While I can't force her to pack a bag for herself—and there are only so many times my kids can sit in it and pretend it's a boat—I can pack a bag for myself so at least one of us is prepared for our hospital stay. Here are the 5 Essentials every Dad should pack in his Hospital Bag:
You think you can rely on that lame 1-ply garbage that hospitals provide? No sir-e-bob. I need the thick, comfort of Angel Soft when I'm doing my serious thinking.
Having a radio on hand will allow you to play soft, soothing sounds of music to help your wife relax in her time of need. Of course, if nothing else good is playing, you might happen to stumble upon something else she'll love like, oh, I don't know, a Reds baseball game. And, for the first time in your marriage, she may be yelling at the bullpen louder than you do. OK, that last part is not true. No one can yell at the bullpen louder than you do.
Babies can be slippery, especially newborns who are usually covered in slime. While our doctor briefly mentioned his collegiate baseball credentials, he was unable to provide for me documentation of his exact fielding percentage and ultimate zone rating (UZR). Until you doctor releases that data or it shows up online via Wikileaks, you can't trust him to catch your baby. Also, when the baby starts to drop, be sure to call out "It's Mine!" This will serve two purposes.
Bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos
Who knows how long it will take this baby to come. Need to stay energized with all the nutrients and vitamins you can. If you have room in your bag, pack two. Added Bonus: While your wife isn't allowed to eat anything, she can live vicariously thanks to your tasty Dorito breath. She'll probably want to make out with you.
8 x 10 Senior Portrait
If we learned anything from Lamaze class (other than the Wendy's in the hospital is terribly over-priced), it's that the mama-to-be needs a focal point. She needs something she can look at that will keep her calm, make her smile and remind her how lucky she is to have married such a stallion. An 8 x 10 senior portrait of her husband is the only thing that will help her forget she's having a baby and put her in her happy place. We can only hope that such a handsome photo doesn't also distract the doctor.
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