As promised in the paper, here is the Crib Notes column I started to write for print, but I didn’t like where it was going so I abandoned the idea.
Nothing given to fatherhood, nothing gained
My children are a few years away yet from the tacky tie and homemade ash tray stage, but I nonetheless am thrilled to celebrate Father’s Day with them today.
Fatherhood is its own reward, but the privilege does have a bit of a price tag, both physical and mental. But when you look at the issue analytically and scrutinize the numbers, it’s clear that no price would be high enough to deter me from daddy duty.
1: Minimum number of shirt changes I perform in a typical day due to Rigby spitting up and/or Penny getting overzealous in her hugs before having the cheese dust/ketchup wiped off her hands/mouth.
A BAJILLION: Number of additional wardrobe changes I would complete, especially after watching Penny so cutely wipe off her own hands/mouth (actually cleaning herself off is a picky detail we’ll get to soon enough).
2-4: Number of hours fewer, per day, that I watch television now.
0: Number of times that chasing Penny around the backyard or pushing Rigby on the swing has gotten old.
3-4: Number of times in a typical day that Penny will cry and/or complain about not getting her way.
20-30: Number of seconds it takes her to get over the disappointment and move on to the next thing, a trait I hope both of our children take with them throughout life.
$50: Rough amount of money I’ve spent while entertaining myself at a bar, movie theater or other late-night hangout since I became a father.
$3,000: Estimated amount of money I’ve saved in that process, as well as foregoing most other nights out to instead spend time with the kids.
400: Number of toys (or so it would seem, at least) enjoying what’s pretty much become permanent residence on the floor of our computer room (since renamed “play room”).
10: Approximate number of toys Penny plays with on a regular basis; the others mainly serve as decorations and/or projectiles.
1,700: Rough number of poopy diapers I’ve changed.
100: Percent of the time that I’ve drawn a laugh during the “smell the stinky feet and lunge backward in mock disgust” routine that I usually perform during said diaper change.
2,200: Estimated number of lost hours of sleep I’ve accumulated since Penny was born in July 2007. I used to sleep about nine hours a night, and in calculating this I used a (maybe generous) number of six hours per night now. I then added about 150 hours in for all of the late-night feedings, extra-early awakenings, etc.5,000: Roundabout number of instances in which Penny’s or Rigby’s smile/laugh has energized me to Popeye-after-eating-spinach levels.
$300,000: Approximate lifetime cost of raising Penny and Rigby (each, not cumulative).
NOTHING: What I’d trade the privilege of spending that money for.
Contact Paul Laneat 693-1000, ext. 116,or email@example.com.