I am ‘Dada’ and I wear that title proudly.

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My 7 month old daughter (who just really started eating solid food) was laying on our bed, just being the cutest thing ever. I picked her up to get ready to head out the door, when I felt something sticky on her back.

I figured she may have rolled over into some snot (she’s a bit sick right now).

That’s when the smell hit me.

Not just poop, but full on, “I SHALL COVER THE EARTH WITH DEATH AND DESPAIR” smell. Now, I consider myself to have a strong stomach. But when the wall of pain hit me full on in the sinus cavity, I started to heave. The world swam before me. I thought it was me starting to pass out. Actually, it was the fumes radiating from the antimatter in her diaper.

At least, I thought it was in her diaper. Remember that sticky stuff? Turns out, she shit up her whole back. I mean, her WHOLE back. It was in her hair. Oh my god, please just kill me.

I carried her back into the bathroom, ran the bath, and put her in. The water turned into soup. Foul, disgusting, split pea soup of evil. I rinsed her off, drained the bath, refilled the tub, washed. It was all over her. Her back. Her hair. It was in her neck. It was in her armpits, for Chris sake. Who gets crap IN THEIR ARMPITS? It was like it was reproducing. I now know how HAZMAT teams who are called in to clean up train derailments feel. At one point, I could swear I heard the shit whispering to me, beckoning me into the abyss. All I could think of were the words of Oppenheimer when they detonated the first atomic bomb… “I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.”


I finally got her clean, my wife wrapped her in a towel and dressed her. She kept looking at me like I was just being dramatic. I think she may be an alien. No human could see and smell that and not react. I’ll have to keep a close on her for evidence. And alien DNA would explain the horror that erupted from my daughter. That, or perhaps some supernatural portal into hell. Maybe my daughter is part demon. At least I won’t have to worry about someone breaking her heart. She’d just eat their soul. But if she did, her crap after wouldn’t smell as bad as what happened today.”

I have given this a lot of thought, not just because I still wake up screaming sometimes with the memory. I have endured and thought about things since having a child that I was never prepared for.

  • Wearing a stupid face until my cheeks cramped up just because it makes her laugh.
  • Watching Doc McStuffins so much it is now in my repertoire of songs at bath time.
  • Actually developing an opinion what looks good as far as clothes are concerned (both for her and me).
  • Immunization shots.
  • Planning money for a college fund.
  • Car seat installation.
  • Working hours on end at my job, just to get home and start my other job of taking care of her and trying to keep my marriage from getting completely derailed.

I get a ton of help from my wife, don’t get me wrong. I wish I was half as much help to her as she is to me. But balancing work, marriage, and a child is a feat even the military couldn’t have trained me for.

I go to bed exhausted. I wake up exhausted. I don’t play on the Xbox anymore, no time. I live in a constant state of stress about money and the future. I worry what will happen to my baby girl if I die. I worry about what I eat. I am one giant ball of anxiety all the time. I will do my best for my family no matter what, but there are times I really feel like this life is killing me.

Two days ago, my daughter at ten months old help onto the couch and waddled over to me when I walked in the door from work. She looked up at me, smiled her best smile, and said “DaDa!”.

Ten months of hell. Ten months of stress, anxiety, fear, frustration, and anger. Ten months I felt under the gun and behind the eight-ball. Ten months.

DaDa. I am DaDa. I have earned that title. I will wear it more proudly than any title in my entire life.

Ten months. DaDa.


Bring on the next 10 years. The next 100 if I can. All of them as hard as these last ten months. It’s worth it.


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  1. Kevin Wagar

    Congratulations on surviving the shit storm, James! I’ve been there and I considered it surviving it a measure of Dadliness.

  2. Fridgesays

    Well written and full of heart, love it. Best of luck Dada. The most thankless task that is so satisfying right?

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