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…

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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…

I Got 99 Problems But A Bib Ain’t One

The morning my son was born I posted a photo from The Lion King to my Facebook page. I’m reminded of this today while watching my son attack a spoonful of sweet potato. Like a lion cub devouring a gazelle my boy has no regard for flavor, patience, or cleanliness. He accentuates this point by ripping down his bib after every satisfying mouthful. Right before tossing it to the floor and smearing sweet potato from his mouth unto every bit of the table he can reach. Ahh, the Dadlife. Because his verbal skills haven’t quite develop yet over the past 7 months I am left to ponder the meaning of this. Is it satisfaction? Or is it protest? The baby rights movement of 2014? As a first time Dad of an amazing little boy I feel it’s my duty to decode these things. To understand him. To make sense of all his baby behaviors and ramblings. Thus far these are the three things keeping me up at night:
1. Rasberrying – At first I thought he was bored…with me. Showing it in the most blatantly boorish way possible. Just being a real baby jerk about it. Fortunately, my wife(MM) came to the rescue of my ego and said that it couldn’t possibly be that. There’s no way he could have discovered the lameness of his father’s jokes and dancing so soon. Instead I’ve decided that he has simply discovered his own spit. Not only that, Donny(my son) has discovered that he can produce an endless supply. So far it looks like he plans on storing it in my shirt and on my face. Dadlife. If we don’t get through this phase soon Donny is going to flood the house. Should I be worried?
2. Baby Dancing – Normally this shouldn’t be an issue that needs my attention. Normally babies dance to the appropriate baby approved jingles. Not my boy. He does get really excited for The Hotdog dance on Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse. He even likes to groove back and forth to Boogie Nights by Heatwave. However, lately he has become entranced with a different soothing melody. A television commercial for Captain Morgan white rum. For several months one of my favorite programs, Pardon The Interruption, has been sponsored by Captain Morgan. They have religiously been running a commercial featuring the song Double Bubble Trouble by M.I.A. While I initially thought he liked the song I have come to conclusion that it is the actual commercial he enjoys. Either Donny is mesmerized by the hypnotizing combination of color and sound that this high-definition slow motion commercial provides, or his happy hour starts somewhere around 5:30EST and he’s waiting for me to mix him up a drink. Captain and milk? Should I be worried?
3. Fake cough/ laugh? – At first it was funny, then kind of cute. Then it got troubling. Was it asthma? Some allergy? The asbestos in the house?!?!? Don’t worry, there is no asbestos in our home. The trouble is MM and I don’t know if it’s a real cough or just a noise he likes to make. Often it sounds like a laugh and is accompanied with his smile. He does seem quite amused with himself when he does it. And he does it all the time. It’s difficult to imitate and he won’t do it on command making it impossible to replicate for our pediatrician. I am admittedly at a loss with this one. Should I be worried?

In the 7 months I’ve been a father there have been countless highs and zero lows. Sure there has been rough days but in the end it’s never that bad. As I continue to try to decode this rubric cube that is my son I have to remember not to worry about every little thing he does that I can’t figure out. I’m learning that to be a parent is to worry, but worry just holds you back.

“Much human misery arises from people despairing over things that despair cannot help. We should not worry about things that no amount of worrying will resolve. The important thing is to build a golden palace of joy in our hearts that nothing can disturb.” – Daisaku Ikeda

THREE THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – Invest in bibs with higher quality velcro in the back
  2. MM and I became interested in seeing the film Fed Up (fedupmovie.com). A documentary challenging Americans to break our addiction to sugar. 2 days later she baked a chocolate pie. It was delicious.
  3. Sports Minute – My beloved Oakland Raiders drafted 3 defensive backs in the 2014 draft. They have drafted 17 defensive backs in the last 10 years. 1 has panned out. 1!!! May the curse finally be broken.

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Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the first edition of Daddy Day By Day and I plan on writing many more. If you have any questions, comments, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to share. Talk to you soon…