Gay Dad Life

Lotions and Potions: Bedtime Edition

It’s a chilly evening here in Central Jersey, and Gabe has just finished 20 minutes in the bathtub. Over the shouts of an increasingly amphibious 11-month-old baby, we wrap him in a hooded towel and begin our familiar bedtime routine. Either Daddy or Papa will get him a fresh nighttime diaper and pick out a pair of pajamas. But before the pajamas go on, these two Dads have to help Gabe maintain the softest and sweetest-smelling skin that babies can have. It’s time for Johnson’s Bedtime baby lotion.

And for our family, it’s become a game now. We have a heart-shaped basket above Gabe’s changing table, and it holds our diapering and bedtime supplies. One of us will reach up and grab the familiar purple bottle, and Gabe, now intimately familiar with our routine, immediately smiles. He is only wearing a diaper, and he brings his feet up to his smiling mouth, too excited to even make noise. We open the cap and turn the bottle upside down, and now Gabe is flapping his arms up and down in anticipation.

The first drop falls onto his exposed belly. Gabe laughs out loud, and my heart melts. I look at my husband, who is also now smiling. This family is everything we have ever worked for, over the course of years and years. And every bit of happiness, drop by drop, is to be savored and celebrated.

The second drop falls from the bottle and beelines for Gabe’s chest, and there are now two men and a little boy, and we are all laughing together, one laugh demanding that the next follow it, a game of tag in an otherwise quiet nursery.

The third and fourth drops fall onto Gabe’s legs, and it’s time to rub the goodness in for the night. From neck to toe, I moisturize our little man, before getting him into pajamas and handing him off to Papa for Story Time. In about ten minutes, the scent of the lotion has both of my guys more relaxed and ready for bed. We head downstairs to catch up on our TV shows, with a baby monitor that will remain quiet until 6:00 the next morning. This Bedtime lotion does exactly what it advertises.

Johnson's Baby Bedtime Lotion smells...gosh, even for a writer it’s hard to describe. Have you ever had a really delicious cup of tea, in a warm mug, and all you want to do is just cup your hands around the mug and inhale the aromas of the tea forever? It’s like that, except people tell me I shouldn’t rub tea all over myself. I follow that advice.

But when no one’s around, and Gabe is asleep and so is Papa, I’ll give myself some time to relax as well. A little Johnson's Baby Bedtime Lotion on my arms, neck, and chest? It’s wonderful, and it does help me feel like I’m easing into bedtime. So yes, I know the product is for babies, and I’m not going to giggle as I drip it onto my skin (and if I did, I’d never tell you).

So while the evenings here in NJ have grown chillier by the day, and our tiny boy grows bigger from minute to minute, you’ll still find the scent of lavender and chamomile hanging in the air upstairs, should you ever decide to stop in and check on our tiny family. Just follow the giggles.

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Life

A Gay Dad Wonders: What Will the 'Roaring Twenties' Bring?

Jim Joseph says he's looking forward to "moving forward in 2020" and in the decade to come!

The Roaring Twenties are upon us, and with the new decade comes great anticipation.

I remember as a kid that whenever a new decade came, it felt like "out with the old and in with the new." It seemed like pop culture and the way of doing things suddenly shifted. Witness 1979 into 1980 and the dawn of a new era in music, fashion, entertainment, and culture. Same with 1989 into 1990. Bam!

As I got older and started my own journey of growth, I started tracking decades by the milestones I had hit during each of the ten-year increments.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Life

Gay Dads Tell Us Their Parenting Goals for 2020

Some are hoping to expand their families — others are hoping to keep the members they already have alive!

We asked our community on Instagram what their parenting goals were for 2020. Here are some of their responses.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Life

10 Ways Gay Dads Inspired Us in 2019

No two gay parents have the same family creation story, but they still have one thing in common — they inspire us.

Every week, we bring you the stories of gay men and their families. While no two of these stories are the same, one thing they have in common is this — they inspire us. Check out 10 (out of the MANY!) ways gay dads moved us in 2019!

Keep reading...
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

As a Gay Dad, What's the Impact of Letting My Son Perform Drag?

Michael Duncan was excited when his 10-year-old son asked if he could perform in drag for charity — but he also felt fear and anxiety.

As LGBT parents, we have all lived through some sort of trauma in our lives. For many it is the rejection of our family, being bullied, or abuse. We learn to be vigilant of our surroundings and often are very cautious of who we trust. As adults, we start to become watchful of how much we share and we look for "red flags" around every corner.

So, what effect does this have on our children? Does it unintentionally cause us to be more jaded with our interactions involving others? For some the answer may be a resounding "no." But as we look deeper into the situation, we often find that through survival our interactions with others have changed and we may not even realize exactly how much we are projecting on those around us.

Keep reading...
Diary of a Newly Out Gay Dad

A Gay Chiropractor Explains Why He Came Out to His Patients

After Cameron Call, a chiropractor, came out to his family this past year, he knew he had one more step to take — he had to come out to his patients

Fear is an interesting thing. It motivates when it shouldn't, shows at inconvenient times, and is the author of stories that do nothing but hold us back. I would argue though, too, that fear has some good qualities. I believe it helps us to feel. And I think it can be a great teacher as we learn to recognize and face it.

For years fear prevented me from embracing my truth and accepting a large part of who I am. I know I am not alone in that regard. But for so long my fear convinced me that I was. Fear is what kept me from ever telling my parents or anyone growing up that I am gay. Fear mingled with strong religious teachings, embraced at a young age, which led me to believe that I could cure myself of my attractions to the same gender. And fear is a part of what kept me in my marriage to a woman for over ten years.

Keep reading...
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

A Gay Dad Gains Clarity After a Health Scare

A recent health scare helped give Erik Alexander clarity.

Sometimes fear can cripple the mind and hinder ones judgement. Having children of my own, I have come to grips with accepting the things I cannot change and learned to take action when there is no other choice. When it comes to my own personal health, the future and well being of my family gives me all the clarity I need to make the right decision about any kind of health scare.

This episode is dedicated to all the parents out there that are going through or have gone through similar situations.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Family Stories

This European Couple Became Dads Through a U.K.-Based Surrogacy Program

Janno, from Estonia, and Matthias, from Belgium, were accepted into the "Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy" Program.

Janno Talu, an accountant, and Matthias Nijs, an art gallery director, were born in different parts of Europe. Janno, 39, is from Estonia, and Matthias, 28, is from Belgium. Their paths crossed when the two moved to London, each from their different corners of the European Union.

Janno relocated to London earlier than Matthias, when he was 24, and his main reason for the move was his sexuality. "Although Estonia is considered one of the more progressive countries in Eastern Europe, when it comes to gay rights, it is still decades behind Western society in terms of tolerance," said Janno. "And things are not moving in the right direction." In 2016, same-sex civil union became legal, but the junior party in the current coalition government is seeking to repeal the same-sex partnership bill. "In addition," Janno continued, "they wish to include the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the country's constitution. Even today, there are people in Estonia who liken homosexuality to pedophilia, which is why I decided to start a new life in the UK, where I could finally be myself."

Keep reading...

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse