Don’t Stop Believin’

I just had the worst day ever. My team went down in the worst way. We won 73 games this season. No team had ever won more than 72. We had come back in the conference finals from a 1-3 deficit against a team that everyone said had two of the best five players in the world. We were up in the final round 3 games to 1. No one had ever blown that big of a lead in the championship round. We had this! The champagne was on ice. But right after halftime it all fell apart. We lost. Everything went down the drain. I sat silently in despair. It didn’t get any lower than this.

 

…until we lost our baby. Again.

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How could this have happened? We had gotten past the tough part; the first trimester. We’ve endured more miscarriages than we care to relive. Each time we lost our baby in the first three months. Our son Donny was the only one to make it out of the first trimester. He was our benchmark. We knew if we could just get our fragile little baby past that point we were home free. And then we did. We had our appointment at fourteen weeks and we heard her heartbeat beating fast and strong. She was moving around and very much alive. We celebrated. We had pie. I should note here that for us, celebrating and eating pie are not the same thing. We love pie. The celebration was eating out. The pie was the normal part of the day. Banana Crème, in case anyone wanted to know. We were happy. I was happy. No, I was ecstatic. For the first time I was looking forward to this baby from the start with no worries or fears.

I’m still trying to figure out what went wrong. Maybe we got ahead of ourselves. We were starting a whole new chapter in our lives. We moved to a bigger house in the suburbs with central air –`cause we fancy now. The place even had an extra bedroom for our growing family. We moved to a real suburb where there’s no traffic and people say good morning when you pass them on the street. One of those types of neighborhoods where you feel like you don’t belong because everyone else on the block is an adult. I mean, we’re adults too but our neighbors are all adultier adults. The kind of adults that probably play tennis and pronounce GIF, “jif” like the peanut butter. Everything was going well and nothing could stop us. We announced our pregnancy to the world! The congratulatory messages and well wishes poured in. And then it all ended.

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I was numb too. How are you suppose to feel when you’re faced with the exact same disappointment you’ve felt over and over again? The feeling of numbness eventually gave way to embarrassment. How could I be so stupid as to get my hopes so high? The feeling of embarrassment soon became anger. Why is the world doing this to us again? I was mad at life. I felt betrayed by it. How could it take this baby away from me? THIS baby? I wanted her so dearly. I wanted to break something. I wanted to throw my fist through the wall until it looked as shattered as my heart felt. But I was an adult now. A father. And with age comes maturity and the knowledge that my frail aging bones could never absorb the punishment the wall promised to give back. I stood there staring at a wall that suddenly felt like it was mocking me. Saying, “Go ahead. Take a shot, punk. You’re not even close to your deductible.” I conceded. My anger turned to sorrow and I did what any reasonable adult does. I ate. Everything. I started with a few slices of watermelon and then some chips. I chased them with a handful of grapes and a few carrots. Then I slathered some hummus on a couple of stalks of celery before getting out the crackers and dipping them in this exquisite artichoke and jalapeno dip we had bought from the local farmers market. Then it was back to watermelon and more chips. The combination of salty potato chip and sweet melon was so damn good it was magical. With every bite I took I could feel all my sorrow and pain and anger come together to give me the strength to tell my wife the craziest thing I could think of,

“Let’s try one more time.”

IMG_8787She was not on board. She told me that she thought this was life’s way of telling us to stop. That we had Donny and another child simply wasn’t meant to be. I couldn’t argue with her. This was our [redacted] miscarriage. [Redacted] times now we have made plans to welcome a life into this world with no one to show for it. Too many times now a dream has come true only to end in tears and confusion. No answers, just questions about how and why this keeps happening. I’ve had to watch my wife swallow one foul pill after another in order to force her body into giving birth to nothing way too many times. How could I be so selfish as to ask her to continue to endure this? How could I sit beside her and watch her struggle again and again to come back to me as she laid recovering on a hospital bed? I couldn’t. I decided I wouldn’t ask her to do it again. She has already fought so hard and given me her most precious gift, the miracle that is our son.

My wife is a Warrior. She’s so tough and doesn’t even know it. I’m just speaking about her physically. Mentally, she can not be defeated. She may see me as her rock and the foundation of our family, but she is without the question the engine that drives us and carries us through this wild unpredictable ride we call life. She has tried so hard to give us another child and never feared the consequence of failure because she’s so damn tough. She fights for this family with every fiber of her being. That’s why it came as no surprise when a few hours later she said,

“F— this. Let’s try one more time”

That’s my girl! She may not have said, “F— this” because she’s a classy lady but that’s the way I took it. This woman can’t be beat. So try again is what we’re going to do. We’re both getting older so it’s not going to be easy. We’ll get in better shape, eat better, live healthier, and take all the professional advice we get. There are no guarantees in life and we know this could end in heartbreak again. However, it is said that fortune favors the bold; bold we shall be.

We lost our child. It sucks, but we’re ok. We’re better then ok, we are determined. Determined to not let this destroy us and determined to not let our failures define us. What will define us will be our strength and resilience in the face of everything life has in store for us. We don’t require your sympathy, what we do desire are your smiles. Be happy and hopeful for us. Happy for our present and hopeful for our future.

 

 

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“Everything depends on what is in our hearts. Heartfelt prayers will definitely be answered. If we decide that something is impossible, then, consistent with our minds thinking so, even possible things will become impossible. On the other hand, if we have confidence that we can definitely do something, we are one step closer to achieving it”

– Learning From The Gosho

 

 

 

 

Daddy Day By Day – No. 22

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She Only Like It If It’s Brand New

We have officially bid farewell to Los Angeles.

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Before we’ve even settled into our new digs, MM(Mommy Moneybags) has already made me mad. First of all, I consider myself the Michelangelo of fine homemade vegetarian cuisine. I can slice, dice, and grill an olive oil soaked eggplant to buttery perfection. On a nightly basis I attack summer veggies with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. To truly turn the underappreciated produce aisle into a magical wonderland of taste and aromas, all I need are a few simple things:

 

My Music:

Anita Baker for something sweet.

Jamiroquai for something savory.

Kendrick Lamar for something spicy.

My Wine:

In the words of the great Julia Child,

“I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food.”

My Knives:

A true culinary genius knows you can’t make magic happen without the proper wand.

 

So as I began to prepare our inaugural feast, a delicious combination of tempeh, orzo, tomato, squash, and mushrooms, with garlic, fresh basil and spices; my knives are nowhere to be found.

“Babe, which box did you pack my knives in?”

<silence>

“Babe??”

<silence>

“MONEYBAGS!”

She could hear me. She was standing only a few feet away from me this entire time. I knew what the silence meant. I could feel my black skin turn red. “The Garbage Lady” as I’ve called her on occasions such as this, has struck again. MM has this habit of tossing out old(er) things that work perfectly fine. Some of the things could use a little fixing up and probably deserved to be tossed but a lot of perfectly good stuff seems to get mixed into her purges. MY perfectly good stuff. Typically she gives me a notification that turns into a discussion. A discussion that turns into a debate. A debate that turns into an angry husband who doesn’t want to argue about it anymore regardless of the fact that he’s right and we already spend too much money on things that don’t need to be replaced!

“We threw them out”

We” she said. She knows I’m mad. Why else would she divide the blame amongst herself and someone else. My mind has settled on her BFF Sunshine as her partner in this crime. While I’m thankful that Sunshine has been such a wonderful friend to my wife and was willing to sacrifice her weekend to help us pack, she will be receiving some stink eye.

“We need new ones anyway”

No we don’t. They were great. Sure the knife holder was a wooden lysteria infested block of trash but the knives were fine! All they needed was a quick vinegar rub. Perhaps a minute or two in the hot oven. Maybe a hospital surgery room sterilization just to be certain but they were perfectly fine!

“We’ll buy all new ones”

There she goes with we again. Implying that she uses them. Implying that we share this frustration. Implying that we wanted new ones. Well you know what we’re eating? Cheap pizza. Hmph!

My beautiful wife, my queen, has this thing about getting new stuff. I fight her on it but the new stuff is always awesome. When she has her heart set on something the old item quickly becomes obsolete. Often times the old garb is eliminated before it’s been replaced. So as we welcome our second child into the world this fall, I can’t help but worry about the future of our current one. I’ll probably need to hide him in the garage like I should have done my knives. She’s a spectacular mother and she’ll be great as a mother of two, but old habits die hard. Hell, I should probably hide myself in the garage too. You never know when she might look at me with my graying hair and crankier disposition and say to herself, out with the old and in with the new.

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FullSizeRender…Yes, we’re having a(nother) baby

THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – The first pregnancy was scary. Really scary. I remember being constantly worried about the future. With experience brings confidence. I’m really enjoying it this time around.
  2. Random Thing – I live in the countryside for the first time in my life. I’m really enjoying it. This might be the place I want to settle down. Until the hipsters get here of course.
  3. Sports Thing – Stephen Curry is really struggling. I think I know why…

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…kryptonite indeed.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the twenty-first Daddy Day By Day. The way things are looking, there will be many many more. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment be

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.

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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…

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

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“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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

Iesha

Have you ever tuned into the Discovery Channel or National Geographic and watched a crocodile hunt? They are very sneaky creatures. Their prey seldom ever see them coming. One minute you’re with the fellas sipping water by the pond, telling jokes, flirting with the ladies, the next minute you’re spinning around underwater with your head down some crocks throat. Whether Iesha had been underneath the entire time or ran over when I wasn’t paying attention remains a mystery to me. Before she practically appeared out of thin air we were all smiles. I picked Donny up and placed him on top of the slide and nervously let go. He slid slowly bouncing off the walls violently thrashing side to side and finishing his awkward tumble back to earth with a smile. Success. He demanded another ride and I obliged. The slide we were playing on was a two person slide with a plastic barrier in-between.  This time when we made it up to the top there was another child his age. A girl! She wasn’t much of a looker to be honest. Then again I met my wife unshaven and hungover trying to push through a morning shift at work. Maybe the little girl, like myself, cleaned up nice. She wasn’t much of a fashionista either. Some weird ruffled top paired with flower spotted pants. Why do we dress our kids up in such odd attire? Clothing we wouldn’t be caught dead in? Now you may be thinking, would you Daddy Donnell rock the Charlie Brown costume/shirt in public that you’ve forced onto your son? The answer is: hell no. But he can pull it off. Back to Donny and my future daughter-in-law; they made long eye contact. At least 8 seconds which is a creepy amount of time to be making eye contact with someone and not talking. Go ahead and stare at the person nearest you and count out 8 seconds in your head. The other person will probably complain. I did it to my wife,  Mommy Moneybags(MM), and she even thought something was wrong with me. My instinct was to try and give him some fatherly advice on dating and how to talk to girls. Rock solid advice like, look open and friendly, smile, be casual, try putting your hand on your hip, wear khakis. I’m really not very good at this. I decided it would be better for me to just step aside and let him work his magic. Right as he began to introduce himself he slowly began to lose his battle with gravity and went tumbling down the slide. All was not lost. She was still there. Perhaps waiting for him to come back? She even seemed to be giggling at him. He made her laugh! Smooth move my boy! I picked him up dusted him off and began to return him to the top of the slide beside her. As we reached the summit she appeared. Iesha. Like a crocodile rising out of the river. Ready to devour his game. She was a big kid and mean looking. Snarling and gashing her teeth. Even Donny’s poorly dressed friend seemed frightened. Seeing as we had just gone down the slide it seemed only fair to me that Donny stand to the side and allow the new kid to go down. That’s only fair, right? We should teach our children to share, right? So we did. And down she went laughing all the way. Seeing as there were no other children in line Donny retook his place at the top and prepared to go down. When I looked down I noticed Iesha still in his way. Not only was she still at the bottom of the slide, she was climbing up. I was faced with a choice: I could A) Send Donny down the slide like a bowling ball forcibly clearing the blonde haired pin to the ground. This option, though appealing to me, could end up causing physical harm to my own kid as well as the child of this absent parent. Or B) I could simply pick Donny up and move on. I choose C) Defiance! I did not move Donny. I made sure he blocked her way. But she keep coming up not allowing him to slide down. I politely (in my opinion) asked her to share the slide.

“Hi, don’t you think it’s time to let someone else go down the slide?”

“NO!” she yelled.

Did this CHILD just tell me “no”? I’m the adult damnit! She’s lucky I asked at all.

“Shouldn’t you be going down the slide? I think it’s someone else’s turn”

“___” She ignored me.

I frantically searched around for the 2-3 Neanderthals that conceived yet another bad creation. There was no one to be found. MM was the only other adult in sight. I could feel my blood pressure rise and decided the best thing to do was to go with option B. In fact I was so irritated by this whole exchange that I picked up my son and left the playground.

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I don’t like children. Never have. I always knew I’d eventually end up with a kid of my own but as I grew older the thought of it became more and more unattractive. I hadn’t even held a baby until I had my own. Actually that’s not true. I held my friend Hollywood’s new-born a day after he was born. Donny was due less than a month after that so it felt right. Like I was already a father. For the first time in my life I wanted to hold a baby. But now I’m forced to interact with children and I’m reminded of why I never liked them in the first place. However, I can’t simply blame the child anymore. They’ll only do what they are allowed to do. I used to work in a restaurant and one time I had to tell three young boys to stop showing their penises to two women trying to enjoy their lunch. They were eating sausage sandwiches ironically enough. Where were the parents? Sitting a few feet away more concerned with socializing with each other than paying attention to their flashing kids. After I told the parents what was happening there was no spanking, no stern talking to, no timeout. Not even a extra buck on the tip for having to see their kid’s dick! This wasn’t some rare example of parents not watching their kids. It happened all time. The nudity part was rare. Now, that I have a son of my own I beginning to realize something, I still hate kids. And by kids, I mean parents.

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THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – The phone number for poison control is 1-800-222-1222. The operators are very nice. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste™ is non-toxic. I will say no more.
  2. I don’t understand behavior timeouts. Our dog trainer told us to give our dog Domino timeouts when he behaves poorly. So far they have been completely ineffective. In fact, I think he enjoys it. He’s a bad dog. Bad dog.
  3. Sports Minute – You know what’s cool about your favorite football team being 0-9? NOT A DAMN THING!

***BONUS THING:

I just wrote a blog about parents not paying enough attention to their kids. I then followed that up with the fact that I needed the phone number for poison control. Talk about calling the kettle black.

https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/the-surprising-reason-more-kids-are-getting-hurt-at-the-102543542767.html

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the eleventh Daddy Day By Day. Please take a peek at the article posted above. Excellent food for thought and just in time for this blog post. 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…