INCREASING MY DAD LEVEL TO 2.0

No, the title of this post is not a tease that we are expecting our second child. (Sorry, grandmas.)

This week I will be partaking in the Dad 2.0 Summit in San Diego. While this year marks the sixth year for the annual conference, this will be my first year attending. A “rookie dad,” so to speak. Which is fitting since I consider myself very much a rookie, regardless of my age. In the “dad game” I’m sort of like one of those middle-aged pitchers that spent their entire baseball career in the minors before finally being called up to “the show.”

For the last decade and a half, when I’ve traveled the eighty or so miles South down Interstate 5 it has been for Comic-Con International to either hawk comics that I’ve created or try to land gigs to write comics for other publishers. This time around, I’m heading down with the hopes of not only learning how I can make this DAN a.k.a. DAD a better dad blog, but maybe pick up a few pointers on being an even better dad.

So, what is the Dad 2.0 Summit? Well, according to the official website it…

“…is an open conversation about the commercial power of dads online, and an opportunity to learn the tools and tactics used by influential bloggers to create high-quality content, build personal brands, and develop business ideas.”

Modern fatherhood is a lot different than it was way back when my own dad was a dad. Nowadays more men are taking a more active role in the day-to-day rearing of their children. Today’s dad now has their finger on the pulse of products and services are available in regards to raising their kids. And, many of today’s dads are using these same fingers to type up “dad blogs” — like yours truly.

About a year and a half ago I was invited by a friend on Facebook to join the Dad Bloggers Group. (Thanks, Joel.) He had read my posts about being an expectant father and figured that I might have a knack, or at least an aspiration, for dad blogging. And, since I joined a group of dad bloggers I had to come up with a dad blog — and now you’re reading DAN a.k.a. DAD. Since joining the group I’ve made a lot of new friends — who coincidentally, also happen to be dads that blog. (Well, most of them still blog.) I’m looking forward to meeting many of them face-to-face for the first time during the summit.  And, I hope to learn a few of their tricks of the dad blogging trade as well.

Let’s be honest, folks. As much as I just like sharing my thought about being a dad and bragging about my awesome kid, I wouldn’t mind increasing the readership of the DAN a.k.a. DAD blog, mastering how to create engaging content, and maybe gaining a few sponsors to earn a little scratch for the kid’s college fund.

And, as an added bonus… It appears my daughter’s eyeteeth are just beginning to come in. So, I’ll be spared a few days of tot teething terror while I’m away. Sorry, honey.

I plan on documenting my experience while at the summit via Instagram and Twitter. So, if you’re interested in live coverage of the event you might want to make sure you’re following the DAN a.k.a. DAD Twitter (@danakadad) account and Instagram (danakadad) account. (Not to be confused with my regular Twitter (@danltaylor) and Instagram (geekpunkdan) accounts. But, feel free to follow those too.) And while you’re add it, how about showing a little more love to DAN a.k.a. DAD by liking the Facebook page? Also, feel free to share DAN a.k.a. DAD with others. Any and all support is appreciated. Thanks.

NO SLEEP TILL…

We were warned. So many experienced parents warned us that we should get all the sleep while we could because rest was about to become a rare commodity. We nodded and thanked the would-be heralds for their parenting advice. But, it all seemed so cliché — the midnight wailing baby and the exhausted parents. Like some sort of bad television trope, these ominous omens seemed over dramatic and more than well played out as cautionary tales of parenthood.

But, did we listen? We were naive. We were cocky. We were nonchalant. Hell, we were lucky. We were blessed with a daughter that would sleep through the night much more than not. Six to eight hours of blissful and uninterrupted slumber was the norm for much of the first year of our child’s life. We assumed that we had escaped the wraith of the wailing insomniac infant. We under the fictitious facade that we were the world’s greatest parents because our child slumbered through the night and our own sleeping patterns were affected by no more than a mere ripple of inconvenient interruptions.

Then Jean Louise turned one year old. As if a curse were suddenly awaken (so to speak) and her ability and willingness to sleep were greatly diminished. Now we are amazed if we manage to sleep though the night without having to get up and tend to her needs. Just last night, about an hour after putting our daughter down for the night, we heard her crying. My wife and I actually played three rounds of rock-paper-scissors to see who would go to her. Does that make us bad parents?

Jean Louise recently had her one year check-up with the pediatrician (in which she was pronounced as perfect — not to brag) and we asked the doctor about her recent anti-sleep routine. We were instructed that it was perfectly (again — she’s perfect) normal for infants to go through a regression when it comes to their sleep habits. Our daughter wasn’t torturing us for some future deep resentment that will fester later when she is a know-it-all teenager looking to rebel against her parents.

Now, my daughter does love a good bedtime story. And, even at her very young age, is developing a strong fondness for books. Which I greatly appreciate. But, she has apparently gotten her grubby little paws on a copy of Dylan Thomas’s “Do not go gentle into that good night.” Not only has she managed to read and understand the poem (which is an amazing achievement for a one year-old), she takes the opening verse quite literally.

Please do not read this post and interpret that I am airing any displeasure of being a parent, nor any animosity toward the apple of my eye, the center of my universe, the sole meaning of my existence — my daughter Jean Louise. This post is merely a smidgen of sleep deprivation dysphoria, as well as an apology to all of the other parents who warned us. Besides…  Who needs sleep when you’re greeted first thing in the morning with a cherub smile like this…?

Save