Tag Archives: daughters

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.


Not Letting Us Put Princess High Heels on the Dog and Other Ways Dad Ruins Our Life

What do you mean I can't go to my sister's school performance dressed like this?

What do you mean I can’t go to my sister’s school performance dressed like this?

I have often joked that if Hollywood made a movie about my life, the actor that would play me would be whoever is best at walking around the house turning off lights and forgetting to put a new trash bag in the can.  It’s funny how paying an electric bill can turn you into your own father.  I used to always wonder what the big deal was during the summer when he would yell at us to SHUT THE DOOR!  Now any time a door is open for more than 4 seconds it just looks like a $10 bill waving goodbye.  So I get it dad.  It took me a while but I totally get it.

I also get that sometimes you need to let your kid help with a home repair project even if all you let them do is hold the flashlight and sigh when the space in the cabinet under the sink goes dim right as you get a grip on the part of the disposal you were working on just to see your kid shining the flashlight into their mouth to see if it will come out of their ears and nose.  Sometimes being a dad means you have to take your daughter into a public bathroom and answer questions about the urinal or suck it up and smile while you fork over $18 for a bag of popcorn at the circus.  Other times being a dad means you have to tell them no when they want to put lip stick on the dog or bring the fish with us to the grocery store, “can’t we just put them in a bag like when we brought them home from the pet store?”

For me, being a dad of daughters means that sometimes I have to ease out of my comfort zone and play “bad cop” even when they act like not letting them push the button on something just ruined their entire life.  It also means helping find missing shoes and honing my negotiation skills trying to talk my little one into putting down the magic marker.  It can be about explaining why you can’t just put down a Popsicle on the table because climbing onto the kitchen counter requires both hands and it can be about threatening to turn the car around and drive home when you are 4 hours into a drive to Disney World and back seat sibling rivalry has reached an apex.

Being a dad can be about cleaning up messes and saying no and checking prices of diapers on Amazon instead of perusing watercraft on boattrader.com.  Fatherhood can include all kinds of stuff that I could deem “weak” but guess what? Those kind of problems are like hardly having enough room on your bedroom floor to set up the GI Joe Aircraft carrier.  They pale in comparison and are blown away by the awesomeness of fatherhood.  The sweet always outweighs the weak.  The good guys always win.

Being a dad means you get to freak your wife out with stuff like this.

Being a dad means you get to freak your wife out with stuff like this.

You see, being a dad means getting to carry 40 lbs of unadulterated happiness on your shoulders while you feel her ice cream cone drip on your head. It means seeing the magic that only lives inside of a Christmas morning smile.  It means getting to be a hero, prince charming, and the guy that can make everything good again.

I’ve been a dad for 7 years and although I didn’t know it when I was a kid hoping to be a baseball player or an archaeologist (I spelled that on the first try by the way), this is what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Being a dad means seeing tears dry when you kiss a boo-boo and standing alone in the street yelling “you’re doing it! you’re doing it all by yourself! keep peddling!”  It means putting up a tent in the living room or making a pallet of blankets and watching an ordinary Friday turn into the greatest day ever.

I remember when I was a kid that no matter how bad I messed something up or how hard a task seemed, when dad came to help I knew it was going to work out.  Now I get to be that guy.  The one that in two little pairs of blue eyes, can do no wrong.  I know it may only be in the opinions of my kids but I’ve got to tell you, it feels pretty awesome to be awesome.  It can be a lot of work and the return on investment may not always translate on a spreadsheet but when the fruit of your labor is rewarded with smiles and cheers and “I love you daddy’s” there isn’t much this planet has to give that is any better.

I don’t do it right all of the time and agree that being a parent can be the hardest thing in the world sometimes but if I had any advice to share with other dad’s out there it would be to not rush past the pay off.  Realize that what you do not only matters but it shapes those little people who call you daddy and has a pretty huge impact on the kind of people that they will become. Don’t let fatherhood feel like nothing but a job.  Enjoy the pay-off of your labor. Smile with them, laugh with them, put a flashlight into your own mouth and see if it will shine out of your ears and nose.  Recognize in the moment that this is what it is about and don’t rush onto the next.  Take the time to make a snuggle sandwich and feel how they have the amazing ability to be the ones that make everything all right with you the same way you do for them.  Those moments can heal you just like your kisses on scraped knees.  Remember them, enjoy them, there is nothing sweeter.

Sure, go ahead and be the bad guy when you need to but remember, you’re not really going to turn the car around and drive all the way home so let those times be the ones you dwell in the least and then remember to slow down and enjoy the part where someone laughs at all of your jokes and somehow even an average guy like you is capable of magic.

Happy Father’s Day.

What can I say, I'm a pretty lucky guy. Doesn't get much sweeter than this.

What can I say, I’m a pretty lucky guy. Doesn’t get much sweeter than this.


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


A Handful of Spaghetti and Other Toddler Delicacies

Sweet

Well, At Least She is Eating 

I wonder how much it would cost to get a drain installed in our kitchen floor?  I could probably justify a couple of benefits of having one but the primary reason is that more often than not, our little one needs to be hosed off before leaving the table after a meal.  She is learning to use utensils and it is great to hear her gurgle out an “I got it!” as she bites down on a fork load of food.  Let’s be honest though, she might as well be eating soup with a slotted spoon.  Last night we had spaghetti and we are perfectly content with robbing our second of the cute picture of spaghetti all over her head and face.  We let it happen with our first and there are just some things that you learn from aren’t worth repeating.

She was bibbed up and things started well as she managed to keep some cut up noodles on her spoon.  Flash to 15 seconds later and she is downing sauced up pasta by the handful.  The horror recedes from her mother’s eyes as we both realize that she is in fact eating and we know that utensils and cleanup are only battles but nourishment is the war.  We try to help a bit but accept the mess she is making.  That is, until our united family front begins to crack in weakness.  Our well-behaved 5-year-old makes the mistake of laughing at the little one and one little chuckle is all the encouragement our little ham needs before she attempts her best spaghetti juggling routine and delights in the laughter of her sibling.  Before long she has her parents laughing as well and she is relishing her role as the star of the show.  We manage to get a few more bites down her hatch between giggles and then flip a coin to see who gets bath duty and who gets to clean up the dinner massacre.

I got kitchen cleanup and asked myself what  CSI’s David Caruso would do?  After taking my sunglasses on and off a few times and squinting my eyes to survey the damage I went to work.  A roll of paper towels later we were finished and our freshly bathed kids still had a case of the giggles.  It may have been an epic mess but at least she was eating and even if you have to navigate nostril peas and hair dipped in yogurt, knowing your kid is fed is sweet.

Weak

My Greatest Fear Has Become the Rogue Sippy Cup 

Is there anything worse?  You find a sippy-cup under the couch or behind the toy-box and your prayer begins.  Dear Heavenly Father, please show me your grace and mercy and let this cup be full of water, and if it has to be full of milk, please give me a sign so I can throw it away when my wife isn’t looking so I don’t have to wash a white festering clump of rot out of this thing.  In Jesus name, amen.  You may start and end your prayer differently or address it to someone or something else but there is no mistake that in that moment we all hope for some kind of divine intervention.  You try to remember the last time you saw the cup in the active rotation and what was in it but it is no use, the princesses and the Dora’s and Minnie Mouse’s all run together you don’t have a clue.  You walk to the sink and play a version of parenthood roulette as you twist open the lid and pray for the best.

I used to think that finding a forgotten sippy-cup was the worst thing possible, until last week when our little one upped the ante of horror and disgust.  She walked into the living room holding a sippy-cup that neither of us had just given to her.  My wife and I exchanged glances and like a scene from a movie both lunged as the word NOOOOOOOOOOOO bellowed out of each of us.  Diving to save our little one, I batted the cup from her hand but it was too late.  The sip of septic gross combined with the scare of having her dad punch a cup millimeters away from her face may very well result in a hefty therapy bill one day.  Not sure if this one had juice of milk in it but the sour odor was already escaping the nozzle and the fruit flies swarming around it made the decision to throw it away an easy one.  Contrary to any opinions that may be forming, we are not unfit parents and go through lots of wipes and elbow grease  trying to maintain a suitable living environment for our little mess machines.  Cleaning a house with little kids in it is like tossing buckets of water over the side of a sinking boat.  No matter how fast you go or how much headway you make, you are still taking on water.  Most messes are all in a day’s work and just part of the gig but the rogue sippy-cup is totally weak.


Drawing The Line at Painted Toesies

Sweet

Daddy’s Home! 

Hearing two little high-pitched voices squeal those words as I walk up the stairs makes it all worth it.  When people say there is something special about a daddy’s girl they are right.  Two beautiful little bundles of blue eyes and curls that I still can’t believe I had a part in creating.  Daughters have a way of stealing your heart in an instant and making you work for the rest of your life to ensure that they never give it back.

Having two daughters probably means two weddings and two first dates and that I will spend 2020 to 2028 with a daughter in high school.  Those things are daunting for sure but there is still a lot of time between now and then and it gets to be filled with giggles and tickles and dress up and tea parties.  I don’t bat an eye when given the opportunity to toss a pink feather boa over my shoulder and lift my pinkie for a spot of tea.  I try to keep them well-rounded with an occasional light saber battle but when having two daughters means wearing a tiara and competing in a beauty pageant,  I join in without question.

I do it because I love them in a way that I could have never understood before they were here.  I do it because their smiles and giggles feed my soul and also because Doc McStuffins is actually a pretty good show and I need to find out what happens even when they wander off and I am left watching it alone.   I have painted a bedroom purple, another bedroom pink, and then repainted the purple one pink.  I have a “wing” of our house adorned in pastel and fairy dust.  It may sound silly but even when I feel as if I may drown in a sea of pink and sparkle, nothing makes me feel more like “the man” like having two little girls who love their daddy.  You see, to them, I am the man.  When they seek protection or provision or even occasionally a prince charming or a knight in shining armor, their search ends with me.  There is magic in that.

When we found out our second was a girl I told my wife that I finally understood why God had made me so good with women.  She didn’t find it near as hilarious as I did but I like to think that He knew I would embrace the frilly and the sparkle and recognize how special girls are.

They really do grow up faster than you are prepared for and I love seeing them grow into themselves.  I get excited about the women they will become and realize how I get to be a part of that, a part of them.  There isn’t much that I wouldn’t do for those two girls.  To keep them safe or to just to see them smile.  I am a full contact dad of daughters but even I have my limit.  Though the begging seems to amplify, there will be no painting of daddy’s toesies and no lip stick.

Last night I held our youngest and rocked with her as she fell asleep.  At 19 months her feet now hit my legs and she seems to spill out of the lap that not too long ago enveloped her.  I listened to the rhythm of her breathing and soaked in the moment.  I sat there for a long time and hoped that this Sunday evening would root itself deep enough into my soul that I will still be able to find it 20 years from now.

Daughters are totally sweet.

Weak

Sometimes I Just Need More Lasers 

So yeah, I play with the girl toys because all of the emotional mumbo jumbo I just wrote about is true but sometimes dad just wants to blow stuff up.  I still want to play with their cozy critters, only I want to turn them into lunch for a hungry Jedi Knight that hunts them down.

When you play toys with your kids, it takes you back to your own childhood.  The thing is, when I was a kid, Star Wars, GI Joe, and The Dukes of Hazzard were my jam and I never had much use for Barbie, Polly Pocket, or Cabbage Patch Kids.  While nothing in the world can change my love for my girls, sometimes I just need to wander down the boy side of the toy section to see what kind of rocket packed monster killing super agents are lining the shelves today.

I loved my toys when I was a kid and sometimes it bums me out when I am putting stuff together on Christmas morning and realize none of this shizz came with a grappling hook.  My girls never like it when I make Barbie’s corvette careen off an embankment and crash into a twisted pile of flaming steel.  No one ever wants to make Strawberry Shortcake a secret agent or My Little Ponies Dinosaur snacks.

This is an area where my wife is truly awesome.  Last Christmas she gave me light sabers.  She knows that I won’t get to vicariously enjoy the girl’s fighter jets or transformers.  She also knows that I spent most Decembers as a kid with a Sears Wish Book in my lap drawing circle after circle around the greatest toy man has ever known.  The U.S.S. FLAGG G.I. Joe aircraft carrier complete with towing fuel vehicle, admiral’s launch, and working electronic sound system.  I might as well have been circling a picture of one of the Egyptian pyramids because there was no way I was getting either.  I remember seeing the aircraft carrier in a store and marveling that it seemed to take up the bottom shelf of the entire aisle.  I remember it was over $100.00 which might as well have been a million.  I coped with its elusiveness because it seemed like no one actually got the aircraft carrier.  That is, until one day you find yourself in Pete Mooney’s basement  taking in its glory firsthand and realizing it truly was the greatest thing you had ever seen.

I appreciate that my wife realizes that after time all of the sparkle starts to take a toll on old dad.  It is nice to pepper in the occasional sword fight or pirate scenario into play time because take it from me, your daughters think that having their American Girl Doll taken hostage by an evil doctor plotting to rule the world is totally weak.


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