Diaper Changing Machine

Before you get too excited, no I did not invent or discover a machine that changes diapers on one’s behalf. Does the machine even exist? Hmmmm… something to look up in my spare time.

I’ve been away for a bit and for good reason. I’ve been preparing to be a father. Yes you got that right – awesome news, spoiler alert, I’m going to be a father! Shocking isn’t it? It shouldn’t be though. It’s something I’ve had on my vision board for a long time now and I’m ready to fill that role as best I can… at least a couple years from now.

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Gotcha didn’t I?

Aye this won’t be an issue for a while:

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But the idea is to be a great dad. 4 of my 5 mentors raise their kids as active fathers and that’s the route I wanna go by too. What about the other one, Ayanda? Is he an absent father? No, he’s a she and a great Mom. But I don’t aspire to be a Mom so she’s been excluded from this post, with her permission.

What even is this post? Well, it’s the introductory chapter to a new series! Preparing for Fatherhood. I’ve been observing fathers in general, my 4 mentors in particular and have taken a life-changing course called ‘Be That Man’. I also volunteered to work in the kids ministry of the church and oversee toddlers.

Why the title then? Well that’s because I changed my first diaper on Sunday. It smelled like crap! As one would expect – and it was glorious lol.

How did it go? Basically I carried a table into the little men’s room and this dude came carrying a putrid ball of cuteness and plopped him on the table. The conversation went like this:

“You ever changed a diaper before?” he asked. He seemed tense.

“No… if there’s instructions somewhere I think I can do it… I can try.”

4 wet wipes and a dumped and replaced diaper later it went:

“I think that’s how it’s done. That’s the front – right?”

“I think… we’ve done it,” he replied.

#MissionAccomplished

And accomplished I felt and still feel. I wouldn’t take back that experience for a thousand Kuwaiti Dinars. Why that currency in particular? Last I checked it’s the strongest currency in the world. If that’s wrong, feel free to correct me in the comments.

So – let’s step into preparation for fatherhood together!

PS BTW if you’re planning to be a Mom and not a Dad please don’t feel excluded by these posts. Instead I invite you to engage in the comments adding (or critiquing) whatever you would like in a father for whatever talking point the subsequent posts will cover.

See you tomorrow.

photo cred: All-free-download.com

Personality

My dear readers. That “target” I talked about in my last post has been completed, mostly. As my thanks for reading my posts and giving me positive feedback I have decided to give you a little excerpt from one of the 17 pieces I’ve written. I laughed a lot while reading this, I hope you do too. Be inspired!


PERSONALITY

Alright, let’s do this.

You’re gonna fail.

No I’m not.

Jack looked around to check if anyone was nearby. He didn’t want anyone to witness what he was about to do in case it went awry. Private embarrassment he could take – but public humiliation was a whole other matter. He was pleased to see that no one else was in the cafeteria. Most people didn’t come to school during the summer break. They had lives to live and parents with lots of money to spend… or not, and instead they had to work odd jobs to help their family put bread on the table. Jack hated it when his thoughts went off track like this. It wasn’t his fault but he hated himself for it.

Focus!

With sweaty palms he slowly approached his long-term crush, the beautiful brunette called Emily. “Hey Emily,” Jack muttered as if half-afraid she would actually hear him.

Emily looked up from her book, a collection of short stories by O. Henry. She seemed puzzled, “Hey… sorry, do I know you?”

HAHAHA!

“Shut UP!”

Excuse me?” Emily did not sound pleased at all.

“Sorry… I wasn’t talking to you. I mean – hey, we are in the same Chemistry class. The Mad Cow is our teacher?” When he noticed her confused expression, one that easily gave away the fact that his words didn’t ring a bell, his soul was crushed. Jack nervously fidgeted with his spectacles. “I sit next to you. We’re lab partners.” Was he that unnoticeable?

“Oh… you! Hey! What’s up?” Emily smiled the awkwardness away, or tried to. Unfortunately for her, Jack had noticed that she hadn’t even used his name. She really didn’t know him at all. “How are you?”

“I’m alright actually. How are you?”

“I’m good…” she responded, curious to see where Jack was directing the conversation.

Awkward silence prevailed.

Aren’t you going to say something?

“It sure is very hot in the summer!”

Oh my God! What is wrong with me?

“I guess that’s how the season was differentiated from winter.” Emily smiled then glanced at her novel as if she was itching to read it again.

“I read O. Henry too. He is a brilliant writer.”

She perked up at that. “He’s amazing isn’t he? A shame he’s not around to write more stories.”

Happy to see a renaissance in the conversation Jack exuberantly exclaimed, “A real shame!”

And that was it. That was all he could say to his crush. The conversation didn’t go nearly as well as he’d hoped it would but there was no redeeming the situation because Emily had already started packing her bags.

“Well it was a real nice chat dude. I gotta go now. Stay awesome!”

Jack’s heart thumped like a rock band’s drums in the middle of a solo. Emily thought he was awesome!

You know she just said that because she’s nice right? Otherwise from that incredibly awful exchange even I would disown you.

You talk too much…

TO BE CONTINUED…

Courage Born From Disobedience aka I Used To Be Afraid Of The Dark

Fears… phobias are just a few of the things we often keep close to our hearts. We don’t like to talk about them for fear others will ridicule us or worse, use the knowledge against us. Fear is a powerful thing; it’s enough to start entire revolutions – or stifle them. Fear can win wars or lose them. And yet sometimes the smallest thing can help spark the courage you need to overcome that fear. I used to be afraid of the dark. “Used to be” because I’m not anymore. In fact, anyone who knows me knows I now prefer a dark room and night time to day time. All for one simple, ridiculous reason.

From the 7th grade onwards I developed an insatiable appetite for reading. This was a localised fascination, it had to be fantasy (and largely still is) simply because of the creativity it inspired within me. *I’ll discuss how I became fond of reading in tomorrow’s post.* However high school loomed and the work grew more intense. I would no longer have the countless hours to pore though fantasy and science fiction novels the size of dictionaries day in, day out. I had to be realistic. This is what my parents told me.

“Focus on school, read the books later.”

Now I know what you’re thinking. This post is about fear of the dark, what does it have to do with reading novels and high school? Firstly let me rephrase the term “fear of the dark”. I possessed (especially in my younger years) a quite incredible imagination as often is the case with youth. All I needed was space and time to create whatever universe my whims led me to. I only fell just short of the imagination Oscar for never having had an imaginary friend. I had an imaginary army but never the one friend who would take up space at the table etc for that would have been near suicidal. It was this intense imagination coupled with the housekeeper’s fascination with horror movies, ones I had to watch with her at all costs, that made me fear the dark for a long time… yes even into my teens.

So I would sleep with the light on. “I need to read,” was the typical response. It wasn’t nearly as intense as the phobia I wrote about earlier in my blog though. So long as I was already in bed with my eyes shut, I’d have been fine. But that was rarely the case so the light stayed on… until I was told to stop reading novels at night. I had to wake up early in the morning since my bus to school left at 0630. Immediately my mind went into detective mode because the love for reading was too great to let go instantaneously, much less for something as mundane as waking up on time for school. How to beat the system? That’s what I pondered for a few hours at most. The answer finally came.

“Good night. I’m going to sleep.”

Then I would switch off my light, proof that I was actually sleeping… only to go into my  blankets, produce my latest novel from under the pillow and switch on my Nokia’s torch. This is how I read Stephenie Meyer’s ‘New Moon’ in one night. I did this often enough that the fear of the dark evaporated. I needed the dark for me to do what I loved; read. And I read. I went through 6 to 8 books a month this way. In a school of 700 students the librarian new my name and would set aside new books for me to devour. So repetitive and exciting was the new habit that even my study habits tweaked to accommodate this mindset so that even now I’m extremely productive in the hours from late evening to early morning.

And that’s it. I told my parents about it a while ago and they had a laugh. It was silly beyond belief. But one can’t deny that it got rid of an unnecessary, hindering fear… even if it may have replaced it with a less than necessary habit. The young man no longer feared the dark… he was just borderline useless early in the morning.

No Woody!

Woody Harrelson. So I decided to take an 81 min break and watch a movie. The movie is Zombieland, incredibly violent, asinine, funny as can be and an absolutely awful watch when you’re having dinner (which I was).

Woody isn’t the protagonist but he absolutely steals the show. His character isn’t witty… it isn’t meant to be. He’s just absolutely genuine and genuinely idiotic. But the moment that takes the cake is when he turns into the the world’s best anti-wingman. My man Jesse isn’t even aiming to get laid. All he wanted to do in this life was brush aside some hair. That was his life purpose – much like Woody and his Twinkie. Yet when the opportunity finally arose for the boy to sorta become a man, albeit a hair-caressing one, I found myself screaming:

“No Woody!”

Gotta love the man.

Good Pain

From the balls of my feet to the nape of my neck is a low-burning sensation. With each motion (more likely attempted motion) the flames are stoked and burn brightly. My limbs have been rendered near useless. I feel as if my bones have transformed into jelly – my muscle fibres into marshmallow. Sitting up my lower back screams at me, crying tears of sweat for the slowest motion. As I lie down again my calves beg for relief. Just one session of parkour, “just a taster” they said and I feel I’ve had my fill for seven generations. And yet I absolutely loved it. I’m no masochist but I’ve never felt better. Each step takes more effort than the last. At times I feel as though I’m one hundred years older; putting on clothes or getting out of bed feel like impossible tasks. But each time I manage to do something, even the really simple things, the euphoria kicks in. I have gained a greater appreciation for every part of my body – because at long last I now feel every part of that body. Oh it’s pain alright… but it’s so damn good… it’s good pain.

Perhaps I should have listened to myself and one funny brunette I know. Maybe I should frequent the best place for my body, the secret the world would love to hear about; in her own words: “Gym!” 

Or maybe I’ll go back to the parkour session next week. Maybe I’ll shake off the cobwebs in my underused muscles and awaken them with a sweet, sweet dose of good old pain.