My Favorite Posts from I’m Not Grandpa’s First Year*

Sono 1Wow I can’t believe it’s been a year since I launched I’m Not Grandpa—well sort of.  My first post, the Introduction, went live September 26th 2014 followed by a second post about a week later.  Unsure of the tone and voice and being deep into a high-risk pregnancy I put blogging on hold until after the baby was born because my mind was elsewhere.

Cataloging experiences between naps and diaper changes I started writing at the end of February.  Memories of Esther’s pregnancy, our first days as parents, and unsolicited advice from all directions poured from me like poop out of a diaper.

With three posts in the can and halfway through a fourth I published my second first post (the first two were warmupsand asked friends to check out I’m Not Grandpa when the fourth post went live.  Imagine my surprise when parents said they could relate to it.

Fatherhood and blogging are new experiences, I’ve enjoyed both, but I’m still learning.  I made a list of my favorite posts.  Click on the links below to check them out.

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Esther’s Pregnancy—Nine Months in a Few Paragraphs — This is the most popular and shared post.  Published by The Good Men Project, I wrote about my surviving the wife’s pregnancy.  Written strictly from the male point of view, more than a few friends told me how relatable it was.

My response to anyone suggesting we name our child Brooklyn
My response to anyone suggesting we name our child Brooklyn

What’s in a Name? — You found out your having a baby?  Congratulations!  What a tremendous feeling, until you realize you have to agree on a name.    It’s not as easy as you think.  Men and women have different concepts of what makes a good name.  This is my favorite post.  If you are debating baby names this post is a must read.

Dad playing with Cristian on his last birthday.
Dad playing with Cristian on his last birthday.

For Dad — I wrote this the day before my Dad’s 89th birthday as a birthday gift (he hated receiving Christmas, Father’s Day and Birthday Gifts).  Written from the perspective of a newly-minted Dad, he made it look easy.  At the time none of us knew he was suffering from pancreatic cancer.  He passed away three months later.  This post was the frame work for his eulogy.

One and Done — I was 50-years old when Cristian was born meaning he’s probably going to be an only child.  I wrote about my concerns.  The response I received from single-children parents was overwhelming.

Déjà vu All Over Again  — After Dad passed away we moved in with Mom to help out.  Moving back home is difficult under any circumstances—doing it with your wife, baby, and diaper-clad dog is a sitcom in the making.  We miss you Chico.  Settling in I experienced Déjà vu.   Mom and Dad moved into the same house with two young children 50-years earlier.  This post shows a few changes in the years between both sets of Priegue parents moving into the same Cape Cod House in Queens.

Baby 2.0 – Your Survival Guide — My intervention post to any parent thinking it gets easier after your child’s first birthday.  Published by The Good Men Project this survival guide lets you know what to expect.  Don’t worry you can join a support group—they meet at most local bars.

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Cristian’s Latest First

IMG_4553Anticipating your baby’s firsts is a big part of a new parent’s life. First, tooth, first word, first step were equally important to both of us, First Halloween was more exciting for her than me, his first trip to Hooters was more exciting for me than her.  Sunday afternoon Cristian had his latest first—his first haircut.

Over the past months I learned men and women place different levels of importance on hair length and style.  I had no idea Cristian’s curly locks were so important to so many—how naive I was.

During Esther’s pregnancy, we spent months discussing our unborn child’s hair the same way the Democratic and Republican Campaigns plan Presidential Debates.  It was second only to agreeing on his name.

Cristian's Bird Nest
Cristian’s Bird Nest

I’ve had short hair most of my life, except for a brief mullet flirtation in the early 90s.  Not my best look but the 90s won’t be remembered as a great style decade. Esther didn’t want her son wearing a buzz cut.  I was ok with that but worried after seeing a younger cousin or two sporting Prince Valliant haircuts.  Worried about the taunts and wedgees my unborn son would endure, we negotiated.

Esther and I agreed on a length somewhere in the middle, proving communication works and saving me the stress of having a barber shave the baby’s head while she was at work.  I thought it was the end of it.  Silly me.

When I was a kid, Dad cut our hair on Sunday mornings while Mom made breakfast and Abbott and Costello movies played in the background.  The long process resulted in a buzz cut—a crooked one if we turned our head or sneezed.

Cristian’s long curly hair is the envy of balding men everywhere, we’re not talking Sasquatch but he wasn’t cheated on hair.  Mom naturally assumed we’d have buzzed him long ago.  Breaking it to her gently—again and again, I told her it just wasn’t happening.  His size and curly hair made him a natural Baby Superman—we waited until after Halloween before cutting his hair—we even picked the barber.

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Cristian showing off his new do.
Cristian showing off his new do.

Our next-door neighbor for the past forty years is a charming Italian gentleman named Franco. For years Dad helped him with household projects and he cut our hair, retiring Dad’s scissors once and for all.  The fee for these projects was a bottle of wine.

Sunday afternoon Franco brought his scissors for the long-awaited haircut.  Sure there was some crying and carrying on, but before long, Esther was ok.  She played with the baby distracting him while Franco worked his magic.

For me it was more déjà vu (see my last post) Cristian is the third generation whose hair Franco cut.  After he left, with the bottle of wine and picture of Cristian, I reflected on the day.  I guess this first meant more to me than I thought it would.

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