This week's blog post is by WDP co-host Matt Rocco, who
lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with Professor
Foster (his non-white, non-dad wife), and their daughter Viva, who
thinks Valentine's season is mostly about eating as many cupcakes
as you can in 28 days.
When you're expecting your first child, every know-it-all parent
you encounter tells you, "Everything is going to change." They're
wrong, of course, much of your life stays the same: the existential
dread, the crushing ennui, the long dark night of the soul - all
that's still there. One of the big things that does change,
however, is the way you spend holidays.
Here's a rundown of how you spend holidays before
New Year's Eve - Fancy Evening or Wild Party, Sexy Sex
Valentine's Day - Romantic Evening, Sexy Sex
St. Patrick's Day - Wild Pub Crawl, Unsexy Sex
Fourth of July - Drunken Picnic, Sexy Sex (possibly on a
Halloween - Wild Party, Sexy Sex (possibly dressed as
Thanksgiving - Consumption of Mass Quantities, Sleepy Sex
Christmas - Series of Wild Parties, Festively Lit Sex
Here's that same list after kids:
New Year's Eve - Babysitter too expensive, movie from Redbox,
pizza, fall asleep watching Janet Davies paw at Mark Giangreco.
Valentine's Day - See Below
St. Patrick's Day - Drive-thru Shamrock Shakes (which aren't as
good as you remember them)
Fourth of July - Frightening explosions in the sky after
Halloween - Cold, wet Trick or Treating, Snoopy special (which
isn't as good as you remember it)
Thanksgiving - Driving to family homes, driving home really
tired from family homes
Christmas - Go into hock, dreading January through March
As you can see, it's the doin' it that's the first thing to go.
This is most apparent on that doin' it-est of holidays: St.
Valentine's Day. I don't know what St. Valentine was the patron
saint of, but I always assumed it involved panties. Think back to
your many sexy Valentine's nights - the red silk, the 9 ½ Weeks
routines with chocolates and strawberries, the mornings after
mottled with candle wax burns and bite marks. Better yet, don't
think back to it - you're only going to get that kind of
break-the-bed-sex once a year or so in hotel rooms now, and even
then only if there isn't a free buffet in the restaurant.
Throw out the pasties, and the marabou handcuffs, and the
flavored whatever. Dump the oils. Delete the Prince playlist. It's
time to head over to the seasonal aisle at Target and fill your
cart with candy hearts, red-foiled kisses, and boxes of 50
mini-valentines featuring Disney's Princess Sophia the First
saying, "I Royally Like You." This is how it works on your big
February holiday now. (It's still a bigger day than
Washington's birthday, which is mostly just a day the mail doesn't
Don't weep too hard for the lost romance. You'll still be buying
your spouse some overpriced flowers, maybe sneaking out for a
dinner if you can find a sitter. (Probably on the 15th or 16th. Or
maybe next weekend. Or in March. Let's just be safe and aim for
As for the more carnal facet of the holiday - sex is fun and
all, but anyone can have sex. (And they do - they're having it
right now while you cut grilled cheese into heart shapes for school
lunches.) In the words of Cole Porter, "Birds do it, bees do it,
even educated fleas do it." But can fleas (even the sex-crazed,
educated variety) put the baby to bed, blow the dust off of a DVD
copy of Don Juan DeMarco, and fall asleep on the couch as a couple
to the tune of a Bryan Adams song? No! Fleas are too small to work
the DVD player, and their brains are too tiny to appreciate Bryan
Adams. You're getting a little fat for all that fornicating anyhow.
These days you break a sweat just taking off your socks, and you
run the risk of having a heart attack and smothering your wife to
death under your bloated corpse - on Valentine's Day! That's not
romantic in the least, and it'll certainly spoil the holiday for
her even after she gets remarried to your sister-in-law's douchey
friend from work.
Valentine's Day hasn't gone away for you - it's evolved. It's
cute to help your kids cut and paste with construction paper. Who
doesn't like cookies with pink frosting? You might not enjoy
licking the 50 envelopes those Sophia valentines have to be put
into, but at least your tongue will get some kind of workout, and
the glue could start a little party in your brain! (If you
experience blurred vision or shortness of breath while licking
valentines, dial 911.)
So, embrace it! Embrace the pink Nestle Quick, don the crimson
pullover, and do the Cupid Shuffle. (Down, down, do yo' dance.)
Your kid deserves a fun February, and those envelopes wont lick
themselves. The sooner you get finished, the sooner you can start
If you enjoyed this essay, subscribe to the WDP podcast for free
You can also listen at whitedadproblems.com. (Do
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