Posts Tagged ‘
Home Life ’
Sunday, May 5th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
Disclaimer: Contains potentially confusing viewpoints that may be exclusive to the male mindset.
The main reason I feel anxious about the thought of having another child is not the financial aspect, or even the fact we only have a 2 bedroom townhouse; it’s knowing that I would be placed in that frustrating position again of not knowing what to do on a daily basis.
Sure, I’d know more of what I was doing the 2nd time around, but it would also be on top of taking care of you too; though you demand less attention than you did when you were a baby.
To see me in my worst element is to see me in a high pressure, reoccurring situation where I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. For me, that was the first 15 months of your life; back when you wouldn’t let me take care of you without Mommy being in the same room.
Therefore, I couldn’t feel like I was leading our family, and it made me feel horrible about myself.
Just to be clear, I don’t mind high pressure at all. In fact, I like the challenge of it; given that I’ve been well trained on the subject.
It’s no secret: I find my self-worth not in how others see me, but in how I see myself. If I don’t feel in control, or at least that I know what my role is, I sort of feel worthless.
Now that you’re well beyond the age of 15 months, in fact, days away from being double that, my frustrating days of flat-out not knowing what to do in regards to being a dad are mostly a thing of the past; back in the year 2011.
As for modern day life, I know my role now; every minute of the day, and I love it!
In addition to being your official chauffeur, bedtime singer, protector from monsters… I also am the official dishwasher, bathroom cleaner, garbage man, vacuumer, relationship mediator, and the parent juggling two jobs outside of home life.
Every night, after our family eats dinner, I know that once Mommy takes you upstairs for your bath, I am going to immediately start washing and drying all the dishes, then wipe off the counter, and vacuum; just in time to go upstairs and sing your final bedtime song.
While it would be really nice to just chill out after dinner instead of doing housework, I don’t even mind. The reason: Because it sure beats the heck out of those first 15 months when I didn’t know my role.
As your dad, who is wired to fix problems and lead others, it’s very challenging for me to… I’m trying to think of a way to say this without using the PG version slang word…
I like to be driving the motorcycle, not riding in the sidecar.
(Watch the movie Garden State, when you’re older, to fully understand the reference. “Sidecars are for…”.)
What I am saying is that right now, I don’t feel like I’m riding in the sidecar. I feel like our life is predictable enough now where I don’t taste the chaos in the air anymore.
I love having this peace in my head; not dwelling on my inabilities to successfully figure out what exactly I’m supposed to do every single second. I love knowing what to do.
Ah, if and when the time comes for a 2nd child, I fear losing that again.
Thursday, April 11th, 2013
2 years, 4 months.
I will admit I don’t always understand your logic.
Your newest tradition is to wave goodbye to Mommy as she pulls out of the driveway each morning. I gather that it is a time and tradition that helps you share a connection with her on a daily basis.
But this morning… as Mommy stood in the doorway, smiling at you, telling you to have a good day, telling you that she loves you, telling you that she will miss you, you just stared at her and said nothing.
The moment she walked out to her car, you got excited. You actually got giddy, even.
By the time she started backing out of the driveway, you were jumping with excitement, because finally, the moment had come when you would be able to… wave goodbye to her.
To spell out the irony here. you basically wanted Mommy to hurry up and leave so you could wave goodbye to her.
Your way of thinking is just different than mine, or Mommy’s, sometimes.
Like last night after I put you to bed and you were already overly tired to begin with, you sang at the top of your lungs for the next 15 minutes until I finally went back into your bedroom to remind you that it was time for fall asleep, to which you simply replied, “Okay,” then fell asleep a minute later.
I thought your song choice was pretty interesting, it was a medley of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep,” and the “Alphabet Song,” all of which share the exact same tune.
As for me, when I am completely exhausted, like the way I am right now as I write this, the last thing I would feel like doing is singing songs at the top of my lungs.
Logic has yet to become a priority in your life. Enjoy that while you can, kid.
Sunday, October 7th, 2012
Consciously attempting to give someone “I’m married” vibes is not something I am used to having to do.
After all, I have so forgettable of a face that even people who are “good with faces” have a hard time remembering meeting me the first time.
But a couple of months ago, there was I minding my own business at Starbucks during my lunch break, reading a book on how to read people, when a college-aged looking girl asked me to watch her laptop while she went to the restroom.
When she returned, with a deadpan delivery, I said something like, “Your laptop is still there, so I must have intimidated any potential laptop thieves.”
That was just my non-boring way of relieving my job duties now that she had returned. But maybe it sent a different message?
Barely a minute later, she dropped her pen, which happened to roll to my direction. So of course, I picked up it and handed it to her, barely even looking her in the eyes, as to make the favor as generic as possible.
Then she started asking questions, like if I was also a student. The thought of someone mistaking me for a 22 year-old caught me off guard. After all, when I turned 22, the year was 2003!
By this point, I knew officially that I needed to bring my left hand to my chin, as to flash my wedding ring to her like a Batman signal. To no avail.
The questions kept coming and she ended up asking me what I did for a living. Sure, I have a day job, but I felt it necessary to go ahead and cut straight to the chase:
“I write a daily blog column for a magazine’s website. It’s called Parents magazine.”
From there, I was able to throw in a “my wife and I” in conjunction to my son.
Whew. It was a relief to finally make that message clear: I’m married.
I was caught off-guard that day. I didn’t want to let the mystery continue for any longer than it needed to. At the same time though, I didn’t want to be rude to the nice and seemingly innocent girl.
It’s a delicate balance of being both direct and subtle in a case like this.
Personally, I don’t expect this to happen again anytime soon. Who knows? Maybe when I’m 42, someone will think I’m 31.
And if that’s the case, I’ll do the classic “left hand to the chin” move, followed by a “my wife and I.”
If that doesn’t work, I think I’ll just pick up my phone and casually give my wife a call right then and there.
Being flattered by a curious stranger who thinks I’m single; well, it does me no good.
There’s nothing good that can come out of me allowing myself to think for a second, “Man, I still got it. This chick digs me.”
That’s one of the many reasons I wear my wedding ring; especially when my wife and son aren’t around.
It’s an instant reminder, as if I needed it, that I already have a beautiful girl who digs me, and I’ve been married to her for over 4 years.
These days, it’s not always enough to give “I’m married” vibes.
Sometimes you have to give the “I’m happily married” vibes instead.
Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
While we parents are proud to share our kids with the world, we are just as eager to keep certain aspects of our children to ourselves.
The way I see it, both my wife and I are introvert/extrovert hybrids. We are both very social people; we get bummed out if we’re not interacting with other human life on a daily basis; with our son thrown in the mix.
On the other hand, we also get bummed out if we don’t have enough time together as a family; just the three of us.
The parent paradox: We love for others to be able to know our son; we also love to be able to know our son with no one else around.
We share him; we keep him all to ourselves. There are certain subconscious boundaries that we as a family unit of three abide by. If nothing else, we highly guard our quality time together.
Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out what these unwritten rules are in regards to the boundaries of privacy we have, by default. Maybe it’s possible we don’t socialize with other fellow parents enough because we are so overly aware of our family’s cultural need for quality time.
Maybe I should do a better job of being a more outgoing dad; getting involved in cool networks of dads out there. But ultimately, I’m wired to see even that as a threat to time with my family.
With as little quality time I have left at the end of each work day, I hate the thought of just giving my wife and son my emotional leftovers.
My focus on privacy is obvious to me in another way, too. A few people have expressed to me that they couldn’t do what I do: Write a near daily blog post sharing personal stories including my son’s actual name and pictures of him.
But I don’t feel like I’m selling my soul or my son, because I am carefully choosing what I allow to be publicly seen.
So what am I hiding? Well, notice how I don’t make a habit of “venting” when I am facing a new challenge as a parent. From the personal journey that led me to choose the “cry it out”method, to all the life-experiences from which I wrote my Dadvice series, I wait until after I learn the necessary life lesson before I will write about it.
I sleep better at night being able to view my life as a parent not as a chaotic mess, but as organized chaos. One way I can organize the chaos is by knowing when to hold up the “private” card.
Whether it’s regarding quality time with your family, the content you share about your family on Facebook, or even the pictures you do or do not display on your desk at work, the importance of privacy is in there somewhere.
Thursday, October 13th, 2011
In my son’s eyes, I am the coolest person in the room; except for when my wife is there too. All she has to do is pick him up and he’ll be happy. If I pick him up, he cries for her.
It’s totally a double standard. My son is putting me in a difficult and unfair situation. Doesn’t he realize he isn’t being logical?
After many frustrating weeks of me trying to appease my son while my wife would be trying to cook dinner, I finally got it: Get out!
Get out of the room with him and distract him his toy bucket upstairs. Or take a walk outside and watch him get fascinated by every car that whooshes by.
I wanted to believe that I could make him just as happy as my wife could just by my presence. What was I thinking? I don’t have that ability- I have too much testosterone seeping out of my pores to subconsciously comfort my son the way my wife can.
Instead, I simply must engage him with some good ole distraction techniques. One of my favorite methods is to sit him down on the carpet and play with one of his favorite toys in front of him. He can’t make it longer than two seconds before he just has to play with that exact toy at that exact moment.
Another thing I do is to crawl away from him and hide behind the other side of the couch. Then I pop out every couple of seconds. He thinks it’s funny every time I surprise him. Next, I start crawling directly towards him and he does the same, like a jousting match without the horses or swords.
When we meet, I put my arms around him and squeeze him, while growling into his stomach and chest. It’s hilarious how he knows I’m going to “win” every time, but he always charges me with the same smile on his face.
It’s then that dinner is ready and the courageous crusaders must wash up for supper.