I decided to name this blog “Design-A-Dad” because of the fact that I am a new Dad/Architect. In my “day job”, I work at a firm that designs a lot of high-end retail, custom residential, and Urban Core revitalization projects. I don’t want to come off as too egotistical, but it takes an amazing amount of talent and dedication to work as an Architect. . . . (ahem. . . ).
In all seriousness though, it does take a lot of coordination on a day to day basis, and rightfully so. We are responsible for not only creating bad-assed environments. . . . (ahem. . . ), but also managing all of the parts and pieces leading up to the day that the over-sized ribbon gets cut and you hand the key to the front door over to the guy with the money (those things rarely happen, by the way). There’s the understanding of the building code, managing consultants, interpreting Owner needs and requirements, and of course working with the Contractors to get it all finished. There’s about 5,000 other pieces in there, but the point is it’s a lot. . . and it’s a tremendous amount of responsibility.
Hence the reason there are professional licensure requirements for the people who are willing to sign their name to the finished drawings. You need this license BEFORE you can be responsible for the project. You have to prove that you are ready. . . . .(I’m currently in the process of completing a series of 7 tests that make up the Architectural Registration Exam). You can’t just say “I’m ready”.
So, you can see where this is going: Once I realized that there are truly NO pre-requisites to becoming a dad, I became both confident and worried (confident that I could handle it. . . worried about the rest of the world). There’s no license to be a dad. There’s no test. There’s no system in place to make sure you’re doing it right.
So, I started doing what I do at work: preparation, coordination, planning. There are endless resources out there to find all of the answers I ever wanted – and then some. It’s truly overwhelming for sure. Read, read, read. It was helpful to know that I was kind of not the only one who ever has – or ever will be – raising a kid, so there’s some comfort in numbers. I very quickly learned to listen to everyone while not listening to anybody. Everyone has a different way than the way you’re going to do it, but within the chaos of articles and forums and online encyclopedias, there are pieces of information that are obviously things you should pay attention to. . . I’ve compiled a few below (click for answers).
- “When are they old enough to learn how to work on your project so you don’t have to stay up all night?”. . .
- “How can I limit the amount my baby fills his diaper?”. . .or. . . (alternate answer)
- “What are common behavioral problems?”
- “How do I know if my baby is being too destructive?”
And so. . . there was yet another creation on the way. This “project” had its own deadline, it’s own milestones to meet, and I could already feel the weight of my responsibility for its well being.
I haven’t purchased this product yet, but I plan to. Perpetual Kid has a lot of interesting items, but one that I thought would be fun to have was the “Constructive Eating Plate and Utensils” – especially since Little Guy is currently experimenting with all sorts of “real food”. Now I just have to fine tune my truck noises. . . . . I’m sure the contractors at my next project meeting would love to hear me practice. . . .