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Dude Turned Dad Episode Seventeen: “Nursery Tour”

Before the baby, pimping out the nursery seemed super important. Turns out he only sleeps in there.

This is my stuff, that’s your stuff, that’ll be his stuff over there. That’s all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. – George Carlin

My wife and I moved before the baby was born. The new apartment was the same size as the old apartment, but it had a wall and a door or as my wife kept calling it a “room.” “That’s the babies room,” she would say, nodding towards the hovel that was too small for a boy wizard to sleep in. But the price was right, and we needed a “room.”

After we moved into the new apartment, your own Dude Turned Dad became obsessed with making sure the babies’ quarters were perfect. I couldn’t carry my new son, but by God, I could make sure his room looked like a freakin’ Pinterest board. I chose an internet-approved baby wall paint color, assembled a crib, and discovered an adorable wall stencil of a mountain on Etsy that I dutifully stuck to the wall. It’s very cute.

We bought blackout curtains, a sleep machine, a baby optics camera. We filled the babies room with “stuff.” Baskets and baskets of toys, three hundred muslin blankets, a fancy silver outhouse called an “Ubbi Diaper Pail.” Everything else in my life was out of control, but I could go to IKEA and find shelves to build my son a “library” for the four hundred copies of The Giving Tree we had been gifted. I could place my favorite Calvin & Hobbes strip in a frame and imagine my kid looking up at it and falling in love with Calvin and his adventures.

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The nursery feels important. Their first room. The first place they sleep. You want it to be perfect, with soft light, filled with wooden toys. You know the Hallmark Christmas Movies where the high powered female executive’s car breaks down in a small, quaint town where a hunky male widower owns a candle shop? You want your nursery to look like the set for one of those movies.

And then the baby comes. And you show them to their room. And… well… they don’t spend any time in there. Sure they sleep there if you’re lucky, but my son spends most of his waking hours on the floor of the living room, or in an exercise saucer, or being held by us. The nursery I slaved over is now a glorified changing station. It might as well be a New Jersey rest stop… with a mountain stencil.

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One day my son will appreciate having a room of his own. Until then, remember that the nursery is another in a long list of parenting accomplishments that are really milestones for you. Set that room up to suit your needs. Take pride in it. This week on Dude Turned Dad I give you a guided tour of the nursery I slaved over. I still think it’s a pretty nice little room.

Please watch the video. It took me WAY too long to get that stencil up.