May 23, 2011 at 10:12 am , by Nick Shell
Somewhere between wrenches and Rubik’s Cubes…
Hello, my name is Nick Shell. And I am a daddy blogger.
My wife Jill and I have a 6 month old son named Jack. (I’m a very nostalgic, chronologically obsessed kind of guy, so at the top of every post I place a caption telling how old Jack is when I wrote that entry). That’s right; I live with Jack and Jill. Sure, it was a little tempting to reference that familiar nursery rhyme along with my almost-weird last name in the naming of this blog. Like I could have named this, Jack and Jill in a Nut Shell.
But I am a guy, so I don’t do “cute.” I do practical. With the name of this daddy blog, I wanted to allude to the idea that a man’s perspective of parenting is a bit offbeat when compared to the more easily recognizable viewpoint of the beautiful and poetic female mind. So for you moms out there who wonder what your hubby is really thinking about this whole dad thing, I might be able to shed some light on the subject. Granted, I’m not claiming to represent all or even most husbands and fathers, but I’m sure I will often hit close to “the dadabase.”
And for dads out there- hey, I know there’s not as much reading material out there for us. Just like I’m very aware of the fact that it’s much easier to find baby clothes that say “I love Mommy,” as compared to ones that say “I love Daddy.” I, too, am bothered by the fact that so many men have compromised the connotation of the word “father”, and “dad”, and even the word “man.” So I admit that much of my inspiration as a daddy blogger is to re-brand fatherhood as the glorious thing that it is. I’m tired of dads being represented by goofy schlubs who don’t remember their wedding anniversary until the last minute and who don’t know how to behave in public without making a mess of something.
For my blog’s logo, I chose a wrench. In The Dadabase, I will not just be writing about my son and all the wonderful things he does and is. Just as important, I will be writing about my role as a husband and father. Therefore, I decided that a metaphorical wrench is the perfect symbol for us men. Because it’s our job to fix things.
Why is it such a struggle for us to just listen to our wives without giving advice, which is often all they really want in the first place- to be heard and understood? It’s like waving a red ball in front of a yellow lab, pretending to throw it, then being amused when the dog runs to go try to find the ball that was never thrown. We are wired to fix things when we are presented with a problem. We are creative and inventive, so whether that wrench is physical or psychological, we not only use the metaphorical (or actual) wrench to adjust and tighten the loose parts in our lives: Sometimes we use that same wrench to take things apart, in order to learn how they work.
And that brings me to the Rubik’s Cube I referenced in the title. Men are naturally more “black and white” and formulaic than women. While the Rubik’s Cube is equally frustrating as it is intimidating to so many people, those of us who can solve it in less than five minutes know that once you simply memorize the algorithms and when to apply them, the Rubik’s Cube is no more difficult than learning how to beat King Hippo on the classic Nintendo game, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out.
Not only are we men wired to fix things, we’re also wired to solve puzzles and crack codes. And that’s important because, let’s face it- when it comes to being a parent, we are constantly figuring this thing out as we go. So what can you expect from this daddy blog of mine? You can catch a glimpse of the rarely published mindset of an American father… who just happens to be inconspicuously clued in.
I will be writing 25 posts per month, which averages out to around 5.5 times each week. Plus, anytime you want to travel back in time and catch the story from the very beginning, just look on the right hand side of the screen and you will see the archives for my daddy blogging- all the way back to April 13th, 2010.
Sometimes, you will totally agree with my opinions and my take on fatherhood- you will appreciate what I have served up that morning for “blogfast” (note to self: copyright the destined-to-be-trendy word, “blogfast”)and you will “like” it on Facebook, and/or Tweet it. Other times, you may feel I am so quirky that I’m kooky; disagreeing with my “wrong opinion” so much that you throw your shoe at your computer screen. In either case, I’m still the same guy you either liked or didn’t like the day before.
You get it all; the good, the bad (which often translates as “politically incorrect”), and the abstract. This is my unfiltered (yet family friendly) take on parenting from a dad’s perspective. I strongly value the importance of authenticity. So that’s right- unlike a “reality TV show,” there are no camera crews or producers or writers telling me what to say or what not to say. This is real life. And I am a real dude.
Welcome to The Dadabase.