5) You Take Baby-Wipe Showers

Because the demands of fatherhood extend to all hours of the day, you never know when you’ll get a moment to take care of important things like personal hygiene. You and your wife can try the buddy system for bathing – but that’s impossible if you’ve got different work schedules or if you don’t have a wife. Hey, it happens.

So, there you are, laying in bed, thinking “I can totally jump into the shower and get it out of the way before the kid wakes up.” You triple-check with your baby monitor to make sure the kid isn’t moving, and then in one ninjalike motion, you roll out of bed, parkour across the room and into the shower. And that’s when your kid starts screaming from the other room – or yours, because he can’t find you. Now, your two options are to either finish your shower like a boss, and tell your kid to sit outside the shower and wait for you, pull your kid into the shower clothed or not and make it a two-fer, or to get back out of the shower, covered in soap, shampoo burning in your eyes.

Or, you can do what a lot of dudes do, and get in a good baby-wipe shower. This isn’t something you can pull off every day of the week – but when you’ve got somewhere to be and showering is impossible, it’s the only way you’re going to get your body smelling presentable. Plus, as a side effect, the more you smell like baby-wipes, the better of a parent people perceive you to be. If you run into a meeting, smelling like Huggies, some of the meat-head single guys will make fun of you, but the women and family men will give you a knowing look like you’re part of the Fatherhood Fight Club.

And this is totally legit because baby wipes are made for cleaning leaky backdoors.

FATHER PRO TIP: Use a two-step process to maximize the wipe-shower. First, use a couple of wipes to cleanse yourself. Then you spray a little (and I mean a LITTLE) cologne on a wipe, and swipe it across your chest and neck. Now, you smell like clean baby and normal man. Sure, you could just spray the cologne on yourself, but applying it to the wipe first mutes the scent a little and makes it less obvious that you just put on cologne. It’s the dad-equivalent of spraying it into the air and walking under the mist, except even more subtle than that.

SINGLE DUDE PRO TIP: Back in my single days, baby wipes were an essential dating tool. I’d wipe my chest with a baby wipe, and then spray some woman’s perfume into the air and whip my shirt into the mist before putting it on. When a woman smells the perfume, she thinks you’re desirable because you smell like “other women,” and when she smells the baby-wipe smell, she thinks you’ve been helping change a baby. She sees you’ve got no wedding ring on and assumes you were helping your sister or your friend with their kid. After I’d give a gal at Starbucks or the CD store (yeah, we used to have those) a good opening line, I’d mention something about it being nice being away from the baby – then pause, awkwardly laugh and say “oh, sorry, not mine. I was with a friend who’s got a new baby.” Then, the gal I was talking to would assume my friend was a chick (from the perfume) and I was insky for a date.

DISCLAIMER TO SINGLE DUDE PRO TIP: I actually only tried the above tip once and it failed miserably. So think twice about any dating advice I ever give you.

In any event – for us married fathers, the baby-wipe shower is a good way to refresh in a pinch. Whether you’ve got a last-minute meeting to go to, or you just want to give yourself a once-over between a park-trip and cooking dinner, using baby-wipes is totally effective. And since the wipes are made to clean up nuclear-grade baby crap, there’s not much you can throw at it that it can’t clean, mask or freshen-up. And don’t get the newborn or “sensitive” wipes because those won’t clean anything.

This last tip is maybe a tad underhanded, but if you get a wipe-warmer when your baby is born, don’t use it for the baby. Urge your wife to store it “for the next baby.” BTW, any time you use the phrase “for the next baby,” your wife does anything in the sentence. It’s like the culling phrase for women. Once women have a baby, they want two – so if you want something for yourself, in this case, the wipe warmer, you say “let’s save the wipe warmer for the next baby.” Besides, babies don’t care if the wipe is warm, and it’s perfectly acceptable to warm it up in your hands before wiping your baby. But using the wipe-warmer to give your wipe-shower a new dimension is just out-and-out classy. It’s almost like being massaged and having a warm towel thrown on you afterwards.

No matter how much you’re beaten-down and made to live like a train-hopping hobo, you’ve got a family, and that’s the important thing. If for no other reason than that sweet-ass child tax rebate. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I saw my wife throw some chicken skin and burned rice into the sink.