From the Daddy Desk: An Open Letter to New Fathers

Call me Latke.

This is an open letter to all you fathers who are new to Down syndrome. Just a list of five things I’ve learned so far:

(1) Your wife will join a Facebook group for mommies of kids with Ds. Upon joining, she will instantly become BFFs with 100 people you’ve never met. Be prepared. These people will never stop communicating with each other.

Ever.

In fact, your wife may stop interacting with you entirely unless you attach a glowing screen to your face. In case of emergency, you may find it necessary to trick your wife into communicating with you by fashioning this disguise:

(2) Is your wife a stay-at-home mom? If yes, you will arrive home after work and find her laying on the couch, baby on her chest, gazing wistfully into the eyes of . . .

her Facebook friends.

Do not expect her to acknowledge your arrival, or to be aware of anything else that’s happening around her.

If you have a two-year-old, she will greet you at the door. She will, however, be naked, drinking toilet water out of a sippy cup, and inviting you to come look at her latest masterpiece on the living room wall: a collage of spaghetti sauce, hot glue, and clippings from her hair. (You will clean this up while your wife chats on Facebook.)

(3) During dinner, your wife will scold your four-year-old for bad table manners. She will do this, however, with flecks of food flying from her mouth as she feverishly types into her smartphone. You will have secret concerns about the lessons your four-year-old is learning from your wife.

(4) After dinner, you will spend approximately 1-3 hours on the following chores: putting the kids to bed, cleaning the kitchen, taking out the garbage, doing the laundry, and picking up toys. Your wife will promise to help out after “just one last message, real quick.” You will be surprised to learn that “one last message, real quick” takes approximately 1-3 hours to write.

Once you’ve finished your chores and are looking forward to bedtime, your wife will finally put down her phone, turn to you, and begin a lengthy conversation about . . .
her Facebook friends.

If you hesitate, appear tired, or otherwise express interest in talking about something else, your wife will sigh and lament “how little quiet time together” you have these days. You will then agree to hear stories about 100 babies you’ve never met.

(5) After you finally make it to bed, your wife will stay up for another 2-4 hours “catching up” on Facebook. The next morning, she will blame her sleep deprivation on you for snoring and/or talking in your sleep. You will be defenseless, because your alleged misconduct occurred while you were asleep, i.e., unconscious. If you deny the allegations, your wife–who is now a medical expert because of Down syndrome–will diagnose you with sleep apnea and threaten you with space masks until you promise not to (unconsciously) keep her awake any more.

* * * *

All joking aside, fellas, you will be struck–but not surprised–by your wife’s strength in the face of life’s challenging adventures. You will learn to love and respect her in ways you never dreamed of before. And at the end of the day, it will be clear that she’s exactly the person you married all those years ago–just even better than you imagined.

Go get ’em!

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27 Comments on “From the Daddy Desk: An Open Letter to New Fathers”

  1. Amber says:

    Love this! Sharing with my husband…he will definitely relate ;)

  2. Great post. I have to admit that I had a FB account during that time. Brings back memories though. Funny & thanks

  3. Latke says:

    Yes, my goal is to have this letter distributed at hospitals and local Down syndrome organizations across the country.

    • jisun says:

      Husband, unfortunately, I think this letter might be THE scariest thing to tell other fathers. Beyond all the misconceptions and medical fears, telling a man his woman is about to gain 100 new BFFs might make him pee his pants, I’m thinking.

  4. Tiffany says:

    Oh this is just awesome! I forwarded it to my husband but gave him a quick recap… He said “that is so true, it is perfect… It’s epic!” Especially the lack of sleep due to his snoring. Totally used that one. :-)

  5. I love this! You guys are hilarious! I am promptly forwarding this to my partner in crime. He will probably get a real kick out of the sleep apnea part! LOL

  6. AK says:

    Laughed my head off.

  7. Lisa says:

    I love this! Awesome! Very sweet wrap-up, too. Good job, Daddy :)

    And we in FB land are so happy to have Jisun join us!

    • Latke says:

      Yes, I understand she’s very happy to have joined you as well. Please give her my best, and tell her the kids and I love her very much.

  8. Latke says:

    Tiffany, I think your husband and I should form our own FB group called Down Syndrome Uprising (Against Mommies Addicted to Facebook).

  9. Kathy petersen says:

    True except for #4. Seriously? Come to my house

    • jisun says:

      I maintain he is exaggerating this. No more than 1.5 hours of cleaning up after us at night, tops, I swear. (All kidding aside, I’m pretty happy to be Mrs. Latke!)

  10. ajummama says:

    wow, so both kimchi and latke are both open, eh? my hubby is private while i have to dare myself not to share. http://ajummama.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/be-yourself-sometimes/

    props to you both for doing your best for your brood but special props to guest poster, latke. i should get my hubs to guest-post again. the only one he did was on Linsanity called “Ball Don’t Lie.”

    • jisun says:

      Funny I never thought about it, yeah I guess we are both pretty open. He’s doesn’t have nearly the level of communication and connection need that I do though. I used to keep him up at night wanting to talk about everything under the sun and now I ignore him for this blog. ;)

      • ajummama says:

        OMG, ME TOO! i survey friends about this acute need for REAL connection and they like, “man, you too much. we don’t have that fosho.” And i know you be gettin’ lotsa “OMG ME TOO”‘s since you have this great blog but am happy to meet someone who is wired like me in this very core way. i do the same thang and have caught myself take a gulp of air before I stream-of-consciousness my poor husband, the way little kids do when they wanna say a a a paragraph but had only enough bref in their little lungs for a sentence. btw, i was tossing and turning lass night, thinking about how much i love your blog. PROPS PROPS PROPS for the essence and heart and beautiful writing. and i ALWAYS mean my compliments, never one to “heart” anythang and everythang!

  11. mummalove says:

    Just hope she doesn’t start a blog – http://www.mumma-love.com. (signed: me not her).

  12. Rosanna Nakamura says:

    Hahaha This was very funny. We support each other online.. i had my husband read this, and his answer was “oooh so it is not only you” O_o whatever that means!!!

  13. […] I went online, met a bunch of other mamas, totally ignored my husband for a few months, forged some lifelong bonds, and moved […]


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