There is a distinct ability all children have that most adults have lost. The ability to laugh. Having children often brings this ability back to adults but if you’re not careful you’ll forget to use it. Dads have a special responsibility in the caregiver roll. We have the responsibility of encouraging and creating laughter in our children. The benefit of this responsibility is that it will likely encourage laughter in you as well and increase the overall feeling of love between you and your children. It’s sometimes too easy to get carried away in the day-to-day and forget that laughter is the tonic that cures many ills, tears, and hurt feelings not to mention even a few bumps and bruises. And there really is no way to overdose on laughter so indulge.
Josh is @DadStreet. He writes at DadStreet.com. Josh writes about his experiences as a dad and is very entertaining. His sense of humor permeates his blog but as you’ll see in this interview and his writing he also has a serious side and deeply loves his children. In addition to Josh’s blog, he does a weekly webcast with Adam Cohen @DadaRocks, another great dad blogger, called Late Night Parents. And both Josh and Adam are involved in DadsTalking.com along with Jim Turner and @Tshaka_Zulu.
Kevin: Can you tell us a little bit about your kids?
Josh: Absolutely, I have a beautiful 10 month old boy named Jake and I have a gorgeous 26 month old, soon to be 27 month old daughter named Olivia. They are both a little bit miracle babies. My wife and I, very surprisingly, found out that we had a challenge having children. I’m kind of a weird dad. I wanted children at a very young age. I had it all planned out. I was going to have kids when I was 27 because I didn’t want to be too old when my kids turn 21. I wanted to be able to relate to my children when we were both at a reasonable young age. I had it all planned out 27 was going to be the number I was going to be married and that didn’t work out because I didn’t get married until I was 29 when my wife and I actually did try to have children we were met with some difficulties we had four failed IUIs. We went through a miscarriage and then we went to one of the best IVF fertility centers in the country and we went there and they told us that we had less than 10% chance of ever having children with IVF. There’s nothing more than IVF if you’re going to carry the child as well as use the egg and sperm of the parents so hearing that we had a 90% chance of not having children of our own biologically that was really hard. In fact with a lot of these fertility centers, they’ll do a deal where you pay a little more and they’ll guarantee that you’ll have a baby and they wouldn’t even do it with us so they basically said your chances are so low that we would lose money if we offered you this service. My wife was put on the most aggressive drug treatment available. She had to inject herself twice a day in the stomach for two weeks and there it was, Olivia was born and that was amazing. Even 9 months later when we found out we were pregnant on our own. Jake was born 16 months later. There are a lot of people with good fertility I think there is a lot of confusion around infertility and we actually knew the direct cause of our infertility, my wife had what’s called decreased ovarian reserve, so quality and quantity of her eggs was much lower than an average woman her age. Her eggs weren’t getting any better, so the fact that she got pregnant not once but twice was really a miracle. It’s a pretty amazing thing, we’re at a stage now where my wife kind of wants another and I don’t know I’m kind of liking two so we’ll see.
Kevin: What’s one of your biggest success in the first two years of being a dad?
Josh: I’d like to think keeping them happy. Humor is a really big thing for me and having fun especially when you’re young and you’re supposed to be having fun is really important to me. I think probably a success factor for me would be doing a bit of a balance with having the fun but also teaching the discipline and trying to instill some good behaviors and good practices as you can at that young age, but I’d like to think I’ve done a good job. If you ask my wife she might say I’m a bit on the too much fun side because I’m a kid myself.