Search

Ay, Pops

Category

Uncategorized

Pops Prep Pack

“I think my water broke”

The quote that every nervous and anticipating father anxiously awaits (and/or fears.) Just like in the TV shows you frantically call the doctor, help your lady to the car, and run back to grab the bags…

“Bags? What bags?”

Ah, of course, the magical bags with everything imagined in them that she must have packed because you don’t need anything to have a baby. I mean she probably needs stuff(because women ALWAYS need stuff) but you just have to show up with your moral support and yet unbroken fingers right?

Wrong.

You probably recall her asking you to pack your bag and did 1 of 2 things:

  1. Forgot and/or didn’t think you needed to pack it
  2. Started to pack; had no idea what was supposed to go in there, then reverted to #1

giphy

Inspired by my good friend who is expecting his first son in a few, here is my attempt to help you out with that.  Where do we start?  If you have a situation anything like mine your wife has already done the heavy lifting. Meaning she has bagged everything for herself and the newborn so that leaves you to focus on Pops.

  1. Pack Light – You don’t need much, you aren’t packing for a summer vacation (you won’t be for quite some time now), this is a 1 to 2 night stay, one change of clothes is all you’ll probably need.
  2. Pack Comfortable – most of your time is going to be spent trying to sleep(not going to work), lounging and pacing. Trade any jeans or slacks for sweat pants, and go ahead and pull the Roshes out instead of those Retro 6s.
  3. Pack Entertainment – Labor and induction isn’t like the TV shows, you’ll be sitting around bored, most likely with a partner who’s inaudible and sleep most of the time. My go to was my Nintendo DS, but a laptop or tablet does the trick also. DADn Tip: Bring a book if you’re old school, reception/wifi may be scarce.
  4. Pack Hygienic – Don’t forget the essentials, the $1 hygiene section has you covered. Toothbrush, deodorant, body wash.
  5. Pack a Backup – You’ll most likely be keeping the family updated via cell phone so pack that extra phone charger. Backup pillows and or blankets work too but wifey probably has those.
  6. Pack the Snacks – If you don’t mind running to the hospital cafeteria and vending machines just bring your wallet and change. If you want to avoid some of those expenses do the normal gas station run before a road trip and stock up on snacks, protein/cereal bars are a good pick.
  7. Pack The Camera – You will probably have your phone but if you have a digital camera bring it!(You never use it any other time, here’s your moment) Have your own photo shoot and memories, plus the hospital organized photo packages after birth are pricey!

You’ll have a lot more freedom than Mom to move around, so if you do forget something it’s not a huge deal, but be prepared.  Pack the Pops bag NOW!

I mean what if her water just broke?

My Daughter AIN’T My Valentimes

Little Lady doesn’t have a Valentine…

She’ll probably be okay without one for a while.   I could take the time to bash Valentine’s Day and call it another card holiday that has no real meaning.(How many holidays have real meanings)  However, I really like Valentine’s Day, it’s a celebration of love and candy.(I LOVE candy).  While in college I actually celebrated Valentine’s Day each year by recording a song with my good friend and creating a YouTube video collage of submitted photos from people.  I’ve also been known to go all out for my wife on the day also, between extravagant gifts, and uber-mushy-thoughtful rendezvous.  I have nothing against the holiday at all.  So with the day here(and an extra lady in my life) I wanted to take the time to really dwell on if I should or should not be my daughter’s valentine.

First things first,  none of this has to do with an Electra complex or reverse Oedipus or anything weird like that.  However, I do believe some type of psychological things come into play.  There are a lot of people that involve their children in Valentine’s day with issues and complexes like these, but I’m not educated enough on mental health to delve into that conversation.(Nor do I want to)

One thing I love about being a father with a daughter is that it starts conversations like these, that I am sure need to be had.  This is how my conversation and topic started:

I was walking through McCarran International Airport with a pregnant wife.  Recently finding out our due date was February 12 we started discussing having children close to holidays.  I’m the type of guy that believes in all things fair and extra/separate presents.( I see you Bryce).  I told my wife luckily I won’t have that problem yet, because Little Lady won’t be my valentine, just her.  She didn’t agree(she never does).

I’m sure some of you are like my wife or have your own reasons for why your children are your Valentines.  I have no problem with you and I’m not claiming that you are incorrect.  I would actually love to hear them in the comments section.

Little Lady isn’t getting less love.  I love her everyday, I show her daily and she has several special holidays during the year that is exclusive to our love.  I’ve ordained on this Hallmark holiday an exclusivity to my wife.

Don’t misquote me, when the time comes, I will help her sign and pick Valentine’s cards for her classmates. ( I may even help her select the special one, with the best candy too)  I will post any V-Day art projects she crafts on the fridge and in my office.  And of course I will grab her some 75% candy on February 15th when she ask.(We LOVE candy)

Having a daughter has extremely advanced my wanting and willingness to learn about women.  I grew up with 6 older sisters, between them and my mother, me and Pops were pretty outnumbered.  I’m extremely grateful about my upbringing and having them around to ask for guidance now.  I understand that seeing an example of how I spoil her mother each year on this day will combat any of the “she needs to understand how a man should treat her on this holiday” remarks.  Children often learn from emulation, and I’m not depriving her of that, if anything I’m giving her a better lesson.  It’s also the way I learned.  My father never gave my sisters(or me) valentine’s gifts, but he also taught me how to treat your Queen, and your Princess(es) pretty stellar.

One day,(36 years from today) on this date a prince charming will be doing all the spoiling she needs, and I will be watching(with my weapon.) Just. In. Case.

 

Valentine's Day Card

Happy Valentine's Day Ya'll!

 

It’s Been A Year Already

Well that happened fast didn’t it?t_peanut_cake_176

A year ago I was on this blog,  overwhelmed with emotion about my daughter being brought into this world.  Now well, she’s a year old.(I can finally stop calling her zero)  I figured this was the best time to get back to blogging since so much has changed.

First, we’re with child again.  Yup. It’s another girl.  She’ll make her appearance sometime end of June.   However it isn’t about her today, it’s all about big sister and the things she’s taught me in the 1st year of DADn.

A year in review(I have to make this short we’re headed to Chuck E. Cheese):

My daughter taught me a lot about myself while also teaching me about babies.  Working in childcare for a couple years during high school I thought that I knew a thing or two.( I didn’t know ANYTHING)

  1.  STOP playing the compare game. – This could be a post of it’s own.  Having children, especially when all your friends are also having children turns some people into milestone achievers.  “My little person was talking at X months, and walking in Y months.”

    Turns out children are people too and just as you shouldn’t compare your own life with others, you shouldn’t with theirs.  (And) If your child is anything like mine, she’ll do things when she’s ready and comfortable not the other way around.

  2. Sharing is only fun at first. – At this point I don’t understand why bathrooms(or any rooms) have doors.  The top thing that Little Lady has taught me is, my personal space is also her personal space.  She’s pretty much my shadow(morning, afternoon, and the reason I have a 5 O’clock)  Sharing video games with me was fun in theory, until she wants a controller EVERYTIME(unplugged controller trick doesn’t work in the wireless era)
  3. I’m pretty good at DADn – I had no idea what parenthood had in store for me, but it turns out that it’s like my calling.(Or every humans natural instinct)  I think that I’ve been doing a pretty good job, although it was hard to tell when the little one could not talk but now that she can, turns out she thinks so too.

I think the main thing that I have learned in this passed year is that although Little Lady has taught me so much, I LOVE teaching her.  I’ve only been a father for a year and it’s been the best freaking year of my life.  Thanks & Happy Birthday Peanut!

 

Patiently Waiting

There are many shining moments in DAD’n, most rely on your first successful something.  My most memorable so far has been my first successful swaddling of a rambunctious newborn.

Along with those shining first there is an even added dynamic when it comes to a Father/Daughter relationship.  Shining moments that last a lifetime like the first time she turns down a pursuing boy all the way to giving her hand away in marriage.(Usually to that same boy)

But neither an irregularly tucked blanket nor an expensive wedding(from mostly your pockets) can top this.  She said it…

“DA-DA”

From conception a father thinks about this first moment, where he’ll be, how she’ll sound, and every other random possible factor to go along.

Well it first came to me by surprise, she was passing the 6-month mile mark and my wife and I(being the thirsty millennials we are) both posted social media collages and videos.  At the end of my wife’s collage was a video of Little Lady in a high chair exclaiming that golden reduplicated two syllables.

Needless to say, I was overjoyed and she hasn’t stopped since.  I wanted to write this post then but I figured I should wait until she had proper context of the word before embracing it.  At 6-months it was the equivalent of a DMV-ian saying “jawn” it was a noun that not only meant father. Ex:

Pops: What is that? *points to fan*

Little Lady: Da-Da

Pops: Where is the fan? *points to room*

Little Lady: Da-Da!

Pops: Who is touching the fan? *points to self*

Little Lady: Da-Da!!!

Pops: *dances frantically* Yay, yay! Good job!

giphy-1

Person, place, thing.(reversed rather)  “Da-da” was everything(well, shouldn’t he be) but nonetheless raising an infant is a game of small victories.  Although I can now celebrate at the 9-month mark her distinguishing the difference between me actually being “Da-da,” I can also celebrate not having to hear it on repeat every single time she speaks. As now she is working on harder and more fun words: “No,” “Hi,” “More(which we guess means she wants to eat. ‘How can you have s’more if you have had any yet?’)”and of course…

“Momma!”(have fun.)

Apologies for being gone so long, a lot has been going on.

Flying Squirrels

I was reluctant to write this,

Not because of the huge controversy it would stir, or because I thought that it would change my demographic and direction of where I take this blog. Those things don’t really matter much in this realm of new daddy-ness, all things are new and free game. I was reluctant to write this post because I didn’t want to get it wrong.

But, if there is anything I’ve learned relevance is key. With the 2016 Olympic games in Rio over, I’m losing my window.

As I watched the Olympic games and other competitive sporting(highlights mostly, who watches things live anymore?) One thought draped into my head the last year, “I can’t wait to tell my daughter about Gabby Douglas.”

13600176_600294476808347_4709232223669084044_n-600x873

Not only Gabby but Serena Williams, and Simon Biles, Simone Manuel and the endless list of Black Women Sport Superheroes that we witness daily. Queue backstory:


When I was younger my first interest into education were both reading and math, and that interest was due to sports. I actually wanted to be a statistician when I was in 1 st grade. I’d crunch Shaq and Scottie Pippen’s averages and read about the ’95 Dallas Cowboys every move.(Is that aging myself?) I owe a large part of my early development in those 2 areas to sports. I have hopes that something similar sparks my Little Lady’s interest to education.


But, I think about learning of John Carlos, Tommie Smith, and Muhammad Ali and their Olympic (and not-so) endeavors, not only because they were great athletes, but because they were Black Superheroes.

I can’t wait to tell my daughter about Serena Williams being arguably the greatest tennis player ever, or about Simon Biles having her own gymnast moved named appropriately. I can’t wait to tell her about their achievements because it will lead to other conversations. Conversations about being athletic, conversations about being successful, but also conversations about how the Black woman is the most unprotected and downtrodden person on the earth.

I can start to explain to her that she will be judged for not being perfect in a world that once acted like she didn’t exist.  Or I can try to inform her how she will be praised for her abilities but not loved for who she is.

That will lead to conversations of why the Black woman is also the most amazing being on earth.  That through all of the controversy, as much as they turn their back on her, as much as they criticize her, as much as they hold her to standards that no one else has or can achieve, she does, and does so unbothered.

Then I can teach her that she will grow to be her, (not Gabby Douglas), a superhero. A Black Woman Superhero.

Let me get her cape ready…

The Traveling Father Act

Has anyone watched 50 First Dates?( I know I know, Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, cue Sony leaked e-mails)

That’s kind of what life is like when you travel a lot and you have a 0-year old with not that great of an any term memory.  As stated in previous post I live in Georgia, my family, friends and in-laws are in 2 different parts of Illinois, and my companies headquarters lie in a third part.

I’m apart of this faux-sophisticated-post-graduate-young-professional-African-American culture(also known as bougie black folk), and it’s customary in this culture to celebrate any mild success or birthday with galvanizing dinners, brunches, and other excuses to have spirits.  Mixing this culture with a need to visit the company’s home office every 2 months and generally seeing family throughout the year, I travel a lot.

…Like a whole lot.

This was all well and dandy, until I had a baby that couldn’t always come with.  I’m still in the “new daddy” stage, so I miss my child literally every minute she’s away.  Doing a week away from her was rather worrisome but somehow I made it through.  Between MMS and all these other cool features on our smartphones and laptops now(Facebook Messenger is amazing, who cares if they can read my e-mails and bank statements)  I understand it’s much easier than our parents must have had it.

A week doable, but this past month of July I managed to only physically see & hold my daughter, about 22.5 hours out of 504 hours(3 weeks) however.  Not only did I feel like the worst parent in the world, but I also missed the hell out my Little Lady a lot.

…Like a whole lot.

Missing her isn’t the only thing though, I had to make sure she remembered me when I returned.  Travel back to my previous post.  She’s been with Momma, Aunties, cousins, friends and the sort.  Babygirl’s a pretty happy baby, so she smiles at mostly everyone, reuniting it was hard to gauge a “Where have you been?” smile versus “Hi nice stranger” smile.  There was only one thing to do, pull out all the stops and solemnly decree the the Traveling Father Act:

Roy_Snyder

We the Gunter family do by decree that if Father Gunter does go without seeing Baby Gunter for any period longer than agreed upon, Father Gunter must execute the following task prior to Baby Gunter remembering and accepting him once more:  

  1. Making statements in signature “daddy voice”
  2. Holding Baby Gunter on his chest while singing custom lyrics
  3. Allowing Baby Gunter to grab, pull, rip, and nuzzle beard
  4. Dancing to their favorite songs: “Ultralight Beam” – Kanye West, “Blessings” – Chance the Rapper and “The Girl Is Mine” – Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney.

*All task subject to change upon Baby Gunter’s ability to talk.

There’s nothing worse than not seeing your daughter for a LONG time but there is nothing better than her realizing it’s you and realizing that she like you a lot.

…Like a whole lot.

 

 

Opinions…or not.

Babies are dumb.

dumb-babies

Although it sounds harsh, it’s really true, and actually kind of scary.  They have really short term memories, no opinions, and an extreme shortage of ways of expressing said non-existent opinion.  I once wanted to study child psychology (kudos to those patient and diligent enough) and the first thing I learned about is object permanence.  It’s one of the key indicators that babies are dumb.  Object permanence is the understanding that things exist even once they’re out of your eyesight.  The thing about babies is not only do they not understand you don’t exist when you hide your face playing peek-a-boo, they also kind of don’t understand that they themselves exist at all.

Contrary to first paragraph reading belief this is not a baby bash (Suga, Suga how you get so fly!) nor a rant about how I want nothing to do with children again.  It’s not the opposite either, this is a mixture of self-reflection, future strategies, and Father’s day praise all realized through understanding how smart, or not so much Little Lady is.

The coolest thing about babies not being smart is…

They don’t need to be! We don’t need babies to solve mathematical equations or do anything that requires extreme brain power.  We only need them to be cute for the time being, and many a celebrity model have proven, knowledge is not a prerequisite to cuteness. (Channing Tatum might be an infant yo…)  The other good thing about our idiot babies is they are growing and learning as they go so they won’t always be dense.  This also brings the key component of parenting out, we’re not here only to change diapers and make sure our little people don’t die, we’re here to teach them how to not be dumb.

Here comes the self-reflection and Father’s day praise…

My father is pretty awesome! (I wrote a post about him, you should read it).  Among most things that I can praise him for, I think the most important thing he taught me was how to think.  I want to emphasize the word HOW.  As parents, we often want our children to be a small us, dress like us, talk like us, and like the same things as us.  I think a huge component is understanding that we don’t need a photocopy but a prodigy.

We should teach our children how to think, not what to think.

My Pops explained to me at a young age that I had an opinion and I had the freedom to voice it.  He informed me that people did not have to agree with it, and that it should always be presented in a respectable manner, but that I ALWAYS had an opinion.  If you know me personally or via this blog it’s easy to see that I may have heeded his words a little too far.  If you’re upset that I ALWAYS have an opinion and usually voice it(which I do) blame my father, haha!

Seriously though, we have an agenda in the creation of imprudent creatures, to make sure they don’t stay that way.  By definition a foolish person is one that does not know how to think.  If you raise a little you, and they are foolish it may be because the process is broken.

Finish it off with the future strategy…

I get to celebrate my first Father’s day with a 4-month old blessing, which has just discovered her feet are connected to her body. (Well, I think she understands that) My promise to her is that although Daddy may always think he’s right (he is), she has the tools to present why she is, and also the tools to understand why I get to make the tough decisions.  She’s already taught me so much more than what I thought I knew, maybe, babies, aren’t dumb…

Happy Father’s Day!

Shameless Child Promotion(& Parent Hoods)

The greatest thing about raising a child is you literally are watching a person learn how to be….well a person.  Needless to say A LOT can change in 2 months…

That’s how long it has been since the last time I posted and boy has this girl been person-ing.  She can talk! Well, not English exactly, more like a mixture between Simlish and whatever language Taz speaks.  Nonetheless, she is a babbling brook.  She can play piano! Well, not Alicia Keys exactly, she has a play-mat equipped with a foot keyboard that she stomps, making her a pint size Tom Hanks from Big.  She can climb off of couches and out her swing! Well, yes, exactly, she rolls over and out of anything she isn’t strapped down to.  I’m obviously THAT parent, or THAT parent in training at least.  I’ll be hyperbolizing her accomplishments for many years to come.  But, I think that’s part of the job description.  Another key note is she is no longer in daycare.  Needless to say A LOT can change in 2 months…

I will state that we ended up loving the daycare for the most part, and removing her from daycare has no tragic and lawsuit filled story to go with it, sorry in advance.  We originally enrolled her because my Wife was a full-time graduate student and intern along with myself working and doing school full-time.  However, May has come and commencement has happened!  So instead of sitting back and enjoying the laziness of a month off before starting her career, Momma gets to mommy.

Prior to having a child during our family planning talks, my Wife and I decided that along with faith, and family we wanted education to be one of the pillars of our household.  As I stated in a previous post my grandmother was a school teacher and my father’s side of the family holds education in high regards.  So high that at least pursuing college is a standard rather than an option.  It’s something that my Wife admired about my family’s culture and decided that we wanted to inherit and take one step further.  So, somehow in these talks she motivated me to start grad school a semester after her.(A lot can change in 2 months).

Although we will support Little Lady no matter what she does academically, we wanted to set a mute model for her.  We must be doing something right our family graduation picture circled the internet 10s of 1000s of times. (Thank you to Pro Blackery 2, Black Love & Relations, 1 Million AfricansOlmecian, and all other blogs, Instagrams, Facebook groups, and Friends & Family that shared)13198630_1709036826033761_8539982453957556294_o

Subconsciously, we are everything our parents were and even more what we wish they were.

Momma, is the first of her family to complete both a Bachelor and Masters degree(in Social Work). My father achieved his MBA when I was a child and now I have just completed my Master’s in Information Systems, and am taking the next step towards becoming a doctoral candidate.  It is our only aspiration to see more for our seed than we have witnessed for our self.  I honestly believe that not only continuing the cycle but asking for those to prosper and achieve higher than the previous is the key to a better future.

Little Lady is Master Locksmith.(well, not exactly, but she’s McGyver in my eyes)

The Pursuit Of Daycareness

Being away from family sucks.

Especially when your family is one of those big Christmas movie classic type families.  With my father, 6 older sisters, 5 nieces, 7 nephews, and a few brother-in-laws, we could give ‘This Christmas’ and ‘Home Alone’ a great run for their money.(Do I smell script idea.) Each holiday including birthdays, baptisms, and school recitals calls for a gathering and celebration of the whole family.  We’re really close and always together, it’s pretty awesome for those in attendance, and rarely is anyone not in attendance.  So, being away from family sucks.  With such a big family and all its working parts, we’ve never been too keen on daycares.  My mother was a homemaker before her home going, and she was all-around Granny Nanny when I was growing up.  My sister owns a daycare herself, so there is only a handful of the group that wasn’t cared for in majority by the close family.  Being away from family sucks, even more when you’re looking for childcare.

All but 1 of those above mentioned people live in the Quad Cities, IL/IA(1 sister in the Carolinas).  I had this bright life aspiration to move to Georgia – and have a baby.  The entirety of my Wife’s family lives in Chicago, IL.  Being away from family sucks, more so when you have a really supportive family on both sides that would “love to babysit daily” and “keep the child while you two work and go to school because they’re so proud of you.”

Childcare is the most painstaking, dual edged scythe created.

It’s really expensive.  Like really expensive.  One family I know spends close to $500 a week for daycare, another $270.  (Avoiding political stances here) There’s all these childcare assistance programs that are built to help those in need.  Turns out if you’re a struggling grad student, with a struggling grad student wife, but you work and she interns, you aren’t in need.   You should be able to afford daycare or the baby should grab an extra syllabus and help out at your cubes.  Being away from family sucks tremendously when you’re broke.

Then there is the whole part of paying people you don’t really want to keep your child to keep your child.  I like to think of myself as a grateful person, I understand that no one has to do anything for you and appreciate every effort that people take to help.  The thing is, when your daughter is 6 weeks old a daycare is a niche industry rather than an institution.  You aren’t teaching her to talk and walk and about the solar system.  A daycare provider is being around because I can’t, fulfilling those lifecycle task mentioned in my previous post.  I am not knocking childcare, do not get me wrong here, I worked at a daycare for 2 years in high school, great money, big responsibility, and fun stuff.  It’s just you’re a stranger and well, I’m not really interested in Little Lady getting familiar with strangers at this point in her life.  I wouldn’t mind paying my mother-in-law weekly to keep my daughter, she’s going to learn to love her either way.   Being away from family sucks, particularly when you’re conscious of who your daughter grows attached to.

All in all, I think we found a daycare.(I was game for her coming to work and school though).  It’s pretty cool, they might teach her to crawl, my wife likes it, and the prices are reasonable.

Doesn’t change the fact that being away from family…well…sucks.

 Daycare-Blocks

We're still openly searching, anybody would good recommendations are welcome to shoot me a message!

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑