A Note from Mr. Topp: What follows below is a guest entry from Shawn Burns. Shawn and I were friends in high school. After high school, he started going to the University of Toronto and then ran off to California. Now he blogs at Backpacking Dad.
I used to fence a lot. I fenced every day for a week once, then Steve (that’s Mr Topp to the readers of the Big Bad Blog) kicked my ass in an end-of-week tournament and I had to settle for the silver. We were fifteen or sixteen, and it was Fencing Camp at Queen’s University. Steve had done the camp the year before, as I recall, so I don’t feel too badly for losing to him; I remember feeling like that about a lot of things he beat me at during and after high school, consoling myself in some way with the “he’s older” line.
He beat me at fencing pretty consistently throughout my brief high school career. And I believe he handed my ass to me even after high school while we fenced on a tennis court in Hamilton.
Steve also beat me to blogging. In fact, he really introduced me to blogging. I started my first LiveJournal account just so I could leave comments on his blog without having to retype my info each time.
But…I beat him to dad-blogging. He says he doesn’t want to become a dad blogger, but it’s kind of inevitable. Just as eventually finding out that you have a higher tolerance for dirty fingers in your mouth than you thought possible is inevitable with a child, so too is dad blogging. Steve is doomed. I applaud his resolve to keep The Big Bad Blog something apart from the usual dad blogs in which photos of babies are posted and stories of drool are told, but he won’t be able to help himself. He’ll be shouting his daughter’s farts from the rooftops and exclaiming his joy at her smile every day.
For a while at least.
Maybe after the three thousandth diaper change and four thousandth bottle cleaning he’ll return to some semblance of form; he’ll remember his interests in things like fencing and roleplaying games. Even I returned to fencing after my daughter was born…for a time…until my son was born. Then who has time to fence? Who has time for anything beyond work and children and then who has time to find blog fodder that isn’t related to one’s children? So I daddy blog, and when the kids are sleeping I try to remember what the rest of the world is like.
Ah, there’s the hope, he thinks: I won’t have two underfoot, just one. So surely I’ll still have time for the rest of life….Sucker. It’s OVER. Kids stay awake until it’s inconvenient for you, and they wake up earlier than you require for early morning excursions. There is no life but theirs until they’re old enough to be sent to fencing camp for a week, to make friends who will kick their ass at things and introduce them to new things and eventually be overcome with joy that their friend is having a baby of his own.
Good luck to Mr Topp, and to the Big Dad Blog.
(Read more from Shawn at Backpacking Dad.)