Losing the Fastball

First night as a dad, last night I was aware of things in the world outside my home
First night as a dad, last night I was aware of things in the world outside my home

I’ve used up all my brain power. My intellectual fastball of yesteryear is gone. I’m a junkballer at this point. My capacity and my output in regard to my mind were often miles apart. Whatever natural intelligence I had was rarely used and slowly ossifying anyway. That said I miss it. I now wish I hadn’t so dismissed things like talent maximization to create personal cash flow. Would’ve been cool to get that machine running before losing all of my intelligence to my dadness, no?

Here’s a sample of what has been lost and what it’s been replaced by….

  • Where once their was a list of novels and various non-fiction works that I was working my way through, a list compiled through recommendations from literate friends in conversation and my weekly devouring of the New York TImes Book Review there is now a detailed knowledge of every way to access Nick Jr. and PBS Kids regardless of where I am or what time it is.
  • Where once their was an overarching commitment to staying current with the events of the day through consuming the distinguished and respectable news outlets daily their is a detailed list of museums and sporting events and community recreation spots that are kid friendly (bathrooms) and I can order them intuitively based on cost. Not just price mind you, but all the ways they get you. You know, dad math.
  • I used to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer or a scotch of an evening while reading or watching copious amounts of pop culture reference points from the worlds of all media in order to keep my witty repartee current. I now relax after the going to bed/cleaning-the-house-just-barely-enough-to-keep-child-services-at-bay portion of the evening with a bowl of ice cream and one of the same Big Bang Theory episodes I’ve seen a thousand times by now before slinking to bed, or turning to Sportscenter and zoning out like a four year old with an Ipad. Breaking Bad sounds like a mashup of an 80’s teen dance movie and a Michael Jackson cassingle to me.
  • Where I would formerly have had every note Phish had played from 1995-2002 committed to memory, as well as a completists knowledge of early rap/hip-hop that could be culled whenever the situation required it, I now have every single word of “Little Blue Truck” and “Good Night Moon” and “The Going to Bed Book” so committed to memory that I can convince my little ones that I can read in the dark, even knowing when to turn the page. It’s pretty awesome to set the kids on your lap, open the book and close your eyes for the entirety of the read. Except when you fall asleep, which you do a lot.
  • I used to dazzle my coworkers in meetings with my ability to synthesize creative solutions to divergent problems in a manner that was both genius and elegant. Now I respond to these problems by referencing how Curious George would go about closing the gap in the budget followed by endless bragging about my two year old’s ability to climb stairs and tiresome scrolls through thousands of pictures of them on my phone.
  • I used to accidentally and absentmindedly listen to NPR for whole days. Now when I come to I realize that I left it on Sprout and that cursed Caillou is on, and has been. For hours. With no kids in sight.

It’s a shame, really. These kids really missed the boat. Their daddy really had it going on.

My Days with Phish
Obviously photoshopped, but hoping to create false memories of my life as the fifth member of Phish




Author: joejmedler

Joe Medler lives in New Jersey with his wife, who is universally understood to be far too good for him, and his two young sons, who are far too smart for him. His work has been featured on MamaLode, The Original Bunker Punks and Sammiches and Psych Meds. You can find more of his work at https://developingdad.com/ and follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/developingdad

3 thoughts on “Losing the Fastball”

  1. This list could also be called “How my kids ruined me.”

    Curious George gets himself out of some sticky situations. I always think, “what would the monkey do?” He’s helped me more than I’d like to admit.


  2. Yes yes yes. Ice cream and Friends on Netflix (in bed on my nook because I WILL fall asleep 2 episodes in). Goodnight Moon and Brown Bear Brown Bear with my eyes closed. NPR in car replaced by the current semester’s Music Together CD. Nearly every problem can be related to a Curios George episode. That’s one clever monkey. Thanks for writing what I am living!


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