Here’s the thing I didn’t realize about becoming a dad. For the nine months leading up to D-Day (delivery day, due date, dad day — take your pick) nothing changes for me.

I can still drink beer and eat sushi, and I have a built-in designated driver.

My belly’s not getting bigger. OK, maybe it is, but not because I’m growing a tiny human in there.

My wife’s body has been steadily changing to prepare her for bringing another life into the world. Meanwhile, my body has just been trying to cope with the excessive amount of fried chicken being put into it these days.

Here’s the best analogy I have come up with: For my wife this feels like the beginning of a rollercoaster. Sure, a big, scary fall looms ahead, but there’s this steady build-up leading up to it. You know it’s coming.

For me, it feels like the Drop Zone at Carowinds. Right now, I’m perched at the top of the ride with my legs dangling over the edge. Nothing’s happening. But at some point, around July 20, without warning, it’ll send me hurtling back down toward Earth.

And I’m fucking terrified.

Dang it, I probably shouldn’t have cussed there, since this is the first thing I’ve ever written about my unborn child. I’m off to a great start, huh?

I had this existential crisis when I turned 27 because that’s how old my parents were when they had me. Holy crap, I thought, there’s no way I could take care of a child right now. I can barely take care of myself.

Now here I am, three years later, and I feel exactly the same way.

I’m not worried about my wife. She’s going to be an incredible mother. Shoot, she deals with dozens of high school kids every day as a teacher. A kid? No sweat.

Me, on the other hand … I question my instincts. One day I forgot to go to the bathroom before I left the office. I thought I’d be able to ignore the call of nature until I got home. I was wrong. I had to pull over into a hotel parking lot and make emergency use of the two empty Diet Coke cans that happened to be rolling around in the back seat of the car.

This happened less than a month ago. And I’m supposed to be raising a kid in a few months? Good lord.

I already feel like I’m running around like a crazy person, overwhelmed with all of the things I’m doing and have to do and want to do. Shoot, I told my co-editor Katie that I would write this for her at the beginning of April. And, well, here we are.

But I’ve seen my friends grow up and have kids, and they haven’t royally screwed it up. In fact, they’re doing a pretty darn good job of being dads.

The friend that hosted hot tub parties when we were home from college and facilitated me getting drunk for the first time? He’s got a cool kiddo running around.

The drummer in my high school garage rock band? He’s got a little drummer boy of his own.

The friend who I once watched double fist a half gallon of Bojangles’ sweet tea and a handle of whiskey while watching a basketball game? His beautiful daughter will get a little sister later this year.

If they can do it surely I can too, right? Right?!?

Here’s the thing about the Drop Tower. The wait at the top gives you a lot of time to think about what’s coming next and, sure, the prospect of the fall is terrifying — but it’s also exciting.

Then the drop comes so fast that you barely have time to think about what’s happening. It’s exhilarating. You yell or laugh or scream or some combination of the three. Before you know it, your feet touch the ground and you realize you never had anything to worry about.

And you actually had fun — so much fun that you want to get back in line and do it all over again.

So yeah, I’m terrified. But I’m also really excited to see Baby Inscoe. I can’t wait to dress him/her up in Carolina blue onesies and take him/her to breweries. (Yeah, that’s definitely happening.)

And I hope I can teach him/her a few things I’ve learned along the way, like to always make sure to use the bathroom before you get into the car.

Photo: Courtney Inscoe


  1. Maybe TMI about the 2 coke bottles, and of course the cuss word, but I am very proud to be your Mom and I cannot wait to see the great Dad you are about to become! You got this! I am not worried at all!

  2. Well, I’m scared to play the video right now because I’m at work so I’ll wait until “all the boys” leave for lunch and I’ll give it a look see then. This writing sounds and acts just like you…true to form. You will be a great DAD Corey, and as far as DD is concerned?? You’ll be smokin’ it!! Btw, great lil story! Gives your favorite aunt some insight into your thought process! You and Courtney will have a brewsky drinking, Carolina Tarheel screaming kinda kid…that’ll fit right it with the rest of us! No worries at all from me either. HAHAHA…LUVUMOST!

  3. My first child, now three, was born when I was 44. The second, two just this week, came along a mere 16 months later. As a dad I thought one child was hard; my wife and I are both full-time professionals. When we learned we were having a second child so soon after I thought, “Okay, so this will be twice as hard.” I was wrong. Two in diapers is exponentially harder than one! So, my first piece of advice is MAKE SURE you get the first one out of diapers before you even f**cking think about a second!!! HA!

    Anyway, you’ll get a ton of advice from all over the place. Listen to it all and discard most of it. You’ll learn as you go and you’ll make a bunch of mistakes, but it does get easier and you will improve. Not much consolation, though, I know.

    Anyway, so here’s my Top Ten List of Dad’s Newborn Advice:

    1) Support your wife at all times (even if that means going against what she thinks is right!).
    2) Get the child out of your bedroom and into the nursery asap. See #1, but remember she needs her sleep!
    3) Don’t take turns during the same night. If you do, you’ll both be exhausted every day. Alternate nights so at least one of you gets a good night sleep every other night.
    4) Go get the microwavable bottle bags from Medela right away and have enough bottles, nipples and rings on hand for at least a week. As chief bottle washer in my house this makes life MUCH easier.
    5) Get a diaper genie and get the best you can afford. Poop sausages are the way to go (you’ll understand when you tie off your first one).
    6) Get a car seat (or at least a base) for each vehicle you have.
    7) Children are tougher than you think. You’re not likely to break them.
    8) There’s no getting over the fear of fevers and choking. Be vigilant and work through it.
    9) Get a big roll of FROGTAPE DELICATE SURFACE PAINTER’S TAPE – YELLOW COLOR from the hardware store and some Sharpie’s. Daycare centers require everything to be labelled with a date and this stuff is great for that. Use the Sharpie to write the name and date for each day of the week, then cut them off the roll and stick ’em on the kitchen counter. Then you’re ready for the week and they are easily reusable for the name labels for a week or more.
    10) Do everything you can the night before to get ready for the next day. Don’t wait until the morning to do it, you’ll hate it.

    BONUS: Don’t forget to breath!

    Good luck!

  4. Someone said to me just yesterday…”raising kids you will have the longest days of your life…and the shortest years.” It goes by quick, enjoy every minute of it!

  5. As the drummer mentioned above, I can confirm with absolute certainty that you’ll be a fantastic dad. In my opinion, being terrified is actually a great strategy, intentional or not. Prior to little drummer being born, I set my expectations to “this is going to be a sleepless, poop-covered hell.” In reality, some of it lacks sleep, a lot of it involves errant poop, but none of it was as bad as my imagination had me believe. Sleepless, poop-covered heaven? Something like that.

  6. I loved your article. You and Courtney will do great with this little one. You will learn as you go. Learn to cherish the moments because they grow up way too fast. Wishing you two ( uhm …three of you) the very, very best as you become an awesome family. Love you!