The Man That Rocks The Cradle

It feels like its been a year since my last blog post. It has been a year since I last punched a clock. It was this week in 2014 that I officially became a stay-at-home Dad. For the past year I’ve lived primarily in sweatpants and cargo shorts. I usually shower well after midday, and rarely shave more than twice a month. While this may sound like a slacker’s wet dream it is far more work than it seems. It took a long time to get used to what turned out to be a pretty extreme lifestyle adjustment.

When I talk to older men I am often asked, “Do you change diapers?” Are there fathers out there that don’t? In my head I have a quick-witted response along the lines of, “Faster than a pit crew changes tires” or “I wipe Donny’s butt cleaner than a fat kid licks his plate!” But what comes out is usually a hushed and nervous sounding, “Me? Oh yeah, it’s no big deal.” I hate that question because the one that usually follows is, “What do you do for work?” or “How’s the job going?” When I tell them that I stay home it comes out sounding quiet, ashamed, and embarrassed. The only reason is because I, like so many, hold this misguided stigma about men who stay home and have the audacity to personally raise their children. “That’s women’s work!” “It’s unnatural!” Unnatural? Taking care of my kid??? Penguins do it, why can’t I? It took almost a full year to accept that I could be more to my family than a paycheck. That I could trade in my 40 hour work week for a 168 hour one. That I could strive to be the foundation of my family. That was then and this is now. I have finally embraced the role that life has led me to. I have found the self-worth that initially escaped me. That sounds silly to me, now. My old job sucked! I had somehow brainwashed myself into thinking it was better than the amazing opportunity MM had given me. The work I do today will actually have an impact on someone’s life. The work I do now has a chance to change the world! For better or for worse. I have a kid and I get to raise him MY way. The control freak in me loves that.

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Mommy Moneybags(MM) has on numerous occasions said to me, “I don’t know how you do it. I don’t think I could.” And she’s right, I don’t think she could do what I do. The level of patience and sanity needed is inhuman. I can barely do it. I’m constantly exhausted and hungry. Repeatedly hauling 30lbs of squirming screaming baby up the stairs while trying to ignore the thick scent of urine and poop. Then dragging the remaining 28lbs of a slapping kicking child back down the stairs in hopes that he’ll sit still long enough for Dad to add three sentences to his blog.

The house is usually a mine field of rubber balls, Blu-ray discs, and razor-sharp Lego’s. Spending my days in an obstacle course, snacking on cheez-its, and being bombarded by a toxic scent doesn’t always leave me at my sharpest. Slip ups happen all the time. If MM only knew some of the things that have gone down without her knowledge. For instance, Donny rolled off of our bed when he was just a baby…twice…and once off the futon! It feels good to get that off my chest. While I’m at it, he also fell down the stairs. (If you never hear from me again MM should be your prime suspect.) Sometimes when Donny is running through the house and falls I simply let him lay there and cry. Not all the time but there are moments when I wait for him to get up, dust himself off, and calm himself down without Daddy’s help.

That’s what I really enjoy about being a stay-at-home Dad. Parenting MY way. Our days consist of less PBS, more ESPN. Less soothing nurture, more ill-advised adventures. Under my watch Donny will learn to pee standing up before most boys his age. I may be doing the work that is traditionally performed by Mom, but I can’t ever be her. It’s simply not in my DNA. There is no such thing as Mr. Mom. Just a Dad and his son. A man and his boy.

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THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – Several male animal species take care of their young. Among them are the Red Fox, Barking Frog, Seahorse, Horned Owl, Homosapian, and of course the mighty Emperor Penguin.
  2. There are two sides to every story. As much as a role reversal this might be for me, its even more so for MM. And she’s performing beautifully in her role.
  3. Sports Minute – For the first time in my lifetime I am a proud fan of the best basketball team in the NBA. Go Dubs!

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the thirteenth Daddy Day By Day. I’ve picked up some new followers as of late which has been very exciting. Thank You. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Please click on one of the two “follow my blog” links on the right. For you mobile users the links are at the bottom of the page. Talk to you soon…

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Remember The Time

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I can’t believe it’s already been a year. The fastest, weirdest, and at times grossest year of my life; and quite possibly the best. Seriously its been a little gross. I’ve been licked, bit, sneezed on, pee’d on and poo’d on. MM may have gotten it the worst though, she was thrown up on…IN HER MOUTH! It happened right in front of me. She was playing with Donny on the bed, laughing and holding him above her and Donny literally spit up into her open mouth. It was so FUNNY. To me. As we celebrate Donny surviving his first year of life I can’t help but reflect on all my discoveries about fatherhood. The following post are feelings shared on Facebook from the first week following the birth of our son.

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September 13, 2013

“Next time I think I’m the King of my castle, I will remember this day. I will remember my woman fighting through 22 hours of labor to bear our child. I will remember my wife completely giving up her body to bring my son into this world. I will remember my Queen not eating not drinking and eventually not being able to stand for more than two days in order to deliver our boy. And I will remember the tears in her eyes and guilt that she felt when she finally held her son hours later. Guilt because she felt she had not done enough. For real. Guilt because she felt she needed to do more. Wow. F$&%! Are you kidding me??? She is amazing! I am so lucky. [Donny] is so lucky. I may be the rock in our relationship but [MM] is the foundation that I humbly stand on. Thank you to all our friends and family for the INCREDIBLE amount of support you have shown us. However, my wife deserves all the credit. Congratulations baby! Or I guess I should say “Mommy.” After a grueling 40 hour day we finally get some rest. Much deserved rest for the woman I love so very much.”

A year later I do still remember that day. I remember how lost I was as I held him the first few times. He felt so fragile and breakable. I was way in over my head. I remember being so exhausted that I kept nodding off in the NICU while holding him in my arms. What if I would have dropped him?!?!? Talk about a “Don’t tell Mom” moment. MM is still amazing. She’s always been a great wife but now you can add Supermom to her resume. Our friends and family have continued to support us way beyond anything I could have imagined. It may only take a village but Donny has an entire country.

 

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September 18, 2013

“First night home was…ROUGH! What we have discovered about our son on his first day/night.

  1. He is a pooper. We know babies poop a lot but our son will poop, we’ll change him and within 15 minutes he will poop AGAIN (we had 5 poopy diapers in the middle of the night alone) then smile at us when he is being changed. He also has learned to shart, this was pretty funny.
  2. He also doesn’t like poopy diapers. He poops then cries immediately to be changed.
  3. He apparently only likes to sleep for 15-20 minutes at a time between the hours of 9PM-7:45Am (yes, we’ve been up all night).
  4. When he is over eating he purses his lips and will not let anything inside.
  5. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HE HAS TAUGHT US…A PACIFIER IS OUR BEST FRIEND

Donny you are truly a precious gift to us. But please, we beg you, go easy on us today. Mommy and Daddy are so tired.”

Rough doesn’t begin to describe that first night home. Even the dogs were stressed out. Our big dog paced all night. Donny still poops a lot. This is usually where I give you the bright side or a funny antidote. There is none. Baby poop is never fun.

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September 25, 2013

“This last week and a half has truly been a beautiful adventure that one can never prepare for. I am so in love with my son and have fallen even more in love with my husband. What we have created is such a precious gift of pure joy that being beyond tired doesn’t even phase me, well maybe just my memory. Mom, we are sad to see you head back home but we are so happy and thankful to have had you here as we adjust to parenthood. We love you!”

What a week. What a year. For those first few weeks I’m not sure I really liked my son. I felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility for him but to be completely honest, I didn’t know him. He was a very needy stranger that suddenly moved into my home. He always seemed mad at me. He yelled at me when he was hungry. He yelled at me when he used the bathroom. He even yelled at me because I was me and not his Mommy. Then one day something magical happened. He smiled at me. Then he laughed. He grabbed onto my finger and held it so tightly, like he was trying to tell me something. Like he was trying to say, “don’t ever leave me.” The evening of his birthday party Floyd Mayweather fought Marcos Miadana. A few of Donny’s Aunts and Uncles stayed after the party to watch the fight on pay per view. MM and I couldn’t stand the thought of cooking that evening so we ordered Chinese food that MM had to pick up. It took much longer than anticipated so right in the middle of the fight I had to prepare Donny for bed, alone. Got to stay on schedule. Downstairs there was shouting, laughter, and ooohs and ahhhs. I had been looking forward to watching this fight all afternoon. Instead I was upstairs in the bathroom with my boy. Just the two of us. I was exactly where I belonged. Where I really wanted to be. We laughed and played. I poured water over his back and he returned fire by flapping his arms in the bath water until I was wearing it. After his third attempt to eat the bubbles I finally decided to pull him out to dry off. I wrapped him in a towel and held him on my lap. I hugged him as long as he let me. I like him now. He’s not a stranger anymore. He’s my boy. He’s MY son. I love him more than I love myself. Happy Birthday kid. I’m so glad this is just the beginning.

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THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – Not everything my wife does is for Donny. He may be the main focus or the guest of honor but sometimes she plans things around him for herself. And that’s great. If she is going to dedicate her entire life to our son and to me,  then I want her to enjoy every second of it.
  2. It’s been a month since my last post. I could list all the reasons/ excuses why it’s taken me so long but instead I’ll just say thank you. Thank you to you for not un-following me in that time and thank you to my sister Skege for bugging me to post a new blog entry.
  3. Sports Minute – Raiders and A’s…dude…what more can I say. It’s going to be a long winter.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the seventh edition of Daddy Day By Day. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Please click on one of the two “follow my blog” links on the right. For you mobile users the links are at the bottom of the page. Talk to you soon…

Hail To The Thief

I snapped today. I completely lost control. My blood pressure was through the roof and before I could get ahold of myself my hands were firmly placed on the shoulders of a 18 month old. My teeth were clenched and my eyes were like dark daggers piercing into his young soul. The child’s father applied a chokehold around my neck as the baby gym workers all crowded around imploring me, begging me to release the little boy.

Maybe I should start at the beginning.

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The new trendy way to separate parents from their hard-earned money are kiddie gyms. This place in-particular is called, My Gym. My 10 month old has a personal trainer. They have fitness classes for children as young as 6 weeks. 6 weeks! Ludicrous if you ask me. At that age Donny’s neck was still weak and floppy like a bobblehead doll. Yet there I was sitting on their soft new carpet watching my son cling to a squishy blue ball for dear life. Around us, there were four or five other children. All but one was older than Donny. They were running, screaming, climbing walls, and just having fun. Donny stared at them, surely wondering what fun it must be to be a big kid. The cool kind of big kid. Not the one with back pain and a mortgage. Then one of them approached. He ran at us actually. As he quickly closed in on us my heart rate picked up, I started to fidget. Even tremble a little with excitement. This was going to be Donny’s first friend. I started daydreaming of them playing little league baseball together. Chasing down the ice cream truck on their bikes. Posing for pictures with their prom dates on the front lawn in front of a gray-haired Mommy Moneybags(MM) and myself. When the little boy reached us he extended his hand to Donny. “What a nice boy,” I thought. “So well-mannered and…HEY!” He just stole the ball from my son! And now he’s running away! Donny and I sat there stunned. Donny stared at me waiting for me to do something. I’m Daddy. I’m suppose to be all-powerful. My innocent and misinformed son sees me as the king of the world. Someone had just stolen something from the prince. I had two options. 1. Get him another ball. Probably an inferior ball. Not as soft and blue. It had to be a blue ball to match his eyes. He’s a flirt like that. Or 2. March over there and crudely snatch the blue ball back. From a 18 month old, or maybe he was 2. Heck, maybe he was 3. I can’t tell these days because Donny is so much bigger than most 10 month olds. Before I could figure out what to do the boys parents returned with the blue ball, an apology, and that boy dragging his feet behind them. I accepted the apology and Donny was happy once again. Minutes later that boy returned. This time it was a sneak attack from behind. He crept up out of nowhere. Quickly flying around my shoulder and plopping down in front of Donny. He snatched the blue ball again. “You little motherf…” I thought. But this time his parents descended on him immediately. Reprimanding him and explaining that you can’t just take things from other people (looking at you, Putin). Once again Donny seemed content to just sit there with his blue ball. The other child ran around with an orange one. Both kids seemed satisfied with their current toys so I began to daydream again, this time about lunch. A salad? In-N-Out? I was so deep into my thoughts of an midafternoon stack of pancakes that I never saw that boy approaching. He snuck up slow and quiet, like a thieving little samurai. The orange ball still in hand. Optimistically I thought he had come over to propose a trade. A chance for me to teach Donny a quick lesson on bartering. That was not the case. One ball wasn’t enough for the child. He wanted to horde. As he grasped onto the blue ball that Donny held onto so tightly, I snapped. So here we are, my hands firmly shaking this bully’s shoulders, his father’s arms around my neck, the trainers pleading with me to release the poor child. Everything started to go black as my brain struggled for oxygen. All I could hear was, “BILLY NO”. My extreme hunger combined with general fatherhood exhaustion had my mind playin` tricks on me. In reality, as soon as Billy touched the blue ball his mother and father we’re on each side of him to correct his behavior. Confrontation averted. It was time to go and get something to eat.

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I think I’ve said this before, my goal as a father is to raise a child that is happy. I’m also trying to raise Donny to be a positive influence on his environment and the world as a whole. No one person is too small. But I wonder if there is such a thing as a bad seed? A born problem child? Or is it all on the parents and the decisions they make while raising the child. The easy answer is yes. However, I’m learning that there is no such thing as “easy” when it comes to raising a child. And I’m only at the baby stage! I think Billy’s parents are great. They allow him to roam and be a kid but are quick to correct and guide him every time he does something they don’t approve of. Uncle Ben once told Peter Parker,

“With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Donny is a big kid. He’ll probably be bigger then most kids his age. If I don’t lead him in the right way he could develop bully tendencies. And under the right circumstances, that could be bad for everyone…still looking at you, Putin.

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THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – I have no idea how to react to the behavior of other people’s children. When Billy first took the ball away from my son I really was at a bit of a loss. How do you discipline a stranger’s child? Can you? You can’t just allow other people’s kids to take things away from your child without consequence. What if the other parent gets mad at your reaction because they see their child as perfect? Do you argue and fight? In front of your kid??? AUGHH. This parenting thing is getting more complicated everyday.
  2. The response off of my previous blog post has been overwhelmingly positive. I would just like to say THANK YOU. Thank you to all of you for the encouragement. When I decided to start blogging I didn’t anticipate how exposed it would make me feel. More and more I feel encouraged to open up even further.
  3. Sports Minute – I should just start calling this the Raiders minute until January. First preseason game is in the books. The offense was just that, offensive. But the running backs looked good. Hopefully it was just first game jitters. Lots of new faces, lots of chemistry to build.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the sixth edition of Daddy Day By Day. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Please click on one of the two “follow my blog” links on the right. For you mobile users the links are at the bottom of the page. I promise to try to keep you entertained to the very best of my abilities. Talk to you soon…

Ebony & Ivory

IMG_3373                          “Is he yours?”

This question came from our new housekeeper. “Why is he so white?” That was posed to me by a coworker. “Can you believe this is his baby?” That beauty was uttered by a family member as she presented my son to her friend. This in small part has been my fatherhood experience. I’ve tried my very best not to let statements such as these bother me but how do you react when someone asks whether or not your son is yours? Or whether or not your wife is white? As if it matters. Or as if it is even a possibility that she couldn’t be. Look at the boy! As frustrating as it can be to navigate through these conversations I must remember to focus on the important things. The things I need to learn immediately to raise and protect my very awesome and pale child. Two things in particular stand out to me.

Sunscreen. I know nothing about sunscreen. What isle is it on at Walgreen’s? What’s the better brand, Copperstone or Banana Boat? What does SPF stand for? MM has continued our vegetarian cloth diapering hippie style child raising way by buying him vegan sunscreen. Seriously. It’s fragrance free, vegan, contains no gluten, soy, oat or dairy. Is that stuff usually in there?!? Sunscreen sounds delicious. It also does not contain any harmful chemicals as defined by the EWG. MM is smart and does her research so I’ll have to trust that this is good stuff. It better be for the ransom they charge. That 6 ounce bottle of sunshine repellent cost about as much money as it takes to run this blog. It’s so rich that when I put it on him he resembles a wet powdered donut. I’m probably putting too much on him but I can’t help it. I’m paranoid. I’ve never had to think about skin damage from the hot sun. As I discover more information I’m learning that I should be more mindful of it. According to the Skin Cancer foundation, in African American skin, melanin, provides a sun protection factor equivalent to 13.4 compared to 3.4 in white skin. 3.4? That’s almost nothing at all. Needless to say I worry about the sun damage to his skin far more than I’ve ever worried about mine.

IMG_4538       Another big difference between he and I is our hair.

Look at it. It’s like a second child. Totally wild and independent of the kid it rides on. When he was born it was long and flat. Easy to manage. As he has gotten older, long thick looping curls have emerged. His hair is starting to become the perfect blend of me and his mother’s hair. But now what? I’ve never had hair like his. I don’t know what to do. I’ve never had to deal with curls this long. Mine are nice and tight. Wavy on a good day. My hair does what it’s told. When I get a haircut my hair will obey me for at least 5 or 6 days with minimal maintenance. His hair is different every morning. It tangles and snags on the teeth of the comb. There’s a section in the back that refuses to lay down. Then there’s the issue of getting it cut. Where do I take him? We can’t go to my barber. My barber is highly skilled and trained in all the latest styles and techniques of fine Black male grooming. He is an artist. When Saturday rolls around he becomes Michelangelo and my head the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. But that’s my hair. What about Donny? Has my barber ever cut a loose curled brunette like my son. It might be equivalent to asking Larry the cable guy to read Tagalog. And don’t even get me started on style. When I was a kid I rocked a hightop fade. I couldn’t possibly shame him like that. Not in 2014.

Sunscreen, hair, Black G.I. Joe vs. White ones. Very small and insignificant things to figure out. To be honest I’m not that worried about it. What I really think about are the questions he will undoubtedly begin to ask. Questions about his own identity. “Why is Mommy white? Why is Daddy Black? Why are you `different`? What am I?” The truth is he’s neither. He’s human. He’s an individual. The only one of his kind. He’s a being with a brain, a heart, and emotions. Capable of deciding to be whatever or whoever he wants to be. The world will always try to categorize him and file him as a certain “type.” For no other reason than, that’s the way it’s always been. I always hoped that it would be my generation who would change that. However, some days I feel we have moved backwards. Perhaps his generation will finally be the one to remove all the labels and skin color bull– and see each other as what we truly are. People. All struggling and fighting to attain the same thing, happiness. If he must be labeled in some way that the world will understand then like his mother and father he is an American. In nationality and ethnicity. “Mixed” is the way you describe a cake. Not a beautiful baby boy with all the potential in the world.

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THREE THINGS:

  1.  Thing I learned today – Did you see it up there?!? Sun Protection Factor. SPF!
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  3. Sports Minute – FOOTBALL SEASON IS ALMOST HERE. I know its fake football but I still love the preseason. So much hope and enthusiasm. When you’re a Raiders fan hope is all you got. Time to get Donny a new set of Raiders pajamas.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the fifth edition of Daddy Day By Day. Already working on the next one; Donny’s first bully experience. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. And please follow my blog. I’d really appreciate it. Talk to you soon…

Shots! Shots! Shots!

Like any first time father I am completely in awe of my son. I think he’s good-looking, funny, and a very quick learner. One of his more impressive qualities is his ability to “chill”. To just “kick it”. It’s one of the qualities that made me fall in love with Mommy Moneybags(MM). But let’s be honest, he gets it from his daddy. He seems to adapt well to whatever environment he finds himself in. As long as it’s not his Aunt Skegee’s house. Donny likes to save his crying fits for the date nights that she babysits. Fortunately, she doesn’t seem to mind. His amazing adaptation skills were on full display when we took him to a bar. Before you judge, I didn’t know it was a bar at first. A good friend of mine was celebrating his birthday at a nice spot down by the beach. Just a few steps away from the sand. He knew I would have my son with me so I assumed he was inviting us to meet him at a classy respectable establishment. Where children were free to run and play while their parents smiled, drank tea, and paid limited attention to them. Like a Chuck E. Cheese’s or Target. My friend’s parents were even going to be there. Like everything else at a beach, parking was expensive and a pain. In the parking lot it was a struggle to dodge all the assorted beachbums. Surfers, dreadheads, and bikers were everywhere. One hippie after another continued to stagger out in front my car as I searched for a spot. When we finally made it to the restaurant I had no hesitation going inside. It looked like a restaurant. There were tables outside, people were eating, children were smiling, dogs were begging. Then we went inside. It was noisy, crowded, and had a huge bar in the middle with lots of obscure sounding beers on tap. What good restaurant doesn’t have these things? I quickly found my buddy with his parents and the conversation and laughter began. By the time MM realized that we were in fact in a bar it was too late to leave. I had already ordered a burger and had a cold beer in hand. I was commited. My first instinct was to leave. I thought Donny couldn’t possibly be enjoying himself here. But when I really stopped to see how he was responding everything seemed ok. It was a beautiful day, we were by the beach, and Donny had already adapted to the bar scene. MM and I took turns holding Donny while sharing a scrumptious black bean burger and beer. Naturally my boy was hamming it up. Flirting with every woman who walked by. Flashing his signature grin and staring with his pretty eyes that seem to charm everyone he meets. It was turning out to be a really nice afternoon. A relaxing sunday with friends. Plus I had an excellent little flirty charming…umm…buddy with me. MM would prefer I not think of him as a wingman. However, there was one misstep. As the noise level grew we decided to go ahead and retire to the beach. As I waited to pay and tip our polite and hardworking waiter MM decided to take Donny outside. That’s when he lost his cool. Like a drunken frat boy Donny reached out and grabbed the hair of the prettiest girl he saw. He yanked and wouldn’t let go. How could I have let this happen? How could I let so much time pass without teaching him the finer points of being a gentleman. At least the basics; Compliment her dress, be polite to her parents, never grab her hair. But it was too late. The deed was done. The only thing left to do was walk over and take one for the team. The impending open-handed slap across the face. As I started toward them I could see her turn around to confront her attacker. To stare into the eyes of this brute whose father had clearly failed to teach him any manners. She turned and peered deeply into his bright blue eyes while simultaneously slowly turning into mush. Seconds later it was all giggles and baby talk. She thought it was adorable! Man, this kid gets away with everything.

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When I reflect on that afternoon, I do think of all the life lessons there are to teach him. There are so many that I fear I’ll never have time to teach him all that I know. In this case, how to treat the opposite sex. I made plenty of mistakes when I was young. Mistakes that could have easily been prevented. Perhaps with guidance and knowledge as well as setting expectations for his behavior, he won’t make those same mistakes. We’ll start with the basics. When we are out we shall always hold the door and let MM enter first. We’ll introduce ourselves confidently with a smile and a handshake. And we will NEVER EVER freely yank on a woman’s hair.

THREE THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – There’s this growing opinion that double spacing after periods is incorrect and unnecessary. I’ve even heard it described as rude. But it’s what I’ve always been told. Sold to me as truth. I decided to try it for this post. It feels so wrong. Do any of you have an opinion on this rising controversy?
  2. MM and I never fight. Seriously we don’t. We didn’t decide not to ever fight, we just don’t. It’s pretty cool. However, there is something brewing. A possible rift between us…over apple juice. Lately the room has chilled whenever those two words are uttered. Maybe I’ll write about it in further detail.
  3. Sports Minute – I owe an apology to Jurgen Klinsmann and the US men’s soccer team. At times they played pretty good. There were some bad mistakes but overall I thought they looked good. They still only went 1-2-1 but it gives me hope for the future of US soccer.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the fourth edition of Daddy Day By Day. A very delayed post due to the World Cup. I have a serious sports addiction. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Talk to you soon…

My Chick Bad

Thursday started like any other day, but ended like no thursday before it. Taking the dog out at night is my job seven days a week. So when Mommy Moneybags(MM) randomly decided to relieve me of that duty Thursday night, I should have been suspicious. I was not. Maybe it was the wine, or maybe it was the merciless beating I was giving her in gin rummy. When I began to wonder what was taking her so long I heard our dog bark, then yelp, then whine. I jumped up from my seat and hurried to the door fist clenched and prepared to defend my woman. I was panicking a little. I always trust my dog to protect my family when I’m not around. He’s a 80 pound pit bull mix with the bark of a lion. Yes, I understand lions are cats but I’m trying to paint a picture here. He’s a wild animal. An untammed beast. Something or someone outside had reduced him to a squirrel. As soon as I reached the door a tall shadowy figure emerged. The first thing I noticed were his weapons. Numerous metallic canes tucked behind him in a bag. He also carried another bag that he dragged behind him on wheels. Similar to a rolling suitcase. Exactly like a rolling suitcase. It was a rolling suitcase. Then I saw his face. The evil smirking face of my best friend, Doc. At that point everything became a blur of shock and confusion. I stood there with my mouth open babbling trying to make sense of why he was at my front door at 10PM on a Thursday 500 miles from home. Before my brain could put together anything close to an intelligent sentence MM handed me an envelope. It was an early Father’s day card. Inside was a golf resort reservation confirmation. Tucked behind that was a golf reservation for Saturday, and behind that a reservation for Sunday. All for two.  MM and Doc were in cahoots! The following morning she sent us on our way with my favorite spirit and a smile. Happy (early) Father’s day indeed!

I keep asking her why she did this for me? Why is she so damn good to me? I would have been happy with a tie. A nice lunch. A pan of her moist delicious banana bread would have been sufficient. Her response has remained the same, “because you deserve it.” This is my wife. She’s smart, kind, she’s completely selfless.  The only one she seems more devoted to than me is our son. And she can bake a mean banana bread! My chick is bad! We may not have the most money, or toughest dogs, and certainly nothing resembling a cool active social life, but we have each other. I have her. I can’t imagine a life better than this one.

This past weekend I didn’t change Donny’s diapers. Not once, for three whole days. I didn’t mix up a bottle, I didn’t clean up a mess, and the only clothes I changed were my own. I did play golf, poorly. I also ate my food while it was hot, drove fast, and drank too much for three whole days. Last weekend I was not living the Dadlife. I was living the fun irresponsible life of my 20s. I imagine there’s some Dad out there reading this and wondering how this Dad could be so lucky. It’s actually really simple; marry the greatest wife in the world.

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THREE THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – Size doesn’t matter. Donny’s six tiny teeth feel like a full-grown piranha on my finger.
  2. MM likes to dump her sweaty gym bag out on the couch in the morning and leave it there. We were made for each other.
  3. Sports Minute – Heat in 7 but I don’t feel good about it.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the third and completely unplanned edition of Daddy Day By Day. I’ll try to have another one out for Father’s Day but it might be little late. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Talk to you soon…

Hi, My Name Is…

My boy is a genius! Seriously, he is a Albert Einstein, Galileo type genius. We bought the Fisher Price “Baby’s First Blocks” set. It’s basically a box with different shaped and colored blocks that fit through the appropriate shaped openings on the lid. So far he just does the basic baby stuff with it. Sticks to his favorites. Waves them in the air. Puts them in his mouth. However, the other day he did something remarkable. My wife (MM) and I sat on the floor with him and his blocks. As he banged away with them we took turns teaching him the colors of the blocks and pointing to the hole with the matching shape. Then it happened. He picked up the red triangle, looked at the holes, looked at the triangle, and gently placed the block through the correct triangle-shaped hole. He’s only 8 months. GENIUS! Doogie Howser has got nothing on Donny! My wife (MM) and I clapped and yelled and applauded. Right before I could get up and grab the champagne from the fridge he erupted. Shocked and frightened he screamed and lunged for his mommy. We’re starting to learn that babies don’t appreciate sudden loud and aggressive displays of affection. I can’t blame him. I don’t think I would care for huge people screaming and clapping at me every time I put my keys correctly into the door as opposed to my mouth. When I really think about it, me and my son are similar in a lot of ways. So, what better way to introduce myself, then through him.IMG_4028
More and more I’m beginning to realize that Donny is a chip off the old handsome block. For one, I’ve never been a big sleeper. Neither is my son. At the latest he’ll sleep in until 7:30. Let me repeat that. At the latest. On occasion he’s up at 6. I’ve always been a late to bed early to rise guy. In a good mood and ready to go at the crack of dawn. Which is working out great for this drastic lifestyle change called parenthood. My wife (MM) has never said anything but I’m sure she finds it slightly annoying. MM is the complete opposite. The poor woman hasn’t slept late in a year. She loves sleep. Cherishes it. She once slept through an entire 7 night Caribbean vacation. Practically. In my opinion.

Donny and I also don’t care for eating old dead animal carcasses. We’re fruit and veggie guys. A few weeks ago I made a delicious puree of chicken, carrot, and potato. He loved it initially but hasn’t cared for it since. Which is like me. I gave up meat 13 months ago. For no other reason than it didn’t taste good to me anymore, just like Donny. I thought after a little break I would go back but it never happened. 13 months later I realize I’ll never eat meat again. I feel better now then I’ve ever felt in my life. Over the past year I’ve developed a real passion for the health benefits of not eating other animals. As my best friend, Doc, has said “[I’ve] become one of those annoying militant vegetarians.” I think he’s right.

Donny is becoming a homebody. His body seldom actually leaves the home. Same as me. A few months after Donny was born, my wife, Mommy Moneybags(MM), decided the best caretaker for her child was right under her nose. Or shall we say right on top of oh nevermind. The point is that after countless dead-end jobs it was time for me to take on my greatest challenge. My first meaningful job. Watching and raising the most precious thing she’s ever held. Let that sink in. She choose me. It’s an honor. A privilege. I’ve never felt so much pressure in my life. I really can’t screw this one up. The great thing is I’m starting to discover that I’m actually pretty good at this. I can totally do this. And do it well. I can raise a child that’s smart, confident, healthy, and most importantly I can raise him to be a positive contributor to the world we all share. I can be the Michelangelo of fathers. And that’s exactly what I plan to do.

There’s more to that story about the blocks. Soon after Donny put the triangle-shaped block into the correct hole he grabbed the second triangle and attempted to bang and force it through the square hole. After a few unsuccessful tries he lost interest. So much for my genius. He then began searching for his favorite block. The blue circle. Seeing it trapped inside the box with the lid firmly placed on top I could see his face drop. Defeat began to well up under his eyes. I couldn’t stand seeing him this way. I began to move toward the box but before I could get close enough he put his hand out to me, open palmed, strong, and confident. Like Babe Ruth calling his shot.** He looked me right in the eye as if to say, “I got this.” Then like a crazed mix between Godzilla and King Kong he ripped off the yellow unattached lid that stood between him and his ultimate goal. He then threw it to floor and ROARED at it in a way that can only be described as the T-Rex from Jurassic Park mixed with Howard Dean’s campaign killing scream of ’04. He then stared at his prize. I could see the wheels turning. He was considering his options. He slowly placed both hands on the side of the exposed red box and threw it as far as he could! Blue and yellow and red and purple pieces flew in every direction. Every block was now available to him. They were free. Next he slowly crawled to the blue circle he originally sought and stuffed it into his mouth. Then it hit me… he IS a genius! He’s a liberator! He’s a freedom fighter!!!

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** He might have just been trying to steady himself. He’s still learning to balance the enormous size and weight of his head with the gravitational pull of the floor.

THREE THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – If I’m going to let my son play around on the bed with me…DO NOT fall asleep. I can’t elaborate. MM reads this.
  2. Being a stay-at-home dad gives me a lot of time to graze. Like a cow in an endless field of grass. It’s not always junk food but I’m constantly eating none the less. My son sees this. Daddy stuffing his face at all hours of the day. Am I setting a bad example? Should I start hiding a stash of vegetables, fruits, and cheez-its in the bathroom?
  3. Sports Minute – The World Cup is upon us! I will be glued to the television for the next 5 weeks. Not to watch the USA though. Sorry to inform you casual fans but we’re probably going 0-3 and out. Our preliminary group opponents include: Germany – one the best teams on the planet. Currently ranked #2 in the world. My pick to win it all. Portugal – always a strong team which just happens to have arguably the best player of this generation in his prime. Christiano Ronaldo. And he’s really good-looking. I’ll admit it. And last but certainly not least, Ghana – on paper they’re the US’s best chance for a win. Too bad Ghana has eliminated the USA from the past two World Cups. Sport that red white and blue while you can. I have a feeling we’ll be out in a hurry.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the second edition of Daddy Day By Day. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Talk to you soon…