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I received a few requests for the Jack & Jill baby shower bingo story. I’ll admit, I was a little unsure if I wanted to share the story since it was written for the expecting couple – and written specifically for them. A friend however cleared the air for me. Apparently I was over-thinking it. She also pointed out someone might need a little kick-start in creating their game’s story. I had to laugh when she said “And isn’t the point of your blog to help others with their parties?” So without further ado…

When Sandy first asked me to create some games for today, I was a little nervous because I cannot say I’ve ever been good at guessing what kind of candy bar was melted in a diaper and I’m still bad at guessing what kind of baby food is in an unlabeled jar. So I put my thinking cap on and thought hard – really hard – about what might be fun. And I’m still thinking.

I did though come up with a few items, golden nuggets if you will, over the last few years with my own boys, which I’ll pass on to you – and at some point you may say, “ahhh – I get it now.”

One: Poop happens. There’s no way around it. Spit-up happens too. And sometimes one is slightly grosser than the other, but, have faith; over time the spit-up seems to go away. Poop, well, it doesn’t. I’m sorry.

Two: The little, adorable outfits? Be aware, like adult clothing, baby sizes may lie. If there’s a favorite item in the drawer you cannot wait to try on him, keep comparing it to other clothes fitting him well so you don’t miss the one week it will fit. And yes; kids grow *that* fast.

Three: Content sighs, sweet giggles and belly laughs may soon be some of your favorite sounds. Explosive toots, loud burps and hearing “uh-oh” may not be all for their own reasons. And speaking of sounds, you *will* be able to tell the difference between the “I’m tired” cry; the “I’m lonely” cry; and the “there’s something in my diaper” cry.

Four: Keep your sense of humor. It’s not only critical for the two of you, but also in surviving the day-to-day events. Life will soon show you, on a very regular basis, the smallest things may be the funniest.

Five: Learn how to tag-team tasks and read for tap-out signals when it’s evident the other needs it. Along with that, know when to start pouring a glass of wine or beer before the other asks.

Six: You’ll learn how to change a diaper in the dark. And better yet you’ll learn how to go back to sleep within two seconds of your head hitting the pillow. You’ll also learn how to change a diaper in the most unusual places and handle it with great ease. Just wait for the first airplane bathroom diaper change.

Seven: Mother Nature will become your refuge in the strangest of ways. If the baby is crying uncontrollably, bundle him in a blanket if needed and take him outside where he can feel a breeze on his face while standing under a tree – or a street lamp if at night – while swaying back and forth. I cannot explain it, but it might be one of the most amazing things ever to see a baby magically soothed outdoors. Another incredible moment: listening to hard rain hit a window. You’ll witness the beginning stages of a boy’s love affair with the outdoors.

Eight: Thomas, your wife will return. If she goes from zero to sixty in less than a second, just hold on and know the woman you married will return. There’s one word that explains the entire first year: hormones.

Nine: Shannon, you must do one of three things everyday within those first few weeks and months for your own sanity: take a shower, step outside for fresh air, or tell Thomas “thank you.” Brushing your teeth is mandatory at least once a day. Build up to joining society again by walking down the block, then to a coffee shop, and finally a grocery store.

Ten: Thomas, you must do three things everyday within those first few weeks and months for the sake of your marriage: make sure Shannon’s water glass is always full, swaddle the baby for sleep, and prepare at least one meal a day for the two of you to eat together. Stocking up on favorite snacks and making random trips to the store will make you the hero of the house.

What is most important though, over time, the two of you will find you do things differently for the baby. Shannon, I’m here to tell you Thomas, as a dad, will do things differently than you and will often do these things differently. Don’t fight it. This is a good thing. Thomas, speaking from my experience, it’s hard for a mom to let go of, especially the smallest things. Listen and watch Shannon with care as she shows you her methods and rituals with the baby. Then make them your own.

And finally, we have no idea what our sons will grow to be. We must encourage them to be their best every day. May they grow up to be Olympic athletes, rocket scientists, or firemen, we must do our best to raise them to have kind hearts, gentle hands, and loving souls.