Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Waiting for Meatball: Nile Tate on Fatherhood and Expensive Ass Babies

"We are the Dadmies. Because mommies shouldn’t get to have all the fun." -Nile Tate

My homie Nile Tate is waiting for his daughter, Harper aka "Meatball," to enter the world. (I love that Black people assign nicknames before birth.) Right now. As I publish this post, he’s counting down the hours contractions til the birth of his first daughter, Harper ze water hath broken, and Harper is ready to get this damn show on the road. He tweets regularly about the challenges, and joys of pre-fatherhood, and it’s clear that he is damn excited about this journey.


Nile has channeled his enthusiasm into Dadmies, a site for baby daddies, by baby daddies, where men can share the their adventures and victories in fatherhood. Last night, I asked Nile if he would be down to bust those emotions open for me right quick before he becomes somebody’s Pops, and he was game.

Alexander Hardy: So what's goodie my nizzle?

Nile Tate: Not much. Sitting and waiting on Preggy Bundy here to finish this gestation. Laying on this leather couch that I'm sure has been home to many a strange buttocks.

AH: Ah. So. Wait. Let's backtrack. Who the hell are you and why are we talking?

NT: I'm Nile. I'm a new father of a child because birth control is ONLY 99.99% effective. Just giving a few pieces of the things that have been going on in my mind since realizing I'm a dad now.

AH: Yes. You da pappy. So. How do you feel right now?

NT: I haven't really felt much besides poorer, honestly. I'm excited, yes. Nervous? In a small way. Nothing too major as of yet...

AH: That's real as shit. I was on the scene for the birth of sisterfriend's first child in New Orleans last year, and I learned that there is a gadget and/or machine for EVERYTHING—shit I didn't even know babies did. It's incredible, the babybullshit industry. What's the most ridiculous thing you've had to purchase on this journey?

NT: Daycare. Fucking daycare. And we haven't even bought it yet. Just priced it because it's gonna be needed in eight weeks. Just started prioritizing the organs I like and which ones I'm gonna sell. PayPal or cash only.

AH: Do we reeeally need the spleen? You might could get some nice coins for that.

NT: You know anyone back in Panama that needs something? I'm fat, but you can just tell ‘em my organs come with 20% extra, free.

AH: Listen. Panama is the Wild West. If you have some cousins you want to dispose of, I might could even help you with that.

NT: ...I...believe you actually.

Dude…this baby shit gets really real, really quick.

AH: I’m sure the fuck it does. I'm sure those priorities came into laser focus, asaptualmente.

NT: Priorities are a bitch. Priorities are…something to watch. Things tend to sort themselves out, but it doesn't hurt to have a partner that sorts them the hell out for you. Quickly.

AH: Agreed. Sometimes we need to be whipped into shape. What has been the hardest sacrifice you've had to make thus far?

NT: Buying a car with airbags. That's the BIGGEST thing I’ve had to change. I like my cars with more horsepower than safety features. I've also had to check a few biases of mine. Having a daughter, especially after being a bit uh...young and free as a younger guy...you start thinking about a few things.

AH: Biases?

NT: Yeah. What's ok for a young lady, versus the things I did as a younger guy. I'm only 27, but the things I was doing from 18-25? I wasn't BAD, but...I had my fun. But I wonder how I'd be if my daughter were to come to me with the stories I would take to my father.

AH: Great point. But we all have our fun. We all live life in our own special butt nekkid and nasty way, and that's a part of growing up. Of course, you now have first-hand experience and can teach her to spot a creep from a distance.

Photo: dadmies.com
NT: Very, very true. She'll def be hipped to the game early. I don't want her to be out here gaming people and taking advantage, but she'll definitely know how to handle herself out here.

AH: Right. Pimp bones in her body, and such. I have seen friends go from Smut Numero Uno to Cliff Huxtable in nine months. Not to suggest that they can't be the same person, but they learned to keep their dick in their pants and learned an expensive lesson about spreading it low and wide. They cleaned it up. Have you seen other friends/relatives with daughters have similar moments of clarity?

NT: My uncle. Handsome guy. Intelligent as all the fucks. He's had far more "fun" than I have I'm sure. But he's been great with the "moment of clarity" advice. Outside of my brother, I don't have any male friends with kids. Ironically, I ended up with a kid first.

AH: Before now, when did you see yourself having kids? Was there something you felt you needed to do first?

NT: I saw myself with kids. I really want as many as I can financially handle. If I were rich? Like 6 or so. I grew up in a family of five kids. But I always saw myself having my first kid at like 35 or so. That's a luxury that men have. Our biological clocks are Rolex crafted. They don't audibly tick. I felt that around then, I could have something to offer in the raising of a tiny human.

AH: I'm in the same boat as you. I have this assumption that I will "have it together" by thirty-five and can start trying to get one of my good judies to let me lace her womb right quick.

By my age, my Dad was just about to have his second child (me). And I look at my Black ass life, trying to support ONE MOFO (myself), and I just figure that something kicks in and you just make it your business to git 'er done at all costs.

NT: Yup. Trying to support ONE person is a bitch. But you, PLUS someone who is gonna cost you $245,000 until they're 18? Shit. I coulda just bought stock in Apple with that money. Apple and Chipotle.

AH: You coulda. Indeed. Next time.

NT: Next time I wanna have a kid I'm just gonna buy stock in white people.

AH: Oh yes. White people be winning with their scandalous asses.




Do you think you'd be feeling any differently right now if you were having a son?

NT: Kinda. Only because there are things that I identify with, as a man, that are easier to translate and interpret to a boy. I have this thing about giving advice, especially if I'm not coming from a place of personal experience.

AH: Mmmm. Well, that's where mama comes in. She's got her own lessons to throw in the batter, too.

NT: And with me being poly, it would have been easier to explain it to a son first. At least I think.

AH: Ahhh, yes.

NT: Far more nuances about it that I need to cover with a daughter. With a son, I still have to. But…differently.

AH: You're right. Upside: firsthand creeplife experience. Would you be opposed to her being poly?

NT: Not at all. And yes. It's just...from my experience, I've been hearing far too many stories of men using polyam as an excuse to be whores, but with a loophole almost. I want her to find love in the way she's meant to find it. With a man or woman. But I don't want her to let love be an excuse to put up with fuckshit.

AH: Agreed. That'll have to come from your example, in part, yes?

NT: Yes. But I can only provide the skeleton of certain things. How she builds around it though has both everything and nothing to do with me. I love how my parents did, and yet nothing like ‘em. I'm affectionate, verbally and physically. Values like they had. But still somehow, largely unlike them.

AH: Do you plan to use Dadmies to share some of that skeleton-building?

NT: Yes. I just want to be sure that whatever message I present be well articulated. Nothing clarifies like clarity.

AH: Whew. That is a word. "Nothing clarifies like clarity." I love that. What is your hope for Dadmies?

NT: I want it to become the place men go and feel comfortable about feeling things. Being open to that expression of love, and growth, and to every mistake that makes you a father. I want them to share how they failed and how they grew. How they succeeded. I wanna see fathers talk about more than the sports awards their kids won. I wanna see men embrace more aspects of emotion in fatherhood, hopefully through Dadmies.

AH: Dope vision, good sir. Encouraging men to uncork about the good, bad, and mundane is necessary. You’re well on your damn way, man. How the hell did Dadmies come to be?

NT: People have long been trying to get me to write. Then Harper was announced and people wanted me to chronicle the journey. I knew I wouldn't have a lot of material by myself; so having other people contribute just seemed to make sense. And I knew I couldn't be the ONLY guy happy about fatherhood. Sometimes people just need to see someone else start something to know that it's safe to be, or feel, or think a certain way.

AH: You're right. Sometimes, it's scary being the first dude on the dance floor. How has the response been?

NT: It's been received far better than I expected actually. Like the first two months it was at 15k page views. I haven't updated it since July, but I've been working on the interface and putting together products to sell through it. Tryna monetize it then turn it into a brand one day. Family event days and what not that we back. Tutoring. All that. Make it a business all about the family.

AH: Wow. I know people would get behind that. Is there ANYTHING you could use help with at the moment, especially considering Harper is arriving today?

NT: I'm new to all this. I'm down for any help or suggestions really. We're in the hospital now for the induction, and we start the labor process at 6 AM.

AH: We got you, broham. Just watch. Asking is more than half the battle. Well Nile, I know you must be drained, and well, starting in a few hours, you'll never be more rested than you are right now, for at least the next 18 years. So.

NT: Lmao. Yup. Last night of sleep that belongs to me alone.

AH: Thank you for your time. Go get those last few moments of rest and get ready to watch the ball drop.

NT: No problem at all man. Thank you for allowing me to contribute.


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