Parenting Advice for Tiger
As someone with a four-month old child, I consider myself slightly more advanced in life than, say, Tiger Woods, who has been a parent a mere two weeks. But I have to admit that I'm not necessarily an expert yet. For example, when it's 9:20 p.m. and the baby's been crying for a solid hour and the neighborhood kids are setting off fireworks which make her scream, my typical plan is to calculate how many seconds are left until dawn, or until she graduates from college, something like that.
Anyhow, as I was driving to Congressional Country Club this morning, I heard WTEM's Carol Maloney saying how much she wanted to talk with Tiger. "I have some baby advice for him," she was saying. And so I realized that by asking important PGA golfers and media professionals for some baby advice for Tiger, I could get a blog item and also score a bit of free advice for myself. So, do you have any parenting advice for Tiger Woods, important people?
"The last person you should come ask is me, because I can't even take care of myself," said childless pro golfer Charley Hoffman. "I'm about a four-year-old at heart."
"I suggest read books on parenting, lots of books," said Lee Janzen, who was trailed by 13-year-old son Connor. "We have the entire library on how to raise a stubborn child.... I kept telling him when he was little and stubborn that the stubborn kids turn out to be the best adults. And that's what's happened. He's turned out to be a fine young man."
"Everyone tells you it goes by so fast, and you kind of listen in one ear, but when the first one leaves, you really wake up to why it's so important," said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, whose eldest daughter recently headed off to college. "That would be my one comment."
"Concentration, discipline, patience, it all plays a part," said golf fan Lou Bentley.
"Do not beat your kids," offered Bentley's youngest son, 16-year-old Christopher. (He was joking.)
"Hire help," suggested Ben Brundred III, son of the longtime Kemper Open tournament director. "And I'm sure Tiger's on top of that one, I'm sure there's no lack of people around to help...I always wanted to hire a young Swedish blond nanny, but I think Tiger's already got that."
He was joking, too. But I will say the women I spoke with offered much more detailed parenting advice.
"Number one, just stay calm and patient, because the baby's going to stop crying eventually," Maloney told me. "You have to do like this little bouncy thing--I don't know how much he's burping--but also you have to kind of push up to get the burp out. It's all about getting the gas out."
"I guess the thing is, unless it's a doctor, people are going to tell you the wackiest stuff, and just don't listen, just trust yourself," insisted Comcast SportsNet's Jill Sorenson, mother of nine-month old daughter Taylor. "Elin has to trust herself. And don't listen to Tiger, because Elin will always be right. I'm sorry dads, but that's the case."
This seemed perhaps slightly insensitive to me, but in retrospect, two fathers I spoke with today made me think that maybe Sorenson was right. The first was AP sportswriter Joseph White, whose fatherhood advice was "Don't put the baby in the microwave. Nor the cat."
The second was Jason Gore, whom we all remember from the 2005 U.S. Open. Gore's only child, son Jaxon, is nearing his third birthday, and I asked Gore what advice he would give to Tiger.
"Careful of the first month's dirty diapers," he said. "They're, um.... They're special."
I wanted to know more.
"My little guy made a number two in the middle of the night," Gore explained. "And I thought I'd be a nice guy and go feed him and then change it. And my wife came in, and he's on the changing table and I'm vomiting in the restroom. Literally. All hell had broken loose at that point. My wife came in and just took over."
This, thankfully, has not yet happened to me. I asked Gore whether he told this tale to Tiger.
"Yeah," Gore said. "He said he doesn't change diapers."
At his press conference, though, Tiger said he has been changing diapers and doing feedings and losing sleep, and he spoke very touchingly about young Sam, saying that on the night of her birth, he and Elin wondered "how can you love something so much that didn't exist the day before." But they're only two weeks in and still riding that early high; things will change. For example, Gore and I discussed the perils of the baby who will not sleep.
"He's painless now, great age, starting to talk, it's unbelievable," Gore said of Jaxon. "He's not a great sleeper, but apparently my wife wasn't a great sleeper, too, when she was a kid. So payback's a bitch."
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