you as my wife had invented the Two Pushes and a Gag method of pushing a baby from the womb into the cold, cold world. Without sounding like the beginning of a television show that recaps last week’s adventure, Whitney was doing well and was pushing like it mattered.

True to herself, Whitney did not change anything about her demeanor through the entire process. During the Active Labor portion of the entire show, the woman tends to get tired and needs pushing, or at least I thought that she did. I also thought the best way I could support her was to treat her like I would a Marine who worked for me and was showing the initial signs of fatigue. Marines have a horrible tendency to pontificate that everything can be overcome purely by being mentally tough and exhibiting stick-to-itiveness. Compounding this issue, Marines don’t coax one another, we belittle one another—it is our way.

So, as Whitney pushed and pushed and grew tired, I thought I should step in and motivate her. Raising my right hand exactly two feet in front of my body, while simultaneously forming a “knife hand,” and subsequently thrusting it on every other syllable towards Whitney’s tired face, I said the following: “Whitney, you need to rise above this pain and start pushing for real.” The problems with that statement exist on at least two levels.

The Most Obvious Level: Using the collection of words, “start pushing for real” to motivate somebody relies on the hope that the person you are motivating doesn’t read into the statement and search for what it actually means. To start pushing for real negates every facet of pushing that occurred until that point in time. I could have worded my motivational phrase as follows and received the same look from Whitney, “Whitney, here’s what I am seeing. I am seeing a lot of work and no progress….I need you to start pretending this means something and get your head in the game.” I do not know what I was thinking, but again, you don’t need to worry your little head, because the Whitney that we all know and love doesn’t take shit from anyone particularly when she is in labor.

The entire labor stopped.

Doctors, nurses, janitors, and other patients faded into the surround like ethereal spirits. The air grew so cold that I could see my breath misting as it rose towards the ceiling. Whitney’s head spun 360 degrees and stopped as she centered her wicked gaze upon my trembling soul. Reaching forward and parrying my knife hand to the side like a child’s toy, she spoke. She spoke in three different languages all at once, and to this moment, I do not know what she said, but I do know that what she summoned in that moment is following me. Its every shadow creeping and crawling across my floor, and it is a constant reminder that I need to shut my mouth when I am talking to Whitney.

The temperature returned to normal, doctors and nurses went about their business of delivering a baby, and the world was normal. Whitney smiled and continued. I decided that would be the last time I would use the, “Whitney Needs My Words of Motivation” technique, and all was as it should be.

Whitney pushed for an eternity. Before we entered into the process of labor, we understood that there was a distinct possibility that Whitney would not be able to deliver this child naturally. Without getting into the science of it all, Whitney has the perfect body for bearing a child, minus the minute detail of a pelvic bone structure to let the baby out. The perfect incubator with a bum trap door, but we wanted to try as hard as possible before making the final decision.

Enter the Surgeon.

I would not be exaggerating if I said to you now that George Patton reincarnated would be the doctor who delivered our baby. I could not pick a more emotionless surgeon to conduct the cesarean section. He walked through the doorway and stood there just long enough to appear only silhouetted in its frame. Making his way into the light, George Patton matter-of-factly marched towards Whitney. To shed even more light on the man, this surgeon is honored every year as the oldest practicing doctor in the Army….AWESOME.

He was, by nature of his title, allowed to scour my wife’s nether regions and as such smacked on a rubber glove and began the magic show. While doing so, he made random statements like, uh-huh, yep, okay, there it is, hmmmmmhh, and other sounds of discovery. At the conclusion of the show, he retracted from his scouring and looked at Whitney. This was the doctor’s entire pre-op and informative session with Whitney prior to surgery and it consisted of three sentences:

We can do this for four more hours and you won’t get any farther along, let’s cut this baby out of there, any questions? Good. Let’s do this.

I half expected George Patton to slap Whitney in the face and walk off, but he refrained and we geared ourselves up for the upcoming surgery.

I do not want to make light of the surgery, because it is a major event and it was an exceptionally surreal process. They dressed me up in a big bunny suit and let me record the event as long as I didn’t look past the curtain. As one would expect, Whitney rose to the occasion and was pretty amazing. Britney Spears scrubbed in for the surgery and aided General Patton as he began cutting.

I have never been more nervous in my life as I watched Whitney laying there. She was talking to the doctor about what was being cut and when and she did so with just a tinge of drug induced hilarity, but damn, I was impressed by my little warrior wife during the process.

The doctors made a big deal about the moment before they cut through the uterus, and I thought it was an appropriate amount of drama.
I heard General Patton say, “I’ve reached the uterus.”
Britney Spears says, “Whitney, you ready to meet your baby?”
General Patton continues, “Cutting Uterus.”
Silence………and then boom a baby cries. Britney Spears, breaking protocol, grabs the baby and lifts her over the curtain showing Whitney our daughter. I’m crying, Whitney’s crying, children everywhere are crying, midgets show up again and start crying, General Patton does not cry; instead he made angry eyes at Britney for her breach of regulations.

My beautiful wife Whitney was ecstatic about meeting this baby, and I knew that she was overwhelmed with emotion, tired, and ready for this process to be done. As she calmed down and in true to herself, my wife opened her mouth and said her first words regarding her daughter. She asked, “Is it normal for the baby to sound like Yoda when she cries?”

That was her first question, and I think I have it recorded. I cannot wait until this girl is old enough to understand me, so I can tell on Whitney.

I am not emotionally driven. I do not like when emotions are overly advertised and things like this. It’s my father’s fault, but it is a flaw I think helps me as much as it hurts. But in that moment, when my daughter cried and I saw her make her old man face and look so incredibly unhappy to be joining us in this cruel world, I was a broken man. This girl, this little baby girl punched me right in the heart, and in “Whoville, they say-that Heath Phillips’ small heart grew three sizes that day.”

As I was relishing the moment, things started to change in the operating room. Whitney could feel more pain than she was supposed to, and as a result everything went into some weird bizarro world.

This is an exact transcription of the conversation that occurred next.

Whitney: Shouting “I THINK I AM DYING!!!!”

General Patton: Emotionless “Somebody give this woman something.”

Britney Spears: Excitedly “No you are not dying, Whitney, I am holding your uterus in my hand.”

Whitney: Curiously inquisitive, but emotionally charged and shouting “YOU ARE HOLDING MY UTERUS?”

Britney Spears: Honestly and excitedly, “Yes, and look, you are still alive!”

General Patton: Emotionless, but sternly spoken, “Someone give this woman some drugs.”

Whitney: Very inquisitively shouting, “ARE YOU GOING TO GIVE IT BACK?”

Britney Spears: Excitedly, “Yes, I have my own.”

Whitney: Passes out in a drug induced sleep.

Seated in a wooden chair in the corner of the recovery room, I was holding my beautiful daughter. Outside in the hallway, it sounded as if a parade was approaching and we were about to see the front end pass by our door. The first event in the parade was Dr Britney Spears, who I love for being there, behind her was a train of nurses; doctors; random men and women; midgets and orphans; and last but not least, in the most dramatic float of them all, rode Whitney Phillips spouting out drug induced nonsensical phrases. Britney Spears approached me and my mother-in-law. She leaned in and said, “I don’t know if you’ll believe me, but in the post-operating processes, the following words were heard coming out of Whitney’s mouth: Dildos, Mike and Ike Candies, Hot Tamales, and dear God, Don’t Let the baby look like my husband.”…………..

On October 10, 2012, Shakespeare Ian Phillips entered the world. In doing so, she has given me more material to blog about, I’m sure. I cannot wait to shoot her first boyfriend. There have been many people who have questioned the name we have given her. My favorite is when they tell me it is too long, and I point out that it is only two syllables. Another common concern is that Shakespeare is a boy’s name. For instance, the doctor we have been seeing asked me in a very concerned voice, “You do know that William Shakespeare was a male author, right?” I acted completely surprised and embarrassed of our mistake…

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years…


I can feel it, there is a baby eager to make her way into the world and meet her father….and her mother too, I guess, but she has been with her mother for a good nine months now, so that is probably nowhere near as exciting as meeting me.  I would want to meet me if I was her. 

There are two types of fathers in this world.  Trust me; I have done extensive research (meaning I asked three people their opinions and a simple majority confirmed it).  First there is the father who will not venture below the waistline during the evolution of labor.  They want nothing to do with what is going on in the nether regions during the most critical stage of the birthing miracle.  The “above the waisters,” henceforth referred to as ATWs, are not wrong for their longing to keep clear of the “zone of the unimaginable,” because what happens down there doesn’t make a whole bunch of sense. 

For one moment in time, all the pressure and energy of a woman’s being is centered on an area that the man has been centering all of his pressure, energy, and attention on for years.  Now, in an ironic twist, the ATW has decided this magical place we men never quite understood, but were lured to like a moth to a flame, is best left alone and he becomes a cheerleader rooting his wife on, face to face.  He leans into her, giving her an arm or finger to squeeze, and says glittering generalities surrounding motivational phrases we used to scream from sidelines, dugouts, and bleachers during sporting events. 

Trust me, ATWs say the same things to their wives during labor that they would when a man gets up to bat and there are two runners on in the late innings of a baseball game.  They just make it sound more breathy and motivating.  During a game, we yell to our teammates, “This is your time, brother, pick one and drive it, don’t leave them stranded out there on base, bring ‘em home.”  During labor, the ATWs go with what they know, they lean in and say, “This is your time, you’re a mother, concentrate and drive through the next push, don’t leave that girl in there, we need to bring her home.”  ATWs never stray too far from what they know.  The mother has become a teammate and they are going to get her through this very individual moment in what is generally a team sport.

The second type of father is a militaristic man (MM), not to imply that he is more of a man than his counterpart, ATW, but that he is very different.  He is a man who is trained to be at the most chaotic point of any evolution.  He believes that is the place where he can provide the best support to the woman in her moment of peril.  The MM believes that the point of friction is where he should be shouting out orders and organizing the next combative muscle movements.  He needs to see the breach point and somehow find a way to gain the initiative and exploit the enemy.  In the case of labor, nature is the enemy, and the natural process of birth is a thinking, breathing, and adaptive enemy at that. 

The MM thinks in terms of objectives, phase lines, stages, and culminating points.  He has divided up “Operation Baby Boom” into distinct phases, and even more specifically, into smaller stages.  He is looking for the best moment to mass his combat power and engage the enemy in what he refers to decisive action.  The woman lying on the bed is his main effort, and the doctors surrounding her are all supporting efforts.  Should something go wrong, the doctors are poised, and ready to assume the main effort.  The MM has briefed all parties involved and he is ready to cross the line of departure. 

The MM has his head right into the business area of his wife’s nether area.  He is fighting back pushing the doctors out of the way and doing this himself.  He is intrigued by the entire process.  Sure, he shouts out motivational phrases, but they are less like cheerleading and much more specific.  After a push, he looks up and gives his wife a situation report (SITREP).  The SITREP includes basic information about the evolution.  “Good push, I believe the baby is close to crowning, the next push is going to be an important one for us, I need you to really bear down; we have the enemy on their heels, and I think that they are just about out of options. The contraction lasted 90 seconds, and was three minutes and thirty seconds from your last.  Using this as a gauge for the next one I believe we can consolidate and rest for two more minutes, but then we will need to press forward. Stand by.” 

Without restraint from hospital personnel, the MM will not contain himself when the baby crowns, he will reach up there and pull the baby through the obstacle belt.  The MM doesn’t understand why the labor takes more than 15 to 20 minutes, and seems to be rushing the process the entire time.  And, as is the case with many military planners, the MM doesn’t necessarily have the best exit strategy.  Once the baby is out of the womb and laying there in all of his or her glory, the MM is overly emotional, and cannot figure out what to do with his hands.  He doesn’t know how to hold a baby, but he is dying to try.  The MM has never felt more masculine than he does at the moment he sees his baby, and this baby is his next General Officer…

I am certain that I will be the father who is all up in my wife’s business.  I am excited and ready for this to occur, and all signs in my house are that this kid is coming with a vengeance in the next few weeks.  I cannot write anymore today, as I have to put together a crib.  Earlier this week I put together a stroller, and a car seat thingy.  We are surrounded by bottle whozits, and pink whatzits, and breast feeding thing-a-mbobs, and some kind of diaper changing magic place.  I have been tasked by my wife to help her nest and I have some required reading to complete on the subject of sleep schedules.  Right now, she is snoring to my left because she can only sleep in small bursts.  The baby has infiltrated every aspect of her life.  This baby, not yet born, has infiltrated every aspect of my life, and I couldn’t be happier.

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years.


This morning, as is my usual, I found myself in a war with a high school student, who is probably smarter than I am. To avoid sounding like an internet predator, this high school student is a family friend of ours. Long story short, I found myself going back in forth with her in a war of words. Sounds easy, and more importantly it sounds like I should have won, right? Well, in my head, it sounds like I should have. The great equalizer is we only fought in Haiku form. People, this means that 17 syllables are all I had to desecrate my enemy. Well, I lost, oddly enough; I lost because I miscounted syllables on two occasions. Sometimes six syllables looks a lot like five syllables. I even put my hand under my lower jaw and spoke the haiku, counting every time my mouth opened to monitor syllables. What a failure.

Anyways it got me thinking, I need practice, so I now present to you ten Haikus about my life dealing with a pregnant wife, who I love. Each are works of art that you should print out and put by your bed to wake to every morning. I fully expect that these Haikus will be used in the poetry section of your children’s high school English class, so you might as well read it to them now. The meaning of each can go in so many directions, and moreover, they really speak to my mastery of the English language.

1. Pregnant Morning Rising

 I wake to Whitney.

She wants to be fed right now.

She wants some pickles.

2. What She Said Part One

I peed ten times and

I again feel the need to

Pee. You’re a bastard.

3. Bladder River Dance, What She Said Part Two

Baby is dancing

on my bladder, I think I

just peed a little.

4. What She Said Last Night Part One

We have reached a point

Where I need back and foot rubs.

I’ll find a boyfriend.

5. What She Said Last Night Part Two

I hope our kid is

Psychic, so she can make us

Rich like real housewives. (Real is one syllable).

6. My Husband, the Slumlord (A Haiku from Whitney’s Perspective)

I hate picking up

After you in the kitchen.

You are weak sauce, Heath.

7. Air Conditioning Is Not Free

Pregnant chicks cannot

Ever get comfortable.

House is freezing now.

8. Your Cologne is Disgusting (A Haiku from Whitney’s Perspective)

Although I bought it,

I hate your cologne. It makes

Me throw up in mouth.

9. Pregnancy Fetish (A Haiku from Heath’s Perspective)

Pregnant Girls are the

Sexiest girls in the world.

I want ten babies.

10. Falling Down

Pregnant women seem

To trip on everything.

They are a menace. These took me at least 15 minutes to write, so I expect you will need hours to explicate their individual meanings and how they have impacted you. Your assignment for the evening is to pick your favorite and let me know how it affected you. Its due first thing in the morning. I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years.


….. I went to a movie last night called “my wife’s ultrasound.” It was wonderful and interesting. I was excited to get to see my daughter in there doing all kinds of aerobics and military drill. My baby seemed to have Olivia Newton John’s, “Let’s Get Physical” in her head, because some of her moves looked like 80’s dancing. All the requisite things appeared on the screen, legs, arms, hands, etc. I saw her eyes, and she looks to have my ears, poor thing. She was sucking her thumb, which I coincidently quit only like a year ago, which even more coincidentally, caused me to wear headgear and have braces for two thirds of my ginger childhood—double bonus.

Everything was beautiful, then I realized that the along with all the extremities and organs that were supposed to be there, there was one important piece I hadn’t thought about: My daughter also has a vagina! What? If there has been one thing that has been more confusing to me, I cannot think of it. I feel like I now have to just give her over to her mother and just watch from afar. Boys are so easy, we got franks and beans. There is no mystery; keep the thing clean, right? Nuts and bolts; what you see is what you get. Boys realize what they have there and we keep our hand glued to it for the next 65 years, only stopping to eat, and if we had our way, we would only free one hand.

For boys our problems with the vagina start right away. We hear about the mythical vagina; we are trained to seek it, but in the end we have no clue what to do with it. There are men right now reading this who will smirk and say, I never had that problem, and I say you, sir, are a liar. We fear the vagina. The vagina is like what my dad has going on with his home entertainment system: A wonderful visual and audio experience that draws in the man’s attention; we all want it; we envy it; we always think another man’s entertainment system is better than ours…Pretty much everything in the living room revolving around my father’s 1000 inch screen and double Dolby 7.7 surround sound is awe inspiring, and I know it. I want it. I want it something awful, but there’s a problem: I don’t understand the remote control. Of course with someone standing over us, giving us specific directions, we can get the thing turned on, but without this, we are just pushing random buttons and hoping something magical happens.

As we move into our fathering years our problems change drastically. What I just covered becomes even scarier, because we want all boys and men to stay away from anything relating to our daughters. I don’t want boys drawn to my daughter’s entertainment center. I have had multiple imaginary fights that happen 15 years from now. I have no problem killing a high school kid. So let it be written and let it be done.

I also believe that maintenance is something I don’t clearly understand. Men have it so easy. If it hurts when you pee, drink more water, and try to avoid getting kicked in your junk. These are the only two rules that I follow and am aware of. That’s pretty much my advice to myself at least. I was raised with four women in the house, and I have new found respect for my father.

I have a bunch of questions for my wife, who also has a vagina. I need to learn. The next 18 years are going to be crazy.