Monday, July 6, 2009

Money, money, money, money!

A sad fact that all dads will have to learn is that babies require lots of everything. Time? Better cancel all those tee times you've got planned for the next, oh, I don't know, three years. Love? Your heart's gonna swell bigger than the Grinch ever dreamed of. Attention? If the Goodyear blimp was painted up like a ginormous boob it wouldn't demand more of your attention than your kid. Money? Prepare, my fellow dads, to be broker than you've ever been in your life.

Dads already give a lot of their money. That's just part of being the traditional bread-winner in the family. Moms spend a lot of time at home with the baby after it's born; sorry feminists, it's just a fact of nature. Mom is the one who a) has the built-in feeding equipment, and b) has that God-given ability to comfort her baby. Dads on the other hand have the unique ability to work and provide for Mom and baby.

However, when baby comes, you won't believe how fast money will evaporate from your wallet, and be deleted from your bank account. Diapers are $30 a box, and that's at Costco where things are almost always cheapr. Then there's baby wipes, formula, bottles, special super-duper baby nursery water (babies even have their own kind of water! Who knew? Bet you thought water was just water... see, told ya I'd teach ya something!), toys, car seats, carriers, car seat carrier combinations, swings, bouncey seats, blankets, burp cloths, and clothes.

If you made $1000 a month, I'm better about $900 of that will go toward the baby in some form or fashion. I'm not great at math, but I think that leaves about $100 for your meals, your clothes, your car, your entertainment. Now you know why you always hear this conversation from your going-out buddies:

"Hey, what happened to Joe?"
"Had a baby. Can't afford to do anything anymore."
Slight moment of silence from every male within earshot as they mourn Joe's passing.
"Ok, so guess that means we've got room for someone else in the group. Candidates?"

Of course, Joe now has new friends and new activities. But these things don't require a whole lot of scratch. For instance, Joe's 8:45 AM weekly tee time at the local golf course has been replaced by Joe's 9:00 AM weekly "Daddy and Me" session. "Wednesday happy hour at the bar" is now "Friday night Babies 'R Us trip." Joe doesn't mind this, because Joe has his new baby to think about. And because he has other dads to commiserate with at these functions. So it's not all bad. At least he's not by himself.

And if I ever see Joe at any of these things, I'll be sure to give him your best.

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