Dear Mr. Lochte,
The problem with a pregnancy announcement is that it invites the public to blunder into what was moments before a secret known only to a co-conspirator. Advice pours in from all corners. Much of it will be framed as a question designed to raise doubts about oneself and give the inquirer a reason to talk about himself.
I know from experience. My wife conceived our first when we were 23. I was flooded with questions from those eager to share their wisdom: “Billy, are you sure you’re ready for this?” “Billy, do you know how expensive it is to raise children?” “Sir, can you please step out of the vehicle with your hands up?” etc., etc.
Don’t let the onslaught of advice cause you to second-guess yourself, Mr. Lochte. From everything I’ve seen from you—some clickbaity headlines, scandals, and a few clips from your short-lived reality show that are available for free on YouTube—you already have the tools necessary to raise a human being from infancy to Olympic and/or pornographic glory, depending on if your child follows in your footsteps or those of your fiancée. Don’t listen to the haters.
1. You Tell Outlandish Lies
You told USA Today that your family had some misgivings about your engagement to Kayla Rae Reid just 10 months after you sent her an Instagram message and just two months after you lied to your mother about getting held up at gunpoint.
“My family says, ‘Don’t you think it’s a little too soon?’ I’m like, ‘Can you put a time on love? Can you?’” Lochte told USA Today Sports. “When I realized this was ‘the one’ was when she stuck behind me through this…She doesn’t care about my fame.’’
Of course she doesn’t care about your fame. She stuck by you because you demonstrated one of the most noble and necessary traits of any parent: telling outlandish lies. When I was 14 my friends and I attempted to sneak out of the basement. As we tip-toed out the door I halted the procession. “Everyone put your shoes on. The garage floor is covered in poison.”
They laughed. My parents gave us these dire instructions so we wouldn’t catch a cold by stepping outside without shoes. Lying to children is one of the traits that allows our species to survive. Someday my daughter will get an F in biology because she says, “Seaweed is all that remains of little girls who go into the ocean without knowing how to swim,” and I’ll know I’ve done my job.
So of course she’s not with you for the fame. Your fiancée realized that you would remain monogamous because you couldn’t cover up an affair if your life depended on it, and that your children would not only believe that Rio gangsters shook you down at gunpoint but take it as gospel. Their lives may depend on it.
2. Your Baby Always Has a ‘Jumping Banana’ in His Head
You were widely mocked for your routine brain farts on “What Would Ryan Lochte Do” even after you explained that, “like all of a sudden, like, I have a jumping banana in my head, and I just stop and pause and I’m, like, ‘that damn jumping banana’s in my head.”
This is the exact mindset a father needs to succeed. You have to see everything from the baby’s point of view and react accordingly. To them, everything is a “damn jumping banana,” even their head, shoulders, knees, and toes. You needed three of those objects to set the world record in the 200 meter individual medley, so you can explain them easily. For the fourth there’s a handy song with lyrics published here.
3. Babies Are Bros
Every University of Florida athlete deserves to graduate with a minor in parenting. Infants wail through the night and puke, pee, and poop themselves just as much as your bros did back in the day. They just need a bit more neck support.
4. You’re Already Re-Thinking Drinking
You told Matt Lauer you were re-thinking your alcohol intake and late-night partying ways, which is perfect for raising children. Contrary to what most people think, quantity is not the main problem with Drinking While Dadding. Timing is.
Move your drinking to lunchtime instead of midnight, and you can sustain your existing habits and be sober enough by the time you get home that your wife will pretend she doesn’t notice. When she asks what you’re doing during lunch considering you’re unemployed, just tell her the meetings are to get your line of baby clothes off the ground.
5. Okay, One Piece of Advice
I cannot stress this enough, Ryan. Do not let that kid swim. “Jeah, no duh,” you’re probably saying to yourself, “I’ll get him a pool membership first.” Ryan, listen to me. That little thing in your wife’s stomach cannot swim. “Jeah, our IG photo is underwater, dummy.” Ryan, please, believe me when I say this: the pool floor is covered in baby poison.