I went to North Memorial today for Daddy Boot Camp. They recently renamed the class to the much more boring title of New Dads Class, but I’m going to insist on calling it Daddy Boot Camp. I guess they didn’t like the military overtone of boot camp? I dunno.

I got there promptly at 9:00 am and was a little surprised to only find two other expectant dads there. To be clear, this is a guys only class, no chicks allowed! We started at five after and it took until about 20 after for all the dads who were registered to finally arrive. Rule #1 to being a dad, learn to be on time and reliable!

We went around and made introductions. There was a truck driver, a computer guy (not me), golf course manager, machine builder, etc. Huge variety of backgrounds and professions. We also had to explain why we were there. One of the future dads said “so I can stop being afraid of being a father?” Get a group of anonymous guys like this together and your not going to get a lot of “touchy feely” talk, but he certainly hit a nerve with the whole room. It was nice to hear people actually fess up to being really excited, and also being totally freaked out about what is to come.

The instructor commented that when his wife and he were expecting he felt like he was always two months behind his wife. When she got pregnant she was engaged right away, but it took him until she showed. I can surely relate to that. Our baby is due in two weeks and Tammy is ready for it anyday. I feel like two more months would be just right.

The class was good. I learned how to swaddle a baby the right way, like the nurses do it. Down-up-down-up. I’ll show you sometime – I rock at it. While I’m now comfortable with the mechanics of changing a diaper, I still think it’s probably pretty gross. It was really funny how much happier all us guys got when we got to do things with the plastic baby dolls. Give us something to do and we are much better off than just sitting there.

They showed a video on Shaken Baby Syndrome that was horrific. It wasn’t violent or anything, didn’t show some baby getting shaken, it was just so bad. What a horrific thing to do to a little baby. Nauseated me just a bit.

In the last half-hour a “veteran” Dad came in with his daughter who was 6 months old and fielded questions. That was really good and the kid was just darn cute. He talked about the experience which was still fresh in his mind. I liked that.

PS: Quick update on the name front. Zaida is probably nosing ahead right now over Mazie. We’ll see what we think when she’s born. And, if somehow it’s a boy, we’ll just have to make something up!