Top Nine

Trey Whitaker
3 min readOct 20, 2020

Written: December 1997

Top Nine Animals on Baby Caylee’s Clothes

9) Dogs (a lot of Huskies)
8) Sesame Street creatures of unknown origin (e.g., Elmo, the Cookie Monster)
7) Dinosaurs (No T-Rexs need apply)
6) Fish (preferably extremely cute ones)
5) Birds (Baby Chicks and Orioles…surprise)
4) Tigers (with a whole bunch of Tigger)
3) Ducks (but no Donald Duck yet)
2) Rabbits (but no Bugs Bunny yet)
1) Bears (Winnie the Pooh leads the way!)

Dad’s Top Nine Rules for 5-month-old Caylee Star
9) No flinging your doll into Dad’s Cheerios during breakfast.
8) No attempting to place teething ring in your nose or Daddy’s eye.
7) No rolling over, no back arching, and other new quick moves during hair shampooing in the sink.
6) No drooling on my PC keyboard or teething on my mouse pad.
5) No pooping immediately after Mom hands you over to me for “just a second”.
4) No making me feel guilty by looking longingly at my french fries when you’ve just had a tasty dish of rice cereal and butternut squash mush.
3) No peeing, pooping, or passing gas during the transition from dirty diaper to clean diaper. (Frequently ignored rule)
2) No crying during Sportscenter or Ally McBeal.
1) No smiling cutely at me as I’m just about to walk out the door for work (and , thereby, forcing me to stay just home just a little bit longer).

Top Nine New Jobs Acquired During My First 5 Months of Fatherhood
9) Assembler of various baby toys, swings, chairs, gyms, and strollers.
8) Bulk purchaser of diaper mega packs and cases of formula mix.
7) Official 3:00 AM baby greeter and diaper changer.
6) Car seat engineer and repairman.
5) AM “baby drop-off” delivery boy.
4) Member of the all-parent choir (featuring hit single, “When You’re Happy and You Know It”).
3) Hand holder during “sweet potato” feeding time.
2) Official “activities Mom won’t consider” manager (including the “Caylee airplane”).
1) Diaper Genie maintenance man (including dirty diaper removal).

Top Nine Observations During My Second Month (or so) of Fatherhood
9) Wife’s new depth chart:
* Baby
* Cat
* Me
8) Rattling in kitchen is not your dinner being prepared but baby formula being heated and mixed. You’ll be getting your own dinner.
7) The Law of Gravity does not apply to poop as it can travel anywhere it likes and will.
6) Former decorative space that held baskets of scented soap and picture frames now converted to functional space to hold bottle-drying racks and electric breast-pumping machines.
5) Radios now tuned to stations that play Disney tunes instead of the Smashing Pumpkins.
4) Brightly colored poop is often the worst smelling.
3) There is a lot more crying, kissing, and laughing going on.
2) Sunday morning newspaper reading time replaced by talking to the baby in funny voices.
1) Old reading material — Internet Week magazine. New reading material — Goodnight Moon.

Top Nine Observations During My First Month of Fatherhood
9) There was a lot more squatting during childbirth than I had anticipated.
8) Swaddling will tend to calm the baby but this will not work on your wife.
7) You will take more photos during this first month than you took in the previous ten years combined.
6) Everything comes in “baby” sizes and portions. Unfortunately, this includes your “baby-sized” hours of sleep.
5) A child’s first three pieces of mail are: a greeting card from their grandparents, their Social Security card, and the bill from the hospital.
4) Babies cry louder between midnight and 5 a.m. than during the rest of the day.
3) You can fart at will because you can always say, “I think the baby may have a poopy diaper.”
2) Even though she’s constantly breastfeeding, it’s still not acceptable to say, “You suck” to your newborn child.
1) Watching sports while sitting on the couch and drinking beer makes you a “lazy ass husband”. Watching sports while sitting on the couch and holding the baby makes you a “good father”.



Trey Whitaker

Former CrossFit gym owner, corporate manager, paratrooper, youth sports coach and jujitsu black belt. Now a trail steward at Haleakala National Park on Maui.