e had our first baby this past June. I naively figured my son would be a quiet, independent guy who loves nothing more than long baths and a lot of sleep, just like his old man. Naturally, Baby Sol is more into screaming, not sleeping, and peeing at just the wrong moment. When we decided that I would be the primary caregiver while my wife continued to work full-time, I had romantic visions of keeping house: cultivating a tidy kitchen garden, planting a small backyard orchard, restoring an old Triumph Bonneville, writing about motorcycling with all the time in the world. Everyone said parenting would be time-consuming, but I figured if the baby was asleep I’d be free to get things done. He doesn’t sleep. I should have listened. My life is spent washing bottles and cleaning spit-up off the floors, off of myself, and off of Sol. I’ve measured out my day in dirty diapers. I’ve sacrificed every shred of self-respect as I baby-talk to keep Sol from crying. But when you’re a new parent, self-respect is different and hard-won. Just like on a motorcycle trip, expectations can serve as a compass. And, sometimes, you have to lose the compass in order to get your bearings.