Archives for the month of: December, 2013

I yelled at my son last week for the first time ever.  He’s four months shy of 3 years old and I held out for as long as I could.  The event was exasperatingly awful.  It was not at all how I pictured what being on the ‘other’ side would be like.  I don’t like to raise my voice (unless I’m arguing with my wife…because that’s a contest to see who can be the loudest!), but I felt that Worm needed to hear me (which doesn’t always equate to listening.)

I’m usually pretty relaxed as long as the kids are orderly.  (Read:  I haven’t been relaxed in over 2 and a half years.)  I don’t get rattled real easily.  But when I’ve had enough, I will overreact to certain situations.  This time warranted a little extra vocalization on my part.  (I channeled the “stern dad” voice!)

The day started out with breakfast for Worm.  That meant pouring milky cereal onto his tray and pants.  Ok, no problem.  When I tried to clean up, he cried and screamed for me to stop, as if I was ruining his ‘Mona Lisa’.  (If Worm is the next Jackson Pollock, I’ll be kicking myself later for stunting his artistic fervor.)  When the kid and floor were 80% clean, I offered Worm a refill.  He refused.  And found a way to whine about it.  An hour later, Worm stated that he was hungry and casually left off the part about being grumpy.  (It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that when you don’t eat, you get irritable until fed.  But the idea looks like it takes more than the mind of my toddler to grasp.)  I gave Worm some cheddar goldfish to satiate his belly only for him to decide that the dogs were more deserving than he.  I promptly took the remaining goldfish away from him and forced the dogs to vomit up their share.  (Just kidding.  I wanted to see if you were still paying attention.)  That situation didn’t go over well.  Apparently, I was interrupting Wormie’s reenactment of Jesus feeding his disciples with a few fish and bread.  I screwed up the miracle, the dogs were going to starve to death, and I would become the devil.  He cried for them…as loud as he could.  For the next 10 minutes.  (Does anyone else think that toddlers should have a mute button?  Add a reset and sleep button to them and I’d be happy.)

Lots of whining, crying, and horseplay (as my dad would say) happened between snack and lunch time, which was surprising since it had been about 15 hours since Worm’s last meal.  At any point, I thought his energy would fizzle and he would barely have strength to sit upright in a chair let alone gallop around the living room.  So when noon rolled around, I made a nice (and tasty, I might add) sandwich and cut it into perfectly ideal sized morsels.  I placed the food in front of him and even turned on the TV to ingrain mindless eating habits at an early, impressionable age.  Three episodes later, not a crumb had moved.  I asked Worm if he wanted to eat.  He said no.  I repeated the question two more times.  I got the same answer.  (No means no after the third time.  It’s one of my new parenting techniques…)

“F#*k it.” I said to myself for the 9th time that day, which had barely concluded the morning.  It’s time for nap.

I scooped Worm up from the play area, put him into his crib, closed the door, and left.

I was called back in multiple times over the course of an hour for: one ice in my water bottle; get me big ‘Mater; I need tissue for boogies; turn light on;  ‘what are you doing, daddy?’; I want to brush teeth; get me my train with blue wheels;  and a few other things that I can’t remember at the moment (because anger causes the brain to block out negative memories so that I will most likely repeat the same parenting mistakes again at a later time…sorry, I digress.)

I was pushed over the line.  The last request, unbeknownst to him at the time, had me fuming.  I began screaming from the hallway, before I entered his room, hurling my words through the door at him.  I was so pissed about all the whining, crying, and misery of the morning that my voice was reverberating off the walls.  When I saw him looking at me as he never had before, his eyes pasted open and jaw dropped I said one last thing “GO TO SLEEP NOW!”  He said nothing.  Immediately he turned and huddled himself into the corner of his bed and cried himself to sleep.  I walked out feeling like the biggest asshole in the world.  Sometimes I love parenting more than other times.

Worm, You're So Dramatic!

Worm, You’re So Dramatic!

Gavin – 29; Honeydaddy – 17 (Worm, what sucks is me getting to a place where I have to yell at you to stop doing what you’re doing.  But, it’s still my fault for getting so heated.)

I feel like a stranger to my own blog!  It’s been way too long since I last posted.  Anyhow, imagine that I wrote this a couple weeks ago and it will give me a chance to catch up.

Smushie is now straightleggedly upright.  She’s standing!

And that would be a great thing, if she wouldn’t try grabbing all the new items within her reach…such as loose articles on the coffee tables, end tables, TV entertainment center, couch, book shelf bottoms, my desk drawers.  We are being forced to live above the 36″ line.

The girl is strong.  She does sit-ups while we change her diapers in the morning.  (No joke.)  She slaps her mom and I around when we aren’t paying attention to her.  When close enough, Smush rips our hair out for giggles.  So it wasn’t much of a surprise for her to power herself to vertical on her own so soon.  (The Worm didn’t walk until almost 18 months.)

There are two camps of parents.  The first group, praises their child’s accomplishments as soon as it happens the first time.  For example:

Parent:  “Son, can you count to 5 for me?”

2-year old Son: “Fee One Fuh One Fie Nine!”

Parent: “Oh my god!  He just calculated pi to the 5th significant digit!  We’ve got to send him to Harvard THIS YEAR”

Then there’s the second group of parents, that REALLY need to see the ‘first time’ a few more times to believe it really happened.

Parent:  “Ok sweetie, I’ve isolated any outside forces that may alter your chances of success at riding your bike.  There’s no wind today.  I checked that the pavement is perfectly level and the gravitational pull of the moon on your bicycle is negligible.  A bike that is coasting is not really riding, right?  Are you ready to try?”

2-year old daughter:  “Ahhhhhhhhh! I did it!”

Parent:  “I don’t know, sweetie.  Can you try that two more times?  The first time may have been a fluke!”

I fit squarely into the second camp.  Why?  Because if I falsely told family and friends that my Smushie-kins was standing before she was able to, it could place undue mental stress, anguish, and performance pressure onto her conscience.  I don’t know of any 10-month old that can withstand the anxiety!  (Though, I’m sure some pharmaceutical company already has drugs out to “fix” this infant psychosis…sorry, I digress.)

Since I couldn’t allow my child to bear the burden of my foolish fatherly pride, I drew a line in the sand for me her.  Made this milestone more concrete.  Tangible.

I, hereby, declare the 5-second standing rule.  Any baby not standing for a time equal or greater to five seconds is not considered standing, but probably being held up by wind, pole, starched clothing, snake oil, or other  artificial cause other than self-contained muscles.

And she did it!

To help other compulsive parents, I’ve decided to start standardizing all of the child development milestones and compile them into a book I’m writing “How to Know for Certain When Your Child is Making Progress – A Book For Neurotic Parents That Want to Quantify Everything and Leave Nothing to Chance, Luck, or Time”

I Think a Straightjacket is Easier Than Babyproofing the House from Smush.

I Think a Straightjacket is Easier Than Babyproofing our House for Smush.

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