Tag Archives: children

Crying Games

Sweet

Kissing Boo-boos 

This sticker sucks, where is the princess?

This sticker sucks, where is the princess?

My kids can go from adorable and well-behaved to faking an injury in the speed of being told no.  Injuries have always been spotlight grabbers and kids are smart.  We go through band aids like paper towels because let’s be honest, band aids are just princess stickers that come with sympathy and attention.  Could there be anything better to have for a toddler.  So yeah, I recognize that when I hear, “I NEED A BAND AID” it rarely is warranted and often the location of said boo-boo can mysteriously relocate in the time it takes to get the wrapper off of the sticker band-aid.  That’s because keeping tabs on the locale of imaginary injuries can be a tough job.

There is a real benefit to those little bumps and bruises though, both real and imaginary ones.  It gives me a chance to kiss something and make it better.  Even though my lips have no magical healing abilities, as long as I am dad and they are little, kisses get to be better than medicine because they make everything feel better. There is definitely some magic in that.  When we grow up tears usually have so much stress fueling them that kisses and hugs seem to lose their luster. I try to remember how lucky I am to be able to provide the kind of comfort that a parent gives their child and though some level of that will always remain, this is the time that it is really special.  For example, go find an adult that is crying and start to tickle them and see what happens.  One of the greatest things about being a parent is being able to make everything better in their eyes even on days that you can’t seem to get anything right in yours.  Seeing a tiny little smile begin to blossom out of a face puddle of tears is totally sweet.

 

Weak

There Will Be Tears 

I don't want crust on my sandwich!

I don’t want crust on my sandwich!

Speaking of face puddles, toddlers are crazy good at crying.  In their defense, if I was just beginning to learn and understand that I was a part of a whole big world instead of the whole big world being a part of me I may get a bit verklempt as well. I’m not suggesting that our little one isn’t still the boss of us in a lot of ways but she is starting to figure out that the whole baby thing where the world and everyone in it revolved around her was only temporary.  That is probably a tough pill to swallow and for the most part she is handling that kind of life changing realization rather gracefully but every now and then the reality slaps her cold in the face and she isn’t in the mood to deal with it.

She doesn’t know how to do a ton of stuff yet but for as far back as she can remember tears got results.  Granted back then she was crying because she needed a clean diaper and now the tears may be because butterflies won’t talk to her or her mean parents won’t let her mix Skittles with Cheerios and milk for breakfast.  When she was a baby the only reasons her cries weren’t tended to immediately was If they went unheard. Well, Captain Lung Capacity has no struggle with upping the volume  and if that doesn’t work, then the real exasperation begins to set in.  I’ve even had her suddenly stop mid sob to look up at me and say, “DADDY, I’M CRYING!”  Like anyone in our house or on our street didn’t hear her.  There should be a game show where parents of toddlers have to guess if the cries of a 2-year-old are the result of an appendage stuck in a piece of running farm machinery or if they got an orange Popsicle when they wanted a red one.

Toddler-hood is the gateway into a brave new world and I need to remind myself that it isn’t all roses and sunshine for them either.  I should also keep in mind that If I am going to call them a jerk under my breath I had better make sure it is way under my breath because the lady at the grocery store doesn’t understand but is happy to offer her parenting critique.  Like apparently suggesting that your kid  can use the tears streaming down her face to wash down the two more bites of carrots (that basically make up 79% of her entire lunch) you are begging her to eat is not good form.

I am lucky that these times are less and less frequent and love them no matter what causes the crying but when it is because they aren’t allowed to paint the TV, it is totally weak.


Let’s See What Every Public Restroom in Our Town Looks Like

Sweet

Big Girl Panties 

You're basically a horrible parent if you don't buy your kid's an ipotty, I mean how did anyone live before these were invented?

You’re basically a horrible parent if you don’t buy your kid’s an ipotty, I mean how did anyone live before these were invented?

I say the phrase “big girl panties” far more than I am comfortable with but my modicum of machismo is a small sacrifice in this rite of passage known as potty training.  We’ve traded in Minnie Mouse pull ups for Hello Kitty underwear and so far so good.

I shudder at the risk of writing some mundane blog post that reads like so many all too graphic status updates we have endured on Facebook about the trials and tribulations of dumping the diaper.  I refuse to chronicle the occasional set-back and focus on the fact that we are no longer forking over hard-earned cash for it to get peed on.

I think that we, as parents, are usually so happy to be passed the diaper changing stage that it doesn’t dawn on us for a while that it really is the conclusion of the baby stage.  There is no stopping them from growing up so we may as well appreciate that their maturation can provide a bit of a break for us as well.  As a dad of daughters I could live without the daily 3 minute decision process of is she in more of a My Little Pony mood or a Tinker Bell mood to gird her fanny with but getting your kid potty trained is totally sweet.

Weak

I need to go  

Seeing this is totally clutch.

Seeing this is totally clutch.

Here is the deal, 74% of the time you hear a child utter the phrase, ‘I need to go to the bathroom” what it really means is, “I want to see the bathroom.”  I won’t discredit my sentiments from above that your child being potty trained is a good thing but ugh, can we go one place in public without visiting the loo?  Since that is obviously not an option could we please limit our public wanderings to places that have a family restroom?  I don’t mind navigating the potential minefield of taking my daughter into the men’s room but I think we can all agree that the family restroom is pretty clutch.

We have been to the restroom in every store, restaurant, post office (haha, it isn’t 1987, we don’t go to the post office), park, doctor’s office, and gas station in at least a 8 mile radius of our home.  I don’t shy away from taking my girls to the restroom out in public but it ain’t all roses and sunshine people.  Here is just a sampling of some of the thoughts that have gone through my head while fake potty dancing our way to use the water closet:

  • Please don’t ask about the urinals, please don’t ask about the urinals.
  • Oh good, an automatic paper towel dispenser, guess we are coming back here 14 times in the next hour.
  • Good thing we don’t need a special license plate to use the handicapped stall.
  • LOOK AWAY!!!
  • Sure, I will hold you above the sink so you can get soap and wash your hands and splash water because it is important to form a healthy habit even though we both know you just sat there with your hands clasped while I did all of the dirty work.
  • Honey, unless you are ready for her to start watching rated R movies, it looks like its your turn and let’s hope the lady’s room is more G rated.
  • It’s a good thing this kid can’t read (this is mostly on a road trip emergency stop at a highway gas station)
  • I think I put that paper seat cover thing on backwards.
  • NOPE, too many dudes in here = too many potential questions.
  • I already know that this is a false alarm but this is not the type of thing you risk.

So, we visit them all and hope for the best.  At some point they will surely realize that none of them are really that special but I think I know what their angle is. It is the nemesis of parent’s taking their kid’s to the bathroom and the crown jewel of children’s restroom adventures.  The water fountain.  Man I hate public water fountains.  Just as you finish the whole restroom experience and think you are free, you exit the door and your child’s eyes light up with the desire for cool, bacteria laced, free, public refreshment.  Not only does that water fountain present one last obstacle / opportunity for you to be a meanie head, they remember that water fountain and you can bet your life the next time you visit the location, they will want to visit. No one wants their child to be in diapers forever but that doesn’t mean that taking your kid into a public restroom isn’t completely weak.


72 Band-Aids and Plenty of Apple Juice

 

Father Knows Best was an old TV show that I am old enough to know of but not really know about. It seemed fitting, this picture is from the Interwebs and belongs to the show. I guess.

Father Knows Best was an old TV show that I am old enough to know of but not really know about. It seemed fitting, this picture is from the Interwebs and belongs to the show. I guess.

*Stands up, clears throat* Hi, my name s Simon. I am a 35-year-old father of two and sometimes I would rather play Xbox than Polly Pocket or watch a show about pawn shops instead of giving them baths. *All together now* “HI SIMON” 

Horrible huh? I mean moms on Facebook are re-purposing tiny mason jars into sippy cups and spending 6 hours making rainbow cup cakes for their kid with two last name’s preschool class. Dads are coaching multiple sports teams and all work for companies that are happy to give them half the day off to go to their first grader’s Christmas party to stand around like overgrown wall flowers and watch their kids eat said cupcake. Babies are learning sign language and how to read and the other day I met a 5-year-old that knew what quinoa was.

The over-achieving appears to be at its zenith and it seems that all of the parents around me went to orientation or got the syllabus ahead of time and have a way better clue as to what they are doing.  I mean I hate to break it to you but some mornings I wake up and it takes me a few minutes to remember I’m not 15 and I am in charge of TWO HUMAN BEINGS.

Don’t worry though, the whole grown up secret is safe with me. While I may not fool other parents, my kids think I’ve got all the answers just like we thought about our parents when we were kids. One day I will be able to hand down this tradition of the human condition to my daughters and the cycle will continue.

“Wow Simon, that was quite the little rant, you must hate being a parent.”

Nope. Being a parent is one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me and guess what? It’s my favorite. I love my kids with all of my heart and I even think that sometimes I am a pretty good dad, maybe even most of the time.

I also know that it isn’t always easy and when you add being a parent to being a spouse, being a sibling, being an employee, being a son or daughter, and being an adult, sometimes you can forget what it feels like to be you.

The good news is, I think there is room to be all those things, be good at them, and still be you. I also think that if you can remember who you were when you were 15 and not be afraid to let it shine through in your other roles, it will make you better at them and the days more fun along the way.

I’m not going to lose who I am in an effort to be the best parent I can be. I’m going to share who I am with my kids and figure things out one day at a time. It may not always wind up looking like a photo on Pinterest but as long as I can keep them healthy, happy, learning, and laughing I think we will figure this thing out.

I hope to share some light-hearted stories and observations from a dad’s point of view of what it can be like raising the generation that doesn’t know what the roll down window gesture means and can’t drive to the grocery store without wanting to watch a movie.

I love them with all I’ve got even when they make me miss video games. As long as we have a fun-loving disposition, plenty of juice, and extra band-aids I think we will do just fine even when we do eat the occasional gluten and still aren’t positive that quinoa isn’t a city in Canada.


Kids Need a Healthy Diet

Sweet

Movie Night  1527087-popcorn-and-plate

I wish I got as excited about anything as much as my daughters get excited about the declaration of movie night in our house.  Now keep in mind at 6 and 2 years old they are not exactly film buffs but they are seasoned connoisseur of another component of movie night; snacks.  Specifically popcorn.  My kids will devour popcorn and for the toddler, it is the main attraction of movie night.

We are at a fun place right now when it comes to entertainment selections because the little one is old enough to follow along and enjoy a show or movie as long as it is on her level (mostly Caillou) and my older daughter is at the age where she feels like she needs to distance herself as far away as possible from any show or movie that she deems: for babies.  They are both aware of the others disdain for certain shows and have become quite the little antagonists.

That is where the movie snacks come in.  They are the common denominator and unite them even when their movie choices differ.  It is fun to watch them get so excited over something so small and though the snacks may not be the healthiest thing, the laughter and fun are things that are definitely good for them.

One of my favorite things about being a parent is that no matter what happens, you are always a pallet on the floor or a tent in the living room away from being a hero.

That is pretty sweet.

 

Weak

How ‘Bout a Bowl of Disappointment? my_child_will_not_eat (1)

My kid’s favorite thing to eat for breakfast on Saturday morning is whatever we are not having.  Seriously, the preparation of meals in our house has to be one of the most futile activities we take part in.

We are always trying to find balance between, “you can’t get up until you finish eating” and “just give her an apple sauce squeezy so she at least eats something and shuts her cry-hole.”

Sometimes I feel like it would be faster to just pinch her so she starts crying, toss a plate of food in the garbage, and squirt ketchup on the dog. Might as well at least make the ordeal only last a minute instead of 15.  It is important to us that they learn about different foods and don’t live on chicken nuggets and yogurt for the next few years.  We are finally getting better at utensils and manners but unfortunately, ours was part of the new generation that figures out how to work the settings on an ipad before using a spoon correctly.

We won’t give up and not every meal time is a bad one.  There are often times though, that I feel like the toddler should just tell the truth, “watching you clean up after dinner and scrape my hardly touched plate into the garbage is exhausting.  I want a snack!”

When you spend the time to create a good dinner for your family and it instantly becomes a plate of disappointment when set in front of your toddler, it is totally weak.

 


They Don’t Just Get Bigger, They Get Smarter Too.

Sweet

Innocent 

image via Precious Moments

As is chronicled in this blog (that as of Sept. 6 has now been cluttering up a corner of the internet for an entire year), I have some ladies in my life.  Three of them residing inside our humble abode (maybe more but its hard to tell with fish).  There is not a place in my house that I can go where I am not within arm’s reach of at least 3 ponytail holders.  That being said, they all seem to vanish when we needed to be out the door five minutes ago.  I wouldn’t trade being the only Y chromosome in  this house for the world but it can present some interesting challenges.  The hair and shoe wars have already begun and sometimes I can get caught in the cross-fire.  It isn’t that I don’t want to help.  I have offered to do the girl’s hair on a number of occasions but my beautiful wife prefers that they not look like hobo children.

They may be getting older and bigger, but they are still my little girls and dad’s have a way of seeing past the tantrum and fall sucker to their innocent requests.  It’s not that I always want to play the “good cop” but often it is the only role left.  Sadly, that isn’t because my wife likes to play “bad cop” but rather because I am predictable and my past performances of being a push over are already becoming evident.

I’m not saying I let the women in my house manipulate me, it’s just that most of the time, the women in my house manipulate me.  The sad thing is, right now they are too young to even mask their intentions.  I see right through them and still cave in.  For example, last week, our soon to be two-year old came up to me at bedtime and said “daddy, I lay in your big bed so you can snuggle me?”  I knew it was bed time, I knew the importance of her sleeping in her bed.  I also knew that one day I would wish with all my heart for her to say something like that, so I folded like a cheap suit and into my bed we went.

That is just one example of many and I feel bad for the future dudes in their lives.  Sorry guys, I was helpless against it too.  The thing is, the innocence in what they want and the smiles I can create with simple wish granting will probably be gone soon.  So for now, within reason, daddy caves in and most of the time when he does, it is totally sweet.

 

Weak

Diabolical 

I shouldn’t have to site this, but it’s Obi Wan from Star Wars. Duh.

I know what you were thinking reading that first part.  This guy is setting a bad precedent.  Discipline can be a slippery slope and if he can’t say no to them now, it will only get worse and their requests will only turn more demanding.  Don’t go and call child services just yet, I say no plenty.  The words no, and be careful, are probably spoken by me more often than any other, even if they do fall on deaf ears from time to time.

Most of the time the requests of my little angels are innocent and pure of heart but I can already sense a twinge of diabolical in each of them.  The little one knows how to tilt her head and give me that cutie pie face when all she really wants are fruit snacks, and the oldest knows how to say daaaady with just the right tone and inflection to get my attention before asking me to turn on the Disney channel.

I love my wife and my two daughters more than you can probably imagine but I recognize they outnumber me and it is important that a situation never arises where sides are chosen.  I can see them getting smarter.  I know that they pay attention and pick up on things that I may not even notice.  I am not suggesting that as women they are pre-wired to be resourceful and use highly developed tactics of manipulation to get the things that they want.  I am saying that from time to time I have been fooled and in hindsight realized that they knew exactly what they were doing and it was scary smart.  I know that it isn’t three against one and my wife recognizes it more often than I do and works to put a stop to it.  Without her, I may be in trouble.  She notices the subtlety that I am too obtuse to recognize.  She is the master.  In fact, that is worrisome in its own right.  If my girls are paying close enough attention, they will probably, one day, be able to execute ninja moves like the one that took place in my house this week:

Beautiful Wife: I was thinking we should have Thanksgiving at our house this year.  It has been a while and everyone had such a good time.  My mom still talks about that turkey you made.

Me: OK

(3 days later)

Beautiful Wife: We need a new dining room table.

Did anyone get the number of that bus that just hit me?  It was as if she waved her hand across my eyes and Jedi mind tricked me saying “these are not the droids you’re looking for.”  I’m not saying she is Yoda (because she hates short jokes) but you have to recognize skill when you see it.  I couldn’t be happier or more blessed to share my life with these three amazing women (and possibly above average fish).  I love them more than words but when you recognize that you’ve been Jedi mid tricked and the innocence has turned diabolical, it’s totally weak.

 

 

Note

I was skeptical when I wrote my first post over a year ago if I would be able to maintain something like this.  It has been an enjoying way to tap into a creative side that I let sit covered for too long.  This was my wife’s idea and I love her for seeing things in me that I don’t always see myself.  I have a pretty ordinary life when looked at from the outside but getting the pleasure of being in it with my 3 beautiful girls is as extraordinary as it gets from my vantage point. 

I truly appreciate you all that take time out of your day to wander by and read.  The posts may not be coming quite as consistently lately but I assure you that I am still around and have no plans of going anywhere.  Thank you all for helping make the last 12 months an awakening of sorts for me, you are the best.

-Simon


Thank God for Little Bags of Shut the Heck Up (Parenting with Fruit Snacks)

Sweet

Teach Them Well and Let Them Lead The Way  

I couldn’t agree more with those lyrics from the late Whitney Houston.  Creating a person is one of the greatest things of all.   As with anything though, eventually the new wears off.  Once all of the awe and splendor of creating human life finally begins to fade into the background you realize that there is a whole lot more to this thing than just keeping them alive long enough for them to be able to actually sleep with a pillow or blanket without risk of SIDS.  The fun part begins when they begin to walk and talk and are basically your very own DNA Play-Doh that you get to shape however you like.

At 20 months old, our youngest daughter is a lot like one of those smart phone apps you say something to and it repeats you in a cute funny voice.  She is learning new words and phrases everyday and it is obvious that no member of our family is passing up the chance to leave a few thumbprints in her molding process.  Last week while driving a squeaky little voice from the back seat piped up and said “WATCH IT DADDY!” followed by an eruption of giggles from her big sister.  Our oldest has come to the conclusion that teaching her little sister new phrases is the funniest thing ever, especially when they are phrases that she doesn’t have the guts to say out loud herself.  Her mom teaches her to say sweet things like “love the baby” and “I am one years old.”  It may not have been until last night though, as she wandered through the house yelling “BACON IS AWESOME” that I realized how sweet this new little game could be.

Yesterday I watched her drag the stool from the bathroom into her room and proceed to climb up onto her changing table and then climb back down.  This newly discovered talent also explains the bowl of apples in the kitchen full of mysterious little bite marks.  When you reach that point of realizing you did your job keeping them alive this long and now it is time to really turn them into someone cool, it is totally sweet.

Weak

Armed with Snacks 

Sometimes it is like watching Gizmo turn into a Gremlin.  From adorably cute to little monster in 3.6 seconds.  Most of the time we realize it is part of the gig and take it all in stride.  Other times the cries of our children have the ability to reduce us to begging pleading shadows of our former self.  Often, our transformation can be just as rapid as theirs.

Sunday morning I found myself trying to rationalize with my one year old, “Yes sweetie, your daddy is very handy but even he cannot fix a broken banana or put it back into the peal so please for the love of everything holy just stop crying.”  Yeah, it was like that.  There are times though, when the humane and sensitive options of soothing are exhausted, that parents are forced to go to the silver bullet in the battle against their little weretoddlers.  That’s right.  Fruit snacks.

They may be disgusting little gummy sugar wads but there is no doubt that they have been blessed by some great shaman or created by a wizard.  When readying ourselves for a day out in public with our little ones, I am often reminded of that scene in Rambo when he straps weapons onto his arms and legs and then rises tying the red band around his head.  Usually, I leave with pockets full of goldfish and Cheerios and emergency fruit snacks strapped to my ankle (stuffed in my sock).  I am locked and loaded and ready for battle the grocery store.  It may sound like taking the easy way out but I have found that sometimes, a stern tone or empty threat simply do not have enough fire power and the only way to shut their mouths is to give them something to chew.  Every now and then, I feel like just tearing the bag open with my teeth and lobbing them in her general direction like a little grenade of shut up.  The bonus with that tactic is that it takes extra time for her to wander around finding all of the gelatinous nubs of artificial flavor and strengthens her immune system since she will be eating from the floor.  Kids are one of the best things to ever happen to me but fruit snacks as a silencer is totally weak.


Twelve Dollar Popcorn

Sweet

Checking the Rule Book 

OK dad, you can’t step on the floor because it is lava but it is OK to step on the rug because it is magic and you can throw pillows on the ground and walk on them.  Also, you are the trapper…..wait, no.  I am the trapper and you are the tickler but you can’t tickle me if I have you trapped.  Ok, so I will hide this plastic Easter egg and you close your eyes and count to 1 million.  Then you have to find the egg but keep your eyes closed and I will tell you if you are hot or cold.  AND NO LEG TICKLING!  Also, you can’t tickle my armpits.  Only my tummy and I get to keep this pillow shield in front of me.  Wait hold on (runs to room and returns with crayons and paper)  first though, we need to make our badges.

If you are a parent this might sound familiar.  If you aren’t, think back really hard and you might remember playing this type of game when you were little.  I smiled last night as my oldest daughter took the rule making to the next level and almost got downright bossy about it.  I remembered being a kid expertly stacking smiles on top of joy on top of anticipation as I prepared for my next adventure.  Planning, setup, and rule making / explaining, often holding more fun than the game itself.

Floors made of lava and alligators are totally sweet.

Weak

Thanks for the Effort Dad 

image via pinterest

I can’t seem to turn around these days without hearing the latest feats of some crazed over-achieving supermom talking about carpool and soccer practice and the seven layer rainbow cupcakes they made last night for their kid’s entire school.  You know the ones, can’t have a 2 minute conversation without mentioning Pinterest and the 1001 things they can’t wait to do with mason jars.  I suspect that we are subjected to each detail of their crafting triumphs but always spared the detail of their failed attempts.

While I may not have a 12 course gourmet meal bubbling away in a crock pot at home, dads are out there trying to make an effort too.  Sometimes, we don’t always get it right the first time, but unlike our pinterest mom counterparts, we aren’t afraid to share the story of the not quite perfect moment.

A couple of weeks ago in an effort to create some dad magic of my own.  I bought my daughter a banana split.  To go.  I imagine there are moms that just read that and shuddered.  You should have seen my wife’s face as we walked back to the car where she and our napping little one waited.  Look, it came in a plastic thing and you should have seen my daughter light up when I said yes to her request.  Sometimes I am so blinded by the glory of the moment I fail to consider the details.  Halfway home the treat had been passed to mom and my daughter was complaining about how sticky she was.  By the time we got home there was a river of ice cream in my wife’s lap and every time the car turned it seemed like another levee broke and the mess amplified.  There were a couple of tears, a yell or two, finally some laughter and embarrassment.  In fact, upon arriving home, there was such a mess that clothes were removed in the garage and the once glorious treat that had been reduced to a sticky mess machine was tossed in the trash.  Seats were wiped down and chins and elbows cleaned off and then we had a Popsicle from the freezer.  Finally a recipe that didn’t come from Pinterest, too bad it turned out to be a recipe for disaster.

I am not saying that all of my efforts turn out this poorly.  I consider myself a bit of a veteran dad now and I don’t even wince at the twelve dollar popcorn they sell at the circus.  But man is it fun seeing new dads swallow that reality for the first time.  I know I probably should have made the banana split at home with all organic ingredients and served them up in re-purposed mason jars but I am pretty OK with how it turned out and not even afraid to share the story.

So  remember all you dads out there, sometimes the glory is worth getting blinded for and we appreciate the effort.  Also, here is a little free tip.  If you ever decide to surprise your kids and tell them you are taking them to Disney on Ice, you better get that “on ice” part out pretty quick.  That was totally weak.

(Note: After writing this and looking around the web for pictures, Pinterest had banana splits in mason jars, so much for it being a joke.  Unreal)


Some Like it Cold

Sweet

Leftovers for Breakfast.  FTW! 

Dear cold Soy saucy broccoli, how I love thee first thing in the morning eating you standing up in front of an open refrigerator without any pants on.  You know, in immediate retrospect, I think that the no pants thing might have been taking it a bit too far.  That being said, when I am concerned that my words haven’t quite hit the comedic tone I was seeking, I find adding something about no pants to the end never hurts.

I don’t want this post to take anything away from traditional breakfast foods and as a southerner, I  hold things like biscuits and grits close to my heart.  While an organized planned out breakfast is a thing of beauty, there are few things that this world has to offer sweeter than eating cold leftovers for breakfast standing in front of the refrigerator.  I guess you could go to the trouble of putting that pizza on a plate and sitting at the table but it is 7:30 in the morning, what am I some kind of weirdo?  When you eat it standing in front of the fridge it is kinda like it didn’t really count.

Last week we had some people over for dinner and my neighbor was kind enough to leave the spinach dip she made.  I thought about texting her first thing the next morning to tell her she had already made my day but didn’t want to sound like some kind of freak.  That cold spinach dip was the best thing I had eaten for breakfast in a long time.  Let it be known that she left crackers as well and I didn’t just eat dip with a spoon like some kind of animal. Cold Spinach dip was a nice start to a non-traditional breakfast weekend.  Sunday morning brought along another favorite but rarer treat.  The candy breakfast.  For the most part on Easter and Christmas morning I can trust that the first food I am eating  is chocolate.  Pretty awesome to proudly have peanut butter cups for breakfast with no fear of being judged, heck, you can even post a picture of your half eaten bunny on the internet and people will think you are some kind of hero.  To be honest though, there is one minor drawback to your breakfast coming wrapped in tiny pieces of foil.  It pretty much insures your metabolism and energy level for the day will be akin to a bottle rocket.  Lots of blast and fury out of the gate but just doesn’t quite last long enough to get the job done.  I couldn’t do it every day but twice a year candy breakfast is pretty sweet.

Weak

lobster pager (weak)

I love restaurants.  I worked in them for years and the whole idea of having servants to cook, clean, and bring me things  for me for about an hour has a certain appeal.  Lately though, I have been rethinking my approach.  You see we have a little one that is at that adorable age that she has decided she is too big for a high chair but she is still very capable of needing stitches at any minute.

We were at the beach last week for some spring break fun and as many do, we washed the sand out of our nooks and crannies and headed out to become slaves to a little pager thing that beeps and lights up to tell us it is our turn at the trough.  For the most part, everything was great but every now and then a dining experience steadily spirals out of control and sucks the joy out of a night quicker than a Cajun with a crawfish.  We had one of those experiences last week.  Having been there myself, I have an incredible amount of empathy for the restaurant business but sometimes you have to take a stand.  It is probably one of the weakest of the weak but last week I had to pull out the big guns and do something that no one wants to do.  I asked to talk to a manager.  Pretty weak.


Hello There Resolution, I’ve Been Waiting for You

Sweet

Hello There Resolution, I’ve Been Waiting for you.

Weak

Extreme Measures  

It was Sunday evening and our sweet little 16 month old angel was being anything but angelic.  She seemed to be trying to make a statement to the family that this was her show and we were lucky just to have supporting roles.  She was cranky and whiny and just couldn’t get right.  She didn’t want to play and the only time she smiled was when she was taking something that she shouldn’t have and throwing it on the floor when we said no.

She may be the smallest member of this family but on Sunday night she was taking more than her fair share of the pie.  Our oldest just wanted to sit and color without prying crayons from her little sister’s mouth and the evening’s soundtrack of constant crying and bickering was putting everyone on edge.

With nerves starting to frazzle is was time for dad to step up and be the captain of the ship.  So, I walked into the bedroom, put on a pair of khakis, laced up my shoes and decided to make a stand.  This kid needed something that we apparently weren’t able to give her so I got her dressed and we headed to church.  Sometimes it is in our darkest hour that we turn to God for help.

Luckily the church is only 3 miles from the house so we made it just in time for the evening service to start.  I carried our little one and a bag filled with diapers and juice and Cheerios for her to sprinkle on the floor to the church nursery.  I checked her in, handed over her gear, and gave the nursery worker an apologetic nod.  I should have slipped her a 50.

Then, without looking back, I walked out to the car and drove home basking in the silence and hopeful that the preacher would be long-winded.   Sometimes parenting requires an outside of the box approach and the next 90 minutes of monster free peace was just what we needed.  I said a prayer of thanks to baby Jesus and gloated a bit at my stroke of genius.

This didn’t really happen but when your kid is bad enough that you contemplate extreme measures it is totally weak.


I Hope This Gas Station Sells Roses

Sweet

Free Kittens

Parenting is a pretty amazing adventure.  I have been a dad for almost 6 years now and somewhere along the trail of Cheerios, runny noses, and snuggle sandwiches I think I have managed to learn a few things.  I have a friend that is preparing to become a father.  He asked me, the other day, if I had any advice.  This is what I told him:

  • A sleeping baby that is starting to wake up is like an eclipse.  Whatever you do, do not look directly at it.
  • At some point you will be taking a shirt off your toddler and it will get stuck around their head because you forgot to unbutton the back.  For a split second you will consider yanking it the rest of the way.  You won’t because you aren’t a monster but you will question your value as a human being for even considering it.
  • One day your kid will learn to read.  Start working on your response to the “Free Kittens” sign now.
  • When your baby is in that “don’t you dare put me down” stage, the most fun way to cut up a frozen waffle is with a meat cleaver.
  • Realize now that anything your child brings with them to play with in the car has a 78% chance of never being seen again.  Ever.
  • When out alone with your baby in public you will think it is hilarious to ask another mom what flavor of Power Aid 9 month olds like the best when in front of a vending machine.  Your wife will not find this as funny but you should do it any way.
  • Unless you go all out with glitter and a poster board card, it is best not to mention that you sent a birthday message into the Sprout network.    The only fruit you will have to show for your labor is diminished DVR capacity and disappointment.

I told him that anything I didn’t cover in that list he could probably find in a book because that is where they put advice from people truly qualified to give it.  Being a parent is the best and passing along some pearls of wisdom you have picked up along the way is totally sweet.

Weak

The Last Minute Valentine 

Via Wikipedia

I wanted to go ahead and toss a friendly reminder out there to my fellow husbands.  Valentine’s Day is next week.  Now, when you are executing your poorly thought out romance action plan on the way home from work next week, don’t say I didn’t warn you.  If you do find yourself scrambling  at the last-minute, remember there is no time to launch an elaborate gesture of love and romance to your significant other.  Keep it simple.  Here are a few of my hopes for the last-minute valentine.

  • I Hope the gas station sells roses.
  • And not the kind that turn out to be rolled up red panties.  (Unless you are into gas station underwear.  If so, go nuts)
  • I hope you finish your heart-felt message in her card before the light turns green.
  • I hope you think of enough things to write in the card that you can draw a little arrow at the bottom signaling to the next page. ( I know as a dude when you see that little arrow you just think “great, more reading” but trust me, women love it.)
  •  I hope you remember that this isn’t your nephew’s graduation and putting a check for $20 inside the card won’t cut it.
  • I hope you remember to figure something out for dinner.  Don’t even try to find a last-minute babysitter and take her to a restaurant, that’s a suicide mission pal.  Just bring something home (from a place that doesn’t have a drive through).
  • I hope you aren’t one of those dudes with glazed over eyes standing in front of a mile long display in a card shop.  If you are, just get one of those long skinny cards (girls love those).
  • I hope you don’t, in an effort to save time, just grab a birthday card and scribble out the word birthday and write Valentine’s above it (girls don’t love those).
  • I hope you remember to tell her you love her and mean it.
  •  I hope she gives you a few chocolates free of the exploratory thumb poke on the bottom.

You don’t have to start planning now but just remember it is coming.  It may be a holiday manufactured by florists and card companies but she deserves to know you love her everyday, especially on Valentine’s Day.

It is hard to use the steering wheel as a writing surface for a Valentine’s Day card and waiting until the last-minute is totally weak.


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