Tag Archives: Pinterest

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.


Taking Off Your Training Wheels

Sweet

I Love You More Than Christmas 

image property of sweetandweak.com

You definitely didn’t come easy.  Or cheap for that matter.  One day when you are older, your mom and I will explain to you about the doctors visits and the treatments and why we still sometimes call you a miracle.  Tomorrow will mark six whole years that you have been in our life and six years that we have been clocked in for one of the best jobs life has to offer.

You were pretty tiny on that first day and none of the clothes we brought to the hospital even fit you.  Now you had one of the top cubby holes in kindergarten because you were one of the few that were tall enough to  reach it.  Preemie clothes and top shelf cubbies may be the physical bookends of your life right now but it seems like you are adding a new story everyday and I am so proud of what you already have in your collection.  If your life were a bookshelf, most of it would be empty shelves right now and when I think about the kind of little girl you are growing up to be, it makes me excited to have a front row seat as you fill it up with the stories of your life.

I took the training wheels off you bike on Memorial Day weekend and as I slowed down my jog and let go of your seat you peddled  away from me on your own, leaving me standing in the street full of pride and a lump in my throat.  I couldn’t help but think of that moment as a metaphor for the rest of your life.  As a parent, we can only take you so far in every experience until we have to let you go so you can fully experience the joy of being submersed into life with the realization that your floaties have been left behind and you are treading water on your own.

All of that may sound silly because you are still only 6 years old and the list of things you can do without us still pales in comparison to the list of things you need us for.  From this point forward though, only one of those lists can grow.  I cannot put into words the unabashed joy that you have brought into our life.  Six years ago, everything in my world became more because you were in it.

Right now you still probably think I am the coolest and funniest guy in the world but I know that won’t last forever.  I cherish it though, and even though my arms tire faster from picking you up and swinging you around, I want to keep doing it until your smiles diminish or my other rotator cuff tears, whichever comes first I guess.  If my hugs ever feel a bit tighter than normal sometimes it is because I am trying to get them to soak in extra deep.

I am so proud of the stories you have written so far and so excited about the chapters and volumes that you will get to add to your little life.  You are a smart and beautiful little girl and have that kind of personality that makes all of the places you wander to, better while you are there.  You love to laugh maybe more than anything and I know we will always share that as a special bond.  You make me proud to be your dad and excited for all of the experiences that life has on tap for us to share together.

I used to think I wanted to stop you from growing and keep you little forever but if I had been given one glimpse of who you are now, those feelings would have been replaced with the excitement of getting here.  I watch how you learn and respond to things around you and the love and protection you show for your family (especially your little sister) and I couldn’t be more proud.  You are putting your imprint on my life just as definitively as I am putting mine on yours.  In fact, thanks to you I would be willing to go toe to toe with anyone on “Good Luck Charlie” trivia.

These next several stories are going to be so much fun and I can’t wait to live them out together.  You still have a long way to go before leaving me behind with a lump in my throat is more than just a metaphor.  We are going to have a great time filling your pages with memories and I hope one day you look back and one of the best ones was the day you turned six years old.

I love you more than anything in the world, even Christmas.

Happy Birthday

**Writing an emotional and kinda sappy letter to your daughter and letting strangers read it and making someone tear up is totally sweet.

 

Weak

The Birthday Momatition 

image via Pinterest

I know that I am a pretty plugged in dad when it comes to parenting stuff but keep me out of the whole competition or momatition.  Not everyone is guilty by any means, but I see it on social media and recognize the subtle pressure that builds when you spend 5 days constructing a chocolate fountain out of Legos for your son’s birthday or hire a calligraphist to write the invitations on scrolled up pieces of birch bark because this year’s theme is “the camping party.”

We did a few birthdays at our house and while lots of time, effort, and money were put into them, we never got to the point of having a dump truck full of sand turn our backyard into a beach party.  That is because we aren’t crazy.  Our daughter, on the other hand, has only wanted to have her birthday at Chuck E. Cheese for about as long as she could talk.

While we haven’t been to germ-fest USA for a Chuck E. Cheese party yet, the whole birthday party somewhere that isn’t your house is the best idea ever.  I mean, there are still streamer remnants hanging from the unfinished ceiling of our garage from when our daughter turned 4.  Getting to leave all of that behind when you head home is awesome.

You may be a little put off that the goodie bags are actual bags instead of re-purposed mason jars and that the birthday cake came from a store and is probably choc-full of gluten (whatever that is) but the difference between the two types of parties really lies in the fact that the next day both kids are a year older but only one set of parents will spend the rest of the weekend cleaning up.

Using something as peasant like as the mail to deliver invitations and not creating our own wrapping paper with our handy stamp kit may not make us famous on Pinterest but not having to deal with the glue gun burns or the 27 trips to and from the craft store is a pretty good trade-off.  Kid’s birthday parties are awesome but when they get turned into a momatition it 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)


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