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.
There Will Be Tears
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.
15 Comments | tags: babies, blogging, breakfast, butterflies, childhood, children, crying, daughters, family, food, funny, humor, kids, laughter, magic, paint, parenting, Random, rules, toddlers, TV | posted in Uncategorized
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.
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.
43 Comments | tags: babies, bacon, blogging, children, dining, food, grenade, humor, parenting, Play-Doh, rambo, Random, SIDS, toys | posted in Uncategorized
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.
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.
57 Comments | tags: babies, cleaning, CSI, daughters, dinner, fatherhood, food, humor, Jesus, Milk, o, parenthood, pasta, prayer, throwing up in your mouth a little, toddlers, toxic waste | posted in Uncategorized
Creating a Person
She was just a smidge bigger than a bag of sugar the first time I held her. I took her in my arms peered out the hospital window and showed her the sun rising above the Georgia pines. It was her very first sunrise on her very first day. The 364 days since then have been full of other firsts. Not just for her, but for her parents and her sister as well. We have grown as a family and gelled as a team. In many ways she is still the boss of this household with all of her “I need to eat and can’t feed myself” and “Change my diaper!” demands that refuse to neatly reside on the outsides of our sleep schedule. I told someone once that the predominant feeling when I became a dad was more. After becoming a father you still do a lot of the same things you did before but for me they just all seemed more. I guess a world-changing focus can have a way of accentuating even the most menial tasks. When our littlest one was born I felt that same moreness but there was also a feeling of togetherness that has only grown stronger over the last 12 months. I look back now and can’t imagine how things were before we all got to share in her joy and curiosity. She seems to not only complete our little family but also add hope and possibility that we hadn’t even considered. To say the least, I am smitten with this growing babbling toddling bundle of joy. Tonight I only stopped squeezing her because I was afraid she would break. She is one of my greatest accomplishments and even though I seem to have checked humor at the door in this post, I can already tell how much she loves to laugh, and that makes me swell inside. I am a lucky man and today I reflect and look forward celebrating a first birthday of a little person that we created. We made a person? How sweet is that?!?!
Having your car worked on
This post could write itself, as there are a litany of frustrations associated with having your car repaired. I join your dismay about having to dish over $350 to have my flux capacitor re-calibrated. Parts for said capacitor always seem to have to be ordered from somewhere far away like Hill Valley, CA leaving you with another bummer proposition: the loaner or rental car. If you haven’t needed to rent a car in a while you can rest assured that when you do a couple of things will happen. Fist of all, the key chain for your rental car will be like something they keep behind the counter at a gas station you would never want to stop at to use the restroom. Seriously, this thing can hardly fit in my pocket and I am fairly certain it doubles as a flotation device in case of emergency. In bold letters along this giant key-chain it says, replacement keys cost a bajillion dollars. I get what they are doing here but I would rather not have to carry one of those wheely briefcases just to hold my car keys. The second certainty when renting a car is that once you (or your spouse, probably your spouse) returns home you will realize that your garage door opener is still clipped to your visor at the repair shop. This is a minor trouble assuming that you still carry a key to your house with you at all times. Surely there aren’t people out there so irresponsible that they wouldn’t even carry a key to their own home. I mean, depending on your garage door opener as your only means for entering your abode is not very well thought out. What if the power is out or something? Luckily no one does that so forgetting your garage door opener is only a minor problem. No one is sitting in their driveway right now writing a blog post from their car. Getting your car worked on is totally weak. I hope my wife gets home soon, I really wanted to watch “The Sing Off.”
15 Comments | tags: babies, cars, family, humor, parenting, TV | posted in Uncategorized