Tag Archives: star wars

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


Life in The Last Minute

Sweet

Being Sucked in Until The Credits Roll 

How sweet is that moment when you get your last kid to bed and the last toy either cleaned up or kicked to the corner?  The great nightly sigh of relief that I sometimes feel should be accompanied by a roaring crowd or at least a steady golf clap for another one in the books, another job well done.  We love our kids but that nightly respite from activity is a calmness worth basking in.

Last night, after a long day at work with the kids down and the wife lost in her Kindle, I nestled into the friendly confines of my couch’s butt groove and took part in America’s true past time, channel surfing.  Flipping between the NBA playoffs and anything else that struck my fancy, I stumbled upon an old movie called U.S Marshals.  It is the kind of movie that is right in my wheelhouse of enjoyment and from the minute I heard Tommy Lee Jones say things like “zoom in on the man by the door” and “Ok, put it on the big screen and clean up the image”, I knew what I was doing with the next 45 minutes.  I never get to say stuff like “hold him on the line while we triangulate the cell tower and pinpoint his location”  in my line of work and getting to say that stuff is rad.

I enjoyed finishing the movie and thought about how awesome it is when you come across an old movie that you like.  When you catch it in the middle it doesn’t seem like such a time investment and the serendipitous nature of your discovery is rewarding.  There are some movies that I know  that no matter what point in the story it is in, I will be locked in until the credits.  My sure things are The Empire Strikes Back, You’ve Got Mail, and any action espionage flick that has a lot of courier font being typed up on the screen saying stuff like ” Langley, 15:00 hours.”  I have probably seen the last 10 minutes of You’ve Got Mail a hundred times.  I am waiting for the day my daughter asks “Why didn’t Kathleen Kelly just track Joe Fox’s IP address and then find him on Facebook or something?”  Wasn’t the innocent technology naiveté of the 90′s comfy?

There is no doubt about it, when you have a bit of free time and your channel flips to Luke landing in the Dagobah System, it is totally sweet.

Weak

Why Do Today What You Can Put Off Until The Excruciating Last Second? 

The Problem with letting myself get absorbed into the thrilling plot twists of a movie like “Sharktopus” is that more often than not, my free time is really just a byproduct of my own laziness and denial.  I have a tendency to push responsibility to the back burner sometimes in the name of enjoyment and gratification.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I once started a science fair project during third period of the day that it was due.  In college I would often pull all nighters or sometimes even decide I wanted to sleep and set my alarm for 3:30 in the morning to get up and start writing a paper that was due in 5 hours.  I guess some people base jump or rock climb, but for me, the most intense adrenaline boosts seem to come when a deadline is on the horizon and rapidly approaching.

I get that this isn’t the best way to operate and the longer you wait to complete a task increases the odds for failure.  I am not sure if I missed a page in the “being a grownup” handbook but the whole concept of getting something done early so you don’t have to stress about it has never really taken hold.  I can absolutely see the benefits of doing stuff early but I think that I have convinced myself that the stress and sometimes panic fuels me to create my best work.  (That sounds like even more of a cop-out now that I have written it.)

I need to improve in that area of my life and my first step is probably addressing my general organizational skills which sadly, still look pretty much like the bottom of my tenth grade locker.

Writing this blog has been fun and I would love to continue by trying to think of more almost funny material or recycle old jokes that I haven’t put here yet but I have a huge proposal that I have known about for a month and it really needs to be finished by the close of business today.  Guess it is time to get started.  The last-minute may be exciting but waiting that long all of the time 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.


Some People Don’t Have to Search for Their Inner Child

Sweet

via wookieepedia

Being a Kid at any Age

I will be 34 years old later this month.  Perception of that age lies solely in the beholder as I am still a spring chicken to many and old man river to others.  I don’t have any issue with getting older and have been sporting that distinguished salt and pepper look for close to a decade now.  One of the reasons I don’t worry about getting older is because by now I have realized that there is a part of me that remains a perpetual child.  I do my fair share of grownup stuff like pay bills and taxes and schedule parent teacher conferences but even in a deep-sea of responsibility I cannot escape certain Peter Pan type tendencies.  I don’t do these things as a concerted effort to “stay young at heart” but I know that they probably help.  Here are some of the ways my inner child escapes no matter how old I get.

  • If I stop at the grocery store on my way home from work I still get the kid cart with the race car because, hello? race car!
  • Though not often down south, if I am ever driving and it starts to snow, I pretend I am taking the Millennium Falcon into hyper-space.
  • The only downside to two daughters is toy shopping, that’s OK though, I bought a suction cup dart blow gun last week that is suuweet!
  • BOO! If given the chance, I will always lurk in the shadows so I can scare you when you walk in.  Then you will slightly pee yourself and I will crack up.
  • Race Ya.  To the mailbox, folding laundry, cleaning up toys, I am always up for a good race.
  • Chasing the ice cream truck.  This is way less embarrassing now that I have kids with me but one day I will be frantically searching for loose change in my room at the home when I hear that thing rolling up the street.
  • Licking the spoon. (no explanation needed)

I could go on and on because to be honest I still probably do more kid things than grown up things but I will start the list with these and let you add your tips on staying young and feeding your inner kiddo.  I once had a dream I was licking frosting off of the mixing spoon when I heard the ice cream truck coming down the street, I looked at my wife and she said “race ya” and it was totally sweet.

How do you keep from growing up?

 

Weak

I didn’t Know That was There Until it Hurt So Bad 

via someecards

Man, I am getting old.  I know this because after working in the yard all day yesterday it hurts to type.  Yeah you read that right, my hands are sore.  As much as I may be a perpetual kid inside, there is no mistaking the fact that the new car smell has worn off and some of the features of this thing don’t work like they used to.  I often joke about the 20-year-old me shaking his head in disappointment if he heard some of the things I say or think today.  For example, I now place real value on something called a good night’s sleep.  There is no escaping it, somewhere inside of me is a cardigan sweater, the faint smell of Ben Gay and the desire to cut out things from the newspaper.  I hold that person at bay the best I can but here are some of the things that remind me that I am no spring chicken any more.

  • When people come over I want them to take off their shoes and stand on our new memory foam bath mats.
  • I researched toothbrushes online and read reviews.
  • I know better than eating too many cucumbers.  Ever get indigestion when you were 22?  didn’t think so.
  •  I know that if I took acetaminophen 3 hours ago and my back still hurts, it is OK to take ibuprofen now.
  • I know the names of different kinds of medicine.
  • Food guilt. (Like standing over the sink inhaling leftovers at 11:45 at night and not being able to look in the mirror later.)
  • WebMD isn’t just for finding gross pictures anymore.
  • I walk down the cereal aisle and think “it can’t taste that different and 43 cents can really add up.”
  • Having a birthday coming up makes me think about getting older instead of hoping I get a 4 wheeler.

Sadly, I can probably fill this list out faster than the first one.  What are some things that remind you that you are getting older?  Realizing it would probably be a good idea to invest in a pair of work gloves is totally weak.


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