Being a Dad is Like Being in a Band
Babies rock. So does being in a band. And in many ways, they aren’t so different…
1. You have to haul a lot of equipment
Amps. Guitars. The merch bin. They’re all such prized items on their own as you piece together the makings of what makes your band sound and look legit at a venue. And then you have to get them into vans, Jeeps, and trailers. Up (and down) steps and ramps. Through and around doors and people. On and off of stages. You get really good at distributing large amounts of weight, propping open entrances with part of a spare appendage, and generally just getting a lot of stuff to and from places quickly, and hopefully without leaving any of it behind.
These are great skills to master and apply when you have a baby!
Because the gear involved with #dadlife is no joke. These tiny humans have made arrangements that require that car seat, stroller, bag of stuff, camera, wipes of all types, to name a few. And you’re just the guy, gal, or co-parent to carry it all. Yes, band life makes you the perfect candidate to carry baby stuff.
2. You sleep in weird places, but it’s cool.
If you get to do it, touring with your bandmates is an awesome way to experience new music scenes, get your songs out there to new audiences and have a lot of fun with some of your closest friends. If you’re a small or DIY band, you’ll probably stay with friends, acquaintances or someplace else that’s free or cheap. Maybe even in your vehicle. Floors, couches, band member limbs or book bags as pillows is part of living the road warrior life, even if it’s just for a couple of weeks and long weekends per year also comes in handy.
Infants will fall asleep on you and it’s the best. But also, you won’t want to move and will therefore become imprisoned in whatever position this occurred in. Kind of like a musical chairs for sleeping babies - when the music (crying) stops, sit down right where you are. And then don’t move. Ever again. From these moments to whatever version of a rocking/gliding chair you come across or even the floor of the nursery, it’s gonna be just like those strangers’ floors and backseat of the van. Maybe even with less throw up.
3. Things can get LOUD.
I like all kinds of music, but enjoy writing and playing pop punk, for lack of a better term, the most. When Brandon, TJ, and Steve and I take to the stage and get it going it means 3 vocal singalongs + an energizer bunny on drums and guitar riffs that leave no note unplayed. It’s loud. In the best of ways. To the point that, in what is the coolest rock move possible, I regularly employ ear-plugs.
To preserve my ears for other stuff.
But what is that other stuff? The sweet sounds of a crying baby that is. So small. Innocent. Yet so so so so so loud. And to solve the loud cry, you’ve got to get them on your shoulder. AKA right next to an ear. It’s just like standing front row at a show. Melodic, chaotic, and loud but beautiful all at the same time. This is even more fun as she toddles her way into saying actual words and demo-ing her vocal range.
4. The time you spend will last forever.
Like many bands, we’ve put A LOT of time into it. From weekly rehearsals, shows, writing, recording, marketing, it is really like an extra job (the most fun job you’ve ever had to this point, I’d wager). Why would people do such a thing though other than fun? The other reason, at least for me, is that it’s a time capsule. Nothing can change the notes that we committed to those tracks in those years. And as you get farther away from each show flier or recording, when you revisit them it truly takes you back to that time and also reminds you how far you’ve come either as a musician or as a person or as both.
This song kind of touches on that theme actually.
And this rings true for dad stuff too. Spending time with Lady O and learning about her personality, how to teach things, and watch such a little but fierce thing are surely the kind of memories that are cemented in our memories. She's now part-baby/part-toddler/-part-professional-human - the growing keeps going and its hard to take time to reflect. But our memories of these early days will be full of vivid imagery, she may not picture it the same way or realize it at all but perhaps it may be ingrained in her habits and character. It will all matter. Always.