Thursday, June 21, 2012

To commemorate my third father’s day as a father, I thought I would put on paper (or internet) the ever growing list of things I have learned to this point.  By learned I don’t mean adjusted my behavior for necessarily, more so observed and tried to not act uponJ  And to be clear my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek, and being a father is one of the greatest gifts one can receive.

1)      Patience with children is different than regular patience.  Its one thing to be able to keep your calm at work while someone is driving you crazy.  It’s another thing to keep your cool while you have a screaming and kicking toddler laying on the floor in front (possibly spitting on you) of you who has been a pill all day because she refused to take a good nap and is about as likely to surrender as Mel Gibson in Braveheart, on a day when you have also had a cranky infant who doesn’t like the earth or being on it, and possibly when its like 100 or 0 outside.  That’s called Megapatience.  And on some days you need Megapatience, and most days its hard to find.  I struggle with it more than I should.
2)      You didn’t know what laughter was before.  I mean we all have those days where our faces hurt from laughing – usually its probably that one time you hung out with me or for me it’s the day when I was left to my thoughts and cracked myself up because of how witty I am (hopefully you understand I am being very sarcastic with those comments), but sitting at the dinner table and conversing with Emma about pretty much anything is funny, and in a whole different and new way that you can’t replicate.  Yes that was one sentence, I am too lazy to revise it to be better grammar.
3)      Public displays of potty are common.  We all ask where the restroom is sometimes.  But with Emma (and most toddlers) it’s usually followed by her telling the waitress/cashier/other random person that she is going to go potty or poopoo and  possibly followed by telling said person some details after the fact.  Its usually followed by awkward laughter by the counterpart.  What would the world be like if you told your waiter you had to go potty really badly?  Try it sometime.
4)      Naptime is no longer a happy place.  Naptime is now the time when you work your tail off to get something done before naptime is over.  Remember the good old days when nap time meant YOU got to take a nap while watching golf, which would be followed by 30 min of spacing out and trying to get motivated to run to chipotle for your second meal of the day there?  Well maybe you don’t, but I do.
5)      Bedtime is now a glorious time.  Kids are great, but 8pm CST is a lovely time in our house.  The kids are in bed, the 85 million bottle parts from the day of feeding/pumping are washed, you can sit down and just chill and watch Modern family while your wife tries (unfortunately too successfully) to draw parallels between you and Phil while you admire Cam’s shirts and “flare” (in a totally masculine way) and hope that you don’t have a daughter like Haley.
6)      Leaving work is like leaving the earth to head to the moon.  At work, at least for we cube surfers, you live in this nice quiet place with clean bathrooms, white noise, everybody walking, and air conditioning.  You arrive at a place of controlled chaos where your daughter screams “DADDY’s HERE!!!” which is great and makes you happy, only there’s a small twinge of crazy in her voice so you are afraid that she may be using that as a signal to other toddlers to signal the toddler revolution.  You eventually arrive home which is a dance of preparing food and providing food to keep anger subdued (sometimes for mom, dad, and daughters) then run around, play on the playset (and sweat) take a bath, fight the bedtime battle, and then hit the aforementioned 8pm its time for gloriousness barrier.  I am certain that paragraph reads as complaining,  that time is great, but if it extended too much longer there would be casualties.
7)      Bed time also has new meaning.  Your bedtime as a father is irrelevant, toddler bedtime is like a hyper exaggeration of basically everything above.  There is laughter, which sometimes turns into crazy laughter, which sometimes morphs into having to show patience, but then sometimes morphs into laying next to your daughter and singing the Iowa Fight song and a hug.  Its fun, its scary, its hard, its so many things in a 30-45 min timeframe that is always being pushed by said toddler.
8)      We live in 1 volume level –LOUD.  If Kinsley goes to bed first we try to keep the volume level down so she doesn’t wake up.  Which doesn’t work.   At all.  Emma is loud, there is no getting around it, sometimes between the number of words she says and the volume of words said its amazing that ears don’t bleed.
9)      I have a new boss.  I used to think, wow, our lives revolve around Emma, its sort of like she is our boss without knowing it.  Now I know that Emma is our boss, she likes to tell us what to do at a high volume (see previous item) and is very, very particular.
10)   Daughter #2 seems quiet.Daughter #2 loves her big sister and laughs at her all the time, but you notice much more when she makes sound after Daughter #1 is in bed.  Kinsley is happy go lucky, but when Emma is in bed and Kinsley is up its like her time to shine.  It will be interesting to see whether she defers to emma when get gets older.
11)   Wait, we have a 2nd daughter?  Not that she gets completely ignored but because she is so easy and basically just needs to be held and fed, sometimes we almost forget about her.  

Miscellaneous pics from a father's day trip to Deanna Rose with Dylan and company

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