Category: Dad’s Blog


Recently I read an article on Time.com about a blogger who wrote an ode to herself (and other mothers) about all the mental checklists and resulting “invisible workload” that mothers alone seem to bear (as the article would have it).

Image result for inside out anger

This guy was about to pound my brain’s control board.

My knee-jerk reaction was to compile my own list–as a father and working adult–and point out that I also think about some of these things in the household. Also, despite what some sociologists found, my “second shift” starts when I get home and the “third” begins when the kids finally go to sleep.

Then, I remembered what I tell my daughter when she is going to react: “Brain Flood!” This is our code for when our pre-frontal cortex becomes flooded with emotion, and we need to take a breath, recognize that flooding, and calm down before making any decisions. (Yeah, we’re nerdy like that, deal with it.).

Related image

Sometimes I love the internet–it saves me so much time!

So I took a breath, and then wrote this blog post…and a list anyways. (But I swear, the payoff is after, please read on!)

  • I’m the one who notices that gas/oil status in the cars (she at least threw that bone to her spouse).
  • I’m the one who has to figure out if we need new struts on the car or if we should get a new bed because I wake up with back pain every day…and we can only get one.
  • I’m the one who notices when our tune ups are due or when our brakes need replacing.
  • Enough about cars! They’re only our means of getting around and living our lives.
  • I’m the one who notices our daughter says “sorry” way too much and I refuse to let her start down the path of internalizing that particular gender stereotype.
  • I’m the one who has looked deep at myself and am determined to not let my son be emotionally repressed and internalize that other particular gender stereotype.
  • I’m the one who notices when our credit card 0% balance transfer promotion is up, and will slide the remainder around so we continue not having to pay interest for the next set of 18-21 months.
  • I’m the one–as the sole income source–who tries to make myself indispensable at work so I have job security and can continue to provide a roof over my family’s head.
  • I’m the one who keeps a close eye on our monthly budget, and if we’re short on the “eating out” line item, I’ll make a PBJ sandwich and let the kids and mom get their meal on the road because it’s more convenient for them and means they all will be ridiculously happy with Chick-fil-A fries.
  • I’m the one who sells my extra hobby stuff-which at one time brought such joy–to bring in extra cash so maybe, just maybe, we can go on a real vacation for the first time in 7 years. Or pay our bills.
  • I’m the one who will wear a Disney princess tattoo (temporary) for my daughter and be proud to explain to my coworkers how bright her eyes were that we got “matching tattoos.”
  • And so on, and so forth.

Image result for lists

As I compiled my non-competitive list, I realized, maybe I missed the point. But after writing it down and taking that deep breath, I perhaps found some common ground:

There’s a crap-ton of mental work that goes on for any involved parent, or a working adult in a relationship without children. There’s also probably a desire to have that silent work be recognized by their partner as a way of respecting all the extra things we do, even if they’re not tangible. And I think that’s fair for both people.

(Also, I think all that extra mental work can lead to anxiety, which is pretty much an epidemic in our country, but I’ll save that for some other time).

anxiety

Now I have to sign off and go thank my wife for noticing the crumbs we missed while cleaning up. And I should probably refill our toilet paper as apparently it’s a big deal.

Image result for trump toilet paper

Advertisements

This one deserves a post all on its own. Sung while playing with homemade play doh :

 

I’m so glad to see you little eyeball,

Oh please don’t put me in your pie.

Please don’t squish me.

Squish, squish.

Please don’t cook me!

Roll, roll, you’re a big enormous monster looking at you.

Image is for conceptual use only. Actual contents may vary.

Image is for conceptual use only. Actual contents may vary.

Sprinkle, sprinkle.

I’m making my pie.

I’m making my pie on the recipe.

I smooshed the monsters;

Smoosh, smoosh.

I’m making my mom a special pie (yum!)

There we go;

Now my recipe is finally done.

Yippee!

V’s Fireside Chats 9

V’s been on a roll lately. Here’s a few highlights:

 

The Ultimate Strip Mall:

V: I wanna go on a plane ride

Me: They’re expensive; they cost lots of money

V: Let’s get some more money!

Me: from where?

V: From the money store!

Me: Where’s that?

V: Next to the plane shop!

 

 

The Not-So-Subliminal Hint :

“Daddy, I heard a dog barking at me and he said, Val needs a dog!”

 

A New Branch on our Family Tree:

V: Oh-wei. [Pardon my phonetics]

Me: Who’s that?

V: My friend from Africa.

Me: When did you meet him?

V: When I was a baby. He’s my cousin.

V’s Fireside Chats 8

Snarky edition.

A little sass brought to you by our favorite little girl:

(Mom): “Honey, we have to get ready and be efficient; I need you to do more than one thing at once.”

(V): “Chill down mommy, I’m just one person!”

and part two–

(Mom and V struggling over a teeth brushing session)

(Mom): “Girlfriend…”

(V): [with hands on hips] “I’m done with this!”    (apparently a recent saying of mom’s)

 

Have a great weekend and may the sass be with you (or someone close to you)!

Those are insurance forms I think…

V’s Fireside Chats 7

So it’s Halloween season in our household, and we’ve had some interesting conversations:

“Maybe when I grow up I can be a Jedi.”  (V trying to decide what she wants to be for Halloween…it’s a mermaid this year).

“Ooooo. It’s so dark and spookable!”  (V’s obsessed with things being spooky…including our jack-o-lanterns in the house).

“Tag, you’re it! [Touches us] I got you in the phone tag!” (V is slightly confused with the game tag and hearing mom talk about playing phone tag with her friends).

“I want to read my book at the play place so the big kids can see me.”  (Wanting to show off her reading skills of…C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity).

“That’s hilarious!” (Anything she finds funny, particularly some parts of her shows).

V’s Fireside Chats 6

The “rendering dad speechless” edition.

 

Setup: V loves getting the mail and always wants to check it, regardless of how many times that day we’ve made the trip to the mystical mailbox at the end of our driveway.

Script:

(V): “I love mail”

(Me): “What’s your favorite kind of mail?”

(V): “Blackmail!”

(Me): “……….”

 

Setup: Poor V fell in the tub, landing on the ledge ribs-first.  Although she was soon climbing and hugging, our triage nurse recommended we go to the ER to get x-rays just to be safe.  At home, V was very excited to have “a special picture taken of her chest.”  She was less enthused when the doctor actually came into the room (cue hysterical crying).  After a brief examination (and concluding that being able to wake the dead and wrestle him pretty much ruled out injured ribs), he felt an x-ray was unnecessary.  At home:

Script:

(Me): “So honey, why did you get scared when we went to get your special picture taken?”

(V): “Because I didn’t want him to do it.”

(Me): “Well, who did you think would do it?”

(V): “Daddy!”

(Me): “I can’t do that honey, I don’t know how. But don’t worry, we won’t let anyone hurt you at the doctor’s office.”

(V): “But I just don’t want to.”

(Me): “Well, we don’t have to, so don’t worry about it for now. But sometime if you get hurt we might have to go back.”

(V): “I don’t want an x-ray because we’ll have to pay for it!”

(Me): “………..”

 

V’s Fireside Chats 5

This week’s additions:

Ready to Go-

Setup: We’re heading to a Renaissance Fair this weekend, and everyone is really excited, especially when we were picking out our outfits.  We decided on our family theme (stop your snickering), and will be going as a band of adventurers.  But, since we had to run to the store (and that glorious day of fantasy was still 2 days away), we had to inform poor V that she’d have to take her outfit off and pack it away.  After reluctantly doing so…

Script: 

(V) “Let’s go on an adventure!”

(Me) “Ok, we can go on an adventure to the store.”

(V) “I gotta get my outfit!”  [V runs to pick out a different outfit to wear to Michael’s, and then promptly falls asleep on the way to that magical land.]

 

OH SNAP!-

Setup: Mom and I are bickering a bit while making the bed.  I’m trying to retain my Zen-ness after being near the ocean.  I’m sure my wife would tell it differently…

Script:

(V): “Watcha doing daddy?”

(Me): “Putting up with your mother.”

(V): “Why?”

Although I could just end it there, for completeness sake I replied “Because I love her.”  [It’s just not as funny that way, but I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about me.]

 

Too Cute For Words-

Setup: We, of course, hug V as often as we can.  When my wife and I hug each other, she used to like to squeeze in the middle.  Now when one of us picks her up and the other is nearby:

Script:

(V): “Family hug!” [With arms spread wide reaching for us both].

 

🙂

 

V’s Fireside Chats 4

By now you know the drill…

Top Chef-

Setup: We’re playing “kitchen” where we make some delicious pretend food and eat it.

Script:

(V): “I want you to make some ice cream.”

(Me): [Puts some noodles–standing in for ice cream–in a bowl]  “Like this?”

(V): “No, make a lot!”

(Me): [Adding more to the bowl] “Is this better?”

(V): “There you go!”

(Me): [Pretending to eat the ice cream] “Whoa, I’m eating too fast…”

(V): “You don’t have to do that.”

Tattoo Validation-

Setup: V likes wearing fake tattoos on her arms–usually dragons.

Script:

(V): “Daddy, will you put a tattoo on my arm please?”

(Me): “Sure.”

(V): “Daddy, you a big strong boy who puts tattoos on girls!”

(Me): “Thanks honey.”

Storyteller Extraordinaire-

Setup: After re-reading her favorite stories many times, I asked her to read/tell the story of Peter Pan using the book as a guide.

Script:

(V): Once upon a time, there was a George that was curious.  [She realizes she started a different story]

Once upon a time,

Once upon a time,

Once upon a time,

there was a man on a boat, and he crossed the sea.

Many years ago he saw the ocean.

And this is Peter Pan.

Once upon a time.

Stay tuned next week when we recount the Little Mermaid!

V’s Fireside Chats 3

Sorry about the hiatus; I was back in MI with the family for a wedding and vacation of sorts.  Watching V interact with her 1.5 year-old cousin A was great, and, as usual, she came up with some great wisdom along the way.

1. Setup: I had just bought some old board games off a friend, and V got to looking at the boxes.  One of them–Solar Quest–seemed to grab her attention.

Script:

(V): “Can we play this?”

(Me): “We have to eat first.”

(V): “Then can we play?”

(Me): “Sure, we can give it a try.”

(V): “Yeah, it has some interesting things in it.”

2. Setup: We’re trying to wean V off one of her favorite drinks, Simply Lemonade since it’s basically just sugar water.  To help the withdrawal symptoms, we’re going to make some homemade stuff and see how that works.

Script:

(Me): “Don’t you want to make some lemonade?”

(V:) “No, I wanna dance!”

I guess that says it all!

V’s Fireside Chats 2

The second installment showcasing the scatological humor of my daughter V:

1. Setup: V and I are sitting comfortably on a chair.  She stands up on my lap, turns around, and breaks wind.

Script:

(V): “Ha, ha. I just farted at you.”

[Dad looks horrified, wonders where she’s learning this stuff]

(V): “Should I touch your armpit?”

[Dad raises his arm to accommodate her curiosity]

(V): “It stinks!” [V pushes dad’s arm back down]

 

Get your minds outta the gutter.

2. Setup: The family is walking into Target to do some “shoppin’.”

Script:

(V): “Those are daddy’s big red balls!” [Pointing at the large vermilion cement spheres outside the entrance].

[Dad wonders how he became associated with these majestic baubles]

 

 

 

3. The Setup: we’ve discussed going to a family wedding soon, and V is excited to go to “the wedding party” and to wear her pretty dress.

Script:

(V): “Daddy, you should wear a big dress to the wedding with a design on it.”

(Me): “Really? What should the dress have on it?” [Gives V several examples of “designs”]

(V): “Dogs!”

(Me): “Ok, I’ll see what I can do.”

 

4. The Setup: V likes Star Wars. She watches the occasional show and reads several books about them.  One day, we’re all sitting in her playroom, doing something completely unrelated to that Sci-Fi franchise. 

Script:

(V): “Sand People ride Banthas!”

(Me): [Beaming proudly] “Yes, yes they do honey.”