Gone Baby Gone

I drove out to the middle of the desert, stopped the car, and left my son.

…with his Aunt.

I wasn’t ready. When she first made the offer to babysit him for a few days I was a little hesitant. I didn’t know how he would respond to being away from home for so long. I always wonder if people can handle him. He’s like an unstoppable ball of energy with an engine that never stops. Eventually MM rightly convinced me to let go and allow us all a small break from each other. I made grand plans to party like the good ole days. Free and unattached with little regard for curfews or sobriety. I planned to golf all day and drink Cadillac margaritas every night. I envisioned staying up late with my wife watching movies and eating pizza straight out the box. I planned to pack up the house in preparation for our big move all while blasting my favorite albums with the curse words left in. Then the day came to drive him to the meeting place in the middle of nowhere halfway between our house and his aunt’s. When I woke up that morning there was a knot in my stomach. I felt sick and my mind was racing in all different directions. A feeling I am all too familiar with. An anxiety attack. As I drove through the mountains with my son in tow I desperately racked my brain searching for the source of my anxiety. Some stressful impending situation? No. Money problems? Not at all. Guilt? Nope. Then it hit me. I was heartbroken. I was giving my son away. The long drive felt like we were having our final long and drawn out conversation before we went our separate ways. It would only be for two nights, which I know makes me sound slightly pathetic, but this was the first time he would spend more than a night away from me. Far away where I couldn’t get to him the second I thought something was wrong. He would be independent of me. I felt this odd combination of fear and sadness and I had no idea how to make it stop. In the past, once I could narrow down the source of my anxiety it was easy to squash. But this was different. This was deeper. When I finally arrived at the meeting place everything happened so fast. The exchange was a blur without giving me a chance to think. My sister-in-law had beat me there and the minute I got out of the car she came at me with a million excited questions. She can be quite the chatterbox. Her own daughter was there with her children. One of which is very close to Donny in age and he was excited to see her. She practically taught him how to walk the day of his 1st birthday. He looked eager to learn some new tricks from her. I secured Donny’s car seat to Grace’s(MM’s sister) car while trying to keep him from wandering in the street and making sure I did not forget anything. I briefly spoke to Grace’s daughter while Donny eagerly hopped into the car seat and settled in his auntie’s car. I gave a few last instructions and made sure Donny didn’t have to potty before they hit the road. I was trying to do so much at one time that before I could catch my breath they were gone. It all happened so fast. I only remember telling him to listen to his Auntie and be a good boy. I don’t even think I kissed him goodbye. It felt like we had just arrived 30 seconds ago and now I was already on the dusty road trying to find my way back onto the interstate. I felt alone and empty. Not whole. When Grace drove off she not only took Donny away from me, she also took a piece of my heart with her.

When I finally arrived back at home I went straight to bed. My buddies were waiting for me at the golf course but I needed to lay down and collect myself first. I felt horrible. I could have stayed in that bed all day watching reruns of The Golden Girls and eating ice cream out of the container. After about a half an hour of cat videos with the curtains closed I came to my senses. This was silly. He was just going to be gone for a couple of nights. He was with people I trusted and with kids his age. It was like a slumber party. He was going to have fun. He was going to be fine. What was my problem?

I eventually made it to the golf course that afternoon. And again the next morning. It was great. I went running on my schedule and showered late in the afternoon. I met up with old friends and got a haircut. One of the nights I managed to get in a few margaritas. But nothing made me as happy as waking up the morning he would return to me. I was anxious again. This time it was a good anxious. I couldn’t wait to leave the house to get him. I arrived 30 minutes early to our same dusty meeting spot in the middle of nowhere. When Grace showed up I tried to play it cool but I was so excited I was shaking. When she lifted him out of the car seat and handed him over I kissed his face and squeezed him tightly to me. I literally felt whole again. I even brought him his favorite peanut butter crackers and a juice box for the ride home. As if I had to bribe him to restore his affections. Silly, I know.

IMG_8613

I’ve had my heart broken before and I’ll always remember what a friend told me then, “Don’t worry, it only hurts like this the first time.” I sure hope that’s true in this case as well. I know eventually his first day of school will come. Then summer camp, college, space travel, and marriage. But for now I’ll just focus on his next adventure without me, Grandma’s house. This weekend in fact. He and I will make the 400 mile drive up to my Mother’s house where I will leave him for 3 nights. I’ll be worried again. Mostly for her this time. He’s a wild child and my Mom is going need all the energy she’s got to keep up with him. I hope she has some back up in mind. Once I drop him off and begin to head back home, I wonder if the feeling of helplessness will shift. Not to Donny, but to my Mom. I wonder if a small piece of her heart will long for my safe return. I think I’m more sensitive and emotional than my mother, or maybe she’s just better at hiding it.

This whole parenthood thing is a trip. It’s so emotional and challenging. Sure it’s rewarding but it definitely comes at a cost. I think the whole left side of my head has begun to turn gray following these last two years. I can honestly say that Donny owns a piece of my heart. If you could break it into little pieces he at the very least owns a third. I can’t imagine having another kid. That would be insane. That would be two-thirds of my heart gone. Claimed. Owned. Who can live like that? It’s not physically possible. Right now I still have the two-thirds majority. Which is the only thing keeping me from crying into a bowl of fruity pebbles whenever he goes away.

THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – I love being a Dad. But it’s not the end all be all. I miss playing golf every week and staying up late at night. I miss hanging with my friends and traveling. I love my life and wouldn’t change anything about it. Parenthood is amazing. Having the freedom to do YOU is equally satisfying.
  2. Random Thing – I have had a pet turtle since I was 13 years old. This will be his 11th change in residence. Time to settle down and buy a house so he can relax and kick the bucket in comfort.
  3. Sports Thing – With 73 wins and a(soon to have) Championship… remember when I said that? I don’t feel so good anymore.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the twentieth 20 2-0 twenty-twen-twen Daddy Day By Day. And it only took me 2 years to do so. 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…

Advertisements

My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

I used to date this super sexy girl who like most super sexy girls, was crazy. She had a few wild ideas but the one that will always stick with me is that she wanted 5 kids. After only a few weeks of dating she revealed to me that she had dreams of a big house with a white picket fence that she could fill up with what amounts to a litter. Needless to say, I ran for the hills.

12218_IMG_91_1213224988

My son is awesome, but he’s kicking my ass. I may be winning our daily battle of wills but these new grey hairs tell the real story. Sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat fearing the day MM presents to me another urine soaked tube with a pink plus sign on the end of it. Most of my friends and family have multiple kids. Some seem to be trying to build a small army. They just can’t help themselves. They all seem happy but at the same time I can’t help but remember what this one guy at the gym told me about a year ago,

“Me? I have two. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you need to have two.”

Then there was this guy I worked with who had three kids. This is what he had to say,

“Two is tough, really tough. But three? That’s just stupid. You’re always outnumbered. You better hope your oldest kid is old enough to make his own sandwich.”

The horrors of having multiple children were on display this past week at the park. A place that has become a free parenting workshop every time we’re there. On this particular trip the lesson began immediately. As soon as we arrived I saw one of the other guys I often talk to, I call him Specs. We, midday Dads, always gravitate to each other out of solidarity and fear. Fear that if we don’t huddle together in the corner we’ll get trapped talking to the other Moms about nutrition and poop. As oppose to what we want to talk about, sports and poop. I quickly walked over to Specs and Donny ran over to his son, Ry. I hadn’t seen Specs in quite a while because of what was tightly strapped to his chest: a beautiful 6-month old baby boy. Before the word “congratulations” could fully get out of my mouth Donny began to cry. He and Ry who usually got along handsomely seemed to be in some sort of conflict. Ry always brought his three big dump trucks to play with in the sand and had always shared them with Donny, but not today. In fact when Donny picked one up Ry quickly snatched it out of his hand and ran away to hide it. Donny was confused and upset. Specs half-called after his son while also telling Donny it was ok and that he could play with the other trucks. Donny picked up the second dump truck. Ry immediately returned with a scowl and snatched the second truck out of Donny’s hand. Specs again chastised his son who simply ignored him and hid the second toy. Specs apologized to me while telling Donny he could play with the last dump truck remaining. I could feel a bit of embarrassment in Specs’ voice. I assured him it was ok. I’m learning that sharing might be more of a learned trait than an instinctive one. Donny picked up the third truck and I’m sure you can figure out what happened next. As Donny sat there feeling empty and alone I retrieved his monster trucks from my backpack and gave them to him. He was disappointed but he took his monster trucks anyway. As did Ry. Right out of Donny’s hand. Specs had enough. He raised his voice at Ry and demanded he stop and give Donny his trucks back. Ry responded by running away with Donny’s toys as fast as his 2-year-old legs would take him. Specs apologized and slowly pursued his once sweet and friendly son while trying to avoid waking the infant strapped just below his chin. To be honest he looked kind of silly. A grown man trying to quietly speed walk after a screaming child with another baby hanging off him like a exopregnancy. I saw him battle with Ry at the other end of the park while Donny not so quietly sobbed in the sand beside me. Luckily, I had more trucks. I’m a veteran Dad now and I’m prepared for everything. However, park peace would not be found on this day. To the right of us a little girl laid with her hair buried in the sand and began making sand angels. Her mother pleaded with her to stop. To the left a young rambunctious boy was kicking sand at two other children that were playing together. One of the children immediately started screaming from the sting of sand in his eyes. When things like this happen I always like to observe the parents. Such an uncomfortable situation that I was happy not to be involved with. I realized that I was surrounded by madness. My own son in front of me still bitter despite the fact that his trucks had all been returned. Children to the left of me with faces covered in sand. Both of them screaming with one Mom refusing to look in the direction of the other Mom who looked mortified and apologetic. A child to the right of me kicking and squirming in the sand disregarding the specific request from her mother to lift her hair out of it. I started to breakout in a cold sweat, only this time I was already awake.

I learned a lot that day. Multiple children, multiple issues, multiple reasons to quit while I’m ahead. Was this enough madness to crush any silly notion of wanting a second child? YES! I’M happy. I’M content. The problem is, I’M not making the decision. You see, that super sexy crazy ex-girlfriend became my super sexy crazy wife. Before we married I was able to talk her out of 5 kids. The problem is we never agreed to only 1 either. And now I think she’s got that crazy look in her eye. It’s probably just a phase but I’ll spend the next several weeks avoiding rom-coms, chocolate, and oysters just in case. MM may want another son, Donny may want a little brother, but my sanity may need a vasectomy. Then again, my Dad had 5 kids and stepped up to the plate for 2 more. He never seemed stressed out. In fact, my Dad was always a pretty happy and content dude. So maybe MM and I can come to some sort of compromise. I’ll let her get a puppy.

 

THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – Donny is turning into a very outgoing kid and he needs a playmate. Badly. And my old dog ain’t cutting it. If it was up to him I think he would welcome another child.
  2. Random Thing – My Dad’s birthday is tomorrow. He passed away several years ago. I don’t remember exactly how many years ago because I don’t see the point in keeping track of things like that. I still find myself waiting for the day when I can look at my son without feeling a bit of sadness that my Father, Donny I, never got to meet his grandchild, Donny III. Happy Birthday Dad, from your son who still misses his Dad. IMG_0156
  3. Sports Thing – With 73 wins and a(soon to have) Championship, The Golden State Warriors are factual the best team in NBA history. Eat it Scottie Pippen.

 

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the nineteenth Daddy Day By Day. Lately I’ve had a real pressing urge to write a blog regarding the presidential elections currently taking place. Or maybe I’ll write a blog reviewing children’s movies. It could go either way. 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…

Big Poopin’

I have the pleasure of fathering my child in what feels like the golden age of Parenting. There is so much advice and opinion on the internet that no obstacle seems too large. With the simple click of the mouse — I suppose I should say trackpad, what is this the 90s? — I am instantly connected with child care experts all over the world. However, every once in awhile I come across an instructional article that is such horse crap that I wish to beat the author with a bag of Donny’s dirty diapers mixed with nickels. Coincidently enough the article was in regards to potty training. Potty train your toddler in three days it said, quick-training works for many parents it said, this isn’t some new trend it said. After 1 feces filled hour I say, rubbish!

If you don’t have time to read the full article I will supply the cliff notes:

  • Remove child’s pants and diaper…for 3 entire days.
  • Fill child’s and parent’s bladder with liquids and sodium.
  • Force child to watch parents pee and poo. Yuck!
  • Do some silly song and dance when child goes in the potty
  • [Berate] child for having any accidents

Monday morning I started my day with coffee, oatmeal, and optimism. Little did I know it would end with Pine Sol and disappointment. As soon as MM(Mommy Moneybags) left for work the chonies came off. For the next 72 hours I would have to watch him like a hawk. Wherever he went my eyes followed. I stayed on his heels as he ran back and forth from our room to his. I was stuck on this kid like white on rice. Like a hotdog on a stick. Like a fly to — you get it. It was easy at first. I was confident. This was going to work out just fine. By the 4th minute my focus started to wane and my eyes began to glaze over. There’s only so much baby buttcrack a Dad can take. He went into the bathroom and sat on the potty and I sat on the toilet right across to give him guidance and encouragement. At first I was excited! This was finally going to happen. I stared at him and smiled, all teeth and raised eyebrows like some creepy clown with botox injections. I waited for the sound of success; The first drops of diaper liberation! Nothing came out. Then I waited some more until the wait turned into boredom. That’s when I made my first mistake. My mouth became dry and my palm started to itch. The shakes slowly began and I couldn’t take it anymore so I gave in to my addiction. Like Scrooge McDuck diving into his vault of gold I plunged my hand deep into my pocket and retrieved my coveted instrument of distraction. The iPhone felt cool and velvety in my hand. I can’t believe I had gone 8…maybe as much as 10 minutes without touching it. Hello old friend. With a quick swipe and a few soft touches I was quickly plunged into a dark underground community of global poker players. All of us hellbent on achieving fake riches and a false sense of glory. My focus was so great that I never noticed Donny stand up and shuffle back into our bedroom. All I knew was I was on 4th street with a strong two pair. Aces and 9s. All the online players had dropped out of the hand except for me and Suckmyballs75.  She pushed me all in with 2 spades showing on the board. It was decision time. As I weighed the risk a siren went off in my head. Don’t do it. But I needed to. She had bluffed me the previous hand and I was determined to rescue my fake chips from across the fake digital table. The siren got louder and louder until it could no longer be ignored. That’s when I turned off my phone, took a deep inhale, and uttered the F-bomb under my breath. I was familiar with that particular wailing siren and it was coming from the bedroom. I knew before I walked into the room that I had missed the boat. The only question was, how bad was it? To my horror, that boat turned out to be a gravy train. The water bottle sized poop laying on the floor stopped me in my tracks. It was light brown decorated with bits of last nights dinner on the outside like wallpaper. It had a bit of a oval shape going from left to right until I reached the end. The end of the poop was interrupted. Smashed down and slightly smeared like…uhhh…well…I got nothing. Smashed down like some idiot dude allowed his kid to step in his own poop because said dude was sitting on the toilet playing fake poker on his phone. Damn you Apple! (blame everyone but myself; Classic) I continued to assess the situation as I followed three poop shaped footprints that led me to my horrified son. He was yelling frantically trying to rid his foot of crap by rubbing it further into the hardwood floor. A screaming kid, a filthy foot, and a lump of shit on the floor. I was suddenly staring at a multifaceted disaster that needed my immediate attention. I quickly spun around and stepped toward Donny and slipped and ended up flat on my back. I banged my head a little and probably lost consciousness for a quick 1 or 2 seconds. As my eyes fluttered open I rolled over and realized I was laying there nose to poop. The gross scent of digested day old cumin and lentils filling my nostrils, my cotton tank top soaking up Donny’s urine from the floor. Did I not mention there was pee all over the floor too? Of course there was because who poops without peeing. Poop and pee are like peanut butter and jelly, Kermit and Piggy, Me and doing stupid shit that my wife has to learn about through my blog. I eventually peeled myself off our now bedroom floor sized potty. I cleaned his foot, changed my cloths, then mopped and disinfected the floor. All under the disapproving glare of my newly diapered son.

This past Monday may have traumatized me a little bit. I’m considering leaving Donny in diapers his whole life. We all grow old and end up back in them at some point, right? At 11 he could be viewed as advanced for his age. We’re going to give it another try. MM believes we have not yet taken the proper steps to prepare him for this 3 day potty training exercise. These are the steps I plan on taking this weekend:

  • Wake up before everyone else
  • Line all the flooring in plastic wrap
  • Leave flowers for MM next to a bottle of Pine Sol
  • Spend weekend at golf course while she gives it a shot

IMG_6713

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

-Lao Tzu

THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – According to my Mother I was potty trained by the time I was 1. As unbelievable as that is, she now expects Donny to follow in my footsteps. How quickly she forgets how exceptional I was. And how many years I proceeded to pee in the bed after being potty trained.
  2. Random Thing – I recently switched from Old Spice to Dove deodorant. Dove deodorant is garbage. As I give Gillette a try I first must apologize to my wife and friends whom I may have offended…with my B.O.
  3. Sports Thing – WARRIORS BABY! I KNEW THIS WAS OUR YEAR! ALL HAIL THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS! CHAMPIONS OF THE NBA!

warriors2

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the seventeenth Daddy Day By Day. I apologize for the all the feces filled imagery, I just really wanted to bring you all there with me. Thanks for continuing to read. 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…

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

Does anyone remember the movie Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956/remade 1978)? People replaced by alien impostors grown in pods all over California. Plans to take over the world one small town at a time. Ring a bell? For you younger folks how about Puppet Masters(1994)? Alien parasites hopping on the backs of unsuspecting humans. Controlling their minds and behavior with plans to take over the world one small town at a time. Sound familiar? Ok last one, The Faculty(1998)? Alien centipede like creatures… yada yada yada the same old Hollywood crap, aliens take over the world one small town at a time. My point is this: it happened. Aliens are real. They got my kid.

Lets give the infecting alien a name. Neck Chi Pox, or NCP for short. Our small fight for humanity started innocent enough. Donny came down with a low-grade fever and unquenchable thirst for water and cartoons. His demeanor seemed relatively the same. Not quite as energetic as usual which is actually a welcomed break for me. I failed to take his temperature throughout the day which proved to be a mistake. When MM(Mommy Moneybags) finally arrived home it was discovered that his temperature was 103.5. Over the next 48 hours his temperature fluctuated between 100 and lava. He was miserable and made no attempt to hide it. My normally charming and playful son had been replaced by an emotionless fire skinned creature from Uranus. Well, he did show one emotion, anger. He was kind of an asshole…from Uranus. By day three I started to panic and took him to see his pediatrician. I was told he simply had a cold and to treat his fever with baby Tylenol. That only pissed the NCP off more.

IMG_6431

Once the fever was under control the real horror started. At this point the alien had complete control of Donny and it started after MM. It did most of its plotting at night which was quite clever. NCP kept Donny up at all hours screaming and whining thus preventing myself or MM from sleeping. Instead of being able to tackle Donny’s sickness as a team all we did was turn on each other. I ended up in the doghouse for not sharing the last of a two-day old chocolate chip cookie. It was damn worth it but that’s not the point. All he wanted was his mommy. He was completely uninterested in any comfort Dad could provide. He threw tantrums whenever I came near him. He wouldn’t even let her go to the bathroom without being by her side. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Daddy’s boy was gone. I was hurt. I was jealous. Dear old Dad had suddenly become chopped liver.

IMG_6458

On the 5th day we decided MM couldn’t possibly suffer through another sleepless night. We decided Donny would toss and turn with me in our bed while MM got a much deserved evening of peace on the guest bed. That night I endured slaps to the face and kicks to the arm, ribs, and testicles. For real. I think he kicked me in my nuts on purpose. It was awful. Donny’s barrage of sickness induced violence finally ended around 3AM and he fell asleep. When I woke up a few hours later 1/3 of my body was literally hanging off the bed. Donny, like his mother, had completely overrun my side of the bed. He needed as much sleep as possible so I decided to just stay still and suffer. As I laid there hot and hanging off the bed with my bladder feeling like a beavers dam trying to hold back Niagara Falls, it hit me. This is what it’s like to be a Father. Most of his life I’ve been so consumed with being his Dad that sometimes I neglect my most important responsibility. Being his father. Being his Dad is awesome and fun. Dad gets to wrestle on the floor and play at the park. Dad gets to post cute pictures on social media and watch the “likes” pile up. Being Donny’s father means taking his temperature before it gets out of hand.  Not feeling bad about sticking a thermometer up his butt. Being Donny’s father means getting over yourself. Accepting that sometimes a kid just wants his Mama. When Donny finally woke up it was clear he had defeated Neck Chi Pox. It gave me a very unexpected sense of accomplishment. I didn’t do anything directly to heal my son. I was just there. There for a kid whose life suddenly feels more important than my own.

IMG_6341

THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – The “Neck Chi Pox(Chic Ken Pox)” has a new name, Roseola. Which is what Donny had. I know viruses can mutate and based on the symptoms of Roseola it sounds like the chicken pox has simply outmaneuvered the vaccination. Plus once your child gets it they become immune to it. I’m no doctor but it sounds like the chicken pox to me. 2015 Vintage
  2. I’m starting to hate cupcakes. The next disappointing cupcake I have might spur on a profanity laced rambling about the sorry state of the once proud cupcake. I’ve always wanted to write one of those angry blogs.
  3. Sports Minute – It’s finally going to happen. I don’t want to jinx it any further than that.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the fifteenth Daddy Day By Day. I have about three or four half written posts for this much neglected blog. Hopefully they’ll all be completed and posted within the next two to three weeks. Thank you for being patient. 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…

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.

IMG_6230

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.

IMG_6227

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…

At The Playground

“Let’s go to the park.”

IMG_5602

Another one of Mommy Moneybags’s(MM) innocent sounding suggestions that would no doubt end in stress induced drinking. Just like, “we should move in together.” And “let’s have a baby!” MM arrived home from work early enough to enjoy one of the few bright weeknights left before daylight savings begins in the fall. A few months back the city “revitalized” the man-made lake that sits in the middle of downtown. It’s the Los Angeles version of Central Park expect tiny, dirty, and no one outside of Los Angeles knows it exist. I suppose a better comparison would be, its like a plastic kiddie pool that flew off of someone’s pickup truck on the 101. But that was then and this is now. Now the lake has new grass, fresh water, free wi-fi, new trees, new birds, free wi-fi, a boathouse with a diner, AND FREE WiFi!!! Before, it was a nice place to walk my dogs but for the first time it looked like a place to bring my child. When we arrived my immediate instinct was to go back home. The park was dangerously packed. MM insisted we march on. As we made our way to the playground area Donny dodged bikes, strollers, dogs, patchouli oil scented hippies, and of course the local Creepy McCreeperson. I always keep an eye out for the creepers. On our stroll to the playground Donny encountered another child that was nearly his exact age. I saw him coming from a mile away. He was out of control. Like the Looney Tunes Tazmanian Devil with a juice box. My daddy sense told me this kid was trouble. His overmatched grandparents struggled to keep up with him as he approached Donny. **SMACK** This giggling little spawn of satan just walked right up and slapped Donny in the face. I said, “Hey!” because, well, that’s all I could do. Donny didn’t retaliate though a part of me wishes he would have. Maybe he’s already learned to control his temper. It took me 30 years to learn that. I was prepared to yank the kid by the arm and wave my finger in his face but I quickly came to my senses and realized that I couldn’t just do that. Could I? What if someone took it upon themself to do that to Donny? There would probably be an arrest – mine. What are the rules in situations like this? Certainly you can’t allow your child to get smacked upside the head by strangers. Where is the line between, kids being kids, and doing my job as the protector? To his grandparents credit, they immediately apologized and told the boy “no” while trying to politely laugh it off. I guess that’s sufficient. What do I expect, a handshake, a formal letter of apology, from a 1-year-old?  I imagine if Donny would have been the one attacking another child I’d pull him to the side and make him understand, that behavior was unacceptable. At the moment I’m writing this blog Donny is flipping a box over and over in the kitchen while trying to fit different corners of it into his mouth. Maybe I need to relax on my expectations on the behavior and understanding of a toddler. After I got past “The slap heard ’round my head” (it took me much longer to get over it than MM and Donny), we continued toward the playground. We walked alongside the lake while ducks and geese called out to Donny to join them. Did I mention the lake has no guard rail.

IMG_5601

And its man-made so the edge of the land is literally an edge with a cliff leading to several feet of water. Donny as usual showed no fear as he repeatedly tried to join his feathery friends. Our walk turned into a drag as we endured dirty looks from other people trying to determine if we were kidnappers or just mean parents. I didn’t care how it looked. This lake was closed for two years due to the filth of the water and Donny wanted to dive right in. Not on my watch. Finally we arrived at the swings, slides, and other large plastic kiddie obstacles. I was afraid to enter. Kids were flying around everywhere with no regard for the other children and frail calcium deprived adults around them. Just getting into the area felt like walking across the track at a NASCAR race. I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It was too late to turn back now. I closed my eyes, said a quick prayer, and grabbed MM by the hand. I looked down to Donny to calm his nerves, he was gone…

 

THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – That I don’t have Ebola. And neither do you. So relax.
  2. Don’t worry there will be a continuation of this blog very soon. I’ve been told my posts are too long. I’m on the fence about shortening them. Shouldn’t we all try to read more anyway?
  3. Sports Minute – You know your team is garbage when your friends don’t even tease you anymore.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the eighth Daddy Day By Day. If the next blog is a part two to this one, should this be blog number 8.1 or 8a? 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…

 

Remember The Time

IMG_2498

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.

IMG_2636

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.

 

IMG_2875IMG_2670

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.

IMG_2666IMG_2474IMG_2667

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.

IMG_5130

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…