Fatherhood Without Plan B

Three young siblings obviously very comfortable with each other.“Well, let me be the first to tell you, there are two babies in there.”  {pause} “And this appointment is now going to be twice as long so you might want to run down and put money in the meter.”

Those were the words uttered from the ultrasound tech that forever changed our lives – twins.

But first some back story:

Our first child, Alina, was born in a birth center with midwives, under water. (No we are not hippies believe it or not.) So when Chantal got pregnant with what we thought was a second child (singular), we went back to the birth center and midwives that we loved.  For those of you that don’t know, midwives do not request ultrasounds until 20 weeks.  Yes – 20 weeks.  So this adds a bit to the story – we were half way through the pregnancy when we found out.

HOLY S#&T, I say to myself.  I was happy that we were having twins and the magic that goes along with it, but the practical side kicks in in about…ummm 1.5 seconds saying Holy S#%t.  We were budding entrepreneurs and our first book was being published and we had to promote it and sell it…fast.  We were in Seattle as well and both our families did not live close (east coast and Nor Cal).  Plus the twins were boys and all of the stuff we saved from Alina were useless.  Plus, you need another crib, double stroller, and more cloth diapers (we really aren’t hippies I swear!)

Well, once it all settled down mentally and life went on, we made a plan and began to work the plan and everything worked out……well kind of…

There is this little thing called “sleep”.  Now, you may have heard that sleep depravation is a torture technique.  As someone who has experience it, trust me, it is true!  The first 11 months were a complete lapse in time.  I don’t really recall much of anything from February 2010 to January 2011, honestly.  I know things happened; I know we did publish the cookbook.  I know we did a 30 city book-signing tour with Whole Foods in Northern California.  I know we all lived.  I know that it was a struggle and truly tested our marriage, as emotions were wafer thin.

I remember when we exchanged vows and the minister said the parts about “in sickness and health, for richer or for poorer”…did he also mention sleep and no sleep? But I digress…

What I am trying to say is that even after all of this (and there is a book about all of this in my brain somewhere), I would not change any of it, not for a second.  My sons, AJ and Dario, are joys in my life.  I love them with all my heart and soul.  How lucky are we, twins!

What I have learned is life gives you challenges and you work them out because there is no plan B.   As the toddler saying goes. “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”

To all the dad’s out there – Cheers!  Welcome to the club!

Shane Valentine

Shane Valentine is the author of The Baby Cuisine Cookbook, and part of the Food Revolution as it relates to preschoolers in America.

Known in food movement circles as the Jamie Oliver of the San Francisco Bay Area, Shane is on a mission to change the way children and their families view food in this country. Following up on the success of his first book “The Baby Cuisine Cookbook”, Shane has developed a groundbreaking program being dubbed “The Pre-School Food Revolution”, which teaches toddlers and preschoolers how to cook and where food comes from before they get to first grade. Nationally recognized author and pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene (founder of drgreene.com & author Feeding Baby Green and Raising Baby Green) joined forces with Shane on this program.

Shane is also a sought after speaker for corporations, non-profits, government agencies and universities. His “fire-side chat” titled “The State of Food” is an eye-opening look at the food our children are eating, from first foods to school age years. This multi-media presentation includes some incredible visual demonstrations of the salt, sugar and fats that are processed & packaged to kids in America. His no holds barred approach tackles the tough topics, such as the rising childhood obesity epidemic and its connection to enormous multi-national processed food companies & their deceptive marketing tactics. Shane then inspires his audience that “Today is a Brighter Day” and that in spite of all this, parents and the community at large can make some real changes that will have a profound impact on the future the minute they walk out of the auditorium.

Shane lives in Marinwood with wife Chantal and three children; Alina 6, AJ 4 & Dario 4.

Shane was recently awarded the American Heart Associations 2012-2013 Goal Impact Champion for his with AHA.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of DrGreene.com. The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or DrGreene.com, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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